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Costa Costs Less for the Holidays

Celebrate the Italian way on Costa Cruises (tel. 888/462-6782; www.costacruises.com), where bocce ball, toga parties and Italian karaoke are part of the everyday fun. Rates start as low as $649 per person for an inside cabin on the Costa Mediterranea departing November 20 on a western Caribbean itinerary. Christmas fares for inside cabins are going for as little as $799 per person for 7-night Caribbean sailings, including the Costa Magica departing on December 19. Seven-night Europe cruises start at $979 for insides; the Europa departs December 20 and the Fortuna on December 22. For New Year's sailings, rates for 11-night Caribbean cruises start at $899 for an inside cabin, while 10- and 11-night Europe sailings are starting at $2,169 per person for an inside.

Pay Less for Luxury

Save big bucks on Radisson's (tel. 800/477-7500; www.rssc.com) elegant 700-passenger Seven Seas Voyager and Mariner, with two-for-one fares on six cruises in November and December. The discounted 5- to 8-night voyages include a transatlantic crossing, eastern and western Caribbean itineraries and cruises in the Mexican Riviera. The all-suite ships feature marble bathrooms and walk in closets, plus rates include wine with dinner, tips, soft drinks and stocked stateroom/suite mini bars.

  • November 13, Seven Seas Voyager: Eight-night cruise from Madeira, Spain, to Ft. Lauderdale. The sailing will feature a Big Band, with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra headlining. This sailing will also offer three two-hour cooking classes by Le Cordon Bleu(r) chefs, which cost $395 per person extras (limited to a maximum of 16 guests per class). Discounted fares start at $2,148 per person.
  • November 21 & 28, December 5, Seven Seas Voyager: Seven-night Caribbean itineraries round-trip out of Ft. Lauderdale. The November 21 Thanksgiving cruise will feature a complimentary kids' program for ages 5 to 17. The December 5 sailing features a chocolate theme, with John Scharffenberger, a top boutique chocolatier on hand to discuss the art of chocolate and its strong ties to the Caribbean. Fares start at $2,248 per person.
  • December 12, Seven Seas Voyager: Five-night itinerary round-trip out of Ft. Lauderdale, including an overnight in Key West. Rates begin at $1,648 per person.
  • December 9, Seven Seas Mariner: Eight-night cruise along the western coast of Mexico featuring Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society. Offered will be a lecture series and special shore excursions focusing on Mexico's diverse ocean ecosystem. Fares start at $2,398 per person.

What Travel Agencies Are Offering

Here are some of the best deals a handful of major travel agencies are advertising this week. Cruises are capacity-controlled and offers may be withdrawn at any time. Similar deals may be available from competing online and brick-and-mortar agencies. All rates are per person and include port charges. Rates for the ultra-luxe lines may also include gratuities and some or all beverages.

Cruise Brothers (tel. 800/827/7779; www.cruisebrothers.com)

  • Celebrity Zenith: Four-night Caribbean, round-trip from Miami. From $450, November 24 sailing.
  • Celebrity Century: Nine-night Eastern Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $750, November 26 sailing.
  • NCL Norwegian Jewel: Seven-night Caribbean, round-trip from Miami. From $599, December 4, 2005 sailing.
  • NCL Norwegian Sun: Seven-night Caribbean, round-trip from Houston. From $399, November 6, 2005 sailing.
  • NCL Pride of America: Seven-night Hawaii, round-trip from Honolulu. From $899, November 19 sailing.
  • NCL Norwegian Star: Eight-night Mexican Riviera, round-trip from Los Angeles. From $579, December 11 sailing.
  • Princess Diamond Princess: Seven-night Alaska, Whittier to Vancouver. From $724, May 20 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas: Seven-night Europe, round-trip from Barcelona. From $1,299, July 15 sailing.
  • Holland America Zaandam: Seven-night Alaska, round-trip from Seattle. From $799, May 5 sailing.
  • Oceania Regatta: A 10-night Europe, Barcelona to Athens. From $2,599, April 3 sailing.

CruisesOnly (tel. 800/278-4737; www.cruisesonly.com)

  • Carnival Celebration: Four-night Bahamas, round-trip from Jacksonville. From $299, January 5,19 & February 2 sailings
  • Celebrity Zenith: Five-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Miami. From $300, December 17 sailing
  • NCL Norwegian Spirit: A 10-night southern Caribbean round-trip from New York From $579, December 8 sailing
  • Holland America Westerdam: Seven-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $699, January 15 sailing
  • Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas: Seven-night eastern Caribbean, round-trip from Miami. From $799, March 4 sailing

Just Cruisin' Plus (tel. 800/888-0922; www.justcruisinplus.com)

  • NCL Norwegian Sun: Seven-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Houston. From $399, November 6 thru December 11 sailings.
  • Carnival Conquest: Seven-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Galveston. From $549, November 6 & 13, January 15, 22, & 29 sailings.
  • NCL Pride of Aloha: Seven-night Hawaii, round-trip from Maui. From $499, November 6 thru December 17 sailings.
  • Viking River Viking Burgundy: Seven-night Burgundy and Provence, from Avignon to Chalon sur Saone. From $1,499, November 13 sailing.
  • Holland America Oosterdam: Seven-night Mexican Riviera, round-trip from San Diego. From $549, November 26 sailing.
  • NCL Norwegian Majesty: Seven-night western Caribbean, round-trip Charleston. From $479, December 10 and February 4 sailings.
  • NCL Norwegian Jewel: Seven-night western Caribbean, round-trip Miami. From $549, December 11 sailing.
  • Viking River Viking Europe: Seven-night Holland, round-trip from Amsterdam. From $1,199, March 25 sailing. Also available on Viking Sky, March 26 sailing, and Viking Neptune, March 27 sailing.
  • Viking River Viking Neptune: Seven-night Danube Explorer, Vienna to Nuremberg. From $1,349, December 24 sailing. Also available on Viking Spirit, December 25 and January 8 sailings.

Vacation Outlet (tel. 800/690-2210; www.vacationoutlet.com)

  • Carnival Destiny: Seven-night southern Caribbean round-trip from San Juan. From $549, February 5 sailing.
  • Celebrity Century: Seven-night eastern Caribbean round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $600, January 210 sailing.
  • NCL Norwegian Spirit: Seven-night Bahamas & Florida, round-trip from New York. From $649, March 5 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Sea: Seven-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Miami. From $759, January 8 sailing.
  • Holland America Volendam: A 10-night southern Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $999, January 12 sailing.

Vacation Shoppe (tel. 866/7-CRUISE; www.vacationshoppe.com)

  • Holland America Statendam: A 15-night Hawaiian Islands, round-trip from San Diego. From $1,599, November 2 sailing.
  • Holland America Oosterdam: Seven-night Mexican Riviera, round-trip from San Diego. From $599, November 26 sailing.
  • Holland America Westerdam: Seven-night eastern Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $599, November 27 sailing.
  • Holland America Zaandam: A 10-night southern Caribbean/Panama Canal, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $899, December 11 sailing.
  • Holland America Noordam (the new Noordam): A 10-night Mediterranean, round-trip from Rome. From $1,749, May 11 sailing.
  • Carnival Liberty: Six-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $579, December 18 sailing.
  • Carnival Triumph: Seven-night eastern Caribbean, round-trip from Miami. From $449, Mar 18 sailing.
  • Carnival Sensation: Five-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Pt. Canaveral. From $339, Mar 27 sailing.
  • Cunard Queen Mary 2: Three-night Mexico, round-trip from Los Angeles. From $679, February 22 sailing.
  • Cunard Queen Mary 2: An 11 -- night Hawaiian Islands, round-trip from Los Angeles. From $2,699, February 25 sailing.

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