updated 11/14/2008 9:30:48 AM ET 2008-11-14T14:30:48

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Select sailings though October 2009

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The deal
With five major cruise ports throughout the state, Florida is home to a high volume of cruise ships, which often offer highly competitive pricing. While those living in this cruise capital can easily take advantage of its numerous port locations, the rest of us may encounter difficulty trying to pin down affordable transportation to Florida. Luckily, our editors have come up with a Plan B by tracking down cheapie cruises from alternate U.S. embarkation ports like New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Although these ports often come with a higher price tag than Florida, Norwegian Cruise Line comes to the rescue with these 7-day sailings starting as low as $214.

Sail the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles from $234
It’s rare to come across a weeklong sailing to Mexico at rates this low, especially with such an incredible itinerary. Interior cabins are priced from $234, oceanview staterooms start from $329. Passengers onboard the Norwegian Star can kick back at the indoor lap pool and Jacuzzi, celebrate at the champagne bar, or savor a dish at the sushi bar. The first stop is Cabo, San Lucas, a sand-soaked playground surrounded by a beautiful bay followed by a port of call in historical Mazatlan, where many passengers pick up unique shopping bargains in the marketplace. To take advantage of the low rate on offer, you must book the last minute sailing departing November 15, although additional embarkation dates are available at slightly higher prices. As a bonus for booking this date, cruisers can catch Mexico’s premier culinary event, the Puerto Vallarta Festival which takes place November 13 before the ship heads back Los Angeles.

Cruise from New Orleans to Guatemala & Belize from $284
This voyage is unusual in that it calls on several relatively new ports that only a handful of cruise lines are visiting. This weeklong sailing leaves New Orleans on November 30 making a first port of call in Costa Maya, Mexico, followed by Santo Tomas De Castilla, in Guatemala. The latter port city began accepting cruise ships only in 2004, and it has become a welcoming place for visitors to soak up the local culture, and visit the ancient Mayan ruins in Quiriguá and Tikal. Next up on the itinerary is Belize City, where travelers with a taste for danger can get an up-close snorkeling experience with some frightening fish in "Shark Ray Alley". The final port of call for the Norwegian Spirit is Cozumel, Mexico before it returns to New Orleans. Interior rooms start at $284, with oceanview staterooms available from $429.

Weeklong Bahamas cruise from Charleston $214
The election is over, cold weather is moving in, and before we know it the end of the year will soon be upon us. The only other reason you need to head south to the Bahamas is this incredible cruise offer from Cruise.com. From just $214 for interior rooms, or $229 for oceanview cabins, you can set sail onboard the Norwegian Majesty, which leaves from Charleston on November 29, December 6, or December 13. First stop is Norwegian’s private island playground of Great Stirrup Cay, followed by the popular cruise port of Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.  After that it’s Grand Bahama Island, followed by quick foray into Port Canaveral, before returning to Charleston.

Early booking sailings to Bermuda via Philadelphia from $454
Next year marks the 400th anniversary of Bermuda’s settlement and with so many events and celebrations scheduled it’s an ideal time to visit. The brochure price for this 7-night cruise to Bermuda is listed at upwards of $1400, but Cruise.com is offering an incredible early-booking deal starting from $454 for interior staterooms, and $504 for oceanview cabins. The voyage, which embarks-and returns to-Philadelphia, sets sail to St. George, one of the oldest English settlements in the New World where the ship will remain docked for four days while passengers head out to explore and relax. Although October 2009 is still a ways away, it is the only time next year that Bermuda cruises are offered from Philadelphia, so they are likely to fill up quickly! Book now on one of the four sailing dates available onboard the Norwegian Majesty departing each Saturday throughout the month.

67 percent off-7-night Bahamas sailing from New York from $474
Even though it is not officially yet winter New Yorkers can certainly feel its icy claws. With this weeklong cruise, all it takes is a two-dollar subway ride to the pier where the brand new Norwegian Gem will be waiting to whisk its frigid passengers away to the Bahamas-and back home again at the trip’s end. Onboard, relax in the Yin and Yang Spa with its new acupuncture treatments, or try out the interactive Wii Nintendo system that all the kids (or kids at heart!) just can’t get enough of. The first stop is Port Canaveral in Florida, home to the nearby Kennedy Space Center. After that, it’s livin’ the high life on Norwegian’s privately owned island in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay, before making two more stops on the beaches of Nassau and Grand Bahama Island. Sailing dates include November 29, December 6, and December 13 all starting at $474, however other dates are available though 2009 at higher prices.

The dollars
All prices are per person and based on double occupancy. Accommodations, meals, some beverages, entertainment and port charges are covered in the cost. Government fees and taxes as well as off-boat expenditures are extra.

The catch
With ports so close to home, cruising addictions may quickly develop.

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