updated 6/12/2008 11:57:01 AM ET 2008-06-12T15:57:01

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: February 2009

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The deal
If you want an offbeat Caribbean cruise, it’s the perfect time to book a sun-drenched sailing at a discount. We suggest you skip the same old run-of-the-mill itineraries and go for a voyage with a fresh new twist. We have three ideally priced options if you want to head off the beaten Caribbean path. Each of these splendid cruises calls at lesser-visited destinations, with rates as low as $489 for a weeklong exotic Western Caribbean sailing aboard Carnival Valor.

Exotic West Caribbean with Norwegian
For a unique sailing amidst Caribbean islands, we recommend a seven-night exotic Western Caribbean voyage aboard Norwegian Spirit. Departing roundtrip from New Orleans, this special odyssey is priced at just $529 for inside accommodation. The CruisesOnly deal in question reduces the regular price of $1,299 by 59 percent! You’ll take in Mexico’s Costa Maya and Cozumel; Santo Tomas de Castilla in Guatemala; and Belize City; two days at sea are thrown in. Even oceanview cabins are a good deal, at just $599. Balconied units sell at just $799.

Offbeat Caribbean on Carnival Valor
You can reap savings of 71 percent off rack rates by booking an exotic Western Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival Valor. Priced at $489 for a November departure, the ship departs roundtrip from Miami and stops at Grand Cayman, Mexico, Belize, and the Bay Islands in Honduras. There are also two days at sea aboard the ‘heroes and heroism’-themed Carnival Valor. The regular price for this weeklong journey is listed at $1,669 for inside cabin lodging but this deal reduces it by $1,180. Oceanview units are also discounted, at $609; balconied rooms go for $719.

Disney cruise with a twist next winter
Slideshow: Caribbean way of life If you can hold off until next winter, we spotted a terrific early-bird bargain departing Florida in February aboard Disney Magic. Priced at just $899 in an inside cabin, this seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise with a visit to the island of St. Croix reflects a discount of 50 percent. It sets sail from Florida’s Port Canaveral on February 28, visiting Disney’s private Caribbean island of Castaway Cay as well as Charlotte Amalie on St Thomas. The route also covers three entire days at sea. For sea vistas from your own oceanview cabin, you can dish out the affordable $1,279.

The dollars
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
You’ll have to curb your travel fever for a few months.

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