Let's be honest, planning a vacation is stressful. You have to decide where you are going to go, how long you are going to go for, and how much you are willing to spend. You have to find a hotel, you might need a plane ticket, and you have to plan out the things you are going to do while you're on vacation. Why not let someone else do this for you? Although they certainly have their own unique problems, the redeeming quality of taking a cruise is that most of these decisions are taken out of your hands. Sure, you have to find your way to whatever port the ship is leaving from, but once you board, it is all fun and sun for however long your vacation lasts. All you have to do is pick which cruise you want to go with. This alone is a hefty decision. Luckily, we are here to help.
This article will count down The 20 Best Cruise Deals of 2018. Every cruise listed here still has tickets (at the time of this writing) for 2018, and the list as a whole represents the best cruise deals from a variety of cruise lines. In the interest of diversity, I have tried to find cruises that appeal to all vacationers, including a variety of deportation sites, length of voyages, possible destinations, and ship experiences. If you have been on any of the ships or cruises listed in this article and have some tips for your fellow readers, then feel free to mention them in the comments.
20 Miami To Bahamas (3 Nights, $249 Per Person)
If you have never taken a cruise before, then it might be worth your time to find a short cheap cruise to take before you waste your money on a more extravagant trip. For example, there is a very affordable Royal Caribbean cruise that is still available for multiple dates in 2018. This 3-night cruise goes from Miami to the Bahamas and stops at the capital city of Nassau and in Coco Cay. Many people get worried that they will get sea sick while on the cruise. I think that most of the time these fears are unfounded, but just in case, it might be worth your time to try out this cruise first. The entire trip is only 3 days, and at only $249 a person, it would not hurt your wallet too greatly if you do not enjoy yourself or the experience. With that being said, it will be hard not to enjoy yourself on a ship like this one.
Although it is not as large as some of the ones that make longer trips, it still features multiple pools, more than five bars, and a casino.
In fact, I think you will have a hard time experiencing everything there is to offer on board because the trip is only for three days, and two of those are spent docked at the Bahaman Islands.
19 Jacksonville To The Bahamas (4-Day Trip, $275 Per Person)
If you can find any vacation that costs you less than $300, then I recommend that you take it and figure out the logistics later. There is nothing about this cruise, a 4-day trip from Jacksonville to the Bahamas, that is particularly special but 4 days in the sun and the chance to visit one of the most picturesque countries in the entire world should not be overlooked. With tickets aboard this Royal Caribbean cruise only costing an average of $275 per person, this means that every day on the cruise will cost only about $85 a day. This is less than the cost of an average hotel in downtown Jacksonville. As part of that $85 a day, you get free food and non-alcoholic drinks. If you really need a little something extra to get you through the day, you can pay an additional charge for alcoholic drinks, and Royal Caribbean's prices for alcohol are actually slightly better than most other cruise lines. Just keep in mind that this $275 price tag does not include gratuity. Royal Caribbean, like most other cruise lines, charge you an upfront fee for gratuities that come out to about $12 a day per person.
18 Fort Lauderdale To Western Caribbean (6 Nights, $349 Per Person)
Pretty much all you need to know is that this is a 6-day cruise for less than $350. This Royal Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Western Caribbean still has a handful of rooms available, and cruising aboard the Adventure of the Seas is certainly worth this meager price. This ship stops in Georgetown (the Cayman Islands), Costa Mayo, and Cozumel. Those are three incredibly popular tourist destinations.
If you divide the cost of this trip up among the three islands, it comes out to about $115 for a day on these islands. Your hotel alone could cost this much if you were to visit these countries yourself. This does not even include the price of airfare or food, which is included on the ship.
Every single cruise listed in this article is a deal, but if I were planning my vacation right now, I would certainly look at this exceptional offer. If you need more incentive, out of all the port cities, Fort Lauderdale is one of the cheapest to get flights into, thus lowering your expenses for this trip even further. The Adventure of the Seas includes three pools, several bars, and more than five all-inclusive restaurants.
17 Miami To Western Caribbean (5 Nights, $448 Per Person)
If you can find your way to the port of Miami, you will be impressed by how many cruises they have departing and the plethora of places that these ships are destined for. Our next cruise deal is a perfect example of this. Twice in 2018, Royal Caribbean is offering a 5-night cruise that goes from Miami to the Bahamas and Haiti. Dozens of cruises every year go to the Bahamas, so the real gem of this trip is Haiti. Despite being an incredibly poor nation, Haiti is said to have some of the most beautiful beaches and scenery in the entire Caribbean.
This cruise travels aboard the Navigator of the Seas, one of the best ships in Royal Caribbean's fleet. This ship offers a pool on both of its decks as well as several (included) restaurants that you will not find on most other cruises. If this cruise sounds like it's for you, you can obtain a ticket for a standard room for about $448 a ticket. This will be even cheaper if you can obtain a senior citizen or military discount. I will recommend to our readers, however, that they should not take anything of value into Haiti. The country has fairly high crime rates.
16 Baltimore To Bermuda (5 Nights, $458 Per Person)
There might not be a more legendary vacation destination than Bermuda. This small island nation is one of the most picturesque vacation spots in the entire world, and tourism (along with offshore insurance) is its top industry. The island is self-governing but it does still have a weird military alliance with the United Kingdom left over from its time as a British colony. Think of everything you have ever heard of Bermuda or the pictures you have seen of its beautiful beaches.
Thanks to Royal Caribbean, you can take a 5-day trip to Bermuda for less than $500 a ticket. This voyage aboard the Grandeur of the Seas goes from Baltimore to King's Wharf in Bermuda. 3 of these days are spent at the port in Baltimore or at Sea, but Royal Caribbean does give you the opportunity to spend overnight in Bermuda, thus giving you two days of shopping and beaching on the island.
Because this cruise spends so much of its time out to sea, the Grandeur has several amenities that other ships do not. This includes a very nice movie theater and even an arcade for the kids. Another good thing about this cruise is that it leaves from Baltimore. Therefore, if you are from the Northeast or the Midwest, it should be a lot easier to get to the port than it would be if you had to leave out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale.
15 Boston To Bermuda (7 Nights, $482 Per Person)
There is another entry on our list of a 5-night voyage from Baltimore to Bermuda for slightly cheaper than this. This entry is unique, however, for two reasons. For starters, this cruise is for 7 nights, which is 2 nights longer than the other cruise. This means that you are getting an additional 2 nights on the cruise for only $24 more per person. Since Royal Caribbean includes food with the price of its ticket, this means that you are getting 3 meals (at least) for only $24. Considering that the 5-night Bermuda cruise was already worth a spot on this list, this deal has to be one of the most affordable cruises of 2018.
Another way that this cruise differs from the 5-night Bermuda cruise is that it leaves from Boston (the 5-night cruise leaves from Baltimore). This may be important for our readers from New England or Canada that will have an easier time getting to Massachusetts than they would getting to New England. Another distinction between these cruises that I thought about including is that they are different ships. The 5-night cruise is on the Grandeur of the Seas, while the 7-night cruise utilizes the Serenade of the Seas. After looking up both of the ships, however, I did not notice any significant differences.
14 Miami To Bahamas (3-Day Trip, $189 Per Person)
If you are looking for good deals on cruises, you could do worse than the cheapest cruise in Carnival Cruises in the entire 2018 calendar. The voyage of the Carnival Victory from Miami to the Bahamas is only a three-day stay, but at an average price of $189 a person, this is still quite the bargain.
You can potentially stay for even cheaper if you are a frequent cruiser with Carnival or if you are an active military. This three-day trip only goes to one place, the capital city of Nassau in the Bahamian Islands, but it does stay overnight in the port, thus giving you a chance to enjoy the sights of the islands for two separate days.
This also means that you won't spend very much time on the ship (unless you elect not to get off in the Bahamas), so you may have to rush to do everything that they have to offer on the ship. For instance, this Carnival ship offers a variety of food options that come included with the price of your cruise. This is what Carnival itself had to say about its food options on the Victory, "And freshness! Sink your teeth hungrily into something from my casual dining spots Guy’s Burger Joint and Blue Iguana Cantina…or sink your teeth refinedly into something from Bonsai Sushi Express."
13 7-Night Western Caribbean ($599 Per Person)
One reason why there are not very many Celebrity Cruises on this list is that this luxury cruise line tends to be more expensive than its competitors. As part of this extra cost, however, people who book with Celebrity get certain perks and facilities that are not found through Carnival or Royal Caribbean. This includes complimentary alcoholic drinks and finer cuisine as part of the included meal package. For our readers that prefer champagne and caviar to beer and pizza, then this might be the cruise line for you. I chose our next entry in particular because it is one of the cheaper Celebrity cruises. This 7-night Western Caribbean cruise aboard the Celebrity Equinox should cost only $599 a night. This extravagant cruise travels from Miami to Key West to Grand Cayman Island to Mexico and then back to Miami. The chance to visit 3 different tropical paradises for less than $600 is one that our readers would be remiss to ignore. If this cruise sounds like it would be good for you, then I recommend that you book soon. The last available date for 2018 is June 2nd to June 9th.
12 Tampa To Western Caribbean (4-Day Trip, $249 Per Person)
You may see trips to Cozumel pop up in other sections of this article, but to get to go to one of the top destinations in North America for such a cheap price is certainly something that potential cruisers should think about.
This particular cruise, a 4-day trip from Tampa to the Western Caribbean, is definitely one of the best cruise deals of 2018. Even more impressive is the fact that this cruise costs an average of $249 a person and is available for three separate months in 2018.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is how Carnival Cruise Lines does their gratuity payments. To ensure that customers actually tip their stewards, waitresses, etc., Carnival charges each person a base fee for their stay (based on how many days they will be on the ship, how many people are in their cabin, etc.) that is automatically charged to their room key. The money from this charge is then divided up among certain staff members, and customers are not required to tip any more for the remainder of their trip. This is kind of a hassle for first-time cruisers, but it is a pretty small price to pay for getting this kind of deal on a 4-day cruise to Cozumel.
11 Miami To Eastern Caribbean (5 Days, $270 Per Person)
Most of the cruises that are listed on this list are so cheap because the itinerary only includes one country. Even if a cruise is going to a picturesque place like the Bahamas, people are turned off by the fact that they won't get to stop at multiple locations during their trip. Our next entry, however, is exceptionally cheap, and it still gets to dock at three distinct ports. The Carnival cruise from Miami to the Eastern Caribbean features stops in Nassau, Half Moon Cay, and Grand Turk. I have never been to Half Moon Cay, but I can personally attest that a chance to spend time in Nassau and Grand Turk alone are enough to justify the cost of this trip. This voyage is for five days (two days on the seas and one day at each of the islands) and only costs an average of $270 a person. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that this price does not include the cost of alcohol or gratuities. Carnival charges you a base price for gratuity depending on what ship you're on and the length of your stay.
10 7-Day Western Caribbean From Miami For $549
Believe it or not, there are entire publications devoted to cruising. One such magazine, Porthole Magazine, voted Harvest Caye the "Best New Cruise Port of 2017." Our next entry travels to this port (located to Belize) and several other destinations for only about $549 a ticket. Norwegian is offering several 7-day cruises from Miami to the Western Caribbean. Most of these trips are aboard the Norwegian Getaway, one of the finest ships in their fleet. This particular cruise leaves out of Miami and stops at Costa Maya (Mexico), Harvest Caye (Belize), the Bay Islands (Honduras), and Cozumel (Mexico) before returning to Florida. Belize is obviously the major selling point but I am actually more interested in traveling to Honduras.
Very few cruises offer a chance to stop in the small Central American country. As such, this cruise is one of the true gems available through Norwegian Cruises or any other cruise line.
It is also important to note that many of Norwegian's cruises come with the price of alcohol included. Anyone who has ever spent $10 for a beer knows how important this can be.
9 Alaska Tracy Arm Cruise (7 Nights For $1,049)
You may have noticed that this next cruise is quite a bit more expensive than most of the other entries on this list. Celebrity Cruise Alaska Tracey Arm Cruise is still worthy of a spot on this list because you get so much value for the money that you are spending. This trip should cost you about $1,049 a ticket, but for the 7 days of your cruise, you get to stop at Ketchikan Alaska, Juneau Alaska, the Tracy Arm Fjords and Glacier, Skagway Alaska, and Victoria in British. Even if you live on the west coast of the U.S. or Canada, chances are that you have never been to a majority of these places. This trip is so jam-packed with cool destinations that I would frankly feel overwhelmed if I booked this cruise. If you want to see as many cool and exciting things as possible on your vacation, however, then this might be the type of cruise that you should look into. It is worth mentioning that since this is a Celebrity Cruise that the ship itself will be much more upscale than the ones featured elsewhere on this list. Depending on your tastes and temperament this can either be a positive or negative element to factor in when trying to find the right cruise.
8 Canada & New England From New York (11 Days For $899 Per Person)
So eastern Canada and New England might not be the sexiest destinations on this list, but an 11-day cruise that costs less than $900 is still a heck of a deal. You would think that the longer a cruise is the cheaper the daily price of the trip would be (that is how it works with hotel stays after all), but I have found that just the opposite is true. Short 3-day cruises are incredibly cheap while week-long or two-week-long trips can be extremely expensive. So, if you are looking to book a long cruise for an affordable price, you may have to settle for something like our next entry.
This 11-day trip aboard the Norwegian Gem departs from New York City, travels to Newport, Rhode Island, then to Bar Harbor in Maine, then to the Bay of Fundy, Halifax and Sydney in Nova Scotia, Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, Saguenay, and finally disembarks in Quebec City.
The sheer breadth of places that this line goes to is enough for me to want to book this cruise. It is essentially an entire tour of the northeast coast rolled into one convenient price tag.
7 Mobile To Western Caribbean (5-Day Trip, $279 Per Person)
For starters, I have to wonder why Carnival (and a couple other cruise lines) have cruises that leave out of Mobile, Alabama. Maybe I am mistaken, but when I think of major ports in the U.S., Mobile isn't the first to cross my mind. With that being said, Carnival does have some attractive cruises that leave out of Mobile in 2018. A good example of this is the one that I have listed above, a five-day trip that goes from Mobile to Cozumel and Costa Maya off the coast of Mexico. Some people might be deterred by the fact that this cruise only goes to Mexico (as opposed to the islands in the Caribbean), but at only $279 a person for a 5-day cruise, this trip is still one heck of a bargain. Not to mention that Cozumel is consistently voted as one of the best ports on the Carnival website. Cozumel was part of the itinerary on the trip that I just took, and I have to admit that I agree with this part of the rankings. One of the top attractions of the Carnival Fantasy itself is a piano bar. This, and the multiple serenity areas on the ship, all but guarantee that this is one of the more adult-friendly ships in Carnival's fleet.
6 New York To Greece (6 Days, $979 Per Person)
There will be people who say (probably correctly) that a cruise is not necessarily the best way to visit a place like Greece. With how expensive flights to Europe are from the U.S. and Canada, however, it might be the most cost-effective way. Athens is widely considered to be the birthplace of the western world, and the Parthenon and other historic sites on the archipelago are supposedly awe-inspiring. Throw in the chance to enjoy the Mediterranean climate and the beautiful beaches in Greece and it is hard to come up with a better vacation. Thanks to Royal Caribbean, all this can be yours for less than $1,000 a ticket. Not bad considering a plane ticket alone from any east coast city will probably cost you around $800. This, of course, does not include the price of food or lodging while you are in Greece.
Royal includes all of these things in the price of your ticket. All you have to do is worry about showing up and making sure that you have brought enough sunscreen.
The sun reflecting off of the Mediterranean Sea gets very hot in the summer.
5 Alaska With Glacier Bay From Seattle (7 Days, $1,039 Per Person)
When people are planning a trip outside of the United States, they almost inevitably look at Hawaii as an option. The chance to go somewhere exotic while at the same time enjoying the relative safety of being in the United States is very appealing to travelers. Those same people who will pay thousands of dollars for a Hawaiian vacation, however, ignore a similar opportunity in the northern Pacific Ocean. The state of Alaska refers to itself as the "final frontier," and its miles of untamed wilderness are truly some of the most unique sights in all of America. Our next entry is a cruise that gives you the chance to tour a lot of the Alaskan coastline for less than $900 a ticket. This Norwegian cruise travels from Seattle to Glacier Bay over the course of 7 days. Along this route, the ship stops at Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria in British Columbia. Norwegian has the youngest fleet cruising to Alaska, and the ship on this voyage, the Norwegian Pearl, was only built in the past 5 years. This is an especially cost-efficient cruise if you live on the west coast or within driving distance to Seattle.
4 Miami To Cuba (4 Days, $399 Per Person)
Under normal circumstances, a 4-day cruise for $399 per person would not make this list of best cruise deals of 2018. This cruise is peculiar, however, because it goes to a place that most people have never been to. For decades, the relationship between Cuba and the western world has not been good. Relations with the United States in particular were so bad, in fact, that the citizens of these two countries were almost universally barred from visiting the other. Because of this, things like Cuban cigars became a novelty in the U.S., a relic of a bygone era. The relationship between these two countries finally started to get better during the Obama Administration, and just a couple years ago, U.S. tourists became able to travel to the small island country. Therefore, even though this cruise might be a little more expensive than some of the other entries on this list, it is worth it because a chance to see the capital city of Havana has, for decades, been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Throw in the fact that you also get to visit Grand Cayman and enjoy the ships amenities themselves, and it is clear that this cruise is worth it's $399 price tag.
3 Miami To Cuba & Bahamas (4 Days, $350 Per Person)
In another entry, I talk about how cool I think it is that tourists from the United States are finally free to visit and explore Cuba. With the death of Fidel Castro, the diplomatic relationship between the two countries has gotten noticeably better and tourists can now freely walk the streets of Havana without fearing reprisal. As such, the following cruise from Royal Caribbean is a very exciting opportunity.
This cruise leaves out of Miami, travels to Cuba where it stays overnight, and stops briefly in Nassau, Bahamas before finally returning home to Miami. The beaches of Nassau are very nice but obviously, the gem of this cruise is the chance to stay overnight in Havana.
This means that you will have two full days to enjoy the sights and tourist attractions that very few Americans have had the chance to visit since the 1960's. If this is not enough to get you to book this cruise, then I have two words for you: unlimited drinks. That's right, as part of this cruise package, you get unlimited alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks on the ship. On my last cruise, a mixed drink cost $11, so this is one heck of a deal.
2 Panama Canal Round Trip From Tampa (14 Days, $899 Per Person)
Unfortunately, if you are looking to book a cruise for more than 10 days, you may have to pay a little more money or compromise on your destination. An exception to this is our next entry. This Norwegian cruise travels from Tampa to the Panama Canal and stops at George Town in Grand Cayman, Falmouth in Jamaica, Santa Marta in Columbia, Cartagena in Columbia, the Panama Canal, Colon in Panama, Puerto Limon in Costa Rica, Santo Tomas de Castilla in Guatemala, Harvest Caye in Belize, and Costa Maya in Mexico.
So, for less than $900, you can essentially tour the entire eastern coast of Central America and visit two beautiful Caribbean Islands (Grand Cayman and Jamaica) to top it off. If you decide that you do not want to get off the ship and explore every one of the islands, you can stay aboard the Norwegian Pearl, one of the largest ships in the Norwegian fleet.
This ship includes multiple pools, various bars, and comedy shows every night of the voyage. Because customers spend so much time on the ship for these long cruises, the Pearl is stocked with just about anything that you could possibly need on a 14-day voyage.
1 Miami To Bahamas (3 Days, $299 Per Person)
A 3-day trip from Miami to the Bahamas for $229 a ticket sounds like pretty standard fare compared to the rest of this list. This, however, is not an ordinary voyage. This Norwegian cruise has received a ton of acclaim and is consistently ranked as one of the best cruise experiences available through any cruise line. Frammer's Magazine voted this cruise to have the best nightlife of any cruise in the Caribbean. Leisure Travel Awards also voted this the Best Luxury Cruise Line for 2017. Considering the hundreds of cruises that take place every year, these awards are actually very prestigious. If outside accolades are not enough to get you to book this cruise, maybe free drinks are.
As part of the included price of this trip cruisers can attend any one of several open bars.
This means that you can get as blitzed as you want with no added cost to your room. Keep in mind, however, that most cruises charge an added gratuity for alcoholic drinks that is not included in your standard gratuity charge. This means that every drink you buy from the bar comes with a $2 surcharge even though it is "included" in the price of your cruise.