When the seasons change, so do many cruise ship itineraries, which means big discounts on repositioning cruises. These cruises offer the same amenities as a typical cruise but the rate can be quite a deal.
You can find repositioning cruises in the United States departing from Alaska, where they head south to Mexico, Hawaii and California. Some of the West Coast repositioning cruises are two, three or four nights and can offer a taste of cruising without committing to a longer trip.
For those with more time, consider a repositioning cruise from Europe.
Many of these cruises have stops in Europe before crossing the Atlantic. Most transatlantic cruises depart out of Barcelona, Spain; South Hampton, England; and Civitavecchia, Italy.
Get to your destination at least two days ahead of the cruise's departure because weather can be an issue in the fall, and you don't want to miss the boat. Transatlantic cruises typically last 13 to 20 days, and many of those days are at sea.
One drawback is that one-way airfares to Europe can be sky high.
One of the best deals I found was a 14-night cruise on Norwegian from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Miami departing Sept. 30. Rates started at $495 per person for an inside cabin, which gets you a four-star floating hotel room, food and entertainment.
Unlike fares to Europe, one-way airfares to Vancouver and West Coast cities can be reasonable. Holland America offers a four-night cruise from Vancouver to San Diego starting at $249 for an inside cabin, per person, or $62 per night, departing Oct. 23. The cruise stops in Victoria, British Columbia.
Some of these cruises also offer specials such as on-board credits.
Repositioning cruises are also offered in March, April and May when the cruise lines move ships again.