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Rock bottom end-of-summer travel deals

Royal Caribbean offers deals on repositioning cruises.

Royal Caribbean offers deals on repositioning cruises. Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean International

Looking to get away without spending a lot? I found some great deals to book before summer slips away. To wit:

I consider any cruise priced at $100 or less per day to be a major bargain. If you don't agree, do a little math to determine what a night's hotel stay, 3 meals, beverages, endless snacks and entertainment will set you back and get back to me. So when I saw a 2-week transatlantic cruise to Europe for $449, I almost fell out of my chair.

This is a great time to look for  "repositioning" cruises. Here's how they work: Cruise ships  all have a noted country of origin, and for most it is not the United States. That means the ships come from other countries, set up a home-away-from-home in a U.S. port and take Americans to and from various destinations from that port. At the end of the season, the crew packs it in and sails home. They could return on an empty ship, but they wouldn't make any money that way, so they market what the industry calls a "repositioning" cruise. Then they have another when it's time to come back. These are one-way trips to another country at a very low price, sometimes less than airfare would cost. The cruiseline gets to make one last moneymaking journey and you get to save a bunch of cash. Win-win.


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Royal Caribbean is booking three such 2012 cruises now, and if you book by Sept. 2, they'll also throw in a $50 onboard credit. Choose from a 13-night sailing from Miami to Malaga, Spain, on April 18 for $449; a 13-night trip from San Juan to Malaga on April 15 for $449; or 14 nights from San Juan to Barcelona on April 21 for $549. There are similar deals from Celebrity at slightly higher prices. See them all at the CruCon Cruise Outlet.

There are some great deals to be had in the air, as well. JetBlue will fly you from JFK to Los Angeles for $158, to Fort Lauderdale for $94, or to Washington, D.C., or Burlington, Vt., for $59. Book those deals here.

American Airlines will fly you clear across to Manchester, England,  for $276, or to Brussels for $299. Those and other sale fares can be purchased here.

And if you're looking for something closer to home, Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City is holding a "Goodbye Irene" sale. For just $55, you get two tickets to the Cirque Polynesian or Cirque Risque show, two free drinks at the 25 Hours bar and a  one-night stay tonight only. For more details or to book, call 800-772-9000.

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