90-Day Ticker
The world's best last-minute
cruise markdowns.
Find a Bargain
Custom Search
View more search options to help you find your ideal cruise.
FastDeal Lookup

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 email this newsletter to friends or family, click here. Please note that the FastDeals are subject to availability and sell out quickly.


Dear Vacations To Go Customer,

Thirty minutes out of Puerto Juarez, as our flat-bottomed boat passed Isla Mujeres, we saw the first bolt of lightning ahead and off to the starboard side.

A line of thunderstorms was spaced almost evenly to the southern horizon, each a tall stack of clouds hovering over a grey blanket of rain that extended down to the water. I'd been looking forward to this excursion since I booked my trip to Mexico, and I hoped the weather would not become a factor.

Forty minutes later, our captain slowed the boat and invited the five tourists on board to help in the search for the two black dorsal fins of a whale shark. We were there to swim with them, but we had to find them first, out on the open sea.

Whale sharks are slow-moving, filter-feeding sharks, the largest of all species of fish. They can grow up to 60 feet long, weigh up to 50,000 pounds and live more than 100 years. They have about 3,000 teeth and eat plankton and small shrimp and fish.

It wasn't long before we spotted the first fin, and as we proceeded slowly in that direction, we saw dozens more, a huge, slow-moving pod of 60-70 sharks.

The light on the water was poor due to the storms in the area and it was hard to make out the entire body of one of these gentle giants despite the fact that they were feeding very close to the surface. We donned masks, snorkels and fins and went over the side of the boat, where the first thing I saw underwater was as incredible as anything I have ever seen: A three-stories-tall whale shark "standing" straight up, it's massive mouth open and facing the sky, body perpendicular to the surface and tail directly below.

Pilot fish nibbled at parasites on the whale shark's skin, and a different species of shark about three feet in length slowly circled the tail of the whale shark, far below us. I wondered if it was looking for a good opportunity to pick off a pilot fish.

It was a sensory feast, an entire food chain in one glance.

I could have watched this beautiful, spotted creature all day but our guide, Cindy, motioned to turn around and we saw another whale shark swimming almost directly at us, mouth open wide enough to swallow any one of us. As it slowly went by, we could see its eyes and fins and tail, close enough to touch, which is not allowed. It was not the least bit interested in us, a good thing, as I saw it.

********************************

I am writing today from a lounge chair on the powdery, white sand at Le Blanc Spa Resort in Cancun, the flagship of the Palace Resorts chain of all-inclusive hotels. Ahead of me, the Caribbean Sea sparkles in the sun.

The water is light green where it touches the beach, giving way to dark green further out, then to turquoise, sky blue, royal blue and navy. The air and the water are both in the 80s.

The stunning beaches of Cancun are almost empty. Most of the mid-rise and high-rise hotels and condos are closed. There are perhaps 5% as many tourists here as is normal for July. COVID-19 has decimated this place, as it has all tourist destinations. Only a few resorts are now reopening.

Mexico is the first foreign country to open to Americans without restrictions. I have come to see for myself and report on what international travel will be like in the foreseeable future.

I arrived three days ago to a sparkling clean and orderly airport where literally every worker wore a mask and kept their distance.  After breezing through the standard immigration, baggage claim and customs process, I accepted a squirt of hand sanitizer and climbed into a taxi for the short ride to Le Blanc. There I was greeted at the door with a friendly welcome, more hand sanitizer, a coconut-flavored drink and a non-contact temperature check.

Then on to my room, where a video detailed the impressive array of safety measures being taken by Le Blanc. Rooms are completely sanitized from floor to ceiling between guests, as is every item brought into the room. Employees are sprayed with disinfectant upon arrival every day, have their temperatures taken and step in disinfectant to ensure they do not track anything into the hotel.

Guests are expected to accept hand sanitizer as they enter every restaurant and shop and venue on the property, including the spa, which is open. Every chair and table inside the hotel, around the pool and on the beach is sanitized as soon as a guest leaves. Instead of traditional menus at restaurants and bars, guests scan a bar code and read the menus off their phones. The list of safety measures goes on and on.

The staff at Le Blanc is unfailingly friendly, efficient and well-trained, the food in all five restaurants is outstanding, and the entire property is immaculate. I can imagine how difficult it must have been to reopen at such a high level of service amid the chaos and uncertainty of COVID-19.

Bravo!

Tomorrow, I will return to Vacations To Go in Houston, where we are continuing to navigate the shifting sands of the pandemic and waiting for more destinations to reopen. There will be a form to complete at the Cancun airport stipulating that I am not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and that I have not recently visited any banned countries (China, Iran, etc.).  There will also be an infrared temperature check (at a distance) while going through security, but nothing else out of the ordinary for U.S. citizens returning home.

Is it safe to travel internationally now? I wish I could say so, but nothing is ever 100% safe, including a visit to a grocery store or a hair salon.

If you are in a high-risk group, now is not the time to travel. If you are worried that you would not enjoy a vacation for fear of COVID-19, you should probably put it off a little longer.

Everyone else must decide for themselves when it's safe enough to travel again. I'll sign off now, from Cancun.

Alan Fox
Executive Chairman



To learn more about Le Blanc Spa Resort in Cancun, or to price a trip on specific dates, click here.



Here are some popular all-inclusive resorts that are open in Cancun and nearby resort areas. Click any link for more information, our fast and friendly travel counselors are standing by to assist.

Hotel Riu Palace Las Americas, a 4.5-star resort in Cancun
Now Jade Riviera Cancun, a 5-star resort
Iberostar Selection Paraiso Lindo, a 4-star resort in Playa del Carmen
Occidental at Xcaret Destination, a 4.5-star resort in Playa del Carmen
Moon Palace Cancun, a 5-star resort
Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort, a 5-star resort in Cancun
Sandos Playacar Beach Resort, a 4.5-star resort in Playa del Carmen
Golden Parnassus Resort & Spa Cancun, a 4-star resort
Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya, a 4.5-star resort in Playa del Carmen
Crown Paradise Club Cancun, a 4-star resort
Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, a 5-star resort
Iberostar Selection Paraiso Maya, a 5-star resort in Playa del Carmen
Omni Cancun Hotel & Villas, a 5-star resort
Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya, a 4.5-star resort in Playa del Carmen
Hilton Playa del Carmen, a 5-star resort



Due to COVID-19, cruise lines suspended worldwide operations in March and no one can be certain when they will resume. Most ocean cruise lines have suspended sailings until at least mid-September.

This week, we've arranged money-saving offers with nine different cruise lines, including deep discounts and free amenities or shipboard credits, which are as good as cash on the ship and can be used toward onboard purchases not covered in the cruise fare, like shore excursions and Internet packages. Please note that some rates on our site may not be eligible for free amenities or shipboard credits.

Azamara is providing huge discounts to our customers -- save up to 79%. In addition, receive exclusive shipboard credits of up to $500 per cabin on certain voyages and pay a 50% reduced deposit. Azamara schedules longer stays and more overnights in port so that guests can experience more of the destination. Rates include gratuities, drinks and, on most cruises, a nighttime shore excursion called "AzAmazing Evening." Book by July 17. See dates and prices.

Royal Caribbean is offering our customers huge new discounts -- save up to 86%. Also receive exclusive shipboard credits of up to $200 per cabin on select sailings, including a variety of Alaska voyages in 2021. Children age 12 and under sail free on applicable dates. Book by August 3. See dates and prices.

Windstar is offering our customers discounts of up to 68% on select cruises, with exclusive rates on a variety of itineraries. Windstar specializes in casually elegant sailings on intimate power ships and masted sailing vessels. Select departures feature James Beard Foundation culinary demonstrations and guest lecturers. Book by July 16. See dates and prices.

Holland America is offering Vacations To Go customers huge discounts of up to 66%, with special pricing on select sailings in Europe, Alaska and other destinations. On select sailings, pay-in-full at the time of booking and receive an extra 10% discount and a shipboard credits of up to $250 per cabin. Book by July 31. See dates and prices.

Norwegian is offering our customers huge discounts of up to 80%, as well as exclusive shipboard credits of up to $75 per cabin on select departures. Plus, on select sailings receive all of the following perks on cabins booked at eligible rates: 1) unlimited open bar for two, 2) a specialty dining package that includes up to five meals for two guests at select dining venues, 3) up to 250 minutes of Internet, 4) a shore excursion credit of $50 per cabin, per port (not including embarkation port), or 5) friends and family sail free as third/fourth passengers in the cabin on select departures (port fees and taxes are additional). Book a balcony or higher on select sailings in 2021 and also get free gratuities. Book by July 21. See dates and prices.

Oceania is offering Vacations To Go customers discounts of up to 84% and exclusive shipboard credits of up to $600 per cabin, plus free upgrades on select sailings. Book by July 10. See dates and prices.

Crystal has reduced rates on select sailings by up to 76%, including Caribbean voyages in late 2020. Plus, receive exclusive shipboard credits of up to $3,050 per cabin, and pay a reduced deposit of just $100 per person on eligible departures. The upfront fare of a luxury Crystal cruise includes gratuities, fine wines, Champagne, premium spirits and nonalcoholic beverages. Book by July 31. See dates and prices.

Enjoy special savings on many 2021 Crystal river cruises. Prices shown reflect discount. Plus, receive free shipboard credits of up to $250 per cabin and a free cabin upgrade to the best available stateroom. See dates and prices.

Regent has provided exclusive discounts to Vacations To Go customers on a variety of sailings -- save up to 78%. In addition, get shipboard credits of up to $1,600 per cabin and pay a 50% reduced deposit on select voyages. The upfront price of a luxury Regent cruise includes unlimited shore excursions, gratuities, unlimited beverages including fine wines and premium spirits and unlimited Wi-Fi. See dates and prices.

Carnival has slashed prices by up to 86% for our customers. See dates and prices.



Here are today's Top 10 Cruises, special deals from the world's best cruise lines departing the Fall of 2020 through the Spring of 2021. Click the FastDeal # for details.

1) Mexico, 7 nights on Carnival, departs Los Angeles Jan 30, starting at $349, save 86%, FastDeal # 30369

2) Caribbean, 7 nights on Norwegian, departs New Orleans Jan 10, starting at $399, save 71%, FastDeal # 13909

3) Bahamas, 7 nights on Royal Caribbean, departs New Orleans Feb 6, starting at $371, save 71%, FastDeal # 19950

4) Caribbean, 7 nights on Holland America, departs Tampa Feb 14, starting at $449, save 40%, FastDeal # 17464

5) Pacific U.S. & Canada, 7 nights on Princess, departs Los Angeles Mar 27, starting at $579, save 43%, FastDeal # 26418

6) Caribbean, 7 nights on MSC Cruises, departs Port Canaveral Jan 10, balcony starting at $539, save 65%, FastDeal # 14807

7) Northern Europe, 12 nights on Cruise & Maritime Voyages, departs London Mar 20, starting at $1,159, save 73%, FastDeal # 14319

8) Tahiti & South Pacific Islands, 7 nights on Windstar, departs Papeete Dec 10, oceanview starting at $1,299, save 76%, FastDeal # 20683

9) South America, 12 nights on Azamara, departs Buenos Aires Dec 9, starting at $1,499, save 72%, FastDeal # 25378

10) Middle East, 10 nights on Oceania Cruises, departs Dubai Feb 28, starting at $1,699, save 79%, FastDeal # 15292

To search for discounts of up to 82% on cruises departing more than 90 days, use our Find a Bargain tool.

To save up to 40% with escorted 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 at 800-338-4962 (US and Canada) and a cruise counselor will attend to your needs. 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.

If you enjoy our newsletter, please forward this email to family and friends.

Sincerely,

Alan Fox
Executive Chairman
Vacations To Go
5851 San Felipe Street, Suite 500
Houston, TX 77057