updated 6/10/2008 2:19:17 PM ET 2008-06-10T18:19:17

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: December 2008

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The deal
Summer may not be the ideal time for a Caribbean cruise but if you book now for a later departure, you can save a serious bundle. We found a threesome of reduced upscale cruises, with early-bird discounts as high as 48 percent and prices as low as $1,267.

Weeklong cruise with Regent Seven Seas
For a four-star sailing around Western Caribbean islands, we recommend the CruisesOnly offer that we found. At a discounted price of $2,940, you can set sail round-trip from Fort Lauderdale aboard the all-suite Seven Seas Voyager. This low cost reflects early-bird savings of 48 percent! Indeed, this December seven-nighter is regularly priced at $5,640 but now you can book it for a lot less. En route, the ship visits Key West; Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico; Belize City; and Santo Tomas de Castilla in Guatemala. There’s also a day at sea thrown in on this December 1 voyage.

Exclusive Seabourn voyage next December
Fancy a five-star sailing on an intimate yacht this year? Such an experience may seem out of reach but it’s now affordable with the Orbitz deal we scoured. A seven-night Yachtsman’s Caribbean odyssey aboard the exclusive Seabourn Pride is on sale at a discount of 40 percent. This December journey now sells for $2,895! The all-suite ship departs round-trip from Bridgetown on the British-flavored island of Barbados, stopping at six other islands, including Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines. Regular rates start at $4,825 so you’re saving a chunk of change.

Princess cruise to Eastern Caribbean
If you simply can’t wait to hit high seas, we also found an earlier four-star cruise plying the Caribbean seas. On July 28, the classy Caribbean Princess sets sail from New York’s Brooklyn on a round-trip voyage around the Eastern Caribbean islands. Now this cruise is on sale from just $1,267, in an inside unit! Along the way, the ship visits Puerto Rico, St Maarten, St. Thomas, and Grand Turk Island. This price is discounted by 13 percent, saving you $200 off rack rates! Other departures with the same itinerary run up in price to $2,462.

The collars
The rates above are listed per person, based on double occupancy. The cost covers onboard accommodations, meals and entertainment, as well as port charges. You’ll just have to dish out extra for government taxes and fees, as well as any shore excursions you may decide to take.

The catch
Onboard extras will add a substantial amount to your bill.

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