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Thanksgiving: Time To Make A Deal

AllureIf you’re wondering what became of Turkey Thursday, well, it was long ago gobbled up by Black Friday. Four or five centuries ago, it was the holiday with a singular purpose: to give thanks, be grateful.

Today is about parades and football games and, most of all, shopping. It is the busiest day of the year in malls and online, so great are the deals. Black Friday even exists in Canada, where Thanksgiving was celebrated six weeks ago, as it always is on the first Monday of October.

Did somebody say deals? Nothing attracts a crowd of cruisers faster than a bargain. Most of them are on ships from the mainstream cruise lines, which have the capacity to make a big deal about big deals, such as…

Carnival will take you on a 6-night Caribbean cruise for less than $50 per day if you book it tomorrow. Wait until Saturday and it jumps to $65 per day.

Princess is calling it the biggest sale of the year, up to $300 off the cruise and $300 off airfare, per person. In fact, it’s such a “big deal” that Princess is just starting it on Black Friday and keeping it alive until December 8.

DivinaMSC, trying to get established in the Caribbean with its newest ship (the Divina), kicks off a Black Friday sale today with 7-night cruises for just over $50 per day.

You won’t get on a Royal Caribbean ship for that price but you will get on Allure of the Seas, for just over $100 a day…and that is a deal.

Norwegian’s offer is complex. Book a cruise 30 days or more in advance and pick one of four offers: 250 minutes of Wi-Fi, a specialty dining package, a beverage package or $50 off shore excursions in every port. A week-long promotion, it ends Monday.

Even in jolly ol’ England, which celebrates this type of thing with a September harvest, Black Friday is taking root — its most famous cruise line, Cunard, has a weekend offer called “The Ultimate Upgrade.”

It used to be that the ultimate upgrade was cranberries on the turkey, and whipped cream the pumpkin pie!

In the news…

• No more overnights in Istanbul for Celebrity Reflection, Equinox
• Five P&O Australia ships in Sydney Harbor to celebrate the latest two
• Celebrity expands culinary enrichment program to include Cuban dishes

Today at portsandbows.comFavourite river port getting crowded


Holland America Eurodam
7 nights
January 3, 2016
Fort Lauderdale (return): Half Moon Cay, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Key West
Inside: $449
Cost per day: $64
www.hollandamerica.com

Black Friday cruise deals often more than a day

It started with televisions and stereo systems going on sale at the crack of dawn, and it was known as the kick-off to the Christmas shopping season.

Black Friday.

As the day between Thanksgiving and Saturday, its naming roots go back more than 40 years, when pedestrian and vehicle traffic was so intense that it was a "dark day." The name came to be known as the day that enabled retailers to be profitable, or in the black.

Black Friday still kicks off the shopping season for Christmas, still causes retailers to open when most people are sleeping, and still features televisions and stereos. Also phones, toys, clothes, jewelry…

And yes, cruises.

As foot soldiers in the army of people trying to find good deals for you, here is what some cruise lines have to offer customers on Black Friday:

Norwegian — Credits up to $250 per stateroom and air credits up to $1,000 in what is really "Black Friday Week" because it goes from today to next Tuesday.

Celebrity — In keeping Black Friday shrouded in mystery, the sale starts one minute after midnight with three "incredible offers on over 400 sailings."

Princess — Savings of up to $600 per stateroom, plus an upgrade, a bottle of wine and a few pennies to spend on the cruise, in another Wednesday-to-Wednesday sale.

And then there are the agents that sell cruises on behalf of the lines…like VacationsToGo, and CruiseCritic and Cruise.com.

Sometimes, they're able to come up with the best deals of all.

Even on Black Friday.

Sapphire Princess
4 nights
January 20, 2014
Los Angeles (return): Catalina IslandEnsenada
Inside: $269
Cost per day: $67
www.princess.com

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