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Newsletter Dated January 26, 2015
Dear Vacations To Go Customer,
Last week, I read about Lee Wachtstetter, an 86-year-old Florida widow
who has lived for nearly seven years on a luxury cruise ship, booking
back-to-back sailings on the Crystal Serenity. She began living at sea
after her husband died, first spending three years on a Holland America
ship, then moving to the six-star Crystal vessel, where crew members
call her Mama Lee.
Ms. Wachtstetter said she's sailed to more than 100 countries; the
Turkish city of Istanbul is a favorite port. She estimates that this
year on the Serenity will cost her about $164,000, covering her cabin,
all meals, gratuities, entertainment and activities (ballroom dancing
with Crystal's onboard dance hosts is one of her top pastimes).
As she told a reporter, she's living a "stress-free, fairy-tale
Incidentally, she's not the first person to make a cruise ship a
permanent home. I've written before about Beatrice Muller, also widowed,
who lived on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2 for nine years before that ship
retired from the fleet in 2008.
Chairman & CEO
Below are money-saving offers we've negotiated with Celebrity,
Carnival, Cunard, Regent and Windstar. These promotions include
shipboard credits, which are as good as cash on the ship and can be used
for onboard purchases not covered in your cruise fare, such as shore
excursions and spa treatments.
Celebrity is offering our customers savings of up to 69%. Plus,
book ocean-view cabins or higher categories on select sailings and
receive one of the following three amenities: 1) free drinks, including
alcoholic beverages, 2) free gratuities or 3) a shipboard credit of up
to $400 per cabin. You'll get all three amenities if you book a
balcony cabin or higher in Alaska or Europe (book by February 1).
Or, book an ocean-view cabin or higher on a Bermuda cruise and receive
both the free drinks and the gratuities (book by January 31).
for dates and prices.
Carnival is offering our customers fantastic markdowns -- save up
to 88%. As a bonus, pay a reduced deposit of just $99 per stateroom on
select sailings when you book by January 31. Past guests may see
discounted rates on select sailings.
for dates and prices.
Cunard is offering my readers exclusive shipboard credits of up
to $1,600 per cabin on applicable sailings, plus pay a reduced deposit.
Select trans-Atlantic crossings are eligible for free gratuities as
well. Book a suite on a variety of eligible cruises and receive the
$1,600 in shipboard credits per cabin, free gratuities, up to nine
bottles of wine, a dinner for two in a specialty restaurant, up to 960
minutes of Internet access, two photos and 20 complimentary specialty
coffees. Past guests may see discounted rates on select sailings.
for dates and prices.
Regent is offering Vacations To Go customers savings of up to 70%
and exclusive shipboard credits of up to $1,500 per cabin on select
departures. Receive free unlimited shore excursions, free prepaid
gratuities, free unlimited beverages including fine wines and premium
spirits and, on select sailings, free unlimited Internet (valued at $30
a day). Customers paying with American Express Platinum or Centurion
cards can receive an additional $300 to $500 in shipboard credits per
for dates and prices.
Windstar is offering our customers exclusive rates, with savings
of up to 81%. Book by February 9.Click here
for dates and prices.
As always, these offers are for new bookings only and subject to
availability. Restrictions may apply.
Cruises in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe provide a
terrific way to explore the continent's many cultures and historic
landmarks. Each day of your voyage brings intriguing new sights -- like
magnificent Gothic cathedrals, fabled palaces, Old World cities and
picturesque harbor towns laced with narrow, cobblestone streets.
We've secured the deepest discounts available for European cruises --
you can save up to 80% or more on Mediterranean departures, for
And here's another reason to plan a European cruise this year: The euro
dropped to an 11-year low relative to the U.S. dollar last week. As of
this writing, the euro is valued at US $1.13.
Today I'll provide some tips to help anyone heading in that direction
find a great cruise at a great price. Click any link below for a
complete list of options.
cruise itineraries typically range from seven to 14 days and are most
numerous from late April through October, though several ships stay in
the region year-round. Many sailings visit Spain, France and Italy, or
Some Mediterranean cruises call on ports in Israel, Morocco or Tunisia,
and some include ports in the
Below, I've organized our Mediterranean cruises by the most popular
Due to the cool climate, the cruising season in
is short, from May through August. Itineraries generally range from
seven to 14 days, and most sail in the
to legendary port cities like St. Petersburg, Stockholm and Copenhagen.
There also are cruises that concentrate on the
Here are the most common departure ports for Baltic cruises:
Several cruise lines now offer European itineraries with overnight
port calls in such destinations as Venice, Barcelona and Stockholm.
Below is a list of popular cities -- click any city to see itineraries that
feature overnight stays there.
While many of Europe's top cities are easily accessible by cruise ship,
other great places such as Madrid, Paris, Prague and Zurich are not. A
few cruise lines offer cruise tours that combine a Mediterranean or
Northern Europe cruise with a land-based tour. Cruise tours allow you to
spend some extra time in a cruise's departure or arrival port or visit
some of those terrific inland destinations.
For a complete list of 2015 Europe cruise tours and every
Unlike the Caribbean and Mexico, where it's generally best to book
within 90 days of departure for the best price, Mediterranean and
Northern Europe cruises should be booked a bit further in advance,
especially for the peak June to August period. If you wait until the
last minute, you will likely have difficulty finding airline tickets at
a good price, or at all.
If you're planning to cruise the Mediterranean or Northern Europe
between now and the end of August, or if you hope to take a cruise tour
in Europe this year, I recommend booking soon, and no later than the end
of March, for the best price and selection. If you are planning to take
a Mediterranean cruise that departs after the end of August, and you are
flexible about date and ship, I recommend waiting until about 120 days
prior to departure to book, as rates for some sailings will drop between
now and then and air should not be a problem.
For anyone traveling from North America, I recommend arriving one or two
days in advance. This will ensure that you don't miss your ship
departure due to airline delays, and it will afford you time to get over
jet lag and do some local sightseeing before boarding the ship or
beginning the tour. Most cruise lines offer pre-cruise hotel packages,
which our cruise counselors can arrange.
Additionally, we can assist with airfare in conjunction with any of our
Europe cruises or cruise tours through the cruise lines' air/sea
programs. In most cases, you'll find that the cruise line's airfare is
competitive with, or less than, what you can find on your own --
especially for European trips that begin in one city and end in
Here are the best cruise deals in the next 90 days, organized by port of
Click below for best cruise deals departing US and Canada
Here are today's Top 10 Cruises,
brand-new specials from the world's best cruise lines.
Click the FastDeal # for details.
1) Caribbean, 7 nights on Carnival, departs Miami Feb 21, starting at $379, save 79%, FastDeal # 16748
2) Bahamas, 7 nights on Norwegian, departs New York Feb 22, starting at $499, save 76%, FastDeal # 26109
3) Caribbean, 9 nights on Princess, departs Fort Lauderdale Mar 21, starting at $619, save 70%, FastDeal # 19238
4) Australia/New Zealand, 8 nights on Celebrity, departs Sydney Mar 14, oceanview starting at $1,049, save 61%, FastDeal # 23634
5) Mediterranean, 7 nights on Royal Caribbean, departs Barcelona Jun 21, starting at $1,299, save 53%, FastDeal # 25926
6) Mexico, 7 nights on Carnival, departs Los Angeles Apr 18, starting at $499, save 72%, FastDeal # 36445
7) Caribbean, 7 nights on Windstar, departs St. Maarten Feb 14, oceanview starting at $1,799, save 63%, FastDeal # 16381
8) Transatlantic, 16 nights on Azamara Club Cruises, departs Miami Apr 2, starting at $1,679, FastDeal # 10110 (Azamara Club Cruises does not provide brochure rates for this cruise, so we are unable to show a savings percentage.)
9) Asia, 7 nights on Crystal, departs Ho Chi Minh City Feb 17, oceanview starting at $2,360, save 50%, FastDeal # 14289
10) Caribbean, 7 nights on Silversea, departs San Juan Mar 13, suite starting at $3,250, FastDeal # 21952 (Silversea does not provide brochure rates for this cruise, so we are unable to show a savings percentage.)
For the best last-minute cruise specials in the next 90 days, please
visit our world-famous
To search for discounts of up to 82% on cruises departing more than 90
days from now,
To save up to 40% with escorted and independent tours,
For river cruises up to 50% off,
For discounts of up to 50% at hotels and all-inclusive resorts,
For the lowest rates on Africa safaris from budget to luxury in quality,
Once you've found a FASTDEAL, call us toll free at 800-338-4962 (US and
Canada) and a cruise counselor will attend to your needs. Customers
from the UK, please call toll free 0-800-098-8546. All other
international customers, please email or call us at +1-713-974-2121.