Q – Last night I read an ad in a travel publication that sounded too good to be true. A 13-day cruise on the Crystal Symphony from Mauritius to Cape Town, South Africa departing this December was listed at a starting price of $3,695! They show the list price, which I realize no one pays, at $9,390. Our agent says she thinks it’s a “good deal”. What do you think?

A –  You have found what we like to call a “Real Deal”. Yes, you will have over $1,000 in port fees to be added, and the price does not include some very expensive air, but this still means that you can do this sailing for under $350 per day, far below Crystal’s normal per diems. The price is far better than the normal major discount of two-for-one. We can assume this sailing is wide open. It is likely being discounted to that degree because it would be challenging for anyone booking at this time to find reasonably-priced air into Mauritius and out of Cape Town. But do note – port charges are not included and you are looking at the minimum category which you likely will not want on a two-week voyage.