Top 15 Budget-Friendly Cruise Lines

Top 15 Budget-Friendly Cruise Lines

Cruise lines offer travelers an all-inclusive, hassle-free way to explore multiple destinations while enjoying the comfort and amenities of a floating resort. With a wide range of cruise lines available, there’s something to suit every travel preference and budget, from luxury and premium options to more affordable, family-friendly choices. Cruises cater to various interests, including culinary, adventure, cultural, and relaxation-focused itineraries. In addition, they provide an array of onboard experiences, such as dining, entertainment, and recreational activities, ensuring that passengers have a memorable and enjoyable journey. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, cruise lines provide a convenient and enjoyable way to experience the world’s most beautiful destinations.

Carnival Cruise Line


Carnival is known for its affordable, family-friendly cruises with a fun and casual atmosphere. They offer a wide variety of destinations, including the Caribbean, Mexico, and Alaska.

Price Range: $70 – $150 per person, per night

Royal Caribbean International


Offering a mix of innovative onboard experiences and diverse itineraries, Royal Caribbean is popular among families, couples, and solo travelers seeking a budget-friendly cruise vacation.

Price Range: $80 – $160 per person, per night

Norwegian Cruise Line

Known for its “Freestyle Cruising” concept, Norwegian offers a more flexible and relaxed cruise experience. They sail to various destinations, including the Caribbean, Europe, and Hawaii.

Price Range: $80 – $160 per person, per night

MSC Cruises

This European cruise line offers stylish ships and a wide range of itineraries, with a focus on the Mediterranean. They also sail to the Caribbean, South America, and Northern Europe.

Price Range: $60 – $140 per person, per night

Costa Cruises

With Italian flair and European-style cruising, Costa offers a variety of itineraries, primarily in the Mediterranean but also in the Caribbean, South America, and Asia.

Price Range: $50 – $130 per person, per night

Holland America Line

Holland America is known for its elegant ships and classic cruising experience. They offer a variety of destinations, including Alaska, the Caribbean, and Europe.

Price Range: $90 – $180 per person, per night

Princess Cruises

Offering a blend of traditional and modern cruising, Princess Cruises sails to various destinations, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, and Asia.

Price Range: $90 – $180 per person, per night

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity combines modern luxury with affordable pricing, offering diverse itineraries to destinations like the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, and South America.

Price Range: $100 – $200 per person, per night

Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises)

This UK-based cruise line offers all-inclusive pricing and a casual atmosphere. They sail to destinations in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Northern Europe.

Price Range: $100 – $200 per person, per night

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Catering primarily to British travelers, Fred. Olsen offers a more traditional cruise experience with small to mid-sized ships. They sail to various destinations, including Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia.

Price Range: $100 – $200 per person, per night

Pullmantur Cruises

This Spanish cruise line offers all-inclusive cruises at affordable prices. They sail primarily in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

Price Range: $60 – $120 per person, per night

P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises, a British cruise line, offers a mix of traditional and contemporary cruising experiences. They sail to destinations like the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and Northern Europe.

Price Range: $90 – $180 per person, per night

Cruise & Maritime Voyages

This UK-based cruise line offers a traditional, intimate cruising experience on small to mid-sized ships. They sail to various destinations, including Europe, the Caribbean, and South America.

Price Range: $80 – $160 per person, per night

AIDA Cruises


AIDA, a German cruise line, offers a casual, club-style cruising experience. They sail to a variety of destinations, including the Mediterranean,

Northern Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia.

Price Range: $80 – $150 per person, per night

TUI Cruises (Mein Schiff)


This German cruise line, a joint venture between TUI Group and Royal Caribbean Cruises, offers all-inclusive, premium cruising experiences. They sail to destinations in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and Northern Europe.

Price Range: $100 – $200 per person, per night


These top 15 budget-friendly cruise lines offer a wide range of cruising experiences, destinations, and price points to suit various travel preferences and budgets. By researching and comparing different cruise lines, itineraries, and special deals, you can find the perfect cruise vacation that won’t break the bank.

What is the cheapest month to go on a cruise?

The cheapest month to go on a cruise can vary depending on the destination and the cruise line. However, in general, the cheapest months to cruise are during the low or shoulder seasons when demand is lower, and cruise lines are more likely to offer discounts and promotions. For many destinations, this typically falls during the following periods:

Caribbean: September to early December, especially during hurricane season (June to November).


Alaska: Early May and late September, which are the beginning and end of the cruising season.


Mediterranean: Late October to early April, excluding holiday periods.


Mexico: September to early December, and January to February.


Hawaii: Late April to early June, and September to mid-December.


Asia: February to April, and September to November.


Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and prices can vary based on factors such as the specific cruise line, ship, and itinerary. Additionally, cruising during low or shoulder seasons may mean less favorable weather conditions, but it can result in fewer crowds and lower prices. To find the best deals, consider booking well in advance or taking advantage of last-minute discounts.

Do you need a passport for cruises?

Whether or not you need a passport for a cruise depends on your itinerary and your nationality. Here are some general guidelines:

Closed-loop cruises: These are cruises that begin and end in the same U.S. port. U.S. citizens are not required to have a passport for closed-loop cruises. However, they must present a government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license) and a certified copy of their birth certificate. While a passport is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended, as it can be helpful in case of emergencies or if you need to fly back to the U.S. from a foreign port.

International cruises: If your cruise starts and/or ends in a foreign port, you will generally need a passport. This applies to cruises that begin or end in Canada, Europe, Asia, and other non-U.S. ports.

Cruises involving air travel: If your cruise involves flying to or from a foreign country (for example, to start or end the cruise), you will need a passport.

For non-U.S. citizens, passport requirements may vary depending on your nationality and the countries you will be visiting during the cruise. It’s essential to check the specific entry requirements for each destination on your itinerary and ensure that you have the necessary travel documents before your trip.

Additionally, some countries may require visas for entry, even for cruise passengers. Always check the visa requirements for your itinerary and obtain any necessary visas before departure.

In conclusion, cruise lines offer an unparalleled vacation experience that combines convenience, comfort, and diverse travel opportunities. With a vast array of cruise lines catering to different preferences, budgets, and interests, there is a cruise experience for everyone. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, a cruise vacation allows you to explore multiple destinations while enjoying top-notch amenities, dining, and entertainment options. As you plan your next cruise, remember to research and compare various cruise lines, itineraries, and deals to find the perfect fit for your travel needs. Bon voyage!