Luxury cruises lure with deals

With the recession dragging on, prices are plunging for cruises on high-end ships this fall and winter to popular ports of call, including the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and the South Pacific.

Some sailings are available at record-low prices. Luxury ship operators, including Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Crystal and Seabourn -- which is owned by Carnival -- are so eager to fill fancy cabins that they're also offering other perks.

These deals include two-for-the-price-of-one cruises, kids sail free, and freebies for air fare and shore excursions. The deals are often on new vessels, including the Seabourn Odyssey and Sojourn, and Silver Spirit. Perks also include all beverages free -- including alcohol -- on Regent cruises, and on board credits of $2,000 on Crystal.

"Due to how far in advance cruise lines must order ships, a few new luxury ships have launched in the past two years," said Erica Silverstein, a senior editor at CruiseCritic.com. "Some have more berths to sell than ever before."