Essential tips for saving big on fall cruisesLabor Day Weekend marked the unofficial end of summer—but if you haven’t taken your vacation yet, you could actually be in luck. For the estimated 12 million Americans taking cruises this year, some of the best savings are in the fall, and in fact rates for cruise ship cabins are the most affordable they’ve [...]
How to find the best cruise rates:
Caribbean: fall months (hurricane season), and non-holiday portions of Nov–Feb
Europe: Sept/Nov and then again March/April
Alaska: September, May (right during the thaw period, still cold but not as icy)
River cruises: March, April, and Oct–Dec are low season.
Work the discounts. We always recommended you work with travel specialists; they know how to work the good deal to your advantage, getting you upgraded to a better suite, a special shore excursion, etc. Also, there are discounts for seniors, military, police officers and union members.
The pros of sailing during hurricane season:
The cons of sailing during hurricane season:
Return flights could change: Let’s say you miss your return flight because your cruise was delayed or re-routed due to storm. The cruise line will not reimburse you for the cost of missing and changing your flight, but third-party insurance through TravelGuard or TravelEx, for example, will. Tip: Buy travel insurance and double-check that it includes hurricane coverage. And read the rest of our tips on cruising during hurricane season.
Bahamas after labor day: Norwegian Cruise Line’s brand-new ship the Norwegian Breakaway has just started sailing from New York this past June. You can leave on Oct 6 from NYC for a seven-day trip to Bermuda, with three days at sea and three days in port in Bermuda. Oceanview rooms start at $699 per person.
Alaska on a Sunday: Holland America Line’s “7-Night Alaskan Explorer” departs from Seattle and visits Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria British Colombia. It’s perfect for last-minute travelers: $449 for an oceanview room leaving on September 1. This is a 77 percent savings off the normal rate for this trip.
Seven nights in the Caribbean: Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas departs from Ft. Lauderdale for a seven-night cruise to the eastern Caribbean, visiting Coco Cay, St. Thomas, St. Maarten. We’re seeing availability for September 1, 15, and 29 at $649 for an interior cabin.
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Our annual Readers’ Choice Survey always yields fascinating insights into your travel experiences—including the best (and worst) hotels, cruises, beaches, and cities around the world. For the second year running, we’ve asked you to rate a city’s “friendliness,” especially with respect to where you felt welcome. Not surprisingly, Southern hospitality dominates again. See which cities greet outsiders with open arms.
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