There’s a golden rule about cruise fares: Prices are cheapest when school is in session.
The reason is simple. When the kids are out of school — Spring Break, Christmas holidays, and summer — families have an easier time with being able to take time off to cruise. That leads to more demand for cabins.
When school is in session, however, it’s hard for families to find the time to set sail. As a result, cruise lines slash prices to fill up rooms. That means you can find some great deals as you look for a trip in the winter months.
Below, we’ve rounded up a dozen of these deals, all with prices of below $300. Most of them leave in the winter, with a few in the winter after Christmas holidays. We’ve also included links to the deals themselves.
If you want to do your own search across all cruise lines to find the best deals, you can do so on Avoya Travel.
The fares shown below are at the time of writing and subject to change. All fares are for interior cabins, before taxes and port fees.
Note: This article contains links to our advertiser, AvoyaTravel.com, to learn more about each specific cruise and book your trip.
4-Night Mexico Cruise From Los Angeles on Carnival
Date: January 24, 2021
Ship: Carnival Imagination | Ports: Catalina, Ensenada
Forget just a good deal, this cruise departing Long Beach is among the absolute cheapest in the entire country. For under $140 per person, you can set sail with port stops in Catalina and Ensenada. The trip departs January 24, and there are slightly higher fares available several times throughout the year. Learn more about this trip.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise From Miami on Carnival
Date: September 13, 2021
Ship: Carnival Conquest| Ports: Key West, Cozumel
At just $189 per person, you can’t beat the price of the cruise setting sail from Miami — the cruise capital of the world. It makes two stops: Key West and Cozumel before returning to port. The lowest price of $189 is available on September 21, but you can also sail on dates later in the year for similar prices. Best of all, it’s a full $110 below the $300 per person threshold. Learn more about this trip.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise From Mobile on Carnival
Date: January 18, 2021
Ship: Carnival Fantasy | Ports: Cozumel, Progreso
Mobile isn’t a cruise mecca, but if you are within driving distance, then it’s a great option for good deals. This five-night trip departs on January 18, sailing round trip with a stop in Cozumel and Progreso. Best of all, it’s just $204 per person for an interior cabin. Compare that to the same cruise departing on July 4 that costs a rate of $514 per person. Learn more about this trip.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise From Miami on Carnival
Date: January 21, 2021
Ship: Carnival Sensation | Ports: Key West, Cozumel
Similar to another cruise on our list, this trip departs from Miami aboard Carnival Sensation, with stops in Key West and Cozumel. For just $219, that’s a great deal. What we like best is that it departs on a Thursday and returns first thing Monday morning, meaning you only have to miss a couple of days work to set sail. Learn more about this trip.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise From New Orleans on Carnival
Date: December 4, 2021
Ship: Carnival Valor | Ports: Costa Maya, Cozumel
This five-night sailing is pretty basic. It leaves New Orleans in December for a cruise that ports in both Costa Maya, Mexico and Cozumel. Still, it does get you to the Caribbean during the coldest part of the year in the United States… and it does it for a rock-bottom price. You can also tack on a day in New Orleans to have an even more fun vacation. Learn more about this trip.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise From Tampa on Carnival
Date: January 7, 2021
Ship: Carnival Paradise | Ports: Cozumel
Tampa isn’t as big a cruise port as other Florida ports like Miami and Fort Lauderdale, but don’t sell it short. This trip is a simple round trip getaway calling on Cozumel. At just $179 per person, it’s cheaper than buying a flight to the Mexican Riviera and comes with a four-night vacation that includes meals and room.
If you can’t sail on January 7, there are other dates available for low rates, including for a departure on January 21. Learn more about this trip.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise From Galveston on Royal Caribbean
Date: May 10, 2021
Ship: Explorer of the Seas | Ports: Cozumel
If you notice, all the cruises until now have been aboard Carnival, which offers some of the lowest-priced fares around. There are deals on other lines, however. This trip aboard Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas runs just $269 per person from Galveston.
The sailing has a day at sea, followed by a stop in Cozumel before another day at sea on the return to Texas. That gives you lots of time to hang out by the pool and enjoy the sunshine while working on your tan, without breaking the bank. Learn more about this trip.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise From Tampa on Carnival
Date: November 29, 2021
Ship: Carnival Paradise | Ports: Cozumel, Grand Cayman
Five night trips under $300 are a gem to find. This trip aboard the Carnival Paradise leaves Tampa, with stops in popular Cozumel and Grand Cayman. You’ll leave on November 29 but but you can sail on other dates for a similar price. At $289, it represents a great deal for a five-night vacation. Learn more about this trip.
3-Night Caribbean Cruise From Miami on MSC
Date: March 23, 2021
Ship: MSC Divina | Ports: Nassau, Ocean Cay
For much of our list, you’ll notice that the only option is Carnival. However, MSC is a smaller cruise line that offers some pretty good deals. This trip is not only $169 per person, but it also is in the middle of Spring Break — one of the most expensive times to sail. You’ll stop at Nassau and Ocean Cay before returning to Miami. Other dates are also available at this price. Learn more about this trip.
2-Night Caribbean Cruise From Fort Lauderdale on Celebrity
Date: January 15, 2021
Ship: Celebrity Equinox | Ports: Nassau
Didn’t think you could afford an inexpensive cruise aboard a luxury line like Celebrity? Think again. This trip is affordable because it’s a short two-night trip. The cruise will take you from Fort Lauderdale to Nassau for just $149 per person. You won’t find many cheaper trips aboard Celebrity. Learn more about this trip.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise From Galveston on Carnival
Date: January 23, 2021
Ship: Carnival Dream | Ports: Progreso, Cozumel
Texas has become a cruise mecca, second only to Florida. We this trip from Galveston that was under the $300 threshold. It’s this five-day cruise that departs January 23, 2021 aboard the Carnival Dream. You’ll make stops in Progreso and Cozumel along with two sea days. If you want to spend a little more, there are balcony cabins available on the cruise that are a shade over $400 per person. Learn more about this trip.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise From Fort Lauderdale on Carnival
Date: February 11, 2021
Ship: Carnival Sunrise | Ports: Half Moon Cay, Nassau
The final cruise on our list is a four-night trip aboard Carnival Sunrise. Coming in at $294 per person for an interior cabin, you’ll get to stop in Half Moon Cay (Carnival’s private island) and also Nassau, which is one of the busiest ports in North America. The trip departs in February, just in time to shake off the coldest part of the year. Learn more about this trip.