Spring Cruise Bargains
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Sail Away: 17 Spring Cruise Bargains

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Spring Cruise Bargains
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spring for a cruise

Snagging a bargain cruise in the spring can be a challenging task, at best, thanks to the spring break crowds and the associated price increases. But there are some deals to be had if you do your research, sail before or after the spring breakers, and book your trip well in advance. In fact, time is of the essence when booking a spring cruise, as prices can change with each passing day. For those daydreaming about a sun-filled getaway, here are some of the rare budget-friendly options at less than $100 per night for March and April sailings. But don't waste any time if you want to secure these deals.

All prices are subject to change and were researched in late December.

Cozumel, Mexico
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royal caribbean: western caribbean

Departure: March 2
Starting price: $421 (About $84 per night)
Sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Majesty of the Seas will visit Cozumel, Mexico's largest Caribbean island, and after that spend a day in port at Costa Maya, a private tropical retreat for cruise passengers that offers bars, restaurants, and white-sand beaches.

Bahamas, Nassau
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carnival: bahamas

Departure: March 7
Starting price: $354 (About $88 per night)
Spend a few sunny days exploring the Bahamas on this Carnival cruise from Jacksonville, Florida. The itinerary includes stops in Freeport and Nassau, as well as one day at sea to relax aboard Carnival's Elation, a Fantasy class ship that includes a three-deck high waterslide, mini-golf, and more.

Philipsburg, St. Maarten
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princess: eastern caribbean

Departure: March 3
Starting price: $619 (About $88 per night)
This seven-night escape will take cruisers from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to the private island of Princess Cays, and then on to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. There are also three days at sea to indulge in fresh oysters or caviar at the ship's Ocean Terrace or perhaps unwind at the expanded Adults-only Sanctuary, which includes a pool surrounded by cabanas.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
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carnival: mexican riviera

Departure: March 2
Starting price: $434 (About $62 per night)
This West Coast cruise will spend two days in the wildly popular port of Cabo San Lucas, on the Baja peninsula's southernmost tip. The itinerary also includes visiting Puerto Vallarta, another favorite among Riviera travelers. Departing from Los Angeles, this getaway also includes three free days at sea aboard Carnival Splendor.

Ensenada, Mexico
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carnival: catalina & baja mexico

Departure: March 3
Starting price: $223 (About $56 per night)
A brief getaway, spend four nights with Carnival stopping first at Catalina Island, where activities include zipline eco tours and scenic drives and then pulling into the Baja Mexico port of Ensenada, known for its mountain climbing, beachcombing, and hiking. As an added bonus, this sailing, which begins and ends in Los Angeles, is offering up to a two-category room upgrade.

Grand Turk Island
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carnival: eastern caribbean

Departure: March 16
Starting price: $629 (About $74 per night)
Carnival will offer a slightly different take on the Caribbean, bringing cruisers to St. Maarten, St. Kitts, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, as well as Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos. This noteworthy itinerary, which begins and ends in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, also includes three days at sea aboard Carnival Conquest, a ship inspired by the famous Impressionist painters of the 19th century. Amenities include a Toulouse-Lautrec Lounge and a jazz bar named for Vincent Van Gogh.

Havana, Cuba
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msc: cuba and antilles

Departure: March 25
Starting price: $644 ($80 per night)
This notable itinerary will allow cruisers to spend two full days in Havana. (Many itineraries include just one day.) This sailing will also visit Roatan, Honduras; and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. An eight-day getaway, the trip begins and ends in Miami and also features two days at sea.

Fort de France, Martinique
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holland america: southern caribbean

Departure: March 27
Starting price: $939 (About $85 per night)
Looking for a longer getaway? Spend 11 nights exploring the southern Caribbean with Holland America, visiting such popular ports as Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Castries, St. Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Basseterre, St. Kitts; and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. There will also be three days at sea as part of this itinerary.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
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holland america: mexican riviera

Departure: March 31
Starting price: $449 (About $64 per night)
Rounding out the March offerings, Holland America will sail to the Mexican Riviera and take in such ports as Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. The cruise begins and ends in San Diego, another sunny destination where one could easily spend a few days exploring. This wallet-friendly sailing is also offering such specials as $50 in onboard credit (money that can be spent on the ship).

Tikal, Guatemala
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holland america: western caribbean

Departure: March 31
Starting price: $449 (About $64 per night)
A seven-night getaway aboard the Rotterdam, this journey takes passengers to Key West, and on to Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. The ship will pull into the popular port of Santo Tomas de Castilla in Guatemala, gateway to the legendary ruins of Tikal, a Mayan city that flourished around 700 to 800 AD. In Honduras, there will be a one day visit to Mahogany Bay, an island owned by the cruise line. The final stop on this sun soaked escape will be Mexico's Costa Maya, known for the Great Maya Reef, white sand beaches and sacred cities of the ancient Mayans.

Mazatlán, Mexico
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carnival: mexican riviera

Departure: April 6
Starting price: $519 (About $74 per night)
Highlights of this sun-drenched cruise include visiting Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta, all wildly popular Mexican ports. There will also be two days at sea on this budget friendly sailing, which is offering additional specials such as senior discounts and up to two-category room upgrades.

Havana, Cuba
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royal caribbean: key west and havana

Departure: April 8
Starting price: $434 (About $87 per night)
Spend two full days exploring the fascinating and colorful port of Havana as part of this Royal Caribbean itinerary, which will also take in Key West, Florida, a port that has made its comeback after hurricane damage. A five-night cruise aboard the Majesty of the Seas, the cruise will also feature one day at sea. Among this cruise's special pricing deals are discounts for second, third and fourth passengers and up to $75 in ship credit.

Nassau, Bahamas
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carnival: bahamas

Departure: April 7
Starting price: $369 (About $92 per night)
Securing bargain cruises in the Caribbean in April becomes slightly harder, but there are a few. Among them, Carnival's Bahamas sailing from Port Canaveral. The Carnival Liberty will pull into Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas. Freeport is the second-largest city in the Bahamas, where activities include scuba-diving, windsurfing, and fishing. Nassau is the Bahamian capital. Highlights include Parliament Square, which dates back to the early 1800s.

Roatán, Honduras
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carnival: western caribbean

Departure: April 7
Starting price: $529 (About $76 per night)
Sail to the western Caribbean from the alternative port of New Orleans. This getaway will include visiting Roatan, Honduras; Cozumel, Mexico; and Belize City, Belize, where notable attractions range from a Community Baboon Sanctuary to a Jaguar Reserve. The seven-night cruise also includes three days at sea on the Carnival Dream, which features an adults-only retreat, spa, and board games that come to life for the kids.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
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norwegian: eastern caribbean

Departure: April 20
Starting price: $449 (About $64)
The highlights of this getaway include days spent in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. If that's not enticing enough, you'll also spend three full days at sea aboard the Norwegian Star where offerings include 13 restaurants, a spa and fitness center, and a variety of classes ranging from hula lessons to personal finance seminars.

Costa Maya, Mexico
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royal caribbean: western caribbean

Departure: April 27
Starting price: $433 (About $62 per night)
Sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the highlights of this cruise include visiting Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico, as well as Belize City, Belize. There will also be a stop in Key West, Florida, before returning home. The itinerary builds in two free days at sea to enjoy the amenities onboard the Majesty of the Seas. For the kids there's an Adventure Ocean youth club, which offers everything from science experiments to crafts and themed parties. Adult-oriented amenities include a spa and a rock climbing wall. There are also outdoor movie nights for the whole family.

Basseterre, St. Kitts
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royal caribbean: southern caribbean

Departure: April 28
Staring price: $684 (About $98 per night) One way to land a cheaper price on a spring cruise is to sail from Puerto Rico. Royal Caribbean's seven-night southern Caribbean itinerary will begin and end in San Juan and visit such well-regarded ports as Willemstad, Curacao; Oranjestad, Aruba; Basseterre, St. Kitts and finally Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. To further entice cruisers, this sailing is offering up to $199 off of airfare, per person.