FREEBIES: Free for the asking, "World of Cruising" is a listing of fall cruise specials offered by Cruise Line Inc., a Miami based discount cruise and information center. Among the bargain listings are cruise lines offering 50 percent off for the second passenger on selected cruises. (800) 777-0707.
Answers to commonly asked questions about cruise vacations is another 20-page giveaway from the Ship Ahoy Cruise Club. The booklet contains the ins and outs of cruising plus a detailed cruise guide for active adults, honeymooners and children. (800) 446-4943.
SAILING SINGLES: Ships that number among those with the largest number of single staterooms, according to the Consumer Reports, are the Canberra (148), QE2
, Crown Del Mar , Dawn Princess and Fair Princess , Sagafjord , Rotterdam , Royal Viking Sea and Royal Viking Sky , and Vistafjord . Loners will still pay more than per person rates sharing a double cabin, but not as much as would be paid for occupying a double stateroom alone.
CRUISE TO ECLIPSE: It is not too early to start planning a Hawaiian cruise during the spectacular Solar Eclipse next year. American Hawaii's Independence and Constitution sail July 6, 1991, for seven-day voyages from Honolulu. The cruises will include the usual ports of Kauai, Kona, Hilo and Maui, but will reroute July 11 off the Big Island of Hawaii. The total eclipse is due at 7:28 a.m. and will last more than four minutes but passengers will be able to witness unusual lighting in the sky for up to two hours. Cruisers are invited to bring the kids who may cruise free in certain types of accommodations. For details, see your travel agent or call (800) 765-7000.
CRUISE HOTLINE: A 24-hour Cruise Shoppers Hotline has weekly updates on where to locate discounted cruises, cruise line special offers, last-minute specials and special interest group cruise sailing dates from around the country. For $2 a minute, callers can hear current information on such destinations as the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Europe and other exotic locals. Have a pencil ready and be prepared to quickly jot down money-saving information, telephone numbers and prices which will come at you rapidly. Call (900) 740-3400.
CRUISE SAVINGS: South Florida Cruises, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., offers savings from as little as $300 to $1,500 per cabin based on double-occupancy and based on availability. The company allocates millions of dollars annually to buy group space in advance on 23 different cruise lines. "This allows us to offer our customers the group rate, whether they want one or 101 or more cabins," says firm president, Jim Bone. "The more cabins we buy, the easier it becomes to pass the savings on to our customers." Founded in 1985, the national company, with over 30,000 past passengers, is a member of the Association of Retail Travel Agencies, Cruise Lines International Association and the National Association of Cruise Only Agencies. (800) 327-SHIP.
WEATHER OR NO: To those potential cruisers concerned about hurricanes, the season officially begins in June and ends in November. Historically, most storms occur in August, September and October. But while there is some risk that a hurricane may occur on the week you've chosen to cruise, modern weather tracking systems virtually eliminate the danger of being caught in one.