5 Best Lines For Cheap Cruises

cheapest cruise lines
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:


1. Carnival Cruise Lines

waterworks carnival breeze cheap cruise lines

Waterworks on Carnival BreezePhoto by Carnival Cruise Lines

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

Wrong For: Quiet travelers looking for a peaceful getaway.

Cheapest Cruises: Currently, Carnival’s most inexpensive cruises are 4- to 5-night sailings to the Caribbean and Bahamas on Carnival Liberty, Carnival Victory, and Carnival Ecstasy. Prices can be as low as $45/night.

Recommended Cruise: 7-night Eastern or Western Caribbean on Carnival Breeze. It’s just a bit more expensive, and the Breeze is currently the best ship in Carnival’s fleet.

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.



2. Norwegian Cruise Line

norwegian epic studio cheap budget cruies

Studio cabin on Norwegian Epic - Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

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

Wrong For: Introverts and cruise purists.

Cheapest Cruises: Norwegian’s 10 to 11-night Caribbean sailings on Jewel-class ships (Pearl, Jewel, Jade, and Gem) are extremely good deals, ranging between $50-$65/night for an inside cabin.

Recommended Cruise: 11-Night Caribbean cruise on Norwegian Breakaway from New York and New Orleans.

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.



Related: How much does a cruise cost?


3. MSC Cruises

msc cruises eataly cheap cruise lines

Eataly - Photo by MSC Cruises

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

Wrong For: Anyone looking for a deal, especially in the Mediterranean during the summer.

Cheapest Cruises: Caribbean sailings on MSC Divina and Mediterranean sailings on MSC Sinfonia.

Recommended Cruise: Divina was MSC's first ship designed for the American market, and Caribbean cruises on MSC Divina are affordable and generally receive good reviews. 

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: Grand Turk.



Related: How to Book a Cruise


4. Royal Caribbean

royal caribbean oasis balcony cheap cruise

Interior balcony cabin - Photo by Royal Caribbean

Right For: Families and sporty couples.

Wrong For: Cruisers who don’t feel comfortable in large crowds.

Cheapest Cruises: Short, 4-night Caribbean sailings tend to be Royal's cheapest cruises, particularly on Empress of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas.

Recommended Cruise: Any Caribbean sailing on Allure of the Seas. They’re more expensive, but Allure and sister-ship Oasis remain two of the most popular ships on Cruseline.com despite being launched back in 2010 and 2009.

Coolest Amenities: Flowrider surf simulator, onboard zip line, rock walls, H20 Waterpark, Solarium adults-area and 24 dining options including Johnny Rockets and Chops Grille steakhouse.

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.



5. Costa Cruises

costa luminosa cheap cruises cruise line

Costa Luminosa - Photo by Costa Cruises

Right For: Partiers and families shopping for a deal.

Wrong For: Cruisers expecting the same bells and whistles you would find on American lines like Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, or Carnival.

Cheapest Cruises: Costa is a true budget line, and has plenty of cheap Caribbean and Mediterranean sailings. 

Recommended Cruise: Western Mediterranean 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).


Join the discussion

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

1 Comment

Posted by MrChocoholic

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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