Free Cruise Giveaways To Enter Right Now

free cruise

If the idea of a free cruise sounds appealing, right now might be a good time to pay attention. This month, during what cruise lines call “wave season,” travelers can pick up some of the best cruise vacation values available. To promote those exceptional seasonal values to new travelers, some of whom may have never been on a cruise before, cruise lines are teaming with everyone from television program producers to airline operators to give away free cruises.

“Wave Season” unofficially runs from January through March and features what cruise lines and travel agencies promise to be some of the best values of the year. Whether those values are something to get excited about or not, with snow on the ground and winter cold freezing travelers inside, many look to cruise vacations for relief.

Researching, looking, dreaming or buying, cruise travelers probably won’t do better than “free” when it comes to pricing. Let’s take a look at contests going on right now.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” is giving contestants and one lucky home viewer the chance to escape the winter blues with a Disney Cruise Vacation!

This week, during “Cruise In and Win Week,” airing January 7 – 11, a cruise vacation will be attached to one “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” question in each contestant’s game. Answered correctly, the contestant as well as one lucky winner at home wins the money attached to the question as well as a Disney Cruise Vacation for four aboard the Disney Fantasy.

One randomly selected grand prize winner will choose a cruise vacation on either the Disney Magic or the Disney Wonder, sailing from Galveston, Texas.

US Airways Cruises – Million Miles Dream Getaway Sweepstakes will give one grand prize winner 500,000 Dividend Miles and a seven-night Caribbean cruise for two.

To enter, just sign up to receive US Airways weekly cruise emails by January 31. Signing up for just about any travel service provider’s priority email newsletters or offers is a great idea anyway. Those subscribed often get first notice of special pricing, value sailings and more.

Don’t want your email inbox filling up with what might otherwise be seen as junk? Have a special email address just for this reason.

Five other prize winners will receive 100,000 Dividend Miles

The Smooth Jazz Cruise has sailed annually since 2004, bringing together fans of Jazz music and top jazz musicians. Promoter Entertainment Cruise Productions is giving away a free cruise valued at $5,600 on Holland America Line’s m/s Westerdam, January 13 – 20, 2013, or January 20 – 27, 2013, for The Smooth Jazz Cruise.

On board will be jazz great George Benson along with David Sandborn, Bob James, Alonzo Bodden, Rick Braun, Richard Elliot and others.

Alaska Magazine has teamed up with adventure cruise line InnerSea Discoveries for a Cruise Alaska Sweepstakes.

Valued at over $11,000, the grand prize is seven nights on board 86-guest Safari Endeavour, departing from Juneau, Alaska. Included are all onboard meals, spirits, wine and microbrews, exclusive transfers and baggage handling, taxes and port fees, entry fees to national parks/preserves, all from-the-boat activities and equipment, sauna, hot tub, yoga classes and a complimentary massage.

Enter between now and January 31, 2013.

Looking for other sources of free cruises? Travel agencies often have free cruise contests as we see in this video:


[Photo Credit- Flickr User Peter Nijenhuis]

Discounted Holiday Events Make For Rich Seasonal Travel

holiday events

As we make plans for travel through the first of the year, holiday events are often included. At home or on the road – traditional, old fashioned or new – different holiday events are in place for us to enjoy. Some are free to see, others have a ticket or admission price, but all aim to be a part of our holiday travel plans. Here are a few of the more noteworthy holiday events to consider.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular“- New York City
Norwegian Cruise Line has been designated the official cruise line of the Rockettes and is offering a 25% savings on tickets to the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” through December 30, 2012 (use promotional code “Cruise”).

Norwegian also launched a sweepstakes that gives “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” attendees a chance to win a cruise for a family of four on Norwegian Breakaway, which will be the largest ship to homeport year-round from New York City beginning in May.

Holiday Ballet “The Nutcracker” from Georgia Metropolitan Dance Theatre
– Atlanta
To many of us, nothing says “holidays” like a good performance of “The Nutcracker” and Atlanta’s Georgia Metro Dance Theater has one of the best.

In its 11th year of creating holiday magic, they invite you to come and watch the timeless tale unfold as a young girl’s gift of a nutcracker comes to life and a handsome prince whisks her away through the land of snow.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing LightsOrlando
Walt Disney World in Orlando has a seasonal display featuring millions of glittering lights
at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Synchronized to holiday music, buildings are blanketed in sheets of multi-colored lights with thousands more forming twirling carousels and heavenly angels in a show that cycles every ten minutes.

Included with standard admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park, Santa and his reindeer will be on hand through January 6, 2013.


CHILL: A Dazzling Ice Kingdom in a Giant Igloo at the Queen Mary
– Long Beach
Retired ocean liner the Queen Mary has been transformed into an amazing winter wonderland for the whole family called CHILL through January 6, 2013. A giant igloo, home to The Ice Kingdom, features a one-of-a-kind exhibit with larger-than-life ice creations.

Ice Tubing, an Ice Skating rink, a Holiday Village, complete with Christmas trees, “Candy Lane,” gingerbread decorating, carolers and Santa Claus will be on hand too as we see in this video:



Looking for discount tickets to these and other holiday attractions? Suddenly Frugal, an online source has all of these and more listed as well as a list of the 11 Best Freebies When You Travel.

[Photo credit- Flickr user ZakVTA ]

Travel contest season is in full swing

travel contest seasonJanuary brings cold weather, post-holiday blues, dreams of travel and travel contest season every year. With few exceptions, sellers of travel roll out some of their best promotions during this time too. Aimed to make those dreams reality and have us focus on whatever travel product they are selling, travel companies want to bring our attention to their options over another.

Amble Resorts’ Life-Changing Travel Contest has travelers looking at their new travel blog, The Ambler, for a chance to win a free flight anywhere in the world. Launched in mid-December, the contest is quickly gaining momentum as globetrotters from around the world share their most life-changing travel moments in the hopes of fulfilling resolutions to travel in 2012.

This contest asks visitors to reflect on their own life-changing travel experiences and draw inspiration from the stories of others, encouraging people to broaden their travel horizons and explore the world in 2012. The contest will reward one commenter with a trip to the destination of their dreams, in the form of a $1,500 travel voucher (OK, maybe not anywhere in the world) on the airline of the winner’s choice, valid any time in 2012.Getting serious, Travel+Leisure has the Dream Of A Lifetime $25,000 Spain + Venice sweepstakes where the grand prize winner gets a travel package worth up to $30,000 or can take a $25,000 cash option as well.

Even non-travel companies are getting in on the January travel mania with Fisher Boy frozen food company giving away a Caribbean vacation at one of Beaches Resorts worth $8,000. You’ll have to tell them why you like their products (fish sticks) as part of the entry but liking them on Facebook is not required as many contests are.

The cruise industry has “wave season“, that time of the year when everybody wants to buy a cruise, going full speed ahead. In addition to some of the best values of the year, multiple lines are having contests that result in someone winning a cruise. Holland America, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean all have their versions

One of the best payouts comes from a contest run by TripFilms, a travel website that brings destinations to life through video. Their Watch and Win contest grants one entry for each video watched from start to end. The prize? A trip for two people that the winner may select from a bunch of destinations as well as a travel stipend of $500 per person ($1000 total).

The choices include Costa Rica Natural Paradise, Guatemala with Tikal, Panama Canal Cruise & Tour, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore & Yellowstone, California Coast & Yosemite and others.

Most of these contests end January 31, 2012. Many of these and other contests can be found at TravelOnion where most current travel contests are rounded up and updated frequently.

Not feeling lucky? How about some money-saving tips if pay you must?



How to See London For $15 a Day



Flickr photo by Tostie14

Top 10 cheap cruise extra values of the week

cheap cruise extra valuesEvery week, the major cruise lines have special offers that can mean extra value to us. They may be promoting cheap cruises, discount fares, bonus amenities, upgrades or some other extra value or promotion you may qualify for. It all adds up to getting more for the same or less than normal. Here are the upcoming week’s promotions from several of the major cruise lines.

Check with your Travel Expert first before buying, they may have additional values to add on to your booking that add up to real dollars and cents savings to you. More importantly, having a Travel Expert on your side will insure you keep that best value, get you additional values that may come along over the life of your booking and maximize your vacation experience.

  1. Guaranteed Low Fare– Carnival Cruise Lines is all about the Early Saver Fare, a popular program now in it’s second year that guarantees the lowest price. Much like a restricted airline ticket, the deposit is non-refundable and no changes can be made after booking without a $50 per person administrative fee being applied. This week’s special pricing includes a 3-day cruise from $169 per person + taxes and fees.
  2. Free Upgrade– Princess Cruises has what they call a Balcony Bonanza going on right now on select sailings that let guests book a balcony stateroom for the price of an ocean view.
  3. Onboard Credit– Another bonus from Princess Cruises for active or retired military members is a Military Onboard Credit, applicable to all sailings. The onboard credit amount is $50 for cruises 6 days or less, $100 for cruises of 7-13 days, or $250 for cruises of 14 days or longer, offered on a per stateroom basis
  4. Military Rate– Disney Cruise Lines has a special Military Rate available to book through Sunday, February 6, 2011. Rates are per person based on double occupancy on the categories noted. Other categories are available at higher prices. Rates are in U.S. dollars and are not combinable with other discounts or offers.
  5. Europe and Alaska– Special Offers from Carnival also include extra savings on European cruises on the new Carnival Magic and Alaska from $674 per person + taxes and fees
  6. Select sailings Royal Caribbean International has some limited-time offers on sailings from Baltimore starting at $65 per person, per day, cruises sailing from Florida ports starting at $80 a day and sailings from New Jersey from $85 per person, per day.
  7. Kids sail free- Disney Cruise Line has Kids for Free to Alaska AOL Travel reports “Disney Cruise Line is gong to Alaska for the first time this year and offering a discount on select sailings with a new “Kids Free” promotion.” On this one, kids are free when they share an Oceanview or Verandah stateroom with two adults, port charges and taxes are still due but the cruise fare is free. The Kids Sail Free program as well as other discount rates can be found any time on the Disney Cruise Lines website under Special Offers.
  8. Free Upgrade– Norwegian Cruise Line is offering Free Upgrades for All granting a balcony cabin for the price of an Oceanview through February 13Th.
  9. Free upgrade– Celebrity Cruises weekly sale next Tuesday only features 11 to 14-night Caribbean sailings on Celebrity Millennium or Infinity starting at $599 per person +tax. They also have an “Upgrade Your View” promotion going on that gets a balcony cabin for the price of an oceanview on some sailings
  10. Valentines Day– Costa Cruises has is offering several “sweetheart deals” throughout the month of February. Each week the “Month of Amore” will feature a different promotion on one of Costa’s romantic European itineraries.The “Month of Amore” launched this week with seven-night eastern Mediterranean itineraries from just $599 per person, double occupancy. The eligible cruises for this offer sail round-trip Venice, Italy, and call at ports in Greece, Turkey and Croatia.


Flickr photo by Nicholas RIVET

Free cruise contest roundup

Free Cruise ContestWhen it comes to travel values, cruise vacations rate high. Even with recent and predicted price increases as the economy improves, the semi all-inclusive nature of a cruise is pretty hard to beat. That’s good but free is better. Let’s take a look at what’s out there in the way of contests you can enter to win a fabulous cruise vacation.

Budget Travel is looking for the Worlds Best Cruiser and wants to send them on a free cruise. Have you taken more cruises than you can count? Do you live and breathe cruise vacations as a way of life? This one might be for you. Send your photos, videos and tips (the sort of thing a Worlds Best Cruiser would have) to starcruiser@budgettravel.com. The winner will be determined by an on line reader poll starting May 3, will win a free cruise and be featured on BudgetTravel.com and in the magazine’s December/January 2012 issue.

Carnival Cruise Lines is giving away a free cruise every month during their Didja Ever? promotion/way of life campaign that kicked off on New Years Eve when they dropped a ton of dream confetti on New York’s Times Square. As if a free cruise was not enough, they are also offering Facebook friends some other options like voting “I wanna do it” on Pick A Place On The Map And Go, Climb One Of The World’s Seven Summits or Go On Tour With A Band. The big question is “What have you always wanted to do?”Princess Cruises has The Travel Bucket List Contest that is looking for your most memorable travel experience. You can enter with a video or an essay with photos. Submit your story by February 7th for a chance to win a Princess Cruises dream vacation for you and one very lucky travel companion, including roundtrip airfare. Find out more when you visit and Like their Facebook page between now and February 7th (hurry up).

Holland America Line has a writing contest too. Sounds kind of stuffy but the end result is a free cruise so it makes the list. On their Transatlantic Writing Contest, they invite you to tell us about your own Holland America transatlantic crossing or that of a friend or relative who sailed an unforgettable Holland America transatlantic voyage. We are seeking compelling stories that are humorous, adventurous or heart-warming. The entrant whose story earns the most accolades from a panel of judges for its emotional impact, originality and creativity will win passage for two on a 9-day crossing from New York, NY to Rotterdam, The Netherlands, departing July 12, 2011, aboard the ms Rotterdam.

Flickr photo by pmarkham