What Are the Most Affordable Cheapest Cruise Lines?

Cruising on a budget is entirely doable and can be just as memorable as a luxury cruise. Discover the best and cheapest cruise lines in this article.

Looking to go on a cruise but are working off of a budget? Finding the best cruise line for your money is crucial in these situations.

While a cruise can be an expensive luxury vacation, it doesn’t have to be. You can have maximum fun while keeping your onboard spending to a minimum as long as you know which ships to book.

Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered. Keep reading to discover the top affordable cruise lines to have a fantastic vacation without breaking the bank.

The Best Cheapest Cruise Lines

A cheap cruise isn’t only about a dollar value. Cheap cruises are also about feeling like you got what the cruise was worth. The top cheapest cruise lines will not only be affordable but also provide you with the most value for your money. This is what we considered in choosing the most affordable cruises. 

So without further ado, let’s jump into the cheapest cruise lines for an unforgettable vacation. 

Carnival Cruise Line

As one of the most popular cruise lines around, you may be surprised to find Carnival in the running for one of the cheapest cruise lines. However, that is one of the advantages of a major cruise line – they’re able to offer affordable cruises among their offerings.

Carnival Cruise Ships
Photo Copyright: Gianfranco Vivi / Shutterstock

With Carnival Cruise Line, it’s possible to get tickets for as little as $200. With the cheaper tickets, you may end up needing to purchase more onboard. However, there are plenty of free amenities on every Carnival ship, such as shows and entertainment, a fitness center, pools, slides, youth programs, buffet dining, pizza, and ice cream.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

Royal Caribbean is an option for the cheapest cruise lines because you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Firstly, Royal Caribbean has a variety of ever-changing itineraries to choose from. On the ships themselves, there is an abundance of activities for kids and adults alike, from waterparks and FlowRiders to cocktail bars and casinos.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships in the Bahamas
Photo Credit: Joni Hanebutt / Shutterstock

Depending on when you look for tickets, you can find them for as little as $169 per person per night. Better yet, if you’re looking for a short cruise vacation to work with your budget, you can opt for one of their weekend cruises.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Many Norwegian Cruise Line’s routes have competitive prices, so the odds of finding an affordable cruise are pretty good. If you’re lucky, finding tickets for under $150 per person per night is possible.

Norwegian Cruise Line Ships
Photo Credit: Songquan Deng / Shutterstock

Norwegian Cruise Line is another cruise line that offers many complimentary amenities to its guests, including fitness centers, waterparks, and an arcade.

MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises is one of the cheapest cruise lines if you want to take a 7-day sailing to the Caribbean. Finding a cruise for just about $200 per person per day is possible.

MSC Cruises Ship
Photo Credit: Nate Hovee / Shutterstock

MSC Cruises typically offers three tiers for booking. Each tier is more expensive but offers more amenities. Even though the lowest tier has some restrictions, it still offers an enjoyable and memorable experience for your entire crew. All MSC cruise ships offer a variety of perks, such as an extensive buffet and various Broadway-style theater shoes. 

Margaritaville at Sea

Margaritaville at Sea is popular for being one of the cheapest cruise lines around. If you plan it right, you can find a cruise for as little as $150! The Margaritaville at Sea Paradise offers 3-day, 2-night Bahama cruises, which are perfect if you want an affordable, quick, yet entertaining getaway.

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise
Margaritaville at Sea Paradise (Photo Credit: Grand Bahama Shipyard)

Despite the affordable price, Margaritaville at Sea still provides entertainment for the whole family. From nightly shows to kids programming, there’s enough to keep you occupied for your 3-day vacation. You’ll also have many choices for dining, from a steakhouse to buffets and bars.

Tips for Finding the Cheapest Cruise Line

Going on an affordable cruise isn’t only about the cruise line. There are several ways to go on a cruise for cheap and still have a great time. Here are some tips for considering the cheapest cruise lines:

  • Sales and promos! Cruise lines always have promotions for certain itineraries and ships. If you’re flexible with the dates and itinerary, it may be worth scanning cruise line websites from time to time to find the best deals.
  • Time of year also plays a huge role in how affordable a cruise from a major cruise line can be. Avoid holidays – mainly Christmas and New Year’s – to get the most affordable rates. Pro-tip: The times just before and just after the holidays tend to have the cheapest cruises.
  • Start looking early. While there might always be last-minute deals, looking early to find the best deals for the major cruise lines, especially if you’re traveling during high season, is a good idea.

Cheapest Cruise Lines FAQ

What month is the cheapest to take a cruise?

January, February, and March are typically the cheapest months to book a cruise. Known as “wave season,” these months usually have industry-wide sales that can provide you with the best deals. 

What are the lowest-cost cabins on a cruise?

An inside or interior cabin is usually the cheapest cabin on a cruise ship. These cabins are the cabins that line the interior hallways of the cruise ship and are usually the smallest. While space and storage in these cabins are limited, they’re a great option if affordability is your priority and you plan to spend more time enjoying the ship’s many amenities. 

How can I reduce the cost of a cruise?

The best way to reduce the cost of your cruise is to be proactive when planning. While last-minute deals exist, relying on them may cause you to spend way more if you don’t get lucky and miss the best cruise deal. Another way to reduce costs is by choosing smaller accommodations. This is especially true if you plan on spending most of your time at the ports or elsewhere on the ship.

You Don’t Have to Be Rich for a Cruise

To wrap up, your best bet for the cheapest cruise lines is to find deals, exclusive offers, and affordable sailings from bigger cruise lines.

Read Also: How Much Does a Cruise Cost?

While cruises are often considered luxurious vacations, they only have to be expensive if you make them. Start your search on the cheapest cruise lines early, and you’ll save hundreds of dollars for a great experience!

Haiyan Ma
Haiyan Ma
I absolutely love cruising with my favorite ports of call being in the Caribbean. As a former crew member for Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival Cruise Line I can continue my passion by sharing my experiences with readers. Find out more about us here.


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