Looking for a dirt-cheap cruise? What about spending less than $300 per person on cruise fare taking you to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world?
It may seem too good to be true, but it’s absolutely possible… as you’ll see below.
Before we get too far however, 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. Just in general, even for those without kids, these are more popular times to vacation, and that means more demand.
When school is in session, however, it’s hard for families to find the time to set sail. As a result, cruise lines will lower prices to fill up rooms. That means you can find some great deals as you look for a trip in the early winter months or in the fall when school resumes.
Below, we’ve rounded up a dozen of these deals, all with prices starting at below $300 per person for an interior room. As you see, most of them leave in the winter, with a few in the fall as classes resume.
We’ve included links to the deals themselves. Keep in mind that if the specific dates below don’t work for you, there are often similar cruises for similar prices around these times.
Note: The fares shown below are at the time of writing and subject to change. All fares are for interior cabins on a per person basis, before taxes and port fees.
3-Night Caribbean Cruise From Port Canaveral on Carnival
Date: January 27, 2024
Ship: Carnival Liberty | Ports: Nassau
When it comes to some of the absolute least-expensive cruises, then Carnival is a major player. The popular cruise line offers some great values. This includes this trip for just $136 per person for an interior room that departs Port Canaveral for three nights, heading over the Nassau. You’ll get to spend time in the Bahamian capital before having a day at sea to enjoy the ship and work on your tan. Learn more about this trip.
4-Night Mexico Cruise From Los Angeles on Carnival
Date: December 11, 2023
Ship: Carnival Radiance | Ports: Catalina, Ensenada
Forget just a good deal, this cruise departing Long Beach is among the absolute cheapest in the entire country for a four-day cruise. For just $181 per person (and as low as $175 for some dates), you can set sail with port stops in Catalina and Ensenada. This specific trip departs December 11, and there are slightly other fares around this much available several times throughout the year. Learn more about this trip.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise From Miami on Carnival
Date: October 23, 2023
Ship: Carnival Conquest| Ports: Key West, Cozumel
At just $171 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. We found prices of $171 per person for in the fall of 2023, but you can also sail other times of year for about the same price. Best of all, it’s nearly $130 per person below the $300 per person threshold. Learn more about this trip.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise From Galveston on Carnival
Date: January 16, 2023
Ship: Carnival Breeze | Ports: Cozumel, Progreso
If you’re one of the tens of millions that live within driving distance of Galveston, then it’s a great option for good deals. This five-night trip departs on January 16, sailing round trip with a stop in Cozumel and Progreso. Best of all, it’s just $251 per person for an interior cabin. Compare that to the same cruise departing on July 3 (the peak of summer travel) that costs a rate of $576 per person. Learn more about this trip.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise From Miami on Carnival
Date: January 5, 2023
Ship: Carnival Sunrise | Ports: Half Moon Cay, Nassau
This cruise aboard the Carnival Sunrise departs sunny Miami for Carnival’s private island Half Moon Cay in The Bahamas and Nassau. As well, you’ll get a day at sea to enjoy the things to do on the ship… or just work on your tan by the pool. For just $156, 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: January 23, 2023
Ship: Carnival Valor | Ports: Cozumel, Progreso
This five-night sailing is pretty basic. It leaves New Orleans in October for a cruise that ports in both Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico. Still, it does get you to the Caribbean when the weather has turned cold 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.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise From Tampa on Carnival
Date: December 16, 2023
Ship: Carnival Paradise | Ports: Mahogany Bay, 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 Mahogany Bay (Honduras) and Cozumel. At just $211 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. Learn more about this trip.
If you can’t sail in December, there are other dates available for low rates, including trips in January and September.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise From Galveston on Royal Caribbean
Date: January 10, 2023
Ship: Allure 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 Allure of the Seas — the largest class of cruise ships on the planet — runs just $289 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.
4-Night Mexico Cruise From Los Angeles on Royal Caribbean
Date: January 30, 2023
Ship: Navigator of the Seas | Ports: Catalina, Ensenada
Quietly, Los Angeles has become a hotspot for cheap cruises. Case in point — this cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. It’s only $180, or less than $50 per person, per day.
With the cruise, you’ll depart LA with stops in Catalina and then Ensenada. And when it comes to things to do on the ship, it’s hard to beat Royal Caribbean. If you’re looking for an inexpensive and short getaway, it’s hard to beat this offering. Learn more about this trip.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise From Tampa on Carnival
Date: November 27, 2023
Ship: Carnival Paradise | Ports: Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Five night trips under $300 are a gem to find, but Tampa offers a couple of options. This trip aboard the Carnival Paradise leaves Tampa, with stops in popular Grand Cayman and Cozumel. You’ll leave on November 27 but but you can sail on another date in October for a similar price. At $236, it represents a great deal for a five-night vacation. Learn more about this trip.
4-Night Caribbean Cruise From Miami on MSC
Date: March 13, 2023
Ship: MSC Divina | Ports: Nassau, Ocean Cay
Want another option than Carnival for inexpensive cruises? MSC is a major player in Europe, but has a smaller presence in North America. It also offers some pretty good deals. This trip is only $259 per person, which isn’t the cheapest, but it leaves in the middle of Spring Break, which is normally an expensive time to sail. You’ll stop at Nassau and Ocean Cay before returning to Miami. Learn more about this trip.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise From Miami on Celebrity
Date: October 30, 2023
Ship: Celebrity Summit | Ports: Nassau, Cozumel
Didn’t think you could afford an inexpensive cruise aboard a luxury line like Celebrity? Think again. This trip is surprisingly affordable for Celebrity, especially for a five-night cruise. The cruise will take you from Miami to Nassau and Cozumel for just $211 per person.
There are some slightly less expensive trips aboard the cruise line, but they are shorter in duration. You likely won’t find many cheaper trips for five nights aboard Celebrity. Learn more about this trip.
6-Night Caribbean Cruise From Galveston on Carnival
Date: February 19, 2023
Ship: Carnival Dream | Ports: Costa Maya, Belize City, Cozumel
Texas has become a cruise mecca, second only to Florida. The Lone Star State is where we found this trip from Galveston that was under the $300 threshold. It’s a six-day cruise that departs February 2023 aboard the Carnival Dream. You’ll make stops in Costa Maya, Belize City, 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 about $600 per person. Learn more about this trip.
5-Night Caribbean Cruise From New York on Norwegian
Date: February 1, 2023
Ship: Norwegian Getaway | Ports: Key West, Nassau (overnight), Ocean Cay (Overnight)
The final cruise on our list is one that’s not sailing from Florida, Texas, or California, but instead, New York. With millions living within driving distance of the largest U.S. city, this trip is an affordable option for those that don’t want to fly to a port elsewhere.
Given the location, you are far from most traditional ports of call. In this case, despite being a five-day cruise, there is only one port of call — Bermuda. Even so, if you’re a Norwegian fan, this puts you on one of their larger ships at an affordable price. Learn more about this trip.