Insane Cruise Deals: $41.50 A Day

Last night the kid booked a four-day Carnival cruise for a grand total of $166 per person, which comes out to $41.50 a day, including all taxes and fees.

For a price they might have paid for a drab motel room, she and her friend will get an inside cabin, three meals a day, plus entertainment, snacks, pools, hot tubs, gym and everything else that goes with a cruise.  Some friends were so excited by the deal that they booked another cabin to make it a foursome.

This is one of the best travel deals I’ve seen in a while, but there are a ton of others for those who dare to spend.

Kate’s cruise on the Carnival Elation departs from San Diego, where she lives, so there’s no air fare to buy. It was originally supposed to cruise to Mexico, but Carnival has put off port calls (perhaps unwisely, but there you have it) to Mexico because of the swine flu. The ship will call instead at Catalina island, off the coast of California, a truly lovely spot.

The Elation is not Carnival’s newest or fanciest ship, but at a base price of $119 per person, plus another $47 in taxes and fees, this cruise is an absolute steal. I’ve very rarely seen a cruise rate under $40 a day, and then only for the very occasional, much longer one-way, repositioning cruise, which adds considerable logistical barriers.

To put this in perspective, the round-trip ferry service from Los Angeles to Catalina would cost between $66 and $79 alone.

I first saw this deal on TravelZoo, which linked to the very reputable cruise agent The fare is also available directly from through today, and from other agents.

I admit, as I prepare for my own incredible bargain trip to Hawaii, that it makes me nervous to spend money in these times. Travelers must consider their own priorities and budgets, of course. But I do tell my friends that at least part of the old advice about the stock market applies here: buy low.

If you see travel as a purchase of an experience that you will own for the rest of your life, you just might want to do some shopping right now. Somehow, I can’t imagine lying on my deathbed thinking, I wish I hadn’t gone to Hawaii so often.


3 thoughts on “Insane Cruise Deals: $41.50 A Day

  1. Kate

    That’s the honest truth.

    Some people frown upon those who spend money traveling (especially during hard economic times). But my thought is this: the experience of traveling to new places will stay with me forever and enrich my life in a way that material things cannot. I save at least $30 a month by not paying for cable tv. That comes to at least $360 a year- which could buy me a round ticket to almost anywhere in this country- and I’d much rather spend my money that way than allowing cable tv to render me brain-dead for hours at a time. There’s plenty of time to be brain-dead after I die. For now, I’d prefer to live life while I’ve got it.

  2. don

    I’ll second that! “Life life while I’ve got it” – that line is worthy of a Cafe Press shirt & mug set, seriously.

  3. John

    One of my favorite authors, William Saroyan, said “Live while you can, you’ll be dead soon enough!”


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