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Alaska cruise, 7 nights, from $999

Admire Alaska's dramatic southwestern coast with this classic itinerary out of Seattle. Ports of call are Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Prince Rupert, B.C.
Terminus of Mendenhall Glacier
Terminus of Mendenhall Glacier, near Juneau, Alaska.Danny Lehman / Corbis
/ Source: ARTHUR FROMMER'S BUDGET TRAVEL

The Real Deal: Seven nights' accommodations aboard a cruise ship and all meals, from $999 per person—plus taxes and fuel surcharges of about $255.

When: Depart May 9, 16, 23, 2009. Add $100 for June 6, 13, 20, 2009.

The fine print: The additional per-person charges break down to $178 in taxes and a fuel surcharge of $11 per night ($77 for the entire cruise). Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $999. Read before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability.

Contact: Online Vacation Center, 800/329-9002, .

Why it's a deal: The price, including taxes, breaks down to $179 per person per night, and that includes all your meals. You'll stay in a balcony stateroom at the $999 price. We found a similar cruise (seven nights to Alaska) on Princess Cruises, and to stay in a balcony stateroom on that cruise, you'd pay $1,312. That's a savings of $313 before taxes.

Trip details: The cruise sets sail from Seattle, where you'll meet fellow passengers for a 4 p.m. Saturday departure on Norwegian Cruise Line's .

The lowest rates are based on a ; you'll have two beds (not bunk beds), a small sitting area, and sliding glass doors that open onto a private balcony, where you can enjoy the views.

The Norwegian Star has full of amenities to keep you busy. You'll find the Star Club Casino—with 158 slot machines—three pools, six hot tubs, a movie theater, a teen club, a spa, and a library. The Stardust Theater has Vegas-style shows before and after dinner. All meals, nonalcoholic drinks, and activities are included—except the gambling.

The seven-night cruise makes stops in , , , and , in British Columbia, Canada. Break out the cameras for one (literally) big highlight: Sawyer Glacier in the Tracy Arm Fjord just south of Juneau.

Shore excursions are not included but can be added on to your itinerary at an additional cost. If you prefer to plan your own activities at each port, Alaska's is a good resource.

Expect temperatures in Alaska in May to top out at 55 degrees Fahrenheit, with lows in the upper 30s.

Getting there: The cruise begins and ends in Seattle. In a recent Kayak search, we found these round-trip airfares in early May 2009: $179 from Portland (Alaska), $300 from San Diego (Delta), $335 from Fort Lauderdale (AirTran), $349 from Denver (Delta), $360 from Boston (Delta), $379 from New York City (American, Alaska), $380 from Detroit (AirTran), and $457 from St. Louis (American).