Ship Credits, Free Shore Excursions and More on Offer for 2013 Wave Season

PHOTO: Parents with children jump into pool on cruise ship.Getty Images
Parents with children jump into pool on cruise ship.

Wave season 2013 is here, and with it come bargains from cruise lines looking to entice potential costumers to lock in a cruise vacation this year. While we're seeing little in the way of price slashing, there are plenty of added-value promotions to give cruisers more bang for their buck this year.

Here's a sample of what some of the most popular lines have on offer for wave season 2013.


Business Class Air Upgrades From $799 per Person

The air upgrades are one-way, on select 2013 Europe sailings. Good for reservations booked now through March 31, 2013. The promotion is valid on three ships -- Marina, Riviera and Nautica -- and on many peak-season summer sailings. For example, the upgrade is available on a July 3, 10-day "Italian Escapade" sailing from Rome to Venice on the Riviera and the July 15, 15-day "Nordic Explorer" cruise from Stockholm, Sweden, to Southampton, England. It's valid on a total of 16 sailings between May and September.

Two-for-one unlimited shore excursion packages are available on select 2013 Alaska sailings. It's a value of up to $999 per stateroom and available on eight sailings on board the ship Regatta this summer. Regatta sailings originate in San Francisco, Vancouver and Seattle.

Disney Cruise Line

Kids Sail Free From Miami and Galveston, Texas

Kids under 17 sail free on select four-, five-. six- and eight-night cruises in early 2013. From Galveston, Texas, cruise on the Disney Magic to the Western Caribbean and the Bahamas. From Miami, cruise on the Disney Wonder on four- and five-night cruises to the same destinations. Important to note that although the kids sail free, that does not include taxes, which rage between $40 and $84 per day, depending on the cruise.


Airfare Credits, Discounts and More

The line has a few deals on offer, but perhaps the most interesting is the Transatlantic sailing on the Queen Mary 2 for as little as $849 for a seven-day cruise. The least expensive sailing departs from Southampton, England, on April 26. Leave on May 3 from New York City and pay $999. Prices go up in June, July and August.

Cunard is also offering up to $1,000 off airfare and up to $1,200 in stateroom credits on certain European sailings. The $1,000 air credit is per couple and must be booked through Cunard; it is only applicable on certain sailings. The $1,200 stateroom credit is only available on the May 26 Queen Elizabeth Norwegian Fjords & North Cape Explorer cruise, though other onboard ship credits are available in varying amounts on other sailings.

Norwegian Cruise Line

'The Upgrade Wave' sale

NCL has one of the least-restrictive promotions of wave season. Through Feb. 28, guests who ride the upgrade wave can book a balcony stateroom for the price of an ocean view stateroom or an ocean view stateroom for the price of an inside stateroom on any Norwegian ship in any destination. Every new reservation will also receive $300 worth of e-coupons to use on board towards spa treatments, personal training sessions, discounts in the casino and more, plus reduced deposits on all sailings of three days or longer.

Carnival Cruise Line

Reduced Deposits

Carnival promises a few sales during wave season, the first of which kicked off Tuesday. It offers upgrades and 50 percent reduced deposits on select spring sailings between March and May 2013. The sale ends on Jan. 10.

Online Travel Agencies

Don't discount your preferred online travel agent when it comes to booking a cruise deal: Travelocity, for example, just announced its 2013 Cruise Super Sale, which gives onboard ship credit of up to $500 on qualified sailings. On Priceline, the "Leave Winter Behind" Cruise Sale offers reduced fares and free extras like cabin upgrades and onboard ship credits.