If you are considering a cruise you may be wondering how much Caribbean cruises ACTUALLY cost. I’ve been on multiple Caribbean cruises and have spent years learning how to cruise on a budget.
In this post we will look at the prices of Caribbean cruises on the following cruise lines: Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Disney Cruise Line
We will also look at how price varies by season and Caribbean region. It is of course, possible to find cruises which are cheaper, and more expensive than those mentioned in this article but the cruises mentioned are designed to be representative examples.
How Much Does a Caribbean Cruise Cost?
The average price of a 7 night Caribbean cruise, on a mainstream cruise line, in April is approximately $616 (£493) per person, excluding taxes. The price increases during August to approximately $773 (£619) per person, excluding taxes. Caribbean cruises in November average $552 (£442) with many as cheap as $399 (£319).
There are a number of things that impact the price of a Caribbean cruise. The time of year, cruise line choice and itinerary all also have an impact. These prices are based on two sharing and do not include taxes. If you are booking a Caribbean cruise from outside of the US the price will usually be inclusive of taxes.
7 Night Caribbean Cruises – Cruise Only (No flights)
The table below shows example prices for a selection of Caribbean cruises. These cruises are during the months of April, August and November.
Only one example from each cruise line was used for the comparison, prices do vary even within the cruise line based on the cruise ship but the prices below do provide a good example of what to expect.
|Norwegian Cruise Line||$799||$949||-|
Price Variety by Time of Year
Caribbean Cruises in Peak Season (Winter)
The peak season for a Caribbean cruise is between December and April. Many people head to the Caribbean when the weather in the rest of the world gets cold. This season also avoids hurricane season.
Benefits of Cruising The Caribbean in Peak Season:
- Not hurricane season
- Prices are steady
- Good weather
- Little rain
Drawbacks of Cruising The Caribbean in Peak Season:
- Cruise ships are usually full
- Ports can be busy
- Children aren’t off school
- Have to make bookings ahead of time
Whats The Weather Like in The Caribbean in Winter?
The weather in the Caribbean in winter is usually between the mid 70s (f) to mid 80s (f) (21c – 16c) which makes it very comfortable for exploring and going on excursions. There is little rain fall at this time of year and the days are usually bright. I’m from the UK where it usually rains ALL WINTER so having almost guaranteed sunshine is one reason why many people from the UK head to the Caribbean in winter.
Caribbean Cruises Over Christmas
Taking any cruise at Christmas can be incredibly expensive. I’ve taken three Christmas cruises and all three were brilliant. That said, cruising over Christmas can easily be double the cost of cruising in January. If you can though, I’d definitely recommend it. You don’t have to do the dishes or worry about buying presents for your friends and family, it’s great!
To find out what a Christmas cruise is like, including what MSC think a Christmas dinner is, check out this post:
What is a Christmas Cruise Like? (Onboard Dining, Entertainment and Decorations)
Caribbean Cruises in Spring
Cruising in Spring is a great way to get a slightly cheaper cruise. The weather is less predictable and the cruise ships and ports tend to be less busy. The Caribbean is a very popular destination for spring break cruises but apart from this the spring is less popular with families and children are usually at school.
Benefits of Cruising The Caribbean in The Spring:
- Cheaper than peak season
- Warm weather
- Less busy destinations
Drawbacks of Cruising The Caribbean in The Spring:
- Not in the school holidays
- The weather isn’t the BEST
- Less choice of cruise lines and itineraries
Caribbean Cruises in Summer
Summer is actually the down season for the Caribbean because the temperature increases dramatically and hurricane season runs from June-November. Many other parts of the world have good weather in summer so less people feel the need to ‘escape’ the bad weather and head to the Caribbean.
June can be quite rainy but by August the days usually become sunny and bright with long days.
The prices of cruises do tend to increase in August when the schools break up and demand increases.
Benefits of Cruising The Caribbean in Summer:
- Cheap cruises (apart from August)
- Ships aren’t full
- Ports are less busy
- Children are off school for the summer break
Drawbacks of Cruising The Caribbean in Summer:
- Hot weather (very humid)
- Risk of hurricanes
- Less choice of cruise lines and itineraries
Caribbean Cruises in the Fall (Peak Hurricane Season)
Hurricane season runs from June until November with October and November usually having the worst weather. Many people will avoid cruising at this time of year because of this reason. That said, cruise ships do a number of things to avoid bad weather and are very used to dealing with storms and hurricanes.
To find out more about what cruise lines do to avoid bad weather, including when they may cancel your cruise, check out this post: 5 Ways Cruise Ships Avoid Bad Weather.
Benefits of Cruising The Caribbean in Fall (Peak Hurricane Season):
- Cheap cruises
- Ships aren’t full to capacity
- Ports aren’t as busy
Drawbacks of Cruising The Caribbean in Fall (Peak Hurricane Season):
- Hot weather (humid)
- Risk of hurricanes
- Children are at school
Price Variety by Cruise Line
There are a number of cruise lines that cruise the Caribbean year round. The main cruise lines are Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruises and MSC Cruises. There are a number of other cruise lines which offer cruises to the Caribbean but these are the most popular.
Carnival and MSC Cruises
Carnival and MSC are the cheapest cruise lines which cruise the Caribbean. Both cruise lines do cruise elsewhere but Carnival focus most of their cruises in the US whereas MSC cruises are mostly in Europe.
MSC are an Italian cruise line and the experience onboard is quite different to cruising with an American or British cruise line. You’ll find a mix of nationalities onboard MSC cruises and the food and entertainment is more ‘mediterranean’ than you’d find on other lines.
MSC are very popular with families and younger cruisers.
To learn more about cruising with MSC make sure you check out our recommend cruise line page: Recommended Cruise Lines.
Carnival cruises are all about having fun and being relaxed. The atmosphere onboard is very lively and you’ll find many families and young cruisers cruising with Carnival. Carnival currently have 26 cruise ships to choose from and you’ll usually find many of these in the Caribbean at any given time.
The oldest ship in the Carnival fleet was build in 1990 and the newest built in 2019. Carnival have plans to add new ships to their fleet. If you want to party, relax and eat, Carnival cruises are a great option.
If you are looking for a more relaxing, traditional cruise, Princess cruises are a good option. Princess are generally targeted towards adults although children are of course welcome. Princess are a mainstream cruise line with a mid price point, they’re one of my favourite cruise lines because the quality of entertainment, food and service is always high. I personally really love the style of the ships and they feel very spacious. Most Princess cruise ships have 4+ swimming pools!
To learn more about why I constantly recommend Princess, check out our recommended cruise lines page here: Recommended Cruise Lines, Full List
I’ve been on two cruises so far, a cruise across Asia onboard the Golden Princess and a British Isles cruise onboard the Royal Princess. Both were great and I can’t wait to cruise with Princess again.
Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean
Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean are two of the biggest American cruise lines. They are possibly some of the most well known cruise lines who frequently advertise all over the world.
Both cruise lines focus highly on their ships which offer new and exciting features and experiences. They generally focus on the younger cruise/family market but do attract passengers of all ages.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line cruise worldwide. They focus primarily on freestyle cruising with an emphasis on choice and flexibility. There are no formal nights onboard and dinner is not served at a set time. I personally love the relaxed, fun nature of Norwegian cruises. Norwegian are particularly good at catering for solo cruisers, to find out why, check out my recommend cruise lines page here: Recommended Cruise Lines.
Royal Caribbean have the biggest cruise ships on the market and they constantly fill them ships with new and exciting innovations. It is almost impossible to be bored on a Royal Caribbean cruise, the daily schedule is busy and there are things going on around the clock. There are multiple dining options onboard all ships and the food is generally of a high quality.
Price Variety by Itinerary
There are three types of Caribbean cruises:
Generally speaking Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises are cheaper than Southern. You’ll find many luxury cruise lines (and British cruise lines) in the southern Caribbean. The most popular way to visit the Caribbean is on a cruise from the USA. It is also possible to do a transatlantic from Europe which heads straight to the Caribbean.
We talk more about the difference between Caribbean cruise itineraries in my cruise course, How to Cruise For Less. To find out more about how to cruise well on a budget, including how to save 60% off advertised cruise prices, check out this post: How to Cruise For Less.
Price Variety by Cruise Length
A longer cruise is, of course, more expensive than a short cruise. This however doesn’t necessarily work on a proportional basis. On most cruise lines a 14 night cruise will be less than double the price of a 7 night cruise. It is considerably easier for the cruise line to keep the same guests onboard than to keep having to change guests.
The day where guests embark and disembark is called turn around day and this is often the busiest day for cruise line staff. The cruise ship will have to disembark thousands of passengers by around 10am and will start receiving new passengers at 12pm. It’s amazing how it works really!
Other Cruise Lines:
There are a number of other cruise lines which regularly cruise the Caribbean. One of the most popular is Disney, I’ve not included Disney in this comparison as they are more expensive than the rest of the cruise lines in this list and they would skew the results upwards.
To book a cruise for April, a 7 night Caribbean cruise with Disney is likely to set you back around $2252!
Disney Cruise Line – Eastern Mediterranean – Disney Fantasy – VISITING: Port Canaveral, Florida > Tortola, British Virgin Islands > St Thomas, US Virgin Islands >Castaway Cay, Bahamas > Port Canaveral, Florida. – source.
Celebrity Cruises are also frequent cruisers of the Caribbean as well as Holland America line, both of these cruise lines provide a more relaxed slower pace than cruise lines like Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Celebrity Cruises are usually more expensive than Royal Caribbean even though they are actually owned by Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises are the more luxurious sister. A 7 night Caribbean cruise in April will realistically set you back $1076.
Celebrity Cruises – Eastern Mediterranean – Celebrity Apex – VISITING: Fort Lauderdale, Florida > San Juan, Puerto Rico > St Thomas, US Virgin Islands > St Kitts > Fort Lauderdale, Miami. – source.
British Cruise Lines
In addition to the American cruise lines mentioned above you’ll find a number of British cruise lines cruising the Caribbean. These don’t cruise as frequently and many are only in the Caribbean for a portion of the year. P&O cruises and Cunard both regularly complete transatlantic voyages and Marella can also be found in the Southern Caribbean.
To learn more about these cruise lines, check out our recommend cruise lines page here: Recommended Cruise Lines, Full List
Cruise Examples Used
The below are the example cruises used in this post. These are only a few examples and may not be available when you reading this post. They provide a pretty good look at the typical pricing.
Royal Caribbean – Western Caribbean – Oasis of The Seas – VISITING: Fort = Lauderdale, Florida > Cruising > Cozumel, Mexico > Roatan, Honduras > Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico > Cruising > Perfect Day at CocoCay, Bahamas > Fort Lauderdale, Florida – source.
Norwegian Cruise Line – Western Caribbean – Norwegian Encore – VISITING: Miami, Florida > Roatan, Honduras > Harvest Caye, Belize > Costa Maya, Mexico > Cozumel, Mexico > Miami, Florida. – source.
Carnival Cruise Line – Western Caribbean – Carnival Vista – VISITING: Galveston > Mahogany Bay > Belize > Cozumel > Galveston. – source.
MSC Cruises – Eastern Caribbean – MSC Meraviglia – VISITING: Miami, Florida > San Juan, Puerto Rico > St Thomas, US Virgin Islands > Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic > Ocean Cay, Bahamas > Miami, Florida. source.
Royal Caribbean – Western Caribbean – Harmony of The Seas – VISITING: Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida > Basseterre, St. Kitts > Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas > Perfect Day at CocoCay, Bahamas > Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida – source.
Norwegian Cruise Line – Western Caribbean – Norwegian Breakaway – VISITING: Miami, Florida > Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic > St Thomas, US Virgin Islands > Tortola, British Virgin Islands > Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas > Miami, Florida. – source.
Carnival Cruise Line – Eastern Caribbean – Mardi Gras – VISITING: Port Canaveral > San Juan > Amber Cove > Grand Turk > Port Canaveral. – source.
MSC Cruises – Western Caribbean – MSC Meraviglia – VISITING: Miami, Florida > Ocho Rios, Jamaica > Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands > Cozumel, Mexico > Ocean Cay, Bahamas > Miami Florida. – source.
Want to learn how to cruise well on a budget? Start here: How to Cruise For Less
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