Image: Nassau, Bahamas pier
Hisham F. Ibrahim  /  Getty Images
Send summer off with an amazing cruise to the Bahamas with Royal Caribbean or Carnival cruise lines.
updated 8/7/2008 10:45:11 AM ET 2008-08-07T14:45:11

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: September 4, 2008

The deal
With Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, just six weeks away, are you prepared to let go? Sure, you can ease the seasonal transition with a long weekend of barbecues, Wiffle ball and final days at the pool, but how about a cruise for real closure? Due to demand, the cost of holiday excursions can actually rise from August lows, but we pinpointed a handful of quick trips at discounts sure to send summer off with a bang. With interior staterooms as low as $239, these Labor Day cruises are priced to go. Act quickly!

Bahamas three-nighter from $239
With Royal Caribbean’s Sovereign of the Seas three-night sailing, you can kiss summer goodbye from the white-sand beaches of the Bahamas and spend the weekend shopping, snorkeling, parasailing and eating fresh conch. The ship departs August 29 from Port Canaveral, Florida, making its way first to Nassau on New Providence Island. CocoCay (Little Stirrup Cay) is the second and final port of call. Interior staterooms start as low as $239. Oceanview cabins sell from $254.

Four nights to the Bahamas from $289
If you can leave on Sunday, you’ll score discounts of up to 66 percent on a four-night Carnival cruise to the Bahamas. Interior cabins for the August 31 excursion aboard the Carnival Sensation start at $289. Ocean views can be had for only $30 more a night. From the departure city of Port Canaveral, Florida, it’s on to Freeport on Grand Bahama Island. Nassau will be the second port of call. You’ll spend two days in the tropical Bahamian capital, full of pirate lore, before returning to sea.

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Three-night Baja cruise for $399 & up
Looking for a West Coast departure? Royal Caribbean has a three-night sail to Mexico leaving sunny Los Angeles that fits the weekend perfectly. With one port of call and one day on the water, the Monarch of the Seas hits the Pacific on August 29. You’ll wake up the next morning in Ensenada — Mexico’s wine country. The third day, the ship cruises from Bahía de Todos Santos (All Saints Bay) back up the Baja California coast. Oceanview rooms are priced at $399, even cheaper than the interior cabins for $409.

San Diego to Cabo San Lucas from $379
Prefer to take off roundtrip from San Diego and travel a bit farther down the Baja Peninsula? Carnival has a weekend getaway to Cabo San Lucas on the Sea of Cortez with rates reduced by a hefty 55 percent. The Carnival Elation embarks on its four-night journey on August 28. One day on shore is book-ended by two days of sailing. Price tag for inside cabins: just $379! Oceanview staterooms are also reduced, selling at a mere $449.

Head to Canada for almost half off
For a bit of northern exposure with sizable discounts, consider another Carnival trip, this time aboard the Carnival Victory. Interior rooms, normally priced at $899, start at $469. You save up to 48 percent off brochure prices. The ship sets sail from New York on August 28 en route to Canada. The single destination on the four-night cruise: Saint John, New Brunswick, where the Bay of Fundy and St. John River meet. Two days at sea are also thrown in.

The dollars
The quoted prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Onboard accommodations, meals and entertainment are included, as are port charges. Government fees and taxes, alcoholic beverages and land expenditures are out-of-pocket.

The catch
Not all cruises conform to the Saturday-Monday holiday schedule. You may need to take some extra time off.

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