May 16, 2022

Church Street Espresso

Experienced In Leisure

Last-minute wave season cruise deals for sunny destinations

5 min read

During cruise industry wave season it’s common to find discounted cruise itineraries combined with attractive perks and incentives like stateroom upgrades, included beverage packages or gratuities, and sometimes even airfare credits.

While big ship cruise travel has not yet resumed in domestic U.S. waters, the return of Caribbean cruising is just around the corner thanks to the availability of the coronavirus vaccine. In fact, keen travelers will find summer 2021 cruises in the Caribbean as major cruise lines adapt and partner with warm weather destinations to gradually reintroduce cruise itineraries.

Since wave season is typically January through March, now is the time to look for last-minute deals on future sailings. Scroll down to discover some of the great sunny destination deals offered for this summer and beyond.

Celebrity Cruises

Can’t wait to return to sailing the Caribbean? Celebrity Cruises recently announced the completely revolutionized Celebrity Millennium will homeport this summer in St. Maarten. Seven-night itineraries will depart June through August and call upon some of the most popular Caribbean ports including Aruba, Barbados, Curaçao, St. Lucia and Tortola.

New staterooms have been added to Celebrity Millennium, and the addition of The Retreat sundeck and lounge offers elevated luxury guest experiences.

Adult passengers and crew alike are required to be vaccinated prior to boarding, while negative PCR tests taken within 72 hours of embarkation will be required of guests under the age of 18. More health and safety guidelines are available for viewing at Celebrity’s Healthy At Sea webpage.

Aerial view of docks and airstrip with cruise ships and yatchs in bay at Pointe Seraphine, Castries, Saint Lucia.

LesleyGooding/Getty Images

Current promotions directly with Celebrity Cruises include a special air and sea package starting at $1,999 per person for a verandah stateroom, with flights booked through Flights by Celebrity.

Frequent flyers of Alaska Airlines may find additional perks booking their cruise through Alaska’s Cruises Only portal. Seven-night cruises receive a bonus of 3,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles. Guests booking through the Alaska portal may also receive a specialty dining credit, included gratuities and drinks, along with discounts for military families.

If you’d rather wait until 2022 to sail with Celebrity Cruises, Alaska’s Cruises Only portal is currently postponing deposits on future cruises that depart between October 6, 2021 and December 31, 2022. Deposits won’t be required until June 2021, but this offer ends March 31.

The Cruises Only portal also has special package deals for included gratuities, beverages and Wi-Fi. Passengers who book with Cruises Only receive all celebrity Cruises Captain’s Club benefits and credits, with the addition of incentives found only through Alaska’s Cruises Only portal.

Photo taken In Nassau, Bahamas

Photo taken In Nassau, Bahamas

Daniel Piraino / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm

Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises is restarting sailings this summer 2021 with Bahamas-exclusive itineraries July through October. Cruises begin and end in Nassau, Bahamas for a seamless travel-planning experience.

“After a year of uncertainty, our new Luxury Bahamas Escapes mark an important return to service for Crystal, but also a significant step forward for travel and tourism overall in the Americas,” said Jack Anderson, Crystal’s interim president and CEO, in a media statement. “The all-Bahamas cruises means there is no risk of border closures, alleviating concerns related to a multiple-country itinerary that may be impacted by differing travel restrictions.”

With the release of these new 2021 Bahamian itineraries, the luxury cruise line actually recorded its biggest single day of bookings in company history. Seven-night sailings with Crystal Cruises start at $1,999 per guest and may include a $500 Book Now Savings credit and $500 air credit. Returning Crystal Cruises guests may also receive double their usual shipboard credit.

For even more value add-ons, consider booking Crystal Cruises with Delta’s Skymiles Cruises. New cruise bookings receive up to $500 onboard spending and pre-paid gratuities, while the primary guest also earns up to 10,000 Delta Skymiles.

Guests sailing with Crystal Cruises must be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to boarding. The vaccination requirement compliments the new Crystal Clean+ health and safety measures.

Considering a cruise next year? New sailings booked by the end of December this year through Delta’s Skymiles Cruises all receive unlimited complimentary beverages including wines and premium spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages including bottled water, specialty coffee and soft drinks.

Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private island in The Bahamas.

Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in The Bahamas.

Courtesy of Kristina Moy

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean is preparing for North American cruises to begin this June with embarkation from a new homeport in The Bahamas. Seven-night sailings aboard Adventure of the Seas will embark in Nassau and guests will visit Cozumel, Mexico and Grand Bahama Island, while also enjoying extensive time at Perfect Day at CocoCay, the cruise line’s private island in The Bahamas.

These summer 2021 cruises open for bookings March 24 for sailings June through August. Guests and crew alike must be vaccinated and those under the age of 18 must provide negative test results.

“We are excited to get back to delivering memorable vacations in the Caribbean, gradually and safely. The vaccines are clearly a game changer for all of us, and with the number of vaccinations and their impact growing rapidly, we believe starting with cruises for vaccinated adult guests and crew is the right choice. As we move forward, we expect this requirement and other measures will inevitably evolve over time,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, in a media statement. “The opportunity to homeport in The Bahamas is a testament to the tremendous partners the government and the people of the island nation have been to us for more than 50 years. We are grateful for the confidence that they have in us and our commitment to a healthy and happy return to sailing.”

The redesigned pool deck on Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas

The redesigned pool deck on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas

Courtesy of Kristina Moy

Travelers with an eye on 2022 sailings should note Royal Caribbean’s return to the West Coast. After a 10-year hiatus, Royal Caribbean returns to Port of Los Angeles in 2022 with Navigator of the Seas. The cruise line will offer three- and four-night sailings to Catalina Island and Ensenada, along with five- to seven-night sailings with visits to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.

Navigator of the Seas has recently undergone a $115 million renovation complete with new waterslides and an aqua coaster, along with a redesigned pool deck.

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