TODAY   |  April 08, 2013

Score deals on cruises to Alaska, Mediterranean

Claire Newell, a travel expert who owns her own agency, breaks down what some of the top cruise lines are doing to get you on your ships, sharing the best deals you can get and when to buy them.

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>>> this morning on "today's travel" the best cruise deals now after a bunch of recent high-profile disasters like the partial sinker of the " costa concordia " off the italian coast and the passengers stranded for days on the carnival "triumph." cruise lines are doing everything in their power to get you on board. claire newell is our travel expert.

>> thanks for having me.

>> you say this is the best time to find a bargain. let's start with booking early.

>> if you can, at least six months in advance, if you can.

>> six months out. how about getting on an older ship, that obviously has its downsides.

>> it has its downsides i'm not saying an old tug, maybe one generation from their newest because you pay a premium for the new one that's in the spotlight. there's a way to find out on the cruise line 's website they'll have the year they come out and you want to look for one generation back you'll save yourself a ton of money.

>> and helps to book offseason.

>> you pay a premium for peak season, holidays and when kids are out of school so over the summer months in particular.

>> you've brought stunning deals. the first one is seven-night alaskan cruise for something like 100 bucks a night.

>> this particular cruise is holland america the ship, may the 15th one day only for under $700, sailing round trip from vancouver, a great way to see juneau, and seeing the gorgeous alaskan glaciers.

>> beautiful photographs. seven-night caribbean cruise.

>> this is a seven-night sailing round trip from tampa. it's not leaving until december 1st but what a deal, it's aboard norwegian cruise lines for $575, you see lon due rhan due ras and the ship has undergone a massive refurbish in 2011 so it feels like you're sailing aboard a newer ship.

>> next one, 77 bucks a night for nine nights in the pacific northwest .

>> doing a repositioning cruise, that's the reason it's inexpensive, sailing from san diego up to seattle and that ship celebrity's "solstice" will be doing round trip alaska. if you get on board may the 6th you'll save yourself a ton of money, san diego , los angeles , santa barbara and san francisco are a few of the ports.

>> huge discounts in the mediterranean.

>> it is cheap, where you'll see your biggest discounts, seven-night mediterranean in and out of rome in june, $543. i did that particular cruise.

>> how are you feeling about that?

>> it's turning my heart. " navigator of the seas " a beautiful ship and good mix of singles, couples and families and what a chance to see parts of italy, turkey and greece.

>> great time to go cruising. claire thank you so much. we're back in a moment. this is "today" on nbc.

>>> before we go this morning,