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Originally published Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 7:15 PM

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Cruise lines offer week of sales, perks

The ‘National Cruise Vacation Week Sale’ runs Oct. 20-27.

The New York Times

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The cruise industry is ready to entice travelers with visions of sunny, warm Christmases and passengers sipping drinks adorned with mini-umbrellas.

Cruise Lines International Association, the major trade association, is beginning its annual National Cruise Vacation Week Sale. From Oct. 20-27, each of its 26 member cruise lines will offer perks on packages for travel through 2014, such as shipboard spending credits up to $500, cabin upgrades, two-for-one fares, free sightseeing tours and free nights in port hotels.

Ships and destinations vary, from small river cruises to family-focused Disney cruise lines and include major lines such as Carnival and Seattle-based Holland America. Trips must be booked through travel agents affiliated with the association, a list of which can be found at

One notable deal is from Paul Gauguin Cruises, which covers French Polynesia and Southeast Asia, with fares on standard, all-inclusive cruises at 50 percent off. Another, from Cunard, offers a trans-Atlantic crossing from New York, as well as cruises to the Caribbean, with a free balcony upgrade, $300 credit per stateroom and a reduced and refundable deposit.

Celebrity Cruises’ “Finalists at Sea” series will feature two runners-up from past seasons of “American Idol” performing on each of its Caribbean Christmas voyages, which depart from Fort Lauderdale, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico, this December.

Windstar, a fleet of smaller luxury ships, recently announced a “Dreams of Tahiti” voyage aboard its renovated Wind Spirit, a four-masted yacht. The ship departs from Papeete, Tahiti, for a seven-day trip. There is a two-for-one offer through October on travel between May and November 2014.

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