When it comes to affordable vacations, it can be hard to beat cruising. Yes, you can spend as much as you want (including tens of thousands of dollars on the fanciest rooms, if you feel so inclined). But on the other end of the spectrum you can spend very little to get a great vacation.
Case in point: Our list of cruises under $300.
In that list you’ll find a dozen trips that can take you to some of the world’s nicest beaches for less than three bills per person. However, while those cruises are popular, you usually can only cruise for a few days to meet that sort of budget.
That’s why we expanded our search with this list of cruises under $500. With just a couple of hundred dollars extra per person, your list of options expands dramatically. Perhaps best of all, many week-long cruises are now within your budget.
What follows below are not necessarily the cheapest cruises you can take. Instead, we’ve highlighted a number of vacations that are under $500 and unique or good deals for varied reasons. This includes a trip aboard one of the largest cruise ships in the world, and some of the cheapest trips aboard a newer ship that we’ve seen.
The fares shown below are at the time of writing and subject to change. All fares are on a per-person basis for interior cabins, before taxes and port fees.
6 Night Caribbean Cruise From Miami on Carnival
Date: October 23, 2022
Ship: Carnival Horizon | Ports: Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Take a cruise to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Mexico on this six-night journey from Miami. Oh yeah, did we also mention that it’s aboard Carnival Horizon — one of the cruise line’s newest ships?
That’s right. For less than $500 per person (for an interior cabin), you can get a great vacation aboard a practically brand-new ship. Most of the time the rates on the newest ships are much higher as they are more popular with passengers. Learn more about this trip.
6 Night Caribbean Cruise From Tampa on Carnival
Date: December 4, 2022
Ship: Carnival Pride | Ports: Cozumel, Belize City, Costa Maya
This list isn’t meant to be the absolute cheapest cruises you can buy. Instead, it’s a roundup of affordable cruises across destinations and ports. So while this cruise from Tampa isn’t the least expensive you will find, it is a good deal if you want to sail from the port.
For six nights you’ll sail to Cozumel, Belize City, and Costa Maya — three great ports in the Caribbean in December. It’s a great time to relax right before the holidays kick into high gear. Learn more about this trip.
7 Night Mexico Cruise From Los Angeles on Norwegian
Date: January 9, 2022
Ship: Norwegian Bliss | Ports: Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, Ensenada
While Florida takes the cake for cruising the Caribbean, Los Angeles is the best spot to depart if you’re interested in visiting the west coast of Mexico. This trip is a lineup of the most famous ports on the Pacific side of the country. You’ll stop in Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, and Ensenada before returning home to Los Angeles. The cruise is aboard Norwegian Bliss, one of the line’s newer ships, being built in 2018. Learn more about this trip.
7 Night Caribbean Cruise From Galveston on Royal Caribbean
Date: October 16, 2022
Ship: Liberty of the Seas | Ports: Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth
Royal Caribbean is historically a little pricier than its main rival Carnival. However, there are still deals to be found.
For example, this cruise aboard Liberty of the Seas sails from Galveston (near Houston) for a seven nights at just $472 per person. Along the way you will make stops in popular ports Cozumel and Grand Cayman, before hitting Falmouth, Jamaica.
Liberty of the Seas is a slightly older ship, but still plenty large and comfy — and especially convenient for cruisers coming from Houston, which is a short drive away. Learn more about this trip.
7 Night Bahamas Cruise From Port Canaveral on MSC
Date: September 18, 2022
Ship: MSC Divina | Ports: Ocean Cay, Costa Maya, Cozumel
Many American cruisers may not be familiar with MSC, which has a large presence in Europe. If you’re looking for deals, however, they are a good cruise line to consider as they have a number of inexpensive trips from Florida.
This sailing departs Port Canaveral near Orlando, heading to the cruise line’s private island — Ocean Cay. From there, it heads southwest to the Yucatan for stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel before returning home. Learn more about this trip.
3 Night Bahamas Cruise From Miami on Celebrity
Date: April 4, 2022
Ship: Celebrity Summit | Ports: Key West, Nassau
Why would a three-night cruise make our list? After all, we feature multiple trips that are longer. However, those cruises aren’t aboard the Celebrity Summit. Celebrity is a luxury cruise line that’s a step above mass-market lines like Royal Caribbean or Carnival. This trip departs Miami for Key West and then a day in Nassau for returning. At just $339, it’s an inexpensive way to get a taste of a higher-end cruise to see if it’s right for you. Learn more about this trip.
6 Night Caribbean Cruise From Miami on Royal Caribbean
Date: May 8, 2022
Ship: Explorer of the Seas | Ports: CocoCay, Falmouth, Labadee
This cruise comes in at less than $450 for six nights of sailing. It also features a stop at Royal Caribbean’s private island CocoCay. The cruise company spent hundreds of millions to renovate the island to a full-blown destination, complete with its own waterpark.
From there, it makes stops in Falmouth, Jamaica, and Labadee, Haiti before returning home to Miami. Learn more about this trip.
7 Night Caribbean Cruise From Port Canaveral on Carnival
Date: December 3, 2022
Ship: Mardi Gras | Ports: San Juan, Amber Cove, Grand Turk
This cruise is slightly above the $500 price tag, but it is one that we think is too good a deal not to mention. This trip is $539 for an interior cabin on a week-long cruise, but it’s aboard Mardi Gras. That’s Carnival’s newest ship and a completely different style than anything else in its fleet. The ship even includes the first roller coaster at sea.
While the ship will definitely be a highlight, you’ll also sail to San Juan, Amber Cove, and Grand Turk. Learn more about this trip.
5 Night Caribbean Cruise From Miami on Norwegian
Date: January 28, 2022
Ship: Norwegian Pearl | Ports: Key West, Cozumel, Great Stirrup Cay
While many of the trips featured are for seven nights, not everyone can get away for that long. This cruise is five nights, aboard Norwegian Pearl.
It departs Miami and takes you to Key West, along with a stop in Cozumel and then NCL’s private island Great Stirrup Cay. Three ports in five days means you get plenty of time on shore… and not just on the ship. Learn more about this trip.
6 Night Caribbean Cruise From Fort Lauderdale on Royal Caribbean
Date: February 27, 2022
Ship: Allure of the Seas | Ports: Cozumel, Roatan, Costa Maya
A six-night cruise is a great time, but this trip takes it up a notch. That’s because it is aboard Allure of the Seas, which is among the largest cruise ships in the world. That size gives you access to an experience unlike any other on a cruise ship.
Passengers will stop in Cozumel, Roatan, and Costa Maya. It also sails in late February, giving passengers a chance to escape the cold of winter back home and get some sunshine. Learn more about this trip.
7 Night Caribbean Cruise From New Orleans on Carnival
Date: September 18, 2022
Ship: Carnival Glory | Ports: Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
You can find inexpensive cruises from more than just southern Florida. This cruise aboard the Carnival Glory departs from New Orleans in September. During the cruise you’ll have stops in Montego Bay (Jamaica), Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. It’s especially good for those without kids since its right after school returns to the classroom. Learn more about this trip.
7 Night Caribbean Cruise From Miami on MSC
Date: December 11, 2021
Ship: MSC Seashore | Ports: San Juan, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Plata, Ocean Cay
The final cruise on our list is aboard the MSC Seashore, a new ship that promises to be one of the most beautiful cruise liners at sea. This cruise will take you from Miami for a week with stops in San Juan, the US Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic and Ocean Cay — MSC’s private island. At $449 to sail for a week aboard one of the newest ships in the world, that’s a great price. Learn more about this trip.