Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cruise Deal Alert

It's still "Wave Season" and cruise deals continue to arrive in our email box at a fast and furious pace. Cruise Diva thinks the following offers from NCL and MSC Cruises are particularly attractive for families.

Now is the time to book a summer Freestyle Cruising vacation on board any of Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) 11 ships with its extended Freestyle Resolution promotion. Families who book a cruise from now through March 15, 2009 on many of NCL’s sailings* can take their kids for as low as $99 each, and also receive up to $250 in on-board credit** to be used on everything from shore excursions and specialty dinners to spa treatments, the casino and more.

“This summer, NCL offers families a vacation of a lifetime to fantastic destinations like Alaska, Bermuda, Hawai’i, and Europe all at an affordable price,” said Kevin Sheehan, NCL’s president and CEO. “Family cruises on NCL have great activities for kids of all ages, from our expanded Kid’s Crew program allowing parents to take the night off for a romantic dinner, to the two-story Nintendo Wii, four-lane bowling, rock climbing wall, teen disco, and arcade, not to mention all the exciting shore excursions in each port of call – there’s no doubt kids will have as much fun as adults.”

Popular summer sailings include, a 7-day Sawyer Glacier cruise round-trip from Vancouver, British Columbia on Norwegian Sun with ports of call including Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, Alaska, from $599 per person. Norwegian Spirit features a 7-day Bermuda cruise round-trip from Boston, from $599 per person; and Norwegian Gem features a 7-day Western Mediterranean sailing round-trip from Barcelona, Spain to Valletta, Malta; Naples, Rome and Florence, Italy; and Cannes, France; from $599 per person. Pride of America offers a 7-day inter-island Hawaii cruise departing from Honolulu and visiting Hilo and Kona, Hawaii; along with overnights in Kahului, Maui and Nawiliwili, Kaui from $999 per person.

Families sailing with NCL can also save while onboard with half price dinners for children three to 12 years old in its numerous specialty restaurants. In addition, families can purchase an unlimited soda package for kids 12 and under for $39.50 which includes a Kid’s Crew backpack, t-shirt, and baseball cap. For teens, the Teen Passport Program is just $34.50 and includes a booklet with 20 tickets for non-alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic smoothies; and admission to an afternoon dance party with DJ, pizza and unlimited soft drinks.

With NCL’s new Groups 2.0 program, families looking to host reunions onboard can save even more. When booking eight or more staterooms via a travel partner, amenities offered range from the ability to make advance Freestyle Dining reservations in any restaurant prior to sailing, to a group cocktail party, on-board credits which can be used throughout the ship, and Freestyle Bowling in the Bliss Ultra Lounge, amongst others.

To book a sailing, contact a travel professional or NCL at 866-234-0292. Further information can be found online at

* One and 2-day sailings are excluded from NCL’s Freestyle Resolution promotion.
** The amount of the on-board credit varies depending on the length of cruise* and category of stateroom booked. For example, on sailings of six days or longer, the on-board credit ranges from $25 for an inside stateroom; up to $75 for a balcony, $150 for a suite or villa and $250 for a garden villa. For three to five day sailings, the on-board credit ranges from $15 for an inside stateroom up to $75 for a suite/villa.
MSC Cruises is offering special bonus upgrades of up to seven stateroom categories on select 10-night Caribbean sailings on MSC Lirica. Cruise-only rates begin at $699 on MSC Lirica’s 10-night Deep Caribbean itineraries sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on March 4 and March 24. Rates begin at $799 on the 10-night Caribbean Featuring Panama itinerary that departs Fort Lauderdale on March 14. All rates quoted are per person, double occupancy; government fees and taxes are additional.

Guests who book by Feb. 28 and pay at the time of booking are eligible for an up to seven-category upgrade (depending on availability), resulting in an upgrade from an inside to an outside stateroom. Also, guests who book a Category 8 balcony stateroom are eligible for an upgrade to a suite.

The Deep Caribbean itineraries take guests to San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Port Castries, St. Lucia; St. John’s, Antigua; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic. Guests also have three days at sea to enjoy the Italian ambiance and many activities available onboard MSC Lirica. On the Caribbean Featuring Panama sailing, the ship calls at Costa Maya, Mexico; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Cristobal, Panama; Cartagena, Colombia; and Cayo Levantado, and has two sea days. Both itineraries include calls at the line’s private paradise experience at Cayo Levantado. For more information about MSC Cruises, visit their website or a local travel professional.

Watch's Cruise News for even more offers.

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