updated 9/11/2009 11:59:34 AM ET 2009-09-11T15:59:34

Book By: ASAP

Travel By: Through September

The deal
Waiting until the last-minute to book flights can be a dangerous gamble, but doing so for cruises can often pay off as ships scramble to fill cabins. Carnival Cruise Lines is currently offering some remarkable rates on soon-to-sail cruises with savings totaling as much as 78 percent off rack rates. Our editors have sifted through the special offers and recommend these two itineraries to the Caribbean or the Bahamas from as little as $219.

This 7-night cruise aboard the Carnival Liberty is a Caribbean classic that includes popular ports of call in picturesque beach destinations. After embarking from Miami on September 26, the ship will spend a day at sea before reaching the snorkeling paradise of Cozumel, Mexico. Next is a visit to Grand Cayman, followed by worry-free Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Interior cabins are priced from just $389 – that’s a whopping 78 percent off brochure rates.

If you can’t take a full week off of work try this quick 4-night Bahamas sailing from Port Canaveral priced up to 77 percent off rack rates. The recently-refurbished Carnival Sensation calls on Freeport, as well as an overnight docking in Nassau. During their time spent on land, passengers can experience Vegas-style casinos, water sports, and plenty of island shopping. This cruise sets sail on September 20, with interior cabins are priced from just $219, and oceanview staterooms are available for just $50 more.

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
You'd better start packing!

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