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Cross the Pond for Peanuts

Hop on the lovely QM2 for a slow and easy jaunt across the Atlantic between New York and Southampton, England, for as little as $799 per person for an inside cabin ($999 per person for an outside cabin and $1,199 for a balcony cabin with an obstructed view), or do a double crossing round-trip out of New York starting at $1,449 per person for an inside cabin and $2,199 for a balcony cabin (also with an obstructed view). Cunard (tel. 800/7-CUNARD; www.cunard.com) is offering the great rates on crossings in September and October for past guests of The World's Leading Cruise Lines (which include any of the Carnival Corporation sister brands: Carnival, Costa, Holland America, Princess, Seabourn, Windstar and Cunard).

Fall into Some Great Savings on Crystal

Book with Crystal Cruises (tel. 888/799-4625; www.crystalcruises.com) by Sept 15, 2005, and get an extra 15% off all Deluxe stateroom accommodations (categories A through E) on two New England & Canada cruises departing October 16 and 27 aboard the elegant 940-passenger Crystal Symphony. The Oct 16 sailing leaves from New York and calls on Newport, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts (overnight); Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Québec City (overnight) and Montréal, Québec. Guest Chef Dominique Filoni, winner of the 2004 "Best New Chef" award by Food & Wine Magazine, and Peter Marks, curator of wine at Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts, will be on hand to conduct cooking demos, wine tastings and a special chef's dinner. The deal can add up to as much as $400 off per person, the discounted fare starts at $2,851 per person. On October 27, the Symphony does a 10-night cruise from Montréal and visits Québec City, Halifax, Boston, Newport, New York, Charleston and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The discounted fares start at $2,580 per person. Author Steven May, a frequent Smithsonian lecturer and tour guide, will be aboard this sailing to discuss New England art and culture. If the Med is more your speed, cash in on an 11-night cruise on the Crystal Serenity from Rome to Barcelona on Oct 14 with discounted rates starting at just $2,995 per person. Ports of call include Naples and Livorno/Florence, Italy; Villefranche/Nice, France (overnight); Gibraltar, UK; Málaga/Granada and Mallorca, Spain. Old Master Paintings Expert Chantal Brotherton-Ratcliffe of Sotheby's Institute of Art in London will lecture guests on the history and techniques of Baroque and Renaissance painters in Europe. Fares include all soft drinks, bottled water and specialty coffees.

Costa Rica Won't Cost'a Much This Winter

Windstar Cruises (tel. 800/258-7245; www.windstarcruises.com) is offering three 7-night Costa Rica cruises in December and January starting as low as $1,849 per person aboard its sporty and supremely comfortable 148-passenger Wind Star. The four-masted sailing ship travels round-trip out of Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica and visits remote places in Nicaragua and Costa Rica where you can fish, sunbathe, swim and explore the beautiful tropical jungles via foot, horseback and boat. Keep an eye peeled for monkeys, crocodiles, sloths, anteaters and lots of birds from herons to egrets.

Discover Day Trip'n Deals

If you're looking for some good ole basic let-your-hair-down fun in the sun, Discovery Cruise Line (tel. 800/866-8687; www.discoverycruiseline.com) is offering bargain-basement rates on its day cruises to the Bahamas on board the 1,200-passenger Discovery Sun. Sail round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale to Grand Bahama Island for $99.99 per person on all weekday departures through Dec 15, 2005. The ship arrives at the island at 1pm and departs for Florida at 4:45pm the same day (guests do not sleep onboard). The sailing time is about five hours each way. Fares include the cruise, three meals, live entertainment, a casino, and pool deck parties and activities; prices do not include port parking fees, transfers, or shipboard gratuities. A $10 security surcharge and immigration user fee is collected at pier side, and there's a $25 per person Bahamian departure fee and fuel surcharge.

For all military personnel serving in Iraq or Afghanistan in 2005, Discovery is offering the day cruises for free. The deal is valid until Dec 31, 2007, and includes all additional fees. To cash in, register a family member or friend online with Discovery and you'll be mailed a receipt that you can pass on to the service man or woman for their free cruise. The receipt should be presented at the pier at the time of sailing, together with a Military ID and a letter from their unit confirming the places of service during 2005. Advanced reservations are required.

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-lux lines may also include gratuities and some or all beverages.

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

  • Holland America Volendam: 5-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $449, Nov 25 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas: 9-night Caribbean, round-trip from Baltimore. From $549, Sept 2,16, 30 sailings.
  • Celebrity Zenith: 7-night Bermuda, round-trip from Port Liberty. From $550, Sept 3,10,17 & 24; and Oct 1 sailings.
  • NCL Norwegian Dawn: 10-night eastern Caribbean, round-trip from New York. From $699, Oct 9 & 19; Nov 10 & Dec 1 sailings.
  • Carnival Elation: 7-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Galveston. From $699, Sept 11,18 & Oct 30 sailings.

Cruise Value Center (tel. 800-231-7447; www.cruisevaluecenter.com)

  • Carnival Spirit: 7-night Alaska, Vancouver to Whittier. From $679, May 17 sailing.
  • Carnival Glory: 7-night eastern Caribbean, round-trip from Port Canaveral. From $619 Jan 21 sailing.
  • Celebrity Century: 7-night eastern Caribbean, round-trip from Fort Lauderdale. From $550, Jan 21 sailing.
  • Celebrity Millennium: 7-night eastern Caribbean, round-trip from Fort Lauderdale. From $850, Jan 29 sailing.
  • Holland America Veendam: 7-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Tampa. From $843, Dec 20 sailing.
  • Holland America Zuiderdam: 7-night eastern Caribbean, round-trip from Fort Lauderdale. From $542, Dec 3 sailing.
  • Princess Caribbean Princess: 7-night eastern Caribbean, round-trip from Fort Lauderdale. From $580, Dec 10 sailing.
  • Princess Golden Princess: 7-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Galveston. From $913, Dec 31 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas: 7-night eastern Caribbean, round-trip from Port Canaveral. From $649, Dec 11 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas: 7-night Mexican Riviera, round-trip from Los Angeles. From $489, Dec 11 sailing.

Mann Travel & Cruises/123travel (tel. 800/835-9828; www.123travel.com)

  • Holland America Ryndam: 10-night Mexican Riviera, round-trip from San Diego. From $799, Oct. 18 sailing.
  • Princess Grand Princess: 16-night Transatlantic, Rome to Galveston. From $1499, Nov. 10 sailing.
  • Carnival Legend: 8-night eastern Caribbean, round-trip from New York City. From $699, Sep. 10 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas: 4-night Bahamas, round-trip from Port Canaveral. From $289, Jan. 16 sailing.
  • NCL Norwegian Spirit: 7-night Florida/Bahamas, round-trip from New York City. From $769, Feb. 26 sailing.
  • Holland America Zuiderdam: 7-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $549, Sep. 24 sailing.
  • Princess Golden Princess: 7-night Canada/New England, round-trip from New York City. From $747, Sep. 17 sailing.
  • NCL Norwegian Majesty: 7-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Charleston. From $499, Nov. 26 sailing.
  • Carnival Ecstasy: 5-night Mexico, round-trip from Galveston. From $309, Sep. 24 sailing.
  • Celebrity Zenith: 4-night Key West/Cozumel, round-trip from Miami. From $300, Jan. 5 sailing.

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

  • Carnival Imagination: 4-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Miami. From $229, Sept 22 sailing
  • Holland America Oosterdam: 7-night Mexican Riviera, round-trip from San Diego. From $599, Dec 10 sailing
  • Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas: 10-night Bermuda & Caribbean, round-trip from Boston. From $649, Oct 12 sailing
  • NCL Pride of Aloha: 7-night Hawaii, round-trip from Honolulu. From $749, Sept 4,11,25; Nov 13,20,27; Dec 4 & 11 sailings
  • Celebrity Century: 9-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $800, Nov 17 sailing.

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

  • Celebrity Constellation: 8-night transatlantic, Ft. Lauderdale to Dover. From $525, Apr 28 sailing.
  • Celebrity Constellation: 14-night Scandinavia/Russia, round-trip from Dover. From $2,075, May 6 sailing.
  • Crystal Symphony: 7-night New England/Canada, round-trip from New York. From $2,195, Oct 9 sailing.
  • Crystal Symphony: 8-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $1,795, Dec 6 sailing.
  • Crystal Symphony: 8-night southern Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $1,795, Dec 14 sailing.
  • Crystal Symphony: 10-night Panama Canal, Ft. Lauderdale to Costa Rica. From $1,999, Nov 6 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas: 7-night southern Caribbean, round-trip from San Juan. From $599, Sep 11 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas: 7-night eastern Caribbean, round-trip from Pt. Canaveral. From $599, Sep 4 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas: 7-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Pt. Canaveral. From $549, Sep 11 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas: 4-night Bahamas, round-trip from Miami. From $219, Oct 3 sailing.

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