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Best of Caribbean summer cruises

/ Source: Sherman's Travel

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: August 2008

The deal
Summer may not the peak season for cruises to the Caribbean but it’s a great time to go if you want to save some serious dollars and avoid winter crowds. Case in point: we found a threesome of sailings that have been reduced in price. Discounts run as high as 71 percent and prices as low as $289. Choose between Carnival, Norwegian and Princess, and set sail to sun-soaked Caribbean seas this July or August.

Western Carribbean sail with Carnival
The biggest discount for a summer Caribbean cruise comes courtesy of CruisesOnly. They currently offer a five-night Western Caribbean journey aboard Carnival’s Holiday at an impressive discount of 71 percent! Indeed, inside cabins on this short voyage are now selling for just $289 on the August 30 departure. Oceanview units go for only $369 — a stellar deal if you take into account the regular rates for inside staterooms on this cruise: a wallet-busting $999. This sailing kicks off round-trip from Alabama’s port of Mobile, en route visiting two Mexican destinations — Progreso and Merida — plus spending two entire days at sea.

Cruise Eastern Caribbean with Norwegian
To sail the waters of the eastern Caribbean, we recommend booking the Orbitz special we found. The eight-night voyage aboard Norwegian Spirit has been reduced in price by 26 percent on the August 23 departure. Inside cabins are on sale for $1,129; oceanview units go for $1,149; while a balconied stateroom can be yours for $1,379. The regular price is listed at $1,529 so that means you’re saving $400. You’ll hit high seas round-trip from New York, en route visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Cayo Levantado in the Dominican Republic. Four days at sea are also part of this itinerary.

Hit Caribbean seas with Princess Cruises
For a more upscale cruising experience, we suggest booking the Vacation Outlet deal for a nine-night Eastern Caribbean odyssey aboard Caribbean Princess. This sea journey is normally priced at $1,444 but with this deal the cost comes down to $1,244. That means you are saving $200! The cruise departs on a circuit from New York on July 19, along the way taking in four islands — Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and Bermuda. Also included are four days at sea. Balconied staterooms are also super-affordable on this sailing, priced at just $1,644. Even a deluxe suite can be yours for $1,944.

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
Caribbean summers are scorching so bring plenty of sunblock.

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