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Royal Caribbean, sister line to Celebrity, are also advertising a number of new savings. As with Celebrity there are free cabin upgrades and lower-cost flights for cruises starting in the Mediterranean, but the main thrust is the temptation of up to $1000 per person on-board credit (OBC).

Admittedly, you have to be in a suite to qualify for that much benefit; for passengers in balcony cabins (by far the most common cabin type in ships like Independence of the Seas which has been based in Southampton for the last few years) the amount is limited to $500 per person. You also have to be on a cruise of 11 nights or more – shorter cruises attract smaller amounts. As with the Celebrity ‘free drinks’ offer, it’s only available on ex-UK sailings in 2013, for cruises booked between now and the end of February. Here’s a link to the relevant page giving all the details on Royal Caribbean UK’s web site.

Again, I wonder just what’s happening to bookings for ex-UK cruises for next year.

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