12 Dirt-Cheap Cruises for 2020 (Starting at $139)

Looking for a cheap cruise? We’re talking really inexpensive — cheaper than many flat-panel TVs and less expensive than a new couch. In other words, cruises so cheap that it’s more affordable to take a vacation than to be a couch potato.

Seaview from the deck of a cruise ship

The great thing about cruising is that there is something for everyone, from luxury lovers to penny pinchers. You can go first-class if you want, paying up for things like suite cabins, alcohol packages, and excursions — or you can also spend just a little and still have a great vacation.

While cruise prices do seem to be rising, deals aren’t hard to find if you know where to look. In fact, there can be so many that you might have trouble whittling down your options.

How to Find Cheap Cruises

First and foremost — to start your hunt for cheap cruises, we always recommend visiting a third-party cruise booking site.

When you start your search, you have tons of different options. You can go straight to a cruise line’s website to find deals. However, when you do that you are limiting your search only to trips on that company’s cruises. Unless you’re an avid fan of one cruise line, this isn’t the best way to plan your voyage, since it gives you only a small sliver of what’s out there.

If your priority is finding the lowest fares, check out aggregation websites like AvoyaTravel.com.

On these sites you can set up search parameters for all the cruise lines at once, then sort by price, departure port, date and more. That’s why we like to start our search on these sorts of websites.

Beyond that, there are a few other simple tips for cruise fans shopping for dirt cheap fares. While we have a full list of rules on getting the best deal on a cruise, the easiest way to find an inexpensive trip is to keep these things in mind:

  • Look for shorter cruises (shorter=cheaper)
  • Sail when school is in session (off-season means lower fares)
  • Book an inside cabin (balconies are more expensive)
  • Sail aboard an older ship (older ships have cheaper fares)

These four factors will have the largest impact on what you pay for a cruise.

Below, we’ve rounded up some of the flat cheapest cruises we could find across a variety of ports, cruise lines, and itineraries. Keep in mind that these prices can change by the time that you book your trip. Prices listed are per person for an interior room before taxes and fees.

Cruises Under $200 Per Person

MSC on side of ship

Yes, it’s possible to take a cruise for under $200 per person. We’ve found cruises on several different lines offering inside cabin rates that cost less than most monthly car payments.

3-Night Bahamas Cruise | February 18, 2020 | $139 | MSC Divina

Want to take a break early in the year? This one is coming up soon, so you’ll have to act quickly if you want to reserve a cabin, but at $139 per person for an interior room, it’s a great deal. MSC Divina will sail a 3-night roundtrip cruise departing Miami on February 18. The ship will visit Freeport, Bahamas, then call at MSC’s Ocean Cay Marine Reserve. The ship — MSC Divina — which debuted in 2012 — has four pool areas, and a 4-D theater.

4-Night Mexico Cruise | December 7, 2020 | $184 | Carnival Inspiration

If you prefer a West Coast departure, Carnival offers a 4-night Mexico cruise leaving Los Angeles on December 7. To get on board this sailing costs only $184 per person. The Carnival Inspiration will depart Long Beach, sailing first to Catalina, then Ensenada, followed by a day at sea before returning to L.A.

Carnival Inspiration, which launched in 1996, is an older ship but still gives kids plenty to do at the Carnival Waterworks (the ship’s water park) or the arcade, while adults can unwind at the Serenity adults-only pool or try their luck at the casino. The ship’s restaurants include the popular Guy’s Burger Joint, which is a must-have on any Carnival ship.

4-Night Caribbean Cruise | November 2, 2020 | $189 | Carnival Conquest

You’ll have almost a year to plan and anticipate if you book this 4-night Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival Conquest departing Miami on November 2, 2020. We found this cruise for as little as $189. The trip will call on Key West on the second day of sailing, then visit Cozumel the following day, followed by a sea day before returning to Miami.

As with some other cheap cruises on our list, this trip sails an older ship. Still, the Carnival Conquest has been updated and boasts many of Carnival’s popular bars and eateries including Guy’s Burger Joint, RedFrog Rum Bar and SkyBox Sports Bar, as well as an Alchemy Bar and Punchliner Comedy Club.

3-Night Caribbean Cruise | February 27, 2020 | $189 | Norwegian Pearl

Another great deal available for early next year is Norwegian Pearl’s 3-night Bahamas cruise sailing out of Miami on February 27. The price lists at $199 for this voyage, which will call at Key West and Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian’s private island).

Norwegian Pearl joined the NCL fleet in 2005. Guests aboard the ship can enjoy pampering at Mandara Spa or relax at the Great Outdoors Bar. Meanwhile, the ship has more than a dozen dining venues ranging from the Sushi Bar, to Le Bistro (French), to La Cucina (Italian), to Cagney’s Steakhouse.

While Norwegian is normally higher-priced than most other large cruise lines, getting this deal for less than $70 a night shows there are some amazing prices available on some cruises.

Cruises Under $300 Per Person

Broadside view of Carnival ship in port

Spending slightly more than $200 per person can give you a few more choices – including slightly longer voyages, and visits to hot new destinations. Here’s a list of some of the great options you can find in the $200-$300 per person range.

4-Night Caribbean Cruise | December 14, 2020 | $221 | Adventure of the Seas

You can find plenty of affordable cruise choices for sailing out of Galveston. That’s because there are a number of shorter sailings from the island, and the fewer days on the ship, the less you’ll pay.

This 4-night voyage aboard Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas departs December 14 and features two blissful sea days, with a stop in Cozumel in between. What’s especially appealing is that this cruise is in the middle of December, when the chill of winter has started to hit the mainland. The cruise gives you a chance to warm up without breaking the bank.

5-Night Caribbean Cruise | December 12, 2020 | $264 | Carnival Fantasy

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You can book a 5-night Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival Fantasy sailing out of Mobile for as little as $264.

The voyage departs on December 12, and includes a day at sea, followed by visits to Progreso and Cozumel, then another sea day before returning to Mobile.

Although the Carnival Fantasy is the fleet’s oldest ship, it was refurbished in 2016, and still earns strong reviews from travelers. It also offers one of the cruise line’s trademarked WaterWorks waterparks, along with all the well-known food experiences Carnival fans love – including Guy’s Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina.

3-Night Caribbean Cruise | September 11, 2020 | $270 | Mariner of the Seas

If yo’’re eager to experience CocoCay — Royal Caribbean’s private island that Cruzely publisher Tanner Callais calls “the future of cruising” — there are several bargains available for 2020.

For as little as $270, you can book a 3-night Bahamas cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas. The voyage sets sail from Port Canaveral on September 11, paying calls on Nassau on day 2, then Perfect Day at CocoCay on day 3, before returning to its homeport on the fourth day after departure.

This trip departs just after the summer rush, so you can get a deal on a cruise while it’s still plenty warm to work on your tan.

5-Night Caribbean Cruise | November 30, 2020 | $284 | Carnival Paradise

You can book an inside cabin for as little as $284 per person aboard this 5-night Caribbean cruise departing from Tampa on November 30. Carnival Paradise’s itinerary gives you a sea day, then a visit to Grand Cayman, a call at Cozumel, and another sea day before completing the round-trip journey.

The Carnival Paradise was recently refurbished in 2018, so you can sail on this older ship for cheap, while still enjoying up-to-date amenities.

Cruises Under $400 Per Person

View of the cruise ship from Thrill Waterpark

Going up slightly in price while remaining within the budget-cruise range can get you a slightly longer cruise time, which means more port visits, and/or longer port stays.

5-Night Bahamas Cruise | December 1, 2020 | $349 | Norwegian Sky

If you love cruise travel for its variety, check out this 5-night Bahamas cruise which calls at four different destinations. With fares as low as $349, this Norwegian Sky voyage departing from Miami on December 1 is a great bargain in our opinion. Ports of call for the voyage are Key West, Nassau, Norwegian’s private island Great Stirrup Cay, and Freeport.

Meanwhile at $349, you’re sailing for less than $70 per person, per night (before taxes and fees).

6-Night Caribbean Cruise | October 18, 2020 | $359 | Carnival Breeze

Treat yourself to nearly a full week of cruising for only $359 per person with this wonderfully inexpensive cruise. A 6-night Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival Breeze, this route will sail from Ft. Lauderdale on October 18, bound for Grand Turk, Amber Cove, and Nassau.

In addition to three ports of call, the itinerary also includes two sea days — giving you a chance to to take advantage of the vessel’s many amenities. Let yourself be pampered at Cloud 9 Spa, or indulge in some waterpark thrills, then grab a meal at Bonsai Sushi, Mongolian Wok, or Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Q.

5-Night Mexico Cruise | December 13, 2020 | $384 | Carnival Miracle

If you love Cabo San Lucas, this San Diego-departing voyage gives you two days in that popular Mexican port. Booking an inside cabin for this 5-night cruise aboard Carnival Miracle will only set you back $384 per person. You’ll also have two full days at sea on either side of the Cabo San Lucas visit, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the ship’s lounges, bars, multiple swimming pools, and whirlpools.

What’s unique about this trip is that is sails to Cabo San Lucas where it will stay for the day before loading up and heading to sea, only to return again the next morning. It does offer two days in Cabo, but you won’t get an overnight stay.

4-Night Bahamas Cruise | September 14, 2020 | $380 | Mariner of the Seas

Two full days at Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay are included in this 4-night Bahamas cruise for only $380. Mariner of the Seas’ itinerary includes a September 14 departure from Port Canaveral, followed by a full day at CocoCay, then a visit to Nassau, and a return to CocoCay before returning to home.

Put simply if you can’t get enough of CocoCay, then this is the cruise for you.

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