updated 11/4/2009 9:22:14 AM ET 2009-11-04T14:22:14

Book by: ASAP

Travel by: November 14, 2009

The deal
The waters of the Caribbean are home to a number of large cruise ships that offer popular itineraries, rock-bottom rates, and family-friendly features.

However, for a more elegant, romantic voyage many travelers look to luxury cruise lines for intimate sailings with unusual ports of call — although the price tag will be significantly higher. This November, the British-based cruise line P & O is drastically reducing rates aboard the adults-only Artemis by as much as 71 percent.

After embarking from Barbados on November 14, the 1,260-passenger Artemis spends a day at sea before reaching Aruba, also known as the “playground of the Caribbean” for its tourist-friendly beaches and attractions.

Next, the ship heads to Central America for an eco-tourism experience in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica and Colon, Panama before sailing on to colorful Curaçao. 

During the time at sea, experience P & O’s personalized treatment with a passenger-to-staff ratio of 2-to-1, elegant formal evenings, and traditional afternoon tea. The Artemis also boasts a theater, casino, numerous lounges, fitness center, and luxurious spa.

Slideshow: Caribbean way of life After anchoring in Curaçao the ship visits a flurry of off-the-path ports including Tortola, St. Maarten, St. Vincent, Tobago, and Grenada before returning to Barbados. Oceanview cabins are priced from $1,609 —  that’s 71 percent off rack rates!

The dollars
All quotes are per person and based on double occupancy. Rates cover accommodations, meals and entertainment on the ship. Fees and taxes, as well as shore excursions, personal expenses, alcoholic beverages, and tips are additional. P & O requires all passengers to purchase travel insurance.

The catch
The onboard currency is in pounds.

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