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Cheap cruises can still be had

By Greg Goodsell
March 16th, 2010
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

During the recession, trips on cruise ships could be booked for bargain-level prices. Those times are now long gone but according to Los Angeles Times travel columnist Jane Engle, inexpensive trips can still be had.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) According to Engle, low cruise prices were prevalent during slow economic times, but due to the upsurge in bookings, trips are once again at pre-recession prices. She offers five helpful tips on getting the most on your vacation dollar.

1. Trips to Mexico remain a bargain. Prices for seven-day round-trips from Southern California to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta can be had for as little as $429. Drug wars and a soft Californian economy make these destinations very affordable.

2. Repositioning trips, during when cruise lines shift from popular destinations during the change of seasons, can be had for as little as $50 a day. If you love ship life, these trips can be very relaxing. Just be prepared for bad weather and an older crowd. 

3. Engle suggests that you take a long weekend. "Short cruises from drive-to ports can be inexpensive. One reason: The rising tide of the economic recovery is not lifting all boats." The income for the typical budget traveler has not recently improved. "The Caribbean and Mexico are fountains of short itineraries."

4. Engle also exhorts others to "live like a pirate." There are luxury cruises out there, but they're offering terrific discounts and incentives to sail with them.  Many of the more luxurious cruises include "free airfare, two-for-one fares and on-board spending credits."

5. She also recommends that you "book early — or late." If you're heading to Europe or Alaska, book now; if to Mexico, where lower demand is driving some fire sales, you have time.

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