Nothing says summer like hitting the beach and getting some sun and water. And what better way to get to the beach during the summer than with a cruise?
With a cruise, not only can you travel in style to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but you can also sample several different places while having your room, board, and entertainment taken care of on the ship.
The best news is that the cost of a cruise can be considerably cheaper than the cost of airfare and hotel at a Caribbean resort. Meanwhile, cruises are much less of a hassle to book than having to search and put together a trip on your own.
That said, there’s no doubt that the summer is one of the more expensive times to set sail. With kids out of school and vacations on everyone’s mind, higher demand leads to higher prices. The good news is there are still deals out there — including many cruises under $300 per person.
Below, we’ve rounded up a sampling of the cheapest summer cruises for 2022. But before listings those cruises, here are some pointers on finding cheap trips of your own during this time of year.
How to Find Cheap Summer Cruises
Searching for your own deal on a cruise, in addition to what we’ve found below? Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Sail Late in the Summer for the Best Fares
As you’ll see below, the cheapest summer cruises are in August, and more specifically, late August. In general, the closer you can sail to September, the less you’ll pay for your cruise. And if you can wait until early September to take your summer cruise, you’ll get the best of both worlds — the cheapest prices while still having warm weather and water nearly everywhere in North America.
Why are cruises so much cheaper later in August? The late season sees a drop-off in demand for family vacations as many people have already done their travel for the season and are looking at the start of the back-to-school season.
Keep Trips Short for Lower Fares
You’ll notice that cruises longer than five days aren’t heavily mentioned in our list below. Don’t think this means there aren’t deals available on longer trips. In fact, just like with shorter cruises there are some great deals — especially later in the summer season.
However, if you want to pay the absolutely lowest amount for a cruise, then it makes sense to stick with shorter trips. Sailings of 3-5 days can be found for less than $300, with even more options for under $500 per person. Longer trips, which mean more nights, more food, and more entertainment, are obviously more expensive on a total basis.
It Helps to Be Flexible With Ports
There are summer cruise deals all around the country, as you’ll see below. But if you are closest to Florida, you’ll have an advantage of being able to sail from several different ports including Port Canaveral, Port Everglades, and Miami.
In a different part of the country? Most people have a port within a few hours drive, if not closer. However, if you are able to travel to other ports for better deals, then you stand the best chance of getting a cheap summer cruise.
Older Ships Usually Mean Lower Fares
It’s not written in stone, but in general the lower-priced cruises will be on the older ships. Since there is often more demand for sailing on the newer ships, cruise lines can charge a premium on the cruises.
Older ships still give you a similar experience (although not quite the same) at a price that can be considerably less expensive if you’re hunting for a deal.
Search Across Multiple Websites at Once
Head to the cruise line’s website and you’ll get the prices… for that cruise line. Instead, to find the best deals we like to use sites like AvoyaTravel.com or Orbitz. These sites search all the cruise lines at once, giving you a chance to find deals that you might not find on a cruise line’s website.
Cheap 2022 Summer Cruises
Note: Prices listed are per person for cruise fare only, in an interior cabin. Cruise lines typically charge double occupancy, plus there are taxes and port fees. Keep in mind that prices will vary and may not be the same as what’s listed below when you read this article.
3-Night Bahamas Cruise from Port Canaveral (MSC)
Date: August 18, 2022
Price: $199 per person
MSC only departs a couple of ports including Miami and Port Canaveral, making it not as well-known as some other lines. However, it offers some of the least expensive fares that you will find. Case in point, this trip departs in August from Port Canaveral to Nassau and Ocean Cay (MSC’s private island). All told, it comes in under $200 per person.
4-Night Mexico Cruise from Long Beach (Carnival)
Date: August 29, 2022
Price: $279 per person
As a rule of thumb, if you can find a trip for under $100 per night during the summer, then you’ve likely found a good deal. This trip costs just $70 per night if you take a late August departure. Sailing from Long Beach, the trip takes you to Mexico on a four-night journey aboard the Carnival Radiance. There are other dates available earlier in the summer that still come in under $100 per night, but this is the cheapest date we found.
4-Night Bahamas Cruise from Miami (Carnival)
Date: August 29, 2022
Price: $209 per person
As we mentioned, sailing in late summer is key to finding low fares. Sailing from Miami is also helpful because with so many ships sailing from there, it’s easier to find deals. This trip leaves in the late summer from Miami and costs only $209 for four nights. That’s dirt-cheap. It leaves aboard the Carnival Conquest with stops in Key West and Cozumel, before returning home. If you’re looking for one last hurrah before the fall, this is among your cheapest options.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise from Miami (Carnival)
Date: August 22, 2022
Price: $249 per person
How abundant are the deals from Miami in August? Just like above, this trip departs on the Carnival Conquest. The only difference is that it’s a little bit more expensive (still just $249), leaves a few days earlier and heads to Half Moon Cay (Carnival’s island) and Nassau. The good news is that if this trip doesn’t fit your schedule, there are a number of options available.
4-Night Bahamas Cruise from Miami (Royal Caribbean)
Date: June 6, 2022
Price: $309 per person
Not every cheap cruise is on Carnival, but they do dominate our list. Still, other cruise lines offer deals as well. This four-night trip aboard Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas takes you from Miami to Nassau and Royal Caribbean’s private island — CocoCay — before returning home. It’s short and simple but also fairly inexpensive if you’re looking for a quick getaway in early June.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise from Mobile (Carnival)
Date: August 29, 2022
Price: $284 per person
Mobile didn’t even have a cruise ship operating from the port a few years ago, and now it’s a great place to find deals. This trip is five nights aboard the Carnival Sensation with stops in Cozumel and Progreso. At just $284 for five nights, it comes out to under $60 per night — an extremely cheap price for sailing during the summer.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise from New Orleans (Carnival)
Date: August 27, 2022
Price: $299 per person
So far, the bulk of the cruises we have covered have all been three and four-night trips. This cruise is a five-night departure from New Orleans aboard the Carnival Valor for just $299 per night. You’ll have stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel before heading back to the New Orleans. If you can’t sail on August 27, the trip runs regularly throughout the summer, although you should expect to pay a little more for taking your cruise during the height of the summer season.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise from Galveston (Royal Caribbean)
Date: August 29, 2022
Price: $289 per person
You don’t have to sail from Florida to find cheap summer cruises. This trip aboard Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas leaves in late August and costs less than $300 per person. For that price you set sail for four nights, headed to Cozumel. On each side of the port day you’ll have a day at sea to hang out by the pool and enjoy the warm weather. If you can’t make this trip, there are many more throughout the season, but just know they will be more expensive.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise from Port Canaveral (Carnival)
Date: August 15, 2022
Price: $284 per person
Port Canaveral — located about 45 minutes from Orlando — has quietly become one of the busiest cruise ports in America. Sail from there in mid-August on this cruise and you’ll pay just $284 per person. It’s a four-night trip aboard the Carnival Liberty, headed over to Nassau and the Princess Cays, along with some time at sea. Best of all, the price is only $284 in mid-August and you can sail for even cheaper later in the month.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise from Tampa (Carnival)
Date: August 13, 2022
Price: $369 per person
Compared with the major ports like Miami and Port Canaveral, Tampa doesn’t get the notoriety. However, if you want a port with a number of options between cruise lines and itineraries without the large hustle and bustle of busier ports, then Tampa is ideal. We found this cruise in August for $369 for five nights. It sails to Mahogany Bay (Roatan) and Cozumel on a quick getaway and then back home to Tampa aboard the Carnival Paradise. Some cheaper trips are available later in the month.
6-Night Caribbean Cruise from Miami (Royal Caribbean)
Date: June 5, 2022
Price: $373 per person
It shouldn’t be a surprise that shorter cruises take up most spots on our list. That’s because the shorter the cruise, typically the lower the price. Still, we found this deal for a departure the first week of June. Set sail from Miami aboard Explorer of the Seas for just $373. During the 6-night trip, you’ll head to CocoCay, Jamaica, and Labadee — all for less than $65 a night per person.
7-Night Caribbean Cruise from Port Canaveral (MSC)
Date: August 21, 2022
Price: $409 per person
The final cruise on our cheap summer cruise list is a 7-night trip aboard the MSC Meraviglia. This trip departs Miami during late August, headed to MSC’s private island — Ocean Cay — before sailing on to Costa Maya and Cozumel before returning home. At just $409 per person, it’s among the cheapest week-long cruises that you’ll find.