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Cruise Newsletter

Below is a copy of our current cruise newsletter. To subscribe to our weekly newsletter, absolutely free of charge, please click here. To send a copy of this newsletter to a friend or friends, click here. Please note that the FastDeals are subject to availability and sell out quickly.

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 life."

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.

Alan Fox
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). Click here 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. Click here 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. Click here 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 cabin. Click here 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 example.

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.

Mediterranean 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 the Greek Isles. Some Mediterranean cruises call on ports in Israel, Morocco or Tunisia, and some include ports in the Black Sea.

Below, I've organized our Mediterranean cruises by the most popular departure ports:

Athens
Barcelona
Cannes
Dubrovnik
Genoa
Istanbul
Lisbon
London
Marseille
Monte Carlo
Naples
Nice
Rome
Venice

Due to the cool climate, the cruising season in Northern Europe is short, from May through August. Itineraries generally range from seven to 14 days, and most sail in the Baltic Sea to legendary port cities like St. Petersburg, Stockholm and Copenhagen. There also are cruises that concentrate on the British Isles or the Norwegian Fjords.

Here are the most common departure ports for Baltic cruises:

Amsterdam
Bergen
Berlin
Copenhagen
Edinburgh
Hamburg
London
Oslo
Rotterdam
Stockholm

And below is a list of departure ports for cruises bound for the British Isles:

Amsterdam
Copenhagen
Dublin
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Hamburg
Inverness
London

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.

Amsterdam
Barcelona
Copenhagen
Dublin
Edinburgh
Helsinki
Oslo
Reykjavik
Rotterdam
St. Petersburg
St. Tropez
Stockholm
Venice

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 discount available, click here.

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 another.



Here are the best cruise deals in the next 90 days, organized by port of departure.

Click below for best cruise deals departing US and Canada ports:

Baltimore, MD
Bayonne, NJ
Boston, MA
Charleston, SC
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Galveston, TX
Honolulu, Oahu, HI
Houston (Bayport), TX
Jacksonville, FL
Los Angeles (Long Beach), CA
Los Angeles (San Pedro), CA
Miami, FL
New Orleans, LA
New York City, NY (All ports serving...)
Port Canaveral, FL
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Seattle, WA
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Tampa, FL
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Click below for best cruise deals departing major ports worldwide:

Amsterdam, Holland
Aruba
Athens (Piraeus), Greece
Auckland, New Zealand
Barbados
Barcelona, Spain
Beijing (Tianjin), China
Bergen, Norway
Bombay (Mumbai), India
Brisbane, Australia
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Cape Town, South Africa
Caracas (La Guaira), Venezuela
Cartagena, Colombia
Colon, Panama
Copenhagen, Denmark
Curacao
Darwin, Australia
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Durban, South Africa
Fort-de-France, Martinique
Genoa, Italy
Glasgow (Greenock), Scotland
Hamburg, Germany
Hong Kong
Istanbul, Turkey
Itajai, Brazil
Kirkenes, Norway
La Paz, Mexico
La Romana (Casa de Campo), Dominican Republic
Lima (Callao), Peru
Lisbon, Portugal
Liverpool, England
London, England (All ports serving...)
Malaga, Spain
Margarita Island, Venezuela
Marseille, France
Melbourne, Australia
Naples (Capri), Italy
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Panama City, Panama
Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands
Perth (Fremantle), Australia
Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
Salvador, Brazil
Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Sao Paulo (Santos), Brazil
Savona, Italy
Shanghai, China
Singapore
St. Maarten
St. Martin
Sydney, Australia
Tokyo (Yokohama), Japan
Trieste, Italy
Tromso, Norway
Ushuaia, Argentina
Venice, Italy



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 San Juan Feb 15, starting at $389, save 78%, FastDeal # 13597

2) Bahamas, 7 nights on Norwegian, departs New York Feb 22, starting at $499, save 76%, FastDeal # 26109

3) Caribbean, 7 nights on Celebrity, departs Fort Lauderdale Apr 12, starting at $599, save 67%, FastDeal # 37462

4) Mediterranean, 7 nights on Royal Caribbean, departs Barcelona Jun 21, starting at $1,299, save 53%, FastDeal # 25926

5) Caribbean, 9 nights on Princess, departs Fort Lauderdale Mar 21, starting at $619, save 70%, FastDeal # 19238

6) Mexico, 7 nights on Carnival, departs Los Angeles Apr 18, starting at $499, save 72%, FastDeal # 36445

7) Transatlantic, 7 nights on Cunard, departs London May 3, starting at $999, FastDeal # 28436

8) Australia/New Zealand, 8 nights on Celebrity, departs Sydney Mar 14, oceanview starting at $1,049, save 61%, FastDeal # 23634

9) Asia, 10 nights on Windstar, departs Singapore Mar 10, suite starting at $2,399, save 73%, FastDeal # 10163

10) Caribbean, 7 nights on Ponant Yacht Cruises, departs St. Martin Mar 14, oceanview starting at $4,380, save 26%, FastDeal # 21097

For the best last-minute cruise specials in the next 90 days, please visit our world-famous 90-Day Ticker.
To search for discounts of up to 82% on cruises departing more than 90 days from now, click here.

To save up to 40% with escorted and independent tours, click here.
For river cruises up to 50% off, click here.
For discounts of up to 50% at hotels and all-inclusive resorts, click here.
For the lowest rates on Africa safaris from budget to luxury in quality, click here.

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.

Please email me your comments, suggestions and questions at alanfox@vacationstogo.com and I will respond the same day.

To send a copy of this newsletter to a friend or friends, click here.

Sincerely,

Alan Fox
Chairman & CEO
Vacations To Go


800-338-4962