There are some amazing cruise deals available online this week – perfect for an easy, affordable, last-minute getaway for two. I'm a fan of cruising for a few reasons: You unpack once, get to see an average of four to six different cities or islands in a week, and enjoy all the advantages of a resort (spa, great restaurants, pool, Jacuzzi) along the way. Here are two great sales you should check out if a cruise is on your travel horizon. Each offers a different kind of romance – either classic and cultured or adventurous and off-the-beaten-path.
Windstar in Europe: You’ll have to act fast (by next Monday, April 16) to save up to 60 percent on 16 different week-long European cruises onboard one of Windstar Cruises three intimate tall-masted sailing ships (shown at right). Rates start at just $1,599 per person, for a seven-night Rome to Athens cruise on April 28 (visiting Rome, Ischia, Lipari, Giardini Naxos, Gythion, Monemvassia, and Athens) aboard 148-passenger Wind Spirit, but if you can’t get away so quickly, check the sale for other great deals on cruises in June, July, August, and November. I have sailed on both Wind Star and Wind Surf (both newly renovated and accommodating 148 and 312 respectively) and recommend the May 5 Rome to Venice itinerary (with calls on Capri, Sicily, Montenegro, and Croatia) aboard Wind Surf for $1,799 per person and the six-night July 2 Barcelona to Rome itinerary (with calls on St. Tropez, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Portovenere, and Portoferraio) aboard Wind Surf for $1,999 per person. Windstar’s ships are known for their relaxed elegance, wonderful food and exemplary service.
Princess in Alaska: Princess Cruises offers a great product in Alaska, especially its "cruisetours," which combine a week-long Inside Passage cruise (visiting Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Glacier Bay, and College Fjord) with three or four nights in Princess Wilderness Lodges in and around Denali National Park (home to Mt. McKinley). Book now to get fares starting at just $1,099 per person (for an Oceanview cabin) or $1,899 per person (for a Balcony stateroom) for an 11-night “Denali Explorer” cruisetour, with two nights at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, one night at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, and one night in Anchorage, before or after you sail for a week aboard one of Princess’s four ships in the region (Diamond Princess, Sapphire Princess, Coral Princess, and Island Princess). Perks for couples include The Sanctuary, an adult-only cabana area (on Coral Princess and Island Princess), Sabatini’s (a wonderful Italian specialty dining restaurant, which can be reserved for a small extra charge), and the Lotus Spa (features relaxing heated tile recliners, plus sauna, steam, a pool, and Jacuzzis).