20 Great Cruise Deals for 2018 Under $100
Is a budget-friendly cruise on your 2018 agenda? Despite the hurricanes that hit some areas this past year, it's "full steam ahead" for the coming season. Sailing during the so-called "shoulder months" can save a lot of cash. That means avoiding the Caribbean from June through August, when there will be a significant spike in prices due to summer break, according to experts at Cruiseline. Think May and September for destinations such as Alaska, and April, May, and October for Europe. And for those who aren't picky about the ports or ship, booking just a few months before sailing can translate into big savings. Cheapism asked Cruiseline and Expedia CruiseShipCenters to identify the top 20 cruises of 2018 that cost less than $100 per night. (Note: Prices and availability are subject to change.)
Departure: Jan. 13
Starting price: $529 (about $53 a night)
Leaving from New York during the height of winter, this 10-night trip whisks you away to St. John's, Antigua; Castries, St. Lucia; Basseterre, St. Kitts; and finally Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas. Travelers can enjoy touring banana plantations and rainforests, zip-lining, and hiking up volcanoes, as well as plenty of sandy beaches.
Departure: Jan. 15
Starting price: $229 (about $57 a night)
Another option to help you escape the winter doldrums, this four-night round-trip cruise visits Grand Bahama Island, Great Stirrup Cay, and also Nassau, before heading back home to Miami. Activities available in these ports include kayaking in a national park, snorkeling, and parasailing. This trip was named "best short duration cruise" by Porthole Magazine.
Departure: Jan. 21
Starting price: $459 (about $66 a night)
This seven-night trip departs from Galveston, Texas. The ports include Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; and finally Mahogany Bay, Roatan, and Bay Islands in Honduras. While in Belize, don't miss some of the best diving in the Caribbean amongst an almost 150-mile-long series of unbroken reefs and cays along the coast.
Departure: April 29
Starting price: $449 (about $64 a night)
Another western Caribbean itinerary, this Royal Caribbean voyage includes seven nights of sailing to ports such as Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; and Falmouth, Jamaica. This ship, the Liberty of the Seas, is known for its amazing amenities and many activities. The cruise departs from Galveston, Texas.
Departure: May 5
Starting price: $599 (about $86 a night)
MSC is offering a seven-night trip that departs from Miami. The itinerary for MSC's journey includes Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; and finally Nassau, Bahamas, before returning to Miami. The ship features a massive water park with five slides.
Departure: Sept. 30
Starting price: $500 (about $71 a night)
Are you sensing a trend here? Some of the most affordable cruises in 2018 are those headed to the western Caribbean. This seven-night sailing includes Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Cozumel, Mexico. It departs from Port Canaveral, Florida.
Departure: Nov. 25
Starting price: $189 (about $47 a night)
This quickie four-night getaway will take cruisers to Carnival's private island of Princess Cays and then on to Freeport on Grand Bahama Island. The ship departs from Port Canaveral, Florida, and offers a Serenity Adult Only Retreat and specialized kids programming with Seuss at Sea.
Departure: Nov. 30
Starting price: $549 (about $55 a night)
Leaving from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this 10-night cruise offers one of the more unique Caribbean itineraries, including stops in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands; Fort de France, Martinique; St. George's, Grenada; Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles; and finally Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, before returning back to Florida.
Departure: April 8
Starting price: $199 (about $50 a night)
This one-way, four-night cruise will take travelers from San Diego, California, to Vancouver, British Columbia. Along the way, it will also stop in Victoria, British Columbia, known for being an oasis of greenery on the tip of Vancouver Island. While in Victoria, don't miss the sumptuous high-tea experience at the Empress Hotel.
Departure: Jan. 6
Starting price: $288 (about $58 a night)
Spend five nights sailing between Miami, Florida; Key West, Florida; and Costa Maya, Mexico, on this voyage. In Costa Maya, travelers can explore the Great Mayan Reef, sacred cities of the ancient Mayans, and endless white beaches.
Departure: May 10
Starting price: $680 (about $76 a night)
A unique, nine-night, round-trip offering, this cruise starts in Baltimore, Maryland, and takes guests to Boston, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine; Bar Harbor, Maine; St. John, New Brunswick, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, before returning home.
Departure: Jan. 2
Starting price: $749 (about $75 a night)
This West Coast departure explores Mexico's most popular ports. The 10-night getaway leaves from San Francisco, California, and includes visits to Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Mazatlán, and Cabo San Lucas. The cost for an interior cabin on the Jan. 2 sailing is about $75 per night.
Departure: Jan. 8
Starting price: $249 (about $62 a night)
Leaving from Port Canaveral, Florida, Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas will visit Coco Cay Bahamas and also Nassau, Bahamas. The itinerary for this four-day journey also builds in one-day at sea to enjoy the ship, which was just revamped in 2016 and includes free, unlimited high-speed internet; waterslides and a variety of specialty restaurants.
Departure: Dec. 1, 2018
Starting price: $740 (about $67 a night)
Want to spend even more time sailing the Caribbean? Royal Caribbean is offering a 12-night option that includes stops in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands; St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda; Castries, St. Lucia; Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis; and finally Philipsburg, Netherlands Antilles. That's a lot of Caribbean cruising.
Departure: May 24
Starting price: $872 (about $97 a night)
One of the lesser-seen itineraries on this budget list, Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas will sail from Baltimore, Maryland, to Bermuda on May 24. The nine-day sailing pulls into King's Wharf, Bermuda; Nassau, Bahamas; and also Coco Cay Bahamas.
Departure: Jan. 7
Starting price: $389 (about $39 a night)
Travelers can help support the struggling island of Puerto Rico on this 10-night cruise, which departs on Jan. 7 from San Juan. It then sails to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands; St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; and Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis. The cruise ends in Tampa, Florida. There's a long list of perks being offered for this cruise ranging from free drink packages to free dinner packages, and kids sailing for free.
Departure: April 21
Starting price: $449 (about $35 a night)
If you're looking for an inexpensive and relaxing way to get to Europe this spring, it's hard to beat the price of this 13-night transatlantic offering from Norwegian. The voyage leaves from Miami, Florida, and will visit Ponta Delgada, Portugal; Brest, France; Portland Harbour, U.K.; Le Havre, France, and end in Southampton, U.K.
Departure: July 8
Starting price: $659 (about $94 a night)
Another opportunity to support Puerto Rico's struggling tourism industry, Carnival's seven-night sailing begins and ends in San Juan. In between, there are stops in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Dominica; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; Basseterre, St. Kitts; and finally Philipsburg, St. Maarten. The cost for the July 8 departure is $94 per night.
Departure: Oct. 4
Starting price: $449 (about $64 a night)
Spend seven nights with MSC visiting ports such as Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Nassau, Bahamas, on this cruise that begins and ends in Miami, Florida. The itinerary also includes three days at sea to explore the ship, MSC Seaside. Amenities onboard include nine restaurants, 20 bars and lounges, a waterfront promenade and the Forest AquaVenture and Adventure Park.
Departure: Dec. 2, 2018
Starting price: $409 (about $58 a night)
With this western Caribbean option -- as that appears to be where the majority of the bargains are in 2018 -- Carnival will sail from New Orleans for a seven-night trip. From there, it's off to Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan and Bay Islands, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and finally Costa Maya, Mexico, before returning home.