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CruiseCompete Currents
Cruise News and Information
July 16, 2017

Holiday Cruises Under $500

7 Reasons Consider a Cruise Vacation for Your Holiday Celebrations

Exploring the Magical European Christmas Markets





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The Gift of a Dream Cruise: Now is the Time to Book Your Holiday Cruises

A Cruise For Every Budget Makes Holiday Gift-Giving Dreams A Reality- Holiday Cruises Under $500

When considering gift-giving for those who mean the most to us, the idea of the “perfect gift” is never far from our minds.  We’re always on the lookout for the perfect trinket, or bauble, that conveys our love and appreciation best. Sometimes, however, the greatest gift we can give is not a thing, but an unforgettable, memory-creating experience.

One ways to create memories is a shared travel experience, and with a little advance planning, you can gift your loved ones with a cruise for the holidays- without breaking the bank.

CruiseCompete offers a variety of budget-friendly cruises for under $500.00 per person.  With that pricing, you can take the whole family! (CruiseCompete’s 2017 Family Friendly Cruise Planner is available online and details every aspect of the family cruise vacation experience. Click here to download your copy of the 2017 Family Friendly Cruise Travel Planner. For more Family Travel resources, please visit

Take a look at these options, and click here for more cruises under $500.

Cruise over Thanksgiving!
Nobody goes hungry on a cruise vacation, especially during the holidays. Even better… you don’t do the cooking! Sit back and enjoy world-class chefs preparing traditional Thanksgiving meals. Here’s one option:

Carnival Cruise LinesCarnival Elation
5nt Bahamas from Jacksonville $470
5 Day Bahamas from Jacksonville, FL - 5 Days - Starting in Jacksonville with stops in Nassau, Half Moon Cay
2017 Sails: Nov 18

Want to cruise over the Winter Holidays? 

After Thanksgiving, the cruise lines get in the holiday spirit by decorating their ships from bow to stern. Some cruise lines spend in excess of $100,000 annually on holiday decorations. Christmas trees, lights, garlands and even artificial snow bring the festive season alive at sea. Hanukkah customs and celebrations also are observed. Religious services of all types are often held aboard.

Carnival Cruise LinesCarnival Victory
4nt Western Caribbean $390
4 Day Western Caribbean from Miami, FL - 4 Days - Starting in Miami with stops in Key West, Cozumel
2017 Sails:  Dec 24 


Or do some long-term planning for the holidays of 2018… and get this unbelievable deal!

MSC CruisesMSC Divina

10 Nights Eastern Caribbean Cruise from $369 pp
10 Nights - United States, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Maarten, Virgin Islands (British), Bahamas - 10 Days - Starting in Miami with stops in St. John's, Basseterre, Philipsburg, Road Town, Nassau, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve
2018 Sails:  Dec 20 

Click here for more cruises under $500.  (Looking for even more budget-friendly options? Check out cruises under $300:

If you love the idea of a cruise as a holiday gift, and want to research all the possibilities, there truly is a cruise for every budget.  (You can also search by cruises by line, region and type.  Search all cruise specials here.)

Cruise Specials by Price:
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Now is the time to purchase cruises for the holiday season! 

7 Reasons Consider a Cruise Vacation for Your Holiday Celebrations

Multigenerational cruises over the winter holidays are becoming more popular as families realize that it's a great way to relax together and enjoy a stress free celebration.

1. A joyful atmosphere – The season is all around you!  Cruise lines create a festive atmosphere for Thanksgiving and with Christmas with special holiday meals, Christmas trees, sparkling lights, garlands and special events.  You’ll find that many observe Christmas and Hanukkah customs and offer a variety of religious services onboard.  Some even go as far as artificial snow to bring the season alive!

2. Pure relaxation – The holidays are a time to relax and recharge- and it’s easier on a cruise, where so much of the holiday preparation work is done for you! Leave the hustle and bustle (and accompanying stress) of the holidays behind and enjoy the relaxing environment with your loved ones.

3.  No snow – Winter doldrums, be gone! If the thought of another cold, snowy holiday isn’t appealing, consider a warm weather cruise.  Leave cold temperatures, snow and slush behind; instead, bask in the sunshine and swim in the waters of the warm Caribbean.

4. Outstanding food – Eat like a king (or queen)!  One of the very best thing about a cruise ship is the variety of food available.  And during the holidays, cruise menus are tailored to the season. Think savory turkey, creamy potatoes, and exceptionally decadent deserts… and that’s just a “taste” of the options.  The best part? Someone else does the cooking!

5. Unique gifts – A cruise at the holidays is a unique gift by itself, but it doesn’t end there.  Find treasures for yourself- and the ones you love- throughout your cruise, with unique shopping opportunities onboard and in the various exotic ports you visit while sailing.

6. Special guests – No need for the young (and young at heart) to miss out on a visit with some very special people…  Many lines have special guests like Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the elves. And it wouldn’t be complete without Santa’s bag of goodies for the children on board.

7. New Year’s celebration – In addition to the decorations and feasts of the season, the cruise lines also create elaborate parties to celebrate New Year’s.  Unique food, entertainment, toasts, party favors and more make ringing in the New Year Memorable.  Plus, sports fans will love the all-day parties for New Year’s Day, including viewings of the New Year’s Day football games.


Combine Your Holiday Celebration With the Slow Pace of a River Cruise and the Magical European Christmas Markets

There is no better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a festive journey aboard a Christmas Market river cruise that visits the European Christmas markets. Christmas Markets are generally open from mid-November until right before Christmas, but you have to plan ahead and book now, as these river cruises tend to sell out early.

A history of the Christmas Markets, dating back to the Middle Ages

The history of Christmas markets goes back to the late middle ages in the German-speaking parts of Europe. The Vienna “December Market” was a forerunner of the Christmas market and dates back to 1294. In many of the charming towns and villages in Germany and Austria, Advent is usually ushered in with the opening of the Christmas markets.

The Christmas market sailings on river cruise lines generally begin in mid-November and continue through the end of the year. These sailings are typically held on the Main, Rhine, Danube and Seine rivers. They are perfect for those wanting to experience the quintessential magic of the holidays while shopping for one-of-a-kind treasures.

The ambiance still feels Medieval at the Christmas Markets, held in the town square. See and hear festive singing and dancing as Christmas lights twinkle while you explore unusual handmade gifts such as nativity scenes, handmade children’s toys and unique art. Explore baubles made by master glassblowers and find distinctive decorations that surely will be treasured for years. Pass Gothic Churches scented of frankincense and myrrh while all your senses are awakened to the smells of gingerbread, cloves, sugar cakes and ale.

This is truly an old-fashioned Christmas.

Christmas Market River Cruises

The river cruise lines have numerous Christmas Market sailings November and December – including popular lines such as AmaWaterways, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises and Viking River Cruises.  

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the Christmas season as it’s been celebrated throughout history!


a private invitation for Oceania Cruises

Think all hotel prices are the same? Think again.

Expedia: $229
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Amazing Travel Offers: $113.24

To see Member-Only hotel pricing, click here and go into your CruiseCompete account, then click on Wholesale Hotel Deals to go to CruiseCompete’s Amazing Travel Offers. (Please note: No membership fee required and Apple users may need to unblock cookies.)

CruiseCompete is committed to providing a satisfying cruise travel experience, so please feel free contact us at any time at

Thank you once again for choosing CruiseCompete.



Bob Levinstein
CEO Ventures, LLC.


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