Royal Princess and view of the Lido deck
Royal Princess and view of the Lido deck by Benson Kua (CC BY-SA)

The Best 4-Day Cruises Under $200 a Night

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Royal Princess and view of the Lido deck
Royal Princess and view of the Lido deck by Benson Kua (CC BY-SA)

Sail the High Seas

Cruises have evolved into a low-effort, full-throttle vacation option aboard mega vessels decked out, so to speak, with everything from aquaparks to zip lines and infinity pools. Not to mention the slew of dining and drinking options, and amenity-packed children’s clubs so everyone gets uninterrupted time to work on their tan. Although bookings plummeted during the pandemic, now the CDC has officially stopped monitoring COVID-19 cases aboard cruise ships. For your next break, these cruise lines are offering a whole lot more than just a day escape to a private island (for some this is almost a standard offering) — and if you book early enough, you can really splurge and majorly flex on vacation.


Prices and availability are subject to change.


Related: The Most Luxurious Cruise Ships at Sea

Disney Dream Pool Deck
Disney Dream Pool Deck by Matthew Paulson (CC BY-NC-ND)

Disney Very Merrytime Bahamian Cruise

From: Miami

Ship: Disney Dream

When: Three November-December dates 
Starting price: $1,515 per two adults (inside room)

You’ll be just under the $200-per-person-per-night budget, but why not, for the chance to sail on the new refurbished 14-deck Disney Dream? There are three pools onboard, countless opportunities to catch a snap with Disney characters, Broadway shows, and family-friendly deck parties to keep everyone entertained. Oh, and you’ll stop off to enjoy the crystal clear waters of Disney Castaway Cay for the day.  


Related: 14 Types of People Who Should Never Take a Cruise

Cruise Vessel 'Scarlet Lady'
Cruise Vessel 'Scarlet Lady' by Virtual-Pano (CC BY)

Virgin Voyages Fire & Sunset Soirées

From: Miami

Ship: Scarlet Lady

When: Various dates August-November 2022

Starting price: $1,452 for two passengers (inside room)


No kids allowed … do you really need to know more? If you’ve been wanting to check out Virgin Voyages' new 2,750-passenger Scarlet Lady, this adults-only four-night sail to Key West and Bimini is a value-for-money bet. They’ve thrown in all essential drinks, food, tips, and fun activities like group workouts so you’ve got more budget to splash out on a cabin upgrade or a bliss-inducing spa treatment. 


Related: The Craziest Cruise Ship Amenities

Young couple in snorkeling mask dive underwater in tropical sea
Bicho_raro/istockphoto

MSC Caribbean & Bahamas

From: Miami

Ship: MSC Magnifica

When: Various dates starting May 2023

Starting price: $219 per person (inside room)


Cruise pros know to book their sailings well in advance to grab the best prices. While you’ll have to wait until 2023 to set sail, the newly refurbished Magnifica is worth it. It’s equipped with a 4-D cinema, open-air pool complex with whirlpools and a solarium, an Atlantic City-style casino, and nightly theater shows that rival glitzy Broadway productions. Still not impressed? How about two days docked at the private Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, so you can walk right off the gantry to go snorkeling or squeeze in a sunset SUP session without waiting for anyone else?


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Glow in the dark laser tag
PxHere

Royal Caribbean Bahamas & Perfect Day on Oasis

From: Miami

Ship: Oasis of the Seas 

When: Various dates from November 2022

Starting price: $568 per person (balcony)


For cruise regulars who’ve already done the Nassau/CocoCay route, this sailing is a chance to enjoy the mega attractions of Oasis of the Seas. On board, you’ll max out your day at sea. There’s the Splashaway Bay aqua park, a glow-in-the-dark laser tag facility, a bionic bar, and a space-themed Escape Room. As a bonus, splashing out for a balcony room on this itinerary won’t set you back too much, but you can also go the affordable route with interior rooms from $428 per person. 

Swimming with pigs
PxHere

Norwegian Great Stirrup Cay & Nassau, Bahamas

From: Miami

Ship: Norwegian Sky 

When: Various dates 

Starting price: $599 per person (balcony)


Four ports in four days mean you’ll have to make an executive decision on how to spend your days on/off the ship. What makes this decision harder is Norwegian Cruise Line’s Free at Sea offer, bundling unlimited bar, specialty dining and discounted shore excursions. What’s on the shore excursion cards? Possibly swimming with pigs in the Grand Bahamas, snorkeling around Great Stirrup Cay, and swimming with dolphins in Nassau. 

Inside Passage - Celebrity Millennium
Inside Passage - Celebrity Millennium by Life With Us (CC BY-NC-ND)

Celebrity Bahamas Getaway

From: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Ship: Celebrity Millennium 

When: Jan. 3, 2023 

Starting price: $636 per person (Aqua Class)

Sail in style down to Nassau in the Bahamas. The Aqua Class (high-deck) rooms include meals at Blu Private Verandah, unlimited access to the Persian Garden spa facilities and because the rate bundles drinks, Wi-Fi, and tips, you’ll know exactly how much you’re shelling out.

Celebrity Summit
Celebrity Summit by Jenni Konrad (CC BY-NC)

Celebrity Bahamas & Perfect Day

From: Miami

Ship: Celebrity Summit

When: Dec. 31, 2022

Starting price: $717 per person (inside room) 


Kickstart an exciting year of travel by seeing in 2023 onboard the Celebrity Summit. Spend the first day of the new year enjoying ocean views from its rooftop terrace while the kids are busy with Camp at Sea activities. Jump off for the day at Cozumel, Mexico, for a spot of snorkeling, diving or just kick back for the day on land.

Maya Ruins of Tulum
Maya Ruins of Tulum by Pavel Kirillov (CC BY-SA)

Carnival Western Caribbean

From: Tampa, Florida

Ship: Carnival Paradise

When: Nov. 14-18, 2022
Starting price: $569 per person (suite)


A budget option that you really can’t squeeze more value out of. Two sea days means there’s adequate time for everyone to do their favorite activities. For families, there’s Camp Ocean and Seuss at Sea to drop the kids off at, so you can get in some adults-only time at the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat space. Decamp altogether at Cozumel to explore the ecological reserve or the ancient city of Tulum.


Related: Is Cruising a Cheaper Way to Retire?

JEWEL OF THE SEAS
JEWEL OF THE SEAS by Reinhard Link (CC BY-NC)

Royal Caribbean Bahamas & Perfect Day

From: Orlando, Florida

Ship: Jewel of the Seas

When: Feb. 7-11, 2023
Starting price: $529 per person (suite) 


Splash out for an early Valentine’s Day experience and enjoy some time aboard this 12-deck, 962-foot cruise ship sailing to Nassau and CocoCay in the Bahamas. You’ll have just one day at sea, still that’s plenty of time to give the casino on board a spin, or to try and belay each other on the 40-foot tall rock wall. At night, see Royal Caribbean’s original production West End to Broadway, or book a special meal at Giovanni’s or their steakhouse Chop’s Grill. 

Spouses Receiving Relaxing Beauty Treatment Lying At Luxury Spa Center
Prostock-Studio/istockphoto

Celebrity Key West & Bahamas

From: Miami

Ship: Celebrity Summit 

When: Dec. 27-31, 2022

Starting price: $767 per person (ocean view)


Sailing to Key West and Nassau, Bahamas, isn’t a unique route, so you might consider going with a more premium cruise line. Celebrity Cruises’ slightly higher price tag is justified by a more premium setting. The modern-style rooms are a smidge bigger with well-placed lighting, while amenities like destination-specific spa treatments and James Beard-level culinary experiences elevate the whole sailing experience.

The Disney Wonder cruise ship
The Disney Wonder cruise ship by tdlucas5000 (CC BY)

Disney Baja Cruise (Cabo San Lucas)

From: San Diego

Ship: Disney Wonder 

When: Various dates

Starting price: $1,581 per two adults (verandah room)

Two sailing days allow everyone plenty of time to fully explore the Disney Wonder. Since kids under 17 travel at a discounted rate, choose the right sailing, and you’ll be within the budget. Retreat to the adults-only Quiet Cove Pool while the tweens make new friends at the Edge. Come together again at night to watch one of the live Broadway shows, or to explore the town of Cabo San Lucas.


Related: 24 Tips and Tricks for Smooth Sailing on Your Next Cruise

Sunny day view of Catalina Island Yacht Club
Sunny day view of Catalina Island Yacht Club by Elena Laps (CC BY-SA)

Disney Baja Cruise (Catalina Island & Ensanada)

From: San Diego

Ship: Disney Wonder

When: Two dates in October 2022

Starting price:$1,470 per two adults (inside room)

If this isn’t your first Disney cruise, you’ll enjoy less time at sea and more time exploring picturesque Catalina Island and the sun-soaked town of Ensenada, Mexico, where you can pick up a bottle of vino from Bodegas de Santo Tomás. The always popular Halloween- and Christmas-themed sailings are still available but probably not for much longer.

Pouring wine in glasses
Ridofranz/istockphoto

Holland America Pacific Coastal Cruise

From: San Diego

Ship: Nieuw Amsterdam

When: April 26-30, 2023 

Starting price: $509 per person (verandah room)


Enjoy two relaxing days at sea from the comfort of your own verandah en route to Victoria and Vancouver on this one-way trip. On board, the Signature-class ship boasts an art collection valued at more than $3 million, otherwise there are classical music performances by Lincoln Center Stage performers, cooking demonstrations, and food and wine tastings.

Royal Princess and view of the Lido deck
Royal Princess and view of the Lido deck by Benson Kua (CC BY-SA)

Princess West Coast Getaway

From: San Francisco

Ship: Royal Princess

When: Various dates

Starting price: $648 per person (mini-suite)

There are not a lot of cruise options from San Francisco, so you might as well splurge and make the most of the two days at sea. On board, specialty dining options include breakfast served in your own balcony space and multi-course meals at Chef’s Table Lumiere. There’s a 60-foot-long seawalk, an exclusive Discovery at Sea program (stargazing at the top deck is particularly popular) and nightly light and sound shows. A well-timed stop at Ensenada, Mexico, offers the chance to go on a wine ATV tour or an off-road buggy experience.

Blue Iguana Tequila Bar
Blue Iguana Tequila Bar by Brook Ward (CC BY-NC)

Carnival Canada & New England

From: New York

Ship: Carnival Magic

When: Aug. 19-23, 2022
Starting price: $699 per person (balcony)


If your idea of a cruise holiday is about kicking back, eating, and drinking, you’ll have two sea days to do just that on Carnival Magic. There’s Guy’s Burger Joint, Mongolian Wok, Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que, Blue Iguana Tequila Bar, and more. Let the little ones loose at the Carnival WaterWorks water park or challenge their balancing skills at the onboard ropes course. Stave off cabin fever with a shore excursion in St. John to see the famous Reversing Rapids. 

A view of St. George's, Bermuda
A view of St. George's, Bermuda by Captain-tucker (CC BY-SA)

Royal Caribbean Bermuda

From: New York

Ship: Liberty of the Seas

When: Aug. 15-19, 2022

Starting price: $599 per person (balcony)

Four-day sailings from the East Coast tend to be limited. Still, if you’re more about chilling aboard than exploring this itinerary, dropping by Bermuda’s historic St. George’s Royal Naval Dockyard weaves in sightseeing and secluded beaches, along with on-board water slides and ice skating fun.

Radiance Of The Seas Atrium
Radiance Of The Seas Atrium by prayitnophotography (CC BY)

Royal Caribbean Western Caribbean

From: New Orleans

Ship: Radiance of the Seas

When: November 2022 

Starting price: $668 per person (suite)

Fork out a bit more for the ultimate at-sea experience with a suite booking that comes with concierge service, priority boarding, VIP pool deck seating and departure privileges. On board, make the most of the Bottomless Galley Brunch and soak up the sun at the Solarium, an adults-only indoor and outdoor retreat. You may find it hard to disembark for a day trip to Cozumel, Mexico.

The Disney Magic Cruise Ship
Scott Ableman / Flickr

Disney Western Caribbean

From: Galveston, Texas

Ship: Disney Magic

When: Jan. 23-27, 2023

Starting price: $1,162 per two adults (inside room)


Don’t wait too long to book this, as it’s the only sailing to Progreso, Mexico (the other goes to Cozumel, Mexico) for an opportunity to discover the Mayan artifacts at the Museum of Mayan People. If you prefer not to disembark, there’s plenty to do onboard, like the Aqua Dunk with its three-story body slide and Disney dining experiences like Lumiere’s and Rapunzel’s Royal Table.