Looking for a cheap cruise? We’re talking really inexpensive — cheaper than many flat-panel TVs and less expensive than a new couch. In other words, cruises so cheap that it’s more affordable to take a vacation than to be a couch potato.
The great thing about cruising is that there is something for everyone, from luxury lovers to penny-pinchers. You can go first-class if you want, paying up for things like suite cabins, alcohol packages, and excursions — or you can also spend just a little and still have a great vacation.
While cruise prices do seem to be rising over the years, deals aren’t hard to find if you know where to look. In fact, there can be so many that you might have trouble whittling down your options.
How to Find Cheap Cruises
First and foremost — to start your hunt for cheap cruises, we always recommend visiting a third-party cruise booking site like Expedia, Orbitz, or others.
When you start your search, you have tons of different options. You can go straight to a cruise line’s website to find deals. However, when you do that you are limiting your search only to trips on that company’s cruises. Unless you’re an avid fan of one cruise line, this isn’t the best way to plan your voyage, since it gives you only a small sliver of what’s out there.
On the “aggregator” travel sites you can set up search parameters for all the cruise lines at once, then sort by price, departure port, date and more. That’s why we like to start our search on these sorts of websites. It gives you all your options instead of just one line.
Beyond that, there are a few other simple tips for cruise fans shopping for dirt-cheap fares.
While we have a full list of rules on getting the best deal on a cruise, the easiest way to find an inexpensive trip is to keep these things in mind:
Look for shorter cruises (shorter = cheaper)
Sail when school is in session (off-season means lower fares)
Book an inside cabin (balconies are more expensive)
Sail aboard an older ship (older ships have cheaper fares)
These four factors will have the largest impact on what you pay for a cruise.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the flat-out cheapest cruises we could find across a variety of ports, cruise lines, and itineraries. Keep in mind that these prices can change by the time that you book your trip. Prices listed are per person for an interior room before taxes and fees.
Cruises Under $200 Per Person
Yes, it’s possible to take a cruise for under $200 per person. We’ve found cruises on several different lines offering inside cabin rates that cost less than most monthly car payments.
3-Night Bahamas Cruise | January 14, 2022 | $179
Want to take a break… but don’t have time to leave for a week or more? This cruise is only three days, but will get you out into some of the most beautiful water in the world. And at less than $200, it’s a steal.
MSC Armonia will sail a 3-night round trip cruise departing Miami on January 14. The ship will visit Nassau, then call at MSC’s Ocean Cay Marine Reserve in the Bahamas. It’s a quick trip, but if you want an easy getaway during the coldest part of the year and don’t want to break the bank, this is a great option.
4-Night Bahamas Cruise | September 25, 2022 | $189
When it comes to the least expensive cruises, we found the most options from MSC Cruises. This cruise aboard the MSC Divina sets sail in late September for four nights.
The trip will take you to Nassau for a day in one of the busiest cruise ports of call in the world. From there, you’ll head to MSC’s private island Ocean Cay for two whole days on an overnight stay.
We’ve personally spent time on Ocean Cay. and if you are a fan of electric blue water and white-sand beaches, you can’t go wrong spending time on the island.
3-Night Bahamas Cruise | December 9, 2022 | $179
If you love Carnival and just need to get on a ship, then this cruise might be for you. It’s the cheapest three-night 2022 cruise from the popular line that we found and comes in at less than $180 per person for cruise fare.
This sailing departs December 9, but there is also a sailing on December 2 available at the same price. More dates are available for slightly higher prices throughout the year. Don’t expect too much from the itinerary. It departs Miami, spends a day at sea, and then ports in Nassau before heading home.
As with some other cheap cruises on our list, this trip sails an older ship. Still, the Carnival Conquest has been updated and boasts many of Carnival’s popular bars and eateries including Guy’s Burger Joint, RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Cantina, as well as an Alchemy Bar and Punchliner Comedy Club.
2-Night Bahamas Cruise | October 6, 2022 | $149
The absolute least expensive Carnival cruise we could find? It’s this one for just $149 — a vacation for about the cost of a pair of sneakers.
This particular sailing leaves on October 6, 2022. Departing Miami, it heads overnight to Nassau, where you’ll arrive the next morning. Then it’s a day in port in The Bahamas before heading back to the ship and returning to Miami the next morning.
At just two days, it’s an unbelievably short cruise with just enough time to find your way around the ship before it’s time to leave. That said, it comes with an unbelievably low price tag.
Cruises Under $300 Per Person
Spending slightly more than $200 per person can give you a few more choices – including slightly longer voyages, and visits to different destinations. Here’s a list of some of the great options you can find in the $200-$300 per person range.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise | November 10, 2022 | $229
You can find plenty of affordable cruise choices for sailing out of Galveston. That’s because there are a number of short sailings from the island, and the fewer days on the ship, the less you’ll pay.
This 4-night voyage aboard Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas departs November 10 and features two blissful sea days, with a stop in Cozumel in between. If you’re looking to simply get out of town and want some time at sea, this trip fits the bill. It will give you plenty of time to relax (and work on your tan) on the ship, as well as a day exploring the beautiful Mexican Riviera.
3-Night Bahamas Cruise | January 21, 2022 | $219
You might start to see a trend that many of the cheapest cruises on our list have a common feature of departing from Florida and heading over on a short trip to the Bahamas. This trip aboard Royal Caribbean fits that bill as well.
This sailing aboard the Freedom of the Seas will take you from Miami over to CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island. CocoCay has set the bar in cruise line private islands and can’t be missed.
From there, you’ll depart to head over to Nassau, before returning back home to Miami. It’s a quick trip, but will pack in a lot of fun for not a lot of money.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise | October 29, 2022 | $249
You can book a 5-night Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival Sensation sailing out of Mobile for as little as $249.
The voyage departs on October 29, and includes a day at sea, followed by visits to Cozumel and Progreso, then another sea day before returning to Mobile.
Although the Carnival Sensation is one of the fleet’s older ships, it has been refurbished to offer lots of Carnival favorites. It has one of the cruise line’s trademark WaterWorks waterparks and the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat, along with all the well-known food experiences Carnival fans love – including Guy’s Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina.
Cruises Under $500 Per Person
Going up slightly in price while remaining within the budget-cruise range can get you a slightly longer cruise time, which means more port visits, and/or longer port stays.
7-Night Bahamas Cruise | February 18, 2022 | $309
When we searched for dirt-cheap cruises, we never dreamed we’d find something this inexpensive.
This is an entire week-long cruise for only $309 per person in cruise fare (of course, taxes and fees will increase the price). That’s a price that’s normally found on three-day cruises. It’s the cheapest seven-day trip we could find.
The cruise departs Miami, headed to Key West. From there, it will head to a day at sea, followed by an overnight stay in Nassau and then an overnight stay at Ocean Cay, before returning to Miami.
It’s rare for any cruise to have an overnight stay in one port, much less two. That — combined with the price — makes this cruise extremely unique.
7-Night Caribbean Cruise | May 1, 2022 | $377
Outside of Florida, Galveston is one of the biggest cruise hubs in the country. It’s also within driving distance for tens of millions of people, saving on the cost of flying to Miami or Orlando.
This cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas is dirt-cheap, especially for this particular cruise line. It leaves and heads south to Cozumel, as well as Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica.
In addition, you have two days at sea to enjoy the sun by the pool before you have to go back to the real world.
7-Night Alaska Cruise | April 29, 2022 | $449
Compared to Caribbean cruises, Alaskan trips are usually more expensive. You can save money by sailing early in the season (May) or late in the season (September). This trip is a great example and goes even earlier in the season, departing in April. It allows you to sail to Alaska for under $450 per person in cruise fare.
The sailing aboard Radiance of the Seas departs Vancouver to head up to Alaska. You’ll stop in Ketchikan, Sitka, and Skagway, Alaska.
If you’ve ever had an Alaskan cruise on your bucket list, this trip is an opportunity to experience the “Great Northwest” without it costing a fortune.
6-Night Caribbean Cruise | December 11, 2022 | $339
Treat yourself to nearly a full week of cruising for only $339 per person with this wonderfully inexpensive cruise. A 6-night Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival Freedom, this route will sail from Miami on December 11, bound for Half Moon Cay, Amber Cove, and Grand Turk.
In addition to three ports of call, the itinerary also includes two sea days — giving you a chance to to take advantage of the vessel’s many amenities. Let yourself be pampered at Cloud 9 Spa, or indulge in some waterpark thrills, then grab a meal at Bonsai Sushi or Guy’s Burger Joint.
7-Night Caribbean Cruise | January 23, 2022 | $482
Norwegian Cruise Lines is often one of the more expensive mass-market cruise lines, but you can still find deals here and there.
With this cruise, you come in with a fare below $500 per person for a week-long trip to the Caribbean, including a stop at NCL’s private island. The vacation is aboard the Norwegian Breakaway from New Orleans.
You’ll head south to Cozumel, and Roatan, followed by NCL’s Harvest Caye and then Costa Maya, Mexico. It’s four ports of call in a week, giving you plenty of time ashore, while also having days at sea to enjoy the ship.
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