5 Cheap Cruise Lines to Book Now

Check out the water park on Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas. - Photo by Royal Caribbean International

What should you consider the next time you’re looking to book a cheap cruise vacation? Well, the first thing to remember is that not all cruise lines are alike, so it’s important to figure out which one is best for you. Here is our inside scoop on the top budget lines, with some cheap cruise deals you can book now:


Carnival Cruise Lines

Right For: Partiers, boisterous families, and sociable types.

Current Deals: Rates start at $489 for a balcony room on a 6-night sailing from Miami to the Caribbean this fall on Carnival Breeze.

Coolest Amenities: The 320-foot water slide at the water park, and Food Network star Guy Fieri’s burger restaurant.

Amazing Accommodations: “Cove” balcony staterooms are closer to the waterline, meaning you get better sea views; deluxe ocean-view staterooms, with five berths and two bathrooms, are great for large families.

Port With the Best Beaches: Grand Turk, Turks, & Caicos.



Norwegian Cruise Line

Right For: Families, singles interested in the studio cabins, and couples who want a less traditional cruise.

Current Deals: Rates start at $899 for a balcony room on a 7-night sailing from New York to the Bahamas this winter on Norwegian Breakaway.

Coolest Amenities: The ice bar features an ice sculpture of the Brooklyn Bridge, and the stage show is Broadway’s “Rock of Ages.”

Amazing Accommodations: Both Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Breakaway have studio cabins that do away with the age-old upcharge for traveling alone.

Port With the Best Beaches: Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.


Royal Caribbean InternationaI

Right For: Families and sporty couples.

Current Deals: Rates start at around $799 for a balcony room on a 7-night sailing from Fort Lauderdale to the Western Caribbean this December on Allure of the Seas.

Coolest Amenities: A hand-carved carousel and an ice skating rink. It’s also the largest ship at sea, and the only one with a Starbucks coffee shop.

Amazing Accommodations: Some balcony cabins are actually interiors, and — instead of overlooking the ocean — they overlook, say, the Central Park “neighborhood” or the “Boardwalk.”

Port With the Best Beaches: Labadee.


Costa Cruises

Right For: Partiers and families shopping for a deal.

Current Deals: Rates start at $449 for veranda stateroom on a 4-night sailing from Savona, Italy, around the Mediterranean this fall on Costa Luminosa.

Coolest Amenities: The ship has a 4-D cinema and the largest percentage of balcony cabins in the fleet.

Amazing Accommodations: Suites have Murano glass lighting fixtures.

Port With the Best Beaches: Palma de Mallorca, Spain (but check the average daily temperatures before you book — these islands cool down in fall).


MSC Cruises

Right For: Anyone looking for a deal, especially in the Mediterranean.

Current Deals: Rates start at $829 for a balcony stateroom on 7-night sailings from Miami to St. Martin and Puerto Rico this November on MSC Divina.

Coolest Amenities: Shipboard outpost of Eataly, the famous restaurant from Turin, Italy; poolside gelato bar; daily aqua cycling classes (think spinning, but in a pool).

Amazing Accommodations: Clever design enables guests to fold up the shower’s doors when it’s not in use.

Port With the Best Beaches: Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

Join the discussion

What’s the best deal you ever got on a cruise, and where did you find it?
MrChocoholic's Avatar

Posted by MrChocoholic 6 months ago

Best deal EVER was the most recent--a four-night midweek on Norwegian Pearl out of Miami. Had a great wheelchair-accessible interior cabin, large bathroom, fantastic entertainment (it was a rock music-themed charter), surprisingly good Indian food, amazing karaoke (lots of real entertainers aboard), well, you get the drift. The solo price for that cruise was less than I'd paid before on two other cruise lines for double occupancy.

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