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Finding hidden values on a luxury cruise

With no end to winter in sight, travelers itching for a vacation to warmer climates may find that now is an excellent time to book.

Cruise fans call January through March "wave season," and it's often when cruise lines offer their best deals of the year. CruiseCritic.com managing editor Colleen McDaniel said usually anything under $100 per night is a good deal. But savvy shoppers can often snag deals under $75 per night, and occasionally, under $50.

If you're interested in a luxury cruise line, however, getting the best values requires looking for something other than price cuts. Luxury lines' offers trend more toward free or discounted airfare, extra excursions, onboard credit or included gratuities, which can be just as valuable.

(Read more: Travel trend: 'Get me somewhere warm now')

—By CNBC's Kelli B. Grant. Follow her on Twitter @Kelligrant and on Google.

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