For cruise deals, National Cruise Vacation Week (NCVW) is like Black Friday. Once a year – in 2013, it’s Oct. 20-27 — the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) holds what it calls “The World’s Largest Cruise Sale.”
All CLIA member cruise lines (both ocean and river) and thousands of travel agents work together to create special offers, packages and deals that are available only during this promotional period.
NCVW participating CLIA member cruise lines include: AmaWaterways, American Cruise Lines, Avalon Waterways, Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Hurtigruten, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn Cruise Line, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea Cruises, Tauck River Cruising, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and Windstar Cruises.
Here are some of the deals so far:
- AmaWaterways is offering an additional onboard $200 credit per stateroom on select 2013 and 2014 sailings; this can be combined with other offers — for example, the $1,500 stateroom saving and complimentary upgrades on select sailings.
- Avalon Waterways offers up to $1,400 saving per couple on select 2014 Europe river cruises.
- Azamara has up to a $500 onboard credit per stateroom on European cruises.
- Celebrity offers up to a $250 onboard credit on all sailings of 5 days or longer, from Jan. 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015.
- Disney has a $50 onboard credit offer per stateroom on 3- and 4-night Bahama cruises aboard the Disney Magic or Disney Dream, departing from Port Canaveral, Florida, from Jan. 5 – May 29, 2014.
- MSC is offering special pricing and up to $200 onboard credit per stateroom for MSC Divina Caribbean sailings between April 12 and Oct. 11, 2014.
- Norwegian has up to a $250 onboard credit fleetwide, up to a $500 credit on CruiseTours to Europe, Hawaii and Alaska — and a bonus on all Norwegian Getaway sailings currently for sale.
Other lines will announce their deals as National Cruise Vacation Week approaches. Consult a CLIA travel agent for all Vacation Week deals. He or she will be aware of current savings, discounts and special deals.
If you need to book a cruise now, you could snag a last-minute deal from some lines. Carnival, for example, has some half-price offers for fall itineraries. Check the websites of the lines that interest you for news of flash sales and last-chance opportunities.
Other lines, however, entice travelers to book early with special offers. Holland America has announced the “Explore 4” deal on bookings made by Oct. 15 for select 2013 holiday cruises and 2014 sailings. The deal includes a free Signature Beverage Package (or beverage card), a free specialty restaurant dinner, free or reduced fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom and 50% reduced deposits.
If you live in a state that’s home to a cruise homeport (Florida, New York, New Jersey, California, etc.), you may be eligible for additional discounts.
And finally, don’t overlook the special rates offered to active and retired military personnel; to employees (and spouses, parents and parents-in-law) and retirees of accredited airlines; and employees and retirees of major air freight and express cargo carriers. Participating cruise lines lines include: Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian, Costa and MSC Cruises. Call 1-800-278-4737 for more information; proof of eligibility is required.