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When it comes to choosing a vacation destination, many of us feel as if we have to decide between adventure and relaxation. But why choose? Cruises offer the best of both worlds — the excitement of waking up in different ports of call and the knowledge that you always have the option of kicking back on a deck lounge chair.
Take your vacation at your own pace: Kayak by day and enjoy the onboard entertainment by night. So, whether you want to steep yourself the history and culture of far-flung locales or simply behold the ocean's infinite beauty, we've got the deals on the cruise that's right for you.
Start your journey in Miami and end in Los Angeles aboard the Norwegian Star on a Norwegian Cruise Line 14-night Panama Canal cruise (from $1,398, a low by $10; expires August 31). Hit the ship's juice bar after working up a sweat at the basketball/volleyball court or stop by the champagne bar after dinner while you make your way to Cartagena, Columbia. Here you can explore the cobblestone streets of the old walled Spanish colonial city. You'll then enjoy some scenic cruising through the Panama Canal, which links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, before setting sail to Puntarenas, Costa Rica. We love that this 2-week vacation also includes an overview of Mexico's Pacific coast — Puerto Chiapas' Mayan ruins and rainforest, Huatulco's eco-tourism, Puerto Vallarta's old-school glamour, and Cabo San Lucas' modern resort culture.
Dotted with idyllic islands, cruising the Caribbean offers a taste of different cultures and locales all within one vacation. And this 11-night MSC Cruises Caribbean cruise (from $1,398, a low by $400; expires August 31) is no different. Departing from Miami in December, this vacation combines both adventure and relaxation: your should have enough time to explore the MSC Divina, a luxurious ship inspired by glamorous Italian film star Sophia Loren, and take in the sights in Falmouth, Jamaica, Oranjestad, Aruba, Willemstad, Curaçao; Cristobal, Panama; and Cozumel, Mexico.
In January, the Divina again sets sail from Miami on a shorter 6-night Caribbean and Mexico cruise (from $998, a low by $40; expires August 31). The ship first docks in Georgetown, where you can visit Hell, a town named for its otherworldly rock formations, and experience the island paradise's beaches and swim with stingrays, dolphins, and sea turtles. You'll also stop in Cozumel, Mexico, as well as Great Stirrup Cay, a small island that offers soft sandy beaches and water sports.
If it's entertainment you're after, look no further than this wine-themed Royal Caribbean 7-night Caribbean cruise ($1,599, a low by $39; expires September 16), leaving from Tampa, Florida. Not only does this getaway include an oceanview cabin and seven bottles of wine, but the nightly entertainment includes shows by Kenny Loggins and Three Dog Night. Chef John Ash, known as the "Father of Wine Country Cuisine," will also be on board the Brilliance of the Seas for a seminar and wine pairings. You'll be boozin' and cruisin' in style all through Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Costa Maya, Mexico.
Not one for long stretches at sea? Book this Celebration Cruise Line 2-night Bahamas cruise (from $138, a low by $80; expires August 30) for the lowest price we've ever seen for any cruise on any carrier. Surely $138 is a worthy investment for spending time in West Palm Beach, FL before embarking on the MS Bahamas Celebration and heading to Grand Bahama Island.
Get away from it all on a Norwegian Cruise Line 12-night Transatlantic cruise (from $798, a low by $49; expires August 31), the cheapest 12-night transatlantic cruise we've seen! The ship departs from Copenhagen, Denmark, a city best seen by bicycle or scenic canal tour, and makes its way to Ponta Delgada in the Azores, an autonomous archipelago of Portugal. You'll have plenty of time at sea to relax aboard the Norwegian Star — poolside, from the comfort of a hot tub, or at the open-air Bier Garten — before arriving in Miami, Florida.
Alaska has the longest coastline of any state, and it's arguably the most breathtaking, with majestic fjords, snow-capped mountains, and verdant landscapes. And you'll get to see a part of it aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line 7-night Alaska cruise (from $498, a low by $60; expires August 23), which happens to be the least-expensive cruise we've seen to Alaska in the past 12 months. You'll depart from Vancouver, British Columbia, and cruise up the scenic Inside Passage before docking in Ketchikan, Alaska. From there, you'll make port in Juneau, and sail to Skagway, and head up to the Hubbard Glacier, North America's largest tidewater glacier, before docking in quaint Whittier on Prince William Sound.
We hope we've inspired you to embark on a travel adventure, whether you prefer the tropical sand and palm trees of Panama and the Caribbean, the majestic mountains and rugged beauty of Alaska, or simply the ocean air and lapping waves of a transatlantic voyage. But if you have other summer travel destinations in mind, be sure to have a look at our weekly roundup of the best travel deals for additional discounted flights, hotels, and vacation packages.
At the time of publication, these travel deals offered the lowest prices we could find. Deals may include blackout dates, additional taxes, and fees. All of our prices are based on mandatory double occupancy.