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 13, 2020
Ship: Carnival Inspiration | Ports: Catalina, Ensenada
Forget just a good deal, this cruise departing Long Beach is among the absolute cheapest in the entire country. For under $190 per person, you can set sail with port stops in Catalina and Ensenada. The trip departs January 13, 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 21, 2020
Ship: Carnival conquest| Ports: Key West, Cozumel
At just $229 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 $229 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 $70 below the $300 per person threshold. Learn more about this trip.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise From Mobile on Carnival
Date: January 20, 2020
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 20, sailing round trip with a stop in Cozumel and Progreso. Best of all, it’s just $244 per person for an interior cabin. Compare that to the same cruise departing on May 11 that costs a rate of $379 per person. Learn more about this trip.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise From Miami on Carnival
Date: January 23, 2020
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 $249, 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.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise From New Orleans on Carnival
Date: December 10, 2020
Ship: Carnival Valor | Ports: Cozumel
This four-night sailing is pretty basic. It leaves New Orleans in December for a cruise that ports only in Cozumel, Mexico. 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. Learn more about this trip.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise From Tampa on Carnival
Date: January 9, 2020
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 $259 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 9, there are other dates available for low rates, including for a departure on January 23. Learn more about this trip.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise From New Orleans on Carnival
Date: January 27, 2020
Ship: Carnival Valor| Ports: Cozumel, Progreso
If you notice, all the cruises until now have been mostly for four nights. Want to make the deal even better? How about five nights for less than $300? This sailing aboard Carnival Valor stops in Cozumel and Progreso from New Orleans at a price of only $254 for an interior cabin. In addition, we found more than a dozen more sail dates for slightly more, but still under the $300 threshold. Learn more about this trip.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise From Tampa on Carnival
Date: November 30, 2020
Ship: Carnival Paradise | Ports: Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Another five-night trip, this sailing aboard the Carnival Paradise leaves Tampa, with stops in popular Grand Cayman and Cozumel. You’ll leave on November 30 but but you can sail on other dates for a similar price. At $284, 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 10, 2020
Ship: MSC Divina | Ports: Ocean Cay, Nassau
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 Ocean Cay and Nassau before returning to Miami. Other dates are also available at this price. Learn more about this trip.
2-Night Caribbean Cruise From Miami on Celebrity
Date: April 4, 2020
Ship: Celebrity Infinity | 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 Miami to Nassau for just $269 per person. You won’t find many cheaper trips aboard Celebrity. And if the date doesn’t work for you, there are similar two-night trips throughout the year at this price. Learn more about this trip.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise From Galveston on Carnival
Date: January 20, 2020
Ship: Carnival Dream | Ports: Cozumel, Progreso
We found just one trip from Galveston that was under the $300 threshold. It’s this five-day cruise that departs January 20, 2020 aboard the Carnival Dream. You’ll make stops in Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico, along with two sea days. If you want to spend a little more, there are a few Royal Caribbean trips from the island that are a shade over $300 per person. Learn more about this trip.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise From Fort Lauderdale on Carnival
Date: December 3, 2020
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 $244 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 early December, just in time for it to start getting cold in the northern part of the country. Learn more about this trip.