> From the Deal Experts > Top 20 Highlights - March 16

Top 20 Highlights - March 16

Every week our deal experts across seven U.S. offices gather to discuss the week’s contenders for the Top 20. We pull deals apart, put them back together and discuss ways to improve offers so our readers see the best deals.

Here are some highlights from this week’s Top 20 list:  

$599 -- Balcony on 7-Night Spring Cruise w/$100 Credit 

Originally sent earlier in the week as a limited-time Newsflash, the sale was unexpectedly extended for an additional three days. Balcony cabins are a luxurious way to cruise, providing extra space and access to fresh air with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors. These cabins regularly go for a premium, especially for popular dates, and this offer includes spring break dates for less than the cost of an inside stateroom. We thought this deal was a winner for the cabin alone, so the additional $100 in onboard credit just pushed it over the edge.

Luxury 5-Star Hotels in the Midwest and Texas

Hotel prices often rise with the temperatures, as people come out of hibernation to enjoy all the country has to offer. So, imagine my surprise to see that not only had spring prices dropped, but we were finding deals over weekends to 5-star, luxury branded properties in Chicago, St. Louis and Houston. St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton hotels can generally be found for over $400 a night on a good day. We found stays through April and May (including Easter, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day weekends) for $199-$221 in these major cities.

$59 -- Riviera Maya 4-Star All-Inclusive Resort, 65% Off 

Located on a private beach, this family-friendly resort is a whopping 65% off for May-June, September-October travel when the weather is still warming up around most of the country (or cooling down in the fall), making for a reasonable time for a tropical getaway. 

$1899 -- England & Scotland 8-Night Escorted Vacation w/Air 

We know it’s doable to plan a getaway to just London for less -- though with fares pushing $600 for last-minute travel, it won’t be by much. But it's worth a few bucks to have everything arranged, to have a personal tour guide for over a week, to visit five cities between Scotland and England and head over in early fall when the weather is magnificent. This deal will save hundreds of dollars plus the aggravation of putting together such a detailed itinerary together yourself.

$99 -- Dinner Package for 2 at Lodge near Hearst Castle 

A romantic night out with dinner and wine alone can cost more than this package, which includes just that, plus a springtime stay near the California coast with breakfast the next morning. For those who would rather get away over a weekend, stays are just $50 more -- a savings of $200. 

These deals will only be around for the next week, though some will expire before then as availability at these hot prices is limited. There's plenty more great deals in this week’s Top 20, and make sure to sign up for future e-mails that include our next batch of top picks.

Jaime Samuels is the Publisher of the U.S. Top 20 list.

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Tips by
Jaime

Deal Expert, New York
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
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Jaime Freedman