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Holland America Cruise Deals

Anniversary Sale

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Norwegian Cruise Deals

35% OFF Cruise + FREE AT SEA

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Azamara Cruise Deals


$1,000 Onboard Credit OR $1,000 Airfare Discount

EARLY BOOKING BONUS: 20% OFF, Beverage Package, Wi-Fi & Shore Excursion Credit

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Oceania Cruise Deals

Up to 4-Category Upgrade

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Up to $1,700 Onboard Credit

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Carnival Cruises

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Regent Seven Seas



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Viking Ocean Cruises

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Azamara Cruises

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Costa Cruises

SAIL, SAVE & SPLURGE: Reduced rates starting from $449p + up to $200 Onboard Credit

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Windstar Cruises

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Scenic Cruises

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Virgin Voyages


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Explora Journeys

EARLY BOOKING SAVINGS: Save 5% when you book early & pay in full

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Silversea Cruises



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Celestyal Cruises

UPGRADE OFFER: Wi-Fi, Specialty Dining & Premium Drink Package

Premium Drinks Package from US$19 per day

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SeaDream Yacht Club Cruises

SPRING SERENITY SALE: Up to $1,000 Savings per stateroom

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Crystal Cruises


Save up to $5,400 per Suite

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Adventures by Disney

Exclusive Adult Only Departures

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CIE Tours International

Save up to $150 per person

Travel With Friends:Save 5% on 5 - 9 People

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G Adventures

Up to $1,700 Tour Credit

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Independent City Stay

Choice Touring by Globus

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AMAWaterways Cruises

SUMMER TRIPLE SAVINGS: Up to $4000 Savings + Complimentary Upgrade + Up to $100 Onboard Credit

BONUS SAVINGS: Additional 5% Savings

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American Queen Voyages

SAIL AWAY & SAVE: Up to $3,500 Savings + $100 Shore Excursion & $100 Onboard Credit

EXCLUSIVE: Up tp $1,700 Onboard Credit

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American Cruise Line

LIMITED TIME OFFER: Complimentary AirFare + Up to $1,500 Savings

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Avalon Waterways

AIR & CRUISE SAVINGS: FREE Airfare + Save $500 per couple

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  • Single Supplement Waived
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Crystal River Cruises


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Emerald Cruises

YACHT & RIVER VOYAGES: 2 for 1 Fares + Up to $3,000 FlexCredit

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Riviera River Cruises


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Uniworld River Cruises

CRUISE SAVINGS EVENT: Save up to $3,000 per person

RIVER HERITAGE CLUB SAVINGS: Save up to $500 per person

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Viking Cruises

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: $200 Shipboard Credit

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All offers are based on select sailings and categories and are subject to availability at time of booking. Not all offers are combinable with other offers.

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The Best Websites to Book a Cruise in 2024

Looking for the best website to book your cruise ?

We wouldn’t be surprised if after a little bit of searching, your head is spinning a little bit.

Think of all the options you have to consider — the length of your trip, the cruise line, the ship, the date, ports of call, and more. And that’s before you even decide on which website to use to book your cruise.

Seaview from the deck of a cruise ship

Cruising is big business, and that’s why you have dozens of websites at your disposal, all competing for your travel dollars.

From the major cruise line websites like Carnival.com to major travel portals such as Orbitz or Expedia to lesser-known sites that specialize in cruises like AvoyaTravel.com, it can seem like your options are nearly unlimited… and overwhelming.

The good news? It doesn’t have to be stressful to book a cruise.

To help you out, we detailed the pros and cons of the best websites to book your cruise below. Before we get too far, however, there’s something you should know about price shopping for cruises online.

Cruise Buying Tip: Prices Are Often the Same Across Every Site

If you are worried about finding the best price for your cruise, there’s some good news and bad news. The good news is that cruise prices are usually the exact same across every single website you search .

Below are the results of a search we recently did for a July 2024 Carnival cruise from Miami aboard Carnival Celebration, with prices listed for each website:

As you can see, they all have the exact same rates. That means you don’t have to run yourself ragged trying to find the best deal.

The bad news? If you’re a deal-hunter, there isn’t some magic website that has cruise fares for dramatically cheaper than everyone else (that we’ve ever found). But there are differences on where you book.

That’s because some sites can offer perks like onboard credit or even a direct phone number to call to talk to someone with any questions you might have before you cruise.

So should you just find any random site and book your cruise? We’d suggest not. Below we lay out the advantages and disadvantage of booking with each different type of website.

For more on getting the best deal on a cruise, see our 10 Rules to Getting the Best Deal on a Cruise here .

Booking Direct Through Cruise Line Websites

cruise ship websites

It used to be that if you wanted to book a cruise, you’d visit a travel agent or call up the cruise line. You can still take those routes, but the cruise line websites make it simple to book your trip.

Every major cruise line allows you to book online and do everything from find a cruise to make upgrades, buy extras like drink packages, and pay for the trip. In other words, you can book your spot on the ship completely online at any time of the day.

Specific cruise line websites include:

  • Carnival.com
  • RoyalCaribbean.com
  • DisneyCruises.com
  • MSCCruisesUSA.com
  • Princess.com

Each of these cruise line websites will allow you to be as narrow or as broad with your search as you wish. You can search all cruises, or search for trips on a specific ship, leaving a specific date, and from a specific port.

Advantages: The good thing about booking directly through the cruise line then there is no third-party company to deal with should there be an issue with your trip. Want to make a change or get a refund? You don’t have to worry about any sort of mix-up between the cruise line and another website. While this is rarely an issue, it could happen.

Disadvantages: The main drawback of using a cruise line website? It’s like going to a buffet and restricting yourself to only the salad bar.

Cruise line websites only have cruises from that line, so you are limiting your options of prices, ships, dates, and itineraries. In other words, if you’re looking for the absolute best deal or the most flexible schedule, you aren’t likely to find it searching only one cruise line.

If you are loyal to one specific cruise line, then that’s ok for you. But if you want to see all your options, it’s better to do a search on an “aggregator” website that will search all the cruise lines for that perfect vacation.

Bottom line: Know which cruise line you want to sail? Then going directly to the cruise line site is a good idea. Just know that if you want the cheapest deals or the most available cruises, then opening your search to more lines is ideal.

Booking on Aggregator Websites

cruise ship websites

While aggregator websites sound complex, they are actually just search engine for travel bookings. In fact, you’ve likely searched on these sites before for a hotel or a rental car. The sites include the big names that you’ve seen advertised heavily on TV and the Internet:

  • Travelocity.com
  • Expedia.com
  • TripAdvisor.com

Just like searching for a hotel room, you can search these websites for a cruise across all of your options. This means being able to search across all the lines at once. They also give you the ability to narrow searches to specific dates of cruising, length of trip, destination, port of departure and more.

One thing to note is that many websites in this space are actually owned by a single company — Expedia. For instance, Expedia.com, Travelocity.com, and Orbitz.com, are all part of the Expedia family.

That means you’re going to find the same prices across these sites, along with similar search functions.

Advantages: There are two main advantages to using an aggregator website. First, they allow you to search across every cruise line.

So if you want to sail from Miami, you’ll see all the options from the port for every cruise line. That gives you a better chance of finding something that matches your budget and schedule versus just searching one line.

In addition, while aggregator websites will almost always have the same prices you’ll find everywhere else, they often offer perks you won’t find on the cruise lines websites.

For instance, a cruise might be priced the same as another website, but will have an offer of free onboard credit as an incentive to book through them. These perks usually aren’t huge, but are a nice to have.

Disadvantages: The drawback is that booking through third-party websites introduce a “middle man” into your cruise booking. The vast majority of the time that creates no issue.

However, if there is a reason where you need to change your booking or get a refund, then it could be a little more complicated than booking directly through the cruise line.

So should you use aggregator sites? We think so as they can help you look at every cruise available to find one that fits. Smart cruise shoppers use them to look at all their options and see what sort of incentives they have for booking through their site.

Bottom line: Not sure which cruise line you want? An aggregator site will search them all at once, allowing you to sort by price, date, and more. Use these to find the best deals and the most flexible dates.

Booking Through Specialized Cruise-Travel Websites

In addition to the large cruise aggregators, there are a number of smaller websites focused solely on cruises.

These sites include:

  • AvoyaTravel.com
  • CruisesOnly.com
  • Cruises.com
  • VacationsToGo.com

These websites are similar to the large aggregator websites in that they can help you search through every cruise out there to find the best deal. The difference? These websites focus solely on cruises.

With a focus on cruising, they are able to better serve cruise passengers — including having staff that you can call directly to help you book.

In other words, these sites are more akin to having your own travel agent to help you with the booking process compared to only a website.

That’s a big help if you’re not entirely sure about which cruise you should book. As well, these sites often have deals and incentives to entice you to book.

Advantages: Like the larger aggregators, the niche booking websites offer the ability to search across multiple cruise lines to see all of your options. As well, many of these sites also offer their own special incentives such as onboard credit or low deposits for booking through them.

In addition, these sites feature their phone number prominently for those who wish to talk to a person about their reservation. You don’t always find that with the large aggregation websites. Their staff are also focused on cruises, giving you someone who knows what they are talking about compared to someone with more general travel knowledge.

Disadvantages: While booking through these sites is largely the same as through the cruise line or an aggregator, we’ve found the incentives can be somewhat confusing.

For instance, one recent search promoted free gratuities on trips booked through the site, but we couldn’t find any mention of this once we actually started the booking process. Digging further, the incentive applied only to certain cruises, despite being heavily promoted.

That’s where having the phone number to call an agent of the company directly is a big help in getting things explained.

Bottom line: Sites like these offer the benefit of searching multiple cruise lines and the help of an agent you can call to help you book.

Booking Through Costco Travel

Are you a Costco member? If so, then you can book cruises online through the store. In fact, the offers are good enough that it’s usually worth it to become a member for a year just to book a cruise.

You can book online at CostcoTravel.com

Costco is well-known for its low prices, great deals, and customer service. Buying a cruise through the store might not enter many people’s minds, but it can save you big.

Like other cruise-buying websites, Costco offers rates that are in line with what you’ll find anywhere else. However, the big difference is that Costco offers special incentives to book through their site. This includes Costco Shop Cards — a gift card to the store.

Advantages: While the deals change from day to day on aggregator websites, Costco’s incentives are simple and straightforward. If you book through them, then they offer Costco Shop Cards. The amounts can be high as well.

For example, we found a cruise offering a $45 Costco Cash Card for booking the cheapest stateroom for just $409. In other words, that deal is like getting 11% off the price of your cruise . The cash increases substantially with upgraded cabins.

Disadvantages: First, in our searches, sometimes Costco’s pricing seems to jump around quite a bit. So you’ll see one price, click through, and then another price appears. Even so, sometimes that works in your advantage with seeing lower prices than you thought. Sometimes it doesn’t, but the Costco Shop Card more than makes up the difference.

The other disadvantage is that you need to be a member of Costco to book. An annual membership costs $60. In addition, the Costco Shop Cards are only valid at the store. It’s not the same as actual cash.

Bottom line: Costco can offer great cruise deals if you are a member, but not everyone is.

Final Recommendation for the Best Websites to Book a Cruise

Costco Members: If you are a Costco member, then we suggest CostcoTravel.com as the best website to book a cruise. It’s the largest and simplest incentive we’ve seen for booking online. Prices are competitive, but the cash back offers provide a lot of value. Just be sure to compare the total price there with what you find on other sites before booking.

Non-Costco Members: If you aren’t a Costco member and don’t want to join, then we suggest looking first at the specialized cruise travel sites to search all your options and find the cruise you want.

If the site offers a good incentive for booking through them, then know that you’ve found a good deal. If the incentive isn’t that strong or you don’t want to go through a third-party to your reservation, then booking directly through the cruise line is your best bet.

FAQ About Booking Cruises Online

How do I know if a website is legit to book a cruise? There are dozens — if not hundreds — of websites that you can use to book your cruise. Frankly, not all of them look professional, so it is understandable you might question the legitimacy of a website or their deals.

We suggest you stick with the websites mentioned here or other well-known spots.

Above all, remember the age-old rule that if something sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Be wary of any websites advertising cruise deals that are significantly less than the same cruise priced elsewhere.

What about booking last-minute cruise deals on websites? It makes sense that if a cruise cabin is about to sail empty the price would drop to fill it up. In reality, this doesn’t usually happen. In fact, cruise lines consistently have occupancy rates above 100% — meaning that more than two passengers are in some cabins.

By waiting until the last minute you aren’t likely to find great deals, but it will mean that you have fewer cabin choices. It’s best to book earlier compared to later.

What if I book on a website and the price drops? Cruise prices can fluctuate. It’s possible that if you book one day, the next day the price may go down. The good news is that the price is unlikely to move much (unlike airfare).

So what do you do if the price does change? In that case, you’ll want to contact the website that you booked through — not the cruise line (unless you booked through the cruise line’s website). For example, if you book through CostcoTravel.com, then contact them first for any price drops you see.

Have more questions about the best website to book a cruise? Let us know in the comments below.

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CruiseCompete.com allows you to get quotes from multiple travel agencies by requesting a quote only once. You open an account for free, enter the date/cruise you want to go on (their site has info on itineraries, dates, etc) and then travel agents will respond with their pricing and special deals (OBC’s, etc).

I totally agree. I know people like to think they’re getting a “deal” but there aren’t that many deals out there. Most websites and TA’s are basically selling the same thing, for the same price. Where you will find better “value” sometimes though, is with a travel agent that can help put the pieces of the trip together for you. You’re getting more personal service, without paying more. A nice little bonus when we booked through an online TA was that we received an onboard credit that we weren’t expecting, which was nice. The deals likely come with whatever credit card you use, getting points or cash back. Some cards are pretty generous with their cashback on certain things.

You are dead wrong about costco cash cards. As a costco member you can cash the cards at any store for actual cash money. Done so many times.

That’s a good tip.

What about booking thru an independant, or franchise, agent? ONLY an indepent person is able to/allowed to give you back some of their commission. Most often as OBC – but heck $100 of OBC pays your gratuities. fyi: There are THOURSANDS of agents that have the SAME inventory as Cruises Only. ALL under the World Travel Holding Umbrella.

Vacations to go has a amazingly well laid out web site with every imaginable ship or itinerary feature. Just check it out and see. Great price and incentives as well

Why no mention of “www.Vacationstogo” ? I booked many at a reduces price on their website.

you didn’t mention booking through credit card companies. For instance, you can earn points for booking your cruise through Capital One, or, if you have discover you can earn 5% cash back through booking a cruise. Also, There are a few other sites such as Sears or Shop Your Way where you can book vacations. It’s not just going to the travel aggregator sites. if you can’t find a lower price, at least you can get a discount through these card companies. If you have the card that is.

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The 9 Best Sites to Book a Cruise

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Avital Andrews

Avital Andrews, SmarterTravel's editor-at-large, is a travel and lifestyle journalist who is also a contributing editor for AAA's Via magazine. Her stories have been among the 10 most emailed or viewed on the Los Angeles Times, Outside, Sierra, and SmarterTravel websites, and have also appeared in USA Today, HuffPost, Apple News, Business Insider, and many other nationwide outlets. Her travel book , sold at bookstores and on Amazon, is in its fourth edition, and her journalism gets national media attention, including from The New York Times , The Atlantic , Time , NPR, and MTV. She's currently working on her first children's book. Follow her on Twitter @avitalb .

The Handy Item I Always Pack: My laptop—the lightweight and stylish HP Spectre x360—since I'm almost always on deadline.

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: A round-the-world cruise that makes stops to experience Aurora Borealis, the Olympics opening ceremony, Borneo, Madagascar, the Jerusalem Festival of Light, the Bolivian salt flats, Kenya's Giraffe Manor, the Galapagos, the Maldives, Bora Bora, the Seychelles, and every Disney park. (That itinerary definitely exists, right?)

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Booking a cruise isn’t always simple. It can be a complicated, time-consuming process that involves dozens of open tabs and maybe a spreadsheet or two. But knowing the best site to book a cruise can help a lot.

And while would-be travelers are accustomed to clicking around on travel search engines to find the best deals on flights , hotels , and rental cars , many people don’t realize that they can use these same types of sites to book cruises, too.

But is there one best site to book a cruise? That depends on what you’re looking for. Sometimes the best cruise website is actually a cruise line’s own site—since technically, cruise booking websites aren’t allowed to undercut the prices that the cruise lines set.

Often, though, the best cruise search engines are indispensable for locating incredible deals, including ones that throw in booking incentives worth hundreds of dollars—in Amazon gift cards, complimentary shore excursions, onboard freebies, and so on.

To save you the hassle, SmarterTravel investigated the glutted space of cheap cruise sites to determine which are worthy of listing as the best cruise websites; below are a few that come highly recommended.

The Best Sites to Book a Cruise

  • Expedia (including Travelocity and Orbitz )
  • TripAdvisor

Avoya Travel

Cheapcaribbean.com, cruisedirect, cruise critic, costco travel, cruisewatch.

Laptop showing the cruise search homepage of Expedia

Expedia is an obvious first mention in a list of the best cruise booking sites, in part because it’s an absolute juggernaut (Expedia also owns Travelocity and Orbitz ). Its cruise-booking interface is simple and straightforward, only requiring you to enter your preferred sailing destination and date range, as well as how many passengers you’ll be bringing along. Then Expedia does the heavy lifting for you, with comprehensive results that make it one of the best cruise search engines.

On Expedia, it’s common to find bookable cruises for 70 percent off face value, with the ability to sort by price so the best cruise deals come up at the top of the list, saving you the scrolling. A sample search for a mid-June cruise to Alaska, for example, quickly came up with a seven-night itinerary starting at $389 per person—that’s less than $56 per person, per night for a mostly inclusive weeklong vacation.

Expedia’s cruise deals tend to come paired with other enticing offers, including steep discounts on pre-departure hotels when you book both your cruise and hotel through Expedia. There’s also a dedicated 800 number that lets you speak to Expedia’s cruise experts and, often but not always, a generous amount of onboard credit thrown in for good measure.

Best feature: Sheer search power. Expedia’s easy-to-use cruise search engine generates a useful and well-ordered list of the best cruise deals, without much effort required from the user. Also, Expedia’s prices frequently match what the cruise lines themselves offer.

Check out Expedia

Laptop showing the cruise search homepage of Priceline

Priceline is another powerhouse among cheap cruise websites. The initial interface comes off a bit clunkier than, say, Expedia’s or Kayak’s, but the tradeoff is that you can quickly search by cruise line, both standard and luxury, as well as by cruise length and departure port.

Using the seven-night Alaska example, Priceline brought up an itinerary aboard Royal Caribbean International’s Radiance of the Seas that starts at just $374 for the full week—roughly $53 per night. Hard-to-believe cruise deals like this show up on Priceline with regularity, which is part of what solidifies it as one of the best cruise websites.

Also adding to the appeal: deals exclusive to Priceline, plenty of bonus amenities (examples include $50 in onboard credit, third and fourth guests sailing free, and free specialty dinners for two), no money down to book certain sailings, frequent onboard credit sales, an 800 number to call should you need assistance while booking, and a loyalty club that’s ties in with every cruise line’s loyalty program. Priceline also lets you click a “senior discount” box if that applies to you.

Best feature: Priceline’s “ 110% Best Price Guarantee ” promises that if you find your cruise listed at a lower price on another website within 48 hours of booking, then Priceline will refund you 110 percent of the cost difference, including port charges.

Check out Priceline


Laptop showing the cruise search homepage of Tripadvisor

Many people think of Tripadvisor mainly as a travel review site, where you go to get real talk on hotels and attractions, and to see non-glamorized photos of places as seen through actual travelers’ eyes. But Tripadvisor is also an excellent site for travel deals, including on cruises.

Tripadvisor Cruise , which launched in April 2019, is among the best websites for cruise deals—it lets you nab the lowest price by comparing more than 70,000 ocean and river cruises from some 60 of the best cruise websites. It’s got an attractive, inspiring landing page, and its newest function, “Explore Ship-tinerary pages,” lets you browse full ship profiles, details, photos, and itineraries.

Though Tripadvisor is technically a meta-search site for cruises, which means that it will send you elsewhere to actually book, its search engine lets users sort by destination, length, cruise line, and month of travel. The default search results are ordered by “best value”, unless you specifically click that you’d rather see the results organized by price, cruise length, departure date, or cruise ship. Even when you click on “price,” the lowest-priced offering doesn’t always come up first, though it only takes a few seconds of scanning to determine which itinerary has the lowest price—that seven-night Royal Caribbean International trip to Alaska came up on Tripadvisor starting at $365.

Best feature: What makes Tripadvisor one of the best sites to book a cruise? In addition to having one of the best cruise search engines, Tripadvisor lets you read other cruisers’ candid reviews of the cruise that you’re considering, so that you get the non-sugarcoated truth about each sailing.

Check out Tripadvisor

7 Things You Should Never Do on a Cruise Ship

Laptop showing the cruise search homepage of Avoya Travel

A rarity on the internet, Avoya Travel is a family-owned company that has been dealing in travel for more than 55 years. Avoya is one of the best sites to book a cruise in part because of its patented technology that lets travelers search cruises by destination, date range, cruise line, and last-minute status—and then get matched up, in real time, with one of Avoya’s expert vacation planners, who use that algorithm to customize a cruise booking to your specific preferences. (From Avoya’s website: “…we combine the ease of online search, with the expertise and personalized service of Independent Vacation Planners, plus secure exclusive deals and extras so you get more out of every vacation.”)

Avoya’s team of staffers and wide network of independent agencies make for a cruise booking website that’s a bit different from the rest. Its front page shows the “Best Travel Deals,” which might include half-off cruise fares, onboard credit, prepaid gratuities, and free or reduced airfare.

Like several of the other best cruise websites, Avoya offers a low-price guarantee; if you book a cruise with Avoya and then find a lower rate on another website within 24 hours of booking, Avoya will refund the difference.

Best feature: Avoya offers free membership, and members get exclusive deals and discounts, access to unpublished fares, first dibs on promotions, the ability to save favorite searches, and the right to book, change, or cancel travel without incurring any Avoya fees.

Check out Avoya Travel

Laptop showing the cruise search homepage of CheapCaribbean.com

When looking for the best site to book a cruise, don’t be put off by CheapCaribbean.com ’s overly specific moniker. Despite the site’s name, it offers cruises all over the world. The site’s vibe is beach-oriented and a bit cheeky, with a front page that can overwhelm—but click on the “Cruises” tab, and a cleaner interface appears. There you can search by cruise line, ship, destination, departure date, and departure port.

CheapCaribbean.com offers refunds on 24-hour cancellations (within certain parameters) and a “ 110 percent best price guarantee, ” a promise that if you find a lower price on the same cruise within 48 hours of booking, the company will refund you 110 percent of the difference. The site also lists traveler reviews about each cruise ship (as supplied by Cruiseline), though the reviews often include comments about the ship’s destinations other than the one you’re considering, which isn’t entirely helpful. There’s also a live chat widget if questions come up while booking.

Best feature: Helping to make CheapCaribbean.com one of the best cruise search engines is the fact that it lets you check boxes for additional discounts, including a senior discount, discounts by state (just enter your ZIP code), and past guest discounts if you’ve previously sailed with, say, Princess, Norwegian, or Disney.

Check out CheapCaribbean.com

Laptop showing the cruise search homepage of CruiseDirect

Its front page is clunky and sort of in your face, but CruiseDirect is still one of the best cruise sites for a variety of reasons. As a cruise-only company, CruiseDirect doesn’t deal in flights, hotels, or rental cars, allowing it to focus its full capacity on helping you find the best cruise deal possible. On the site, you can search by destination, departure port, month, length of cruise, and cruise line. There’s real-time online chat and a contact number for support from a cruise expert. If you aren’t quite ready to buy, you can “heart” cruises to save them as favorites to refer back to later.

CruiseDirect offers perks on most sailings, like onboard credit, free drinks, free Wi-Fi, free gratuities, free travel insurance, or a free specialty dining experience—check out the “Bonus” box on the cruise listing you’re considering to see what extras it comes with.

Best feature: Like some of the other cruise websites on this list, CruiseDirect offers a “ best price guarantee ,” which means that if you find a lower price on another cruise booking website within 24 hours of your initial booking, you’ll get refunded the difference. But one key difference between CruiseDirect and the other cruise sites is that you don’t have to pay the cost of your cruise up front, just a deposit—and then if your cruise fare drops before you’ve made your final payment, CruiseDirect will readjust your rate accordingly.

Check out CruiseDirect

5 Crazy Themed Cruises You Can Take in 2022 and 2023

Laptop showing the cruise search homepage of Cruise Critic

A subsidiary of Tripadvisor, Cruise Critic has similar search results to that site, but it offers a bit more comprehensive information for seasoned cruisers who want more details before they book. Cruise Critic has tons of filters and sort options to help you find what you want, including everything from cruise line to cruise style (family cruises, luxury cruises, cruises for the disabled). Each itinerary clearly lists what is and isn’t included in the fare; Wi-Fi, alcoholic drinks, gratuities, and port taxes and fees are among the common exclusions.

Certain itineraries are marked with graphics declaring that the ship has won one of the site’s “Cruisers’ Choice” awards, denoting vessels that Cruise Critic members declare to be the among the best in categories such as cabins, entertainment, and family-friendly features.

You can sign up for price alerts, which will notify you by email when the fare on your selected itinerary drops.

Once you’re ready to book, Cruise Critic shows you a variety of offers from some of the best cruise booking sites, including bonuses such as onboard credit and prepaid gratuities. Then you click off to the site of your choice to make your purchase. Prices generally match what’s advertised on Cruise Critic.

Best feature: Under each search result is a tab for “reviews” where you can read reviews from Cruise Critic members who’ve previously traveled on the ship. On certain cruises you can click over to a full-length write-up of the ship by one of the experts on the Cruise Critic editorial team, including detailed information on dining options, cabins, entertainment, dress code, and more.

Check out Cruise Critic

Laptop showing the cruise search homepage of Costco Travel

When you think of Costco, you probably think of bulk food and toilet paper. But the next time you’re booking a cruise, it’ll be worthwhile to pull up Costco Travel , which is, unexpectedly, one of the best cruise websites.

The site doesn’t look fancy—it’s pretty bare-bones, visually—but the upside of going with a no-frills cruise-booking website is that Costco Travel offers extremely competitive prices, as well as some of the most attractive incentives, usually in the form of Costco Cash delivered to you after you get home from your cruise.

Though there’s no single point of contact if you need to call and discuss your cruise booking, Costco Travel’s call center is staffed with helpful agents from early morning until evening, seven days a week, and passengers can rest assured that Costco won’t go out of business before they set sail. Note that a Costco membership (starting at $60 per year) is required to book with Costco Travel, and that Costco doesn’t accept American Express.

Best feature: Rock-bottom prices—plus lots of cash back if you play your cards right: Costco Citi cardholders earn 3 percent cash back on cruise purchases, which can combine with the 2 percent Costco Reward for Costco Executive Members for a total of 5 percent back on Costco Travel’s already super low cruise rates.

Check out Costco Travel

Laptop showing the cruise search homepage of Cruisewatch

Pondering which is the best site to book a cruise? Keep Cruisewatch in strong consideration—more than a typical cruise booking website, Cruisewatch bills itself as a “digital cruise advisor” that couples data power with personalization.

As an artificial intelligence cruise advisor, Crusewatch created technology that makes searching and booking a cruise more efficient—the first, it calls “Cruise Price Prediction.” In short, Cruisewatch collected and stored the daily price for each ship and cabin over a span of five years, resulting in millions of data points—and a massive database that informs exactly when cruise prices are lowest, and when the greatest saving potential exists.

Thanks to this comprehensive price history, Cruisewatch can predict cruise prices and drops with an accuracy rate of around 80 percent. Using the site’s cruise price prediction alerts, travelers can save up to 71 percent just by booking at the right time.

In addition to being able to predict prices, Cruisewatch tailors user search results to match their established preferences through customizable profiles and other similar features. This means you won’t waste time wading through cruises that may be cheap but don’t align with your vacation goals.

Best feature: Cruisewatch’s easy-to-set price alerts, based on tons of data, allow users to be notified in real time of the best new cruise deals the minute they come online.

Check out Cruisewatch

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Editor’s note: Sarah Schlichter contributed to this story.

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The 17 Best Websites To Book Cruises at the Cheapest Prices [2024]

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The 17 Best Websites To Book Cruises at the Cheapest Prices [2024]

Table of Contents

1. cruise line’s website, 2. cheapcaribbean.com, 3. cruise critic, 4. cruisedirect, 5. priceline, 6. tripadvisor, 7. cruisesonly, 10. cruises.com, 11. american airlines cruises, 12. delta skymiles cruises, 13. united cruises, 14. marriott bonvoy cruises, 15. costco travel, 16. cruise.com, 17. travelocity, price comparisons, final thoughts.

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So, you’ve decided you want to go on a cruise. Great news! But, do you know where to book it to get the best price?

There’s no shortage of websites out there that can help you book a cruise. There may even be more options to book cruises than hotels or flights. In addition to the traditional online travel agencies, there are a bunch of cruise-only sites that you can choose from, too.

So how do you know which site offers the best price? That’s where we come in. We combed through the most popular websites used to book cruises to look at their pros and cons and to do some head-to-head price comparisons.

If you’re only concerned about finding the cheapest price, scroll down to the price comparison section at the bottom of this post to see how all of these sites stack up against each other.

Your first instinct when booking a cruise may be to go directly to the cruise line’s website, especially if you have elite status with a specific cruise line. There are definitely some benefits to this — it’s simple and there are fewer hassles if you have to make any changes .

If you’re sure of the cruise line you want to take, it makes your search a little easier because you’re just looking at one specific line.

The big drawback when booking directly on a cruise line’s website is that you can miss out on extra deals that online travel agencies (OTAs) may offer.

Pros and Cons of Booking Directly with the Cruise Line

  • Simpler search functions make it easier to locate specific cruises.
  • There’s no middleman (another website) to deal with if there is a problem.
  • You might miss out on extra deals offered by other sites.

Bottom Line: No matter where you choose to book your cruise, be sure to use the right credit card — refer to our list of best credit cards for cruises to get you started.

CheapCaribbean.com is an OTA that specializes in travel to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America. It was founded in 2000 and prides itself on offering the best prices and great U.S.-based customer service . The site’s sales agents are available 7 days a week to help you plan your ultimate Caribbean vacation.

Despite the name, you can book cruises to destinations other than the Caribbean through CheapCaribbean.com, including Europe, Canada, Hawaii, and Alaska.

Cheap Caribbean cruise booking

CheapCaribbean.com sometimes offers extra bonuses, like extra onboard spending credit. Plus it offers a 110% best price guarantee — if you find the exact same cruise for a cheaper price (available to the general public) on another website, CheapCaribbean.com will refund 110% of the price difference.

The not-so-great thing about CheapCaribbean.com is that it charges a $24.99 processing fee on each booking. It’s lumped into the taxes and fees, so you may not realize it unless you read the fine print.

CheapCaribbean.com processing fee

Pros and Cons of CheapCaribbean.com

  • Occasional special deals like extra onboard credit may be offered.
  • 110% best price guarantee.
  • There’s a $24.99 processing fee on each booking.
  • You need to sign up for emails or call in to book a cruise if you want to access exclusive deals.

Hot Tip: Want to save more? CheapCaribbean.com offers exclusive deals to email subscribers and offers unpublished fares and exclusive offers if you call in to book your cruise. 

Cruise Critic is a cruise-focused website that features reviews, tips, and advice for a huge community of cruisers. The Cruise Critic forums provide a place to ask questions, give advice, and get help booking your next cruise.

The site also acts as a metasearch engine for cruises, allowing you to compare prices from lots of other websites . You can search for your perfect cruise and when it’s time to book, Cruise Critic will transfer you to another site to complete your booking.

Cruise Critic

Pros and Cons of Cruise Critic

  • The site offers lots of cruise reviews, plus cruise tips and a travel forum to help you plan your trip.
  • You can sign up for email alerts so you’re notified when the price of a cruise drops.
  • The prices you see are not guaranteed and may be subject to other fees or restrictions depending on what website they are from.

CruiseDirect is a website that specializes only in cruises. The site allows you to quickly search cruises by destination, cruise line, departure port, or last-minute deals . You’ll find lots of different types of cruises, from budget to luxury and from mega-ships to riverboats.

With each cruise listing, you’ll see bonus details next to each sailing date — just click on each icon for details. Some of these are already reflected in the price and some are extras like onboard ship credit or discounts on shore excursions.

CruiseDirect.com perks

Pros and Cons of CruiseDirect

  • Bonuses are offered with each cruise ranging from discounts, shipboard credit, or discounts on shore excursions.
  • The bonuses offered are often from the cruise line and not exclusive to CruiseDirect, so you can get them regardless of where you book.
  • The site is a bit cluttered and can be hard to navigate.

Kayak is a popular online travel agency but the site doesn’t support cruise searches anymore.

Priceline gained fame from its “Name Your Own Price” feature but has since transformed into a more traditional OTA. In addition to hotels, flights, and rental cars, you can use this site to book cruises, too.

Priceline often offers deals above and beyond what’s being offered through the cruise line. At the time of writing, a few different deals offered perks like $1,000 in onboard credit or 30% off every guest .

Priceline Cruise Deals

Plus, Priceline offers a 110% best price guarantee — if you find a lower, publicly available price for the exact same cruise within 48 hours of booking, you’ll be refunded 110% of the price difference.

Pros and Cons of Priceline

  • Extra deals like onboard credit or room upgrades are sometimes offered.
  • The site offers a 110% best-price guarantee.
  • Some offers, including the one for up to $1,000 in shipboard credit can be confusing. Once you read the fine print, you’ll realize you need to spend $20,000 to get the full $1,000 credit.

Hot Tip: For more information, check out our detailed guide on booking travel with Priceline .

While you might think of Tripadvisor as just a place to get reviews and photos of hotels, restaurants, and activities, it’s actually much more than that. In addition to reviews and traveler forums, Tripadvisor acts as a metasearch engine , comparing prices on lots of other websites.

When you’re searching for a cruise, just click on the drop-down arrow that tells you how many deals there are — then you’ll be able to see that cruise’s price on many sites.

Tripadvisor Cruises

Pros and Cons of Tripadvisor

  • It offers lots of great ship reviews and travel forums.
  • It’s a great site to quickly compare prices on many sites at once.
  • You may not be able to see all the deals being offered on each site.

Hot Tip: For more information, check out our detailed guide to booking travel on Tripadvisor .

CruisesOnly claims to be “the best” because each of its call center agents has an average of 5+ years of experience plus professional training.

While that might be helpful if you’re new to cruising or need some advice about which cruise line, ship, or destination you should choose, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the best price (scroll down to the Price Comparison section to see how CruisesOnly stacks up against other websites).

CruisesOnly also has its own loyalty program. The V.I.P. Customer Loyalty Club is free, and you’re signed up automatically if you have booked with CruisesOnly at least once before. Benefits include things like shore excursion credits and onboard spending credits.

CruisesOnly loyalty program

The V.I.P. Customer Loyalty Club only applies to cruises on these cruise lines:

  • Holland America
  • Royal Caribbean

CruisesOnly’s best price guarantee is similar to other sites — a refund of 110% of the price difference if you find a lower price on an identical cruise within 48 hours of booking.

Pros and Cons of CruisesOnly

  • The V.I.P. Customer Loyalty Club is free and offers plenty of benefits.
  • The site offers a 110% best price guarantee.
  • The site, like many other OTAs, can be very busy, making it hard to narrow down the cruise you really want to take.
  • The loyalty program only applies to 6 cruise lines.

When booking a cruise through an OTA, be sure to use a card that earns bonus points on travel purchases, such as the  Chase Sapphire Reserve ®  which earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points on cruises purchased from any website or travel agency.

Expedia might be one of the first websites you visit to search for flights or hotels (and it’s probably a site you have used for a long time), but did you know that you can book a cruise through Expedia as well?

The site is straightforward, easy to use, and offers cruises from all the major cruise lines . While Expedia doesn’t charge any booking fees, it also doesn’t offer any price guarantees. However, you can sometimes find additional bonuses for booking your cruise through Expedia.

It also does a nice job of showing exactly what’s included and what might cost extra.

Expedia Cruises

Pros and Cons of Expedia

  • The site sometimes offers extra bonuses like onboard credit.
  • It’s easy to use and is very clear about what’s included in the price.
  • No price guarantee is offered

Hot Tip: For more information check out our complete guide to using Expedia .

Orbitz is a typical OTA that offers flights, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, and cruises. There are no booking fees on cruises and a price guarantee is offered . However, the price guarantee isn’t as strong as some of the other sites — you’ll need to find a lower price within 24 hours to receive the difference in price as a refund.

Like Expedia, Orbitz does a good job at displaying prices clearly so there’s no confusion.

Orbitz cruises breakdown

One of the nice things about Orbitz is that it offers a rewards program, but, unfortunately, cruises are not eligible for Orbitz Rewards.

Pros and Cons of Orbitz

  • It offers a best price guarantee.
  • There are no booking, change, or cancellation fees.
  • Cruises aren’t eligible for Orbitz Rewards

Hot Tip: For more information, check out our complete guide to using Orbitz to book travel .

Cruises.com is another site that claims to be the best place to book your cruise. It can offer some impressive deals, but once you read the fine print, well, you realize there’s a lot of fine print.

For example, a deal was offered for up to $2,000 cashback, $1,500 to spend onboard, or a Visa gift card. However, after reading the fine print you’ll notice that in order to get the full bonus you’d have to spend $20,000+ on a cruise. To top it off, the bonus is only available for select cruise lines.

Cruises.com 2000 offer

So while the deals offered could be lucrative, they aren’t necessarily a slam dunk.

Cruises.com also has its own loyalty program. It’s free and you’re signed up automatically if you have booked with Cruises.com at least once before. Benefits include things like shore excursion credits, onboard spending credits, or deposit waivers. Benefits are identical to those offered through the CruisesOnly loyalty program.

Pros and Cons of Cruises.com

  • A loyalty program is offered for past guests.
  • There are sometimes extra bonuses beyond what’s offered by the cruise line.
  • There is a lot of fine print with its offers.

Hot Tip: Cruises.com and CruisesOnly are both owned by World Travel Holdings, along with other websites, including Cruise411.com. These sites offer the same loyalty program and similar perks, however, their prices can be different.

Did you know that you can book a cruise through American Airlines ? The best part is that when you do, you’ll earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles for your purchase (in addition to any points or miles you will earn from your credit card).

  • Earn 1 AAdvantage mile per $1 spent on cruises booked through American Airlines (up to 10,000 miles)
  • American Airlines credit cardholders will earn 2 AAdvantage miles per $1 spent on cruises booked through American Airlines (up to 20,000 miles)
  • Occasionally, additional bonus points will be offered for select cruises

Hot Tip: Base miles earned by booking a cruise through American Airlines will also count as Loyalty Points that help you earn American Airlines elite status .

American Airlines Cruises also offers a 110% best price guarantee — if you find the exact same cruise priced lower within 48 hours of booking, you’ll be refunded 110% of the price difference.

The bad news is that you’re charged a $24.99 processing fee on every booking.

Pros and Cons of American Airlines Cruises

  • AAdvantage members have the ability to earn lots of American Airlines miles and Loyalty Points.
  • There is a $24.99 processing fee on every booking.

Bottom Line: While you can book a cruise through American Airlines, you can’t use AAdvantage miles to pay for it.

In addition to flights, you can book cruises through Delta Air Lines’ SkyMiles Cruises and earn Delta SkyMiles at the same time.

Currently, you’ll earn 2 SkyMiles per $1 spent on a cruise , excluding the taxes, fees, and port charges.

SkyMiles Cruises also offers a 110% best price guarantee — if you find the exact same cruise priced lower within 48 hours of booking, you’ll be refunded 110% of the price difference.

Pros and Cons of Delta SkyMiles Cruises

  • Earn extra Delta SkyMiles.

Bottom Line: While you can book a cruise through SkyMiles Cruises, you can’t pay for your cruise with Delta SkyMiles.

When you book a cruise with United Cruises you can choose to either earn United MileagePlus miles for your purchase or you can use MileagePlus miles to pay for your cruise !

United Cruises offers different ways to earn miles on your next cruise:

  • Earn 2 MileagePlus miles per $1 spent on an interior or oceanview stateroom
  • Earn 4 MileagePlus miles per $1 spent on a balcony stateroom or suite
  • Any United MileagePlus credit cardholder will earn 4 MileagePlus miles per $1 spent on an interior or oceanview stateroom
  • Any United MileagePlus credit cardholder will earn 7 MileagePlus miles per $1 spent on a balcony or suite stateroom

Additionally, there are sometimes opportunities to earn even more miles.

United Cruises offers a 110% best price guarantee — if you find the exact same cruise priced lower within 48 hours of booking, you’ll be refunded 110% of the price difference.

Unfortunately, United Cruises charges a $24.99 processing fee on every booking.

Bonuses for United Premier Members

If you have any Premier status with United Airlines you’ll also receive onboard extras with select cruise lines:

  • A bottle of wine and chocolate-covered strawberries in your stateroom
  • $100 spa credit
  • $200 onboard credit
  • $250 onboard credit

Use United MileagePlus Miles To Pay for Your Cruise

Paying for your cruise with miles is a great option to have. Unfortunately, you’ll lose out on some value if you do so .

When you book a cruise using United Miles, you’ll get about 0.7 to 0.8 cents per mile in value. United miles are generally worth around 1.3 cents per mile (or more if you’re booking business or first class flights), so you’re getting less value than you could get if you used your miles for a flight.

However, if you have a bundle of United miles and prefer cruising to flying, it might be a good redemption for you.

Pros and Cons of United Cruises

  • MileagePlus members have the ability to earn lots of extra miles.
  • United Premier members receive extra perks with Norwegian, Oceania, and Regent Seven Seas Cruise Lines.

Bottom Line: When you choose to book your cruise through United Cruises, you can either earn United MileagePlus miles on your purchase, or you can pay for your cruise using your United MileagePlus miles.

Marriott Bonvoy Cruises allows you to earn Marriott Bonvoy points on your cruise or you can choose to pay for your cruise with Marriott Bonvoy points !

When you book a cruise through Marriott , you’ll earn up to 3 points per $1 spent . Chase Marriott Bonvoy credit cardholders will earn an extra 2 Marriott Bonvoy points per $1 spent on a cruise booked through Marriott Bonvoy Cruises.

Marriott Bonvoy also offers a 110% best price guarantee — if you find the exact same cruise priced lower within 48 hours of booking, you’ll be refunded 110% of the price difference.

Hot Tip: If you book a cruise through Marriott Bonvoy, know that you’ll be charged a non-refundable processing fee of $24.99. That’s a pretty hefty fee considering many other sites don’t charge any fees.

Use Marriott Bonvoy Points To Pay for Your Cruise

It’s a great option to be able to pay for your cruise with points , and Marriott Bonvoy makes that possible. However, it’s not the best way to use your Marriott Bonvoy points.

When booking a cruise with Marriott Bonvoy points, you’ll only get 0.4 cents per point in value. Since Marriott Bonvoy points are generally worth about 0.7 cents each, you’ll be missing out on some value, so you might want to look into other ways to redeem your Marriott Bonvoy for hotels or flights .

Pros and Cons of Marriott Bonvoy Cruises

  • Members can earn extra Marriott Bonvoy points.
  • You can pay for your cruise with Marriott Bonvoy points.
  • The site offers a 110% best price guarantee
  • You’ll be charged a non-refundable processing fee of $24.99 per reservation.
  • Marriott cruises can only be booked with Marriott Bonvoy points over the phone.

Bottom Line: When you book a cruise through Marriott Bonvoy, you can pay for your cruise with points or you can choose to pay cash (I mean, credit card!) and earn Marriott Bonvoy points on your purchase.

Costco Travel is an in-house travel agency that’s only available to Costco members . Costco offers 2 levels of membership: Gold Star for $60 per year and Executive for $120 per year. Executive membership comes with a valuable extra perk for travelers — 2% back on your purchases through Costco Travel (up to $1,000)!

Another great thing about Costco Travel is that you’ll sometimes find deals that offer extra shipboard credit or a Costco shop card as a bonus.

Costco Travel is easy to use and offers all of the search and filter functions found on any other website.

Pros and Cons of Costco Travel

  • Executive members receive 2% back on purchases through Costco Travel.
  • Costco shop cards or onboard credit are sometimes offered as a bonus.
  • Costco Travel is for members only.

Hot Tip: For more information, check out our detailed post on using Costco Travel .

Cruise.com  is a cluttered website and can be overwhelming when you’re searching for a cruise (especially if you’re a first-time cruiser and not quite sure how everything works). It offers lots of deals and discounts, but many of those are actually offered through the cruise line, so it can be hard to tell which bonuses are actually coming from Cruise.com.

Cruise.com offers

Pros and Cons of Cruise.com

  • Lots of deals for a variety of cruise lines are offered.
  • The website is very busy and cluttered.
  • No price guarantee is offered.
  • You may be contacted by cruise.com after searching for a cruise on the site.

Hot Tip: Don’t be confused — Cruise.com and Cruises.com are 2 separate websites!

Travelocity is a website that many travelers use to book flights, hotels, rental cars, and cruises. The simple interface and the fact that there are no booking fees will make this a good choice for many travelers.

While Travelocity doesn’t advertise as many deals and savings as other sites, the price still manages to come out about the same as other websites.

Pros and Cons of Travelocity

  • There are no booking fees.
  • It’s simple to use.
  • No rewards program or extra bonus points.

Hot Tip: For more information, check out our complete guide to booking travel with Travelocity .

Let’s get to the important part — price comparisons! We priced out a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise from Miami on Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas. Prices are for 2 adults in an Infinite Central Park View Balcony room.

As you can see, most websites offer the same price . The difference comes in the extras like onboard credit, free specialty dinners, free gratuities, or bonus miles.

The exception in this example was Cruise.com, which offered a savings of $50 on the price of the cruise. However, some of the extras offered by other sites could be worth more than that, so it’s always a good idea to price your cruise on multiple websites before booking.

Bottom Line: The base cost of a cruise is generally the same across most websites. The big difference comes in the extras — onboard credit, specialty dinners, cash-back, or bonus miles. 

No matter where you book your cruise, you’ll be paying the same base price 9 times out of 10. Even though a website might be offering “the best prices” or a “50% discount,” when you actually look at the numbers they’ll usually be the same as every other website.

To get a great deal, you’ll need to look for bonuses that a particular website is offering, such as onboard credit, free specialty dinners, cash-back, or bonus airline miles.

The higher the room category you’re booking, the more bonuses you’ll be able to get. Keep in mind that lots of the bonuses you may see advertised won’t kick in unless you book a balcony stateroom or a suite. Cashback and onboard spending bonuses are generally tied to your stateroom level as well which means you’re not going to get anywhere near the amount advertised if you’re booking an interior or ocean-view cabin.

No matter where you book your cruise, be sure to check out our post with cruise tips and a downloadable packing guide !

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get the best deals on cruises.

To get the best deals on a cruise, it’s important to know which website is offering the most bonuses. The base price of your cruise will be the same from website to website 9 times out of 10, so you’ll need to find the website that’s offering the best bonuses like onboard credit or free specialty dinners.

Is it better to book directly with the cruise line?

Surprisingly, you’ll usually get a better deal when you book your cruise through an OTA (think Cruise.com, Expedia, or United Cruises). When you book through these types of sites you’ll get any deals that are being offered directly by the cruise line plus any extras offered by the OTA.

Is it better to book cruises last minute?

While you can find some great deals on last-minute cruises, it’s not a guarantee. If you have any preference about your cabin type or location, you’ll want to book as early as possible to make sure you get exactly what you want. If you’re traveling with a group and want to book cabins that are next door to each other, you’ll also want to book ahead of time. However, if you’re super flexible and don’t care what type of cabin you’re in, where it’s located, or even what cruise you’re on, you can often find some good deals at the last minute.

What is the best website for booking cruises?

Unfortunately, there’s no one site that always offers the best cruise deals. Most of the OTAs like CheapCaribbean.com, Cruises.com, or Priceline offer the same prices. The difference usually comes when you factor in extras like onboard credit or free gratuities.

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About Katie Seemann

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.


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The Best Ways to Book a Cruise

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Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Not all cruise sites are created equal. While you may find comparable prices on different sites, each site has its own benefits, offers and cancellation policies. 

Before you book, though, have a look at these credit cards that come with cruise benefits to sweeten the pot even more.

What is the best way to book a cruise?

The best place to book a cruise will vary depending on what you're looking for out of the experience. We've broken out cruise booking sites based on common booking goals.

From our findings, here are the top cruise booking sites for your next vacation, plus the pros and cons they offer travelers.

For sailings across the Caribbean, Mexico or Central America: CheapCaribbean

CheapCaribbean.com is the best cruise website for the Caribbean, Mexico or Central America. It offers a best-price guarantee plus limited-time offers and discounts.

If you find a better deal within 24 hours of booking, CheapCaribbean will price match and beat it by $25. The company's customer service is available seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.

Best-price guarantee.

Customer service is available seven days a week.

Charges a $24.99 processing fee on reservations.

Must provide an email address to receive the best deals and promos.

» Learn more: The best cruise lines

For consulting reviews from other cruisers: Cruise Critic

Cruise Critic is an independent website that encourages community members to post reviews and share tips.

Its message boards offer ways for website visitors to ask questions and share feedback with others based on their personal experiences and opinions. The site also acts as a metasearch for cruise deals, pulling in prices from multiple cruise websites.

Read cruise reviews from travelers who've been on that itinerary before.

"Deal Score" ranks deals to find the best value.

Price tracker shows 90-day trends for cruise prices.

Must click through the deal to book your cruise on other websites.

Prices are not guaranteed and can change before booking due to fees and restrictions on the sites where the cruises are being sold.

To review several cruise prices at once: CruiseDirect

CruiseDirect is the best cruise website when all you want are cruise prices. It doesn't offer hotels, flights, rental cars or other reservations you may want for your next vacation. CruiseDirect does, however, offer bonuses for travelers booking through its site.

Travelers can filter search results by destination, cruise line or departure port on various ships. This site offers cruises for every type of traveler, from budget to luxury, and every type of ship, from riverboats to mega-ships.

Bonus offers on every reservation provide extra value.

Best-price guarantee and free reservation holds.

Buy now, pay later financing options.

Promos offered by cruise lines aren't exclusive to CruiseDirect.

Customer service can be unfriendly.

Video preview image

» Learn more: Should you insure your cruise?

For budget-friendly options: Priceline

Priceline was originally known for its "Name Your Own Price" promotions, but has grown into a full-service online travel agency offering flights, hotels, rental cars and cruises, saving consumers more than $1 billion dollars per year.

Travelers who book a cruise with Priceline receive up to $2,000 to spend at sea, plus waived deposits on their reservations.

Up to $2,000 to spend on board.

Waived deposits of up to $500 when booking your cruise.

110% best-price guarantee within 48 hours of booking.

Ability to book flights, hotels, rental cars and more from the same site.

Must call Priceline to get exclusive offers and unpublished fares.

Restrictions make the best-price guarantee harder to benefit from.

» Learn more: Tips for getting the best cruise deals

For booking travel experiences beyond the cruise: TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is an online reviewer community where travelers share their experiences, pictures and ratings of hotels, suggested activities and more. This honest feedback and travel inspiration also make it one of the best websites to book a cruise.

Search over 70,000 cruise deals from more than 60 sites at once.

Dedicated ship pages share details, reviews, photos and itineraries.

Too many search results make it harder to narrow down your choices.

» Learn more: Are cruises all-inclusive?

To match with a vacation planner: Avoya Travel

Avoya Travel is a family-owned website that matches travelers with a vacation planner based on their preferences. It's the best way to book a cruise using a travel planner because it offers a low-price guarantee without charging extra fees for the planner.

The downside is that online pricing is not "live." Therefore, you must speak with a travel planner to get the latest prices and book your cruise.

Match with cruise planners according to your needs.

Does not charge Avoya fees for booking, changes or cancellations.

Get a low-price guarantee and the expertise of a vacation planner without extra fees.

Must become a member to unlock the best deals.

Pricing on the website is not "live" pricing, so actual cost may vary.

Cannot book a cruise online. You must speak with an independent vacation planner.

» Learn more: The best cruise insurance right now

To book a vacation package with an airline or hotel

American airlines cruises.

American Airlines AAdvantage members can earn airline miles when booking cruises at BookAACruises.com . All members earn one mile for every dollar they spend on cruise reservations, up to 10,000 miles. Some cruise specials offer up to 100,000 miles based on your selected cruise.

If you have an American Airlines credit card, you'll earn 2x miles, up to 20,000 miles. These miles and Loyalty Points count toward airline elite status. Additionally, trips booked through this site are eligible for promotions offered by the cruise lines.

Earn miles and Loyalty Points toward travel and elite status.

Cardholders earn 2x miles, up to 20,000 miles on cruises.

Cruise experts are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Cruise reservations are offered by a third party, so customer service issues can be a challenge.

» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now

Delta SkyMiles Cruises

Delta Air Lines is another airline that allows members to earn airline miles when booking cruises through its portal. Booking through SkyMilesCruises.com helps you earn Delta SkyMiles on your purchase.

Members get up to 10,000 miles on most cruises and up to 100,000 miles on luxury cruises. Plus, the site waives deposits on eligible cruise reservations.

Can earn up to 100,000 miles when booking a cruise.

Waives deposits when booking eligible cruises.

110% price guarantee within 48 hours of booking.

Most cruise awards are capped at 10,000 miles.

Miles earned are based on the length of the cruise, not the amount spent.

United Airlines Cruises

United Airlines MileagePlus members can earn up to 25,000 miles when booking a cruise through United at Cruises.United.com .

When you have a United Airlines credit card, you'll earn up to 45,000 miles. By offering up to 4x miles per dollar spent (or 7x as a cardholder), this site is the best way to book a cruise and earn airline miles on your purchase. If you have Premier status, you receive additional perks on select cruise lines, like wine and onboard credits.

Earn up to 7x miles on cruises.

United MileagePlus Premier members receive additional perks.

Can redeem miles to pay for some or all of your trip.

Not all cruises can be booked online.

Prices do not include a nonrefundable $24.99 processing fee.

Marriott Bonvoy Cruises

If you want to earn hotel points on your cruise, Marriott Cruise with Points is the best cruise website for you. You'll earn up to 6x points on your cruise purchase, or you can redeem Marriott Bonvoy points to pay for your trip.

Plus, Marriott cardholders can earn an extra 2x points when they use that card for their purchase. While most cruises max out at 25,000 Bonvoy points earned, some luxury cruise lines offer up to 250,000 Marriott points.

Earn up to 6x points on your cruise, up to 250,000 Marriott points.

Marriott cardholders receive an extra 2x points when paying with their cards.

Can use Bonvoy points to pay for your cruise.

Redemption value of Bonvoy points is only 0.4 cent.

Must call to book cruises using points.

Processing fee of $24.99 per reservation.

» Learn more: Airline credit cards vs. hotel credit cards

For cruise package deals: Costco Travel

Costco is a retailer that offers exclusive products and pricing to its members. Through its Costco Travel website , members receive exclusive prices and benefits when booking hotels, rental cars, cruises and travel packages.

Executive Members earn 2% back on Costco Travel purchases and receive additional benefits on select packages. Plus, Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi cardholders earn 3% cash back rewards on Costco Travel purchases.

Earn 2% rewards and extra perks with Executive Membership.

Some cruises offer Costco gift cards or onboard credit.

Must be a member to book reservations with Costco Travel.

Directly with the Cruise Line

In some cases, booking directly with the cruise line can be best because it eliminates a third party. If there's a problem with your reservation or you need to make a change, you don't have to worry about the booking site and the cruise line pointing fingers at each other.

This may be the best approach if you know which cruise line you want to book and which cities you want to visit. However, you may miss out on promotions offered by third-party sites.

Simple search functions.

No hassles with third parties for problems, changes or cancellations.

Less likely to get scammed by fraudulent sites.

Miss out on deals offered by third-party sites.

Harder to compare prices, benefits and routes from multiple cruise lines.

Comparing cruise prices across websites

Without being able to compare prices, it can be a challenge to determine the best site for booking a cruise. To make it easier to compare, we priced out a 7-night Caribbean cruise for two adults. 

We selected the lowest-priced balcony room on Royal Caribbean departing from Miami in August 2023. Here are the results:

Mitigate cancellation policy risks with travel insurance

If you're worried your trip plans being disrupted by bad weather or a change of plans, travel insurance might help. This optional standalone insurance can be purchased separately from your cruise bookings.

But you might not even need to pay out-of-pocket for trip insurance because many credit cards offer travel insurance as a built-in benefit to customers who pay for travel expenses on that card.

» Learn more: The best credit cards for cruises

Travel cards with cruise benefits

You can get even more perks by booking your cruise with the right card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Bank of America's website

The Platinum Card® from American Express

on American Express' website

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Receive 60,000 online bonus points - a $600 value - after you make at least $4,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Get 25% more value out of your points when you book cruises through Chase.

Book with your card to get automatic travel protections for your cruise.

Redeem miles as a statement credit to cover spending on cruises.

Book with your card to get automatic travel insurance coverage for your cruise.

Earn 2x points on travel spending, including cruises and some ship excursions.

Book with your card to get trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation coverage and other travel assistance services.

Get American Express Cruise Privileges Program benefits when you book at least five nights with eligible cruise lines. Terms apply.

Cruise program benefits include $300 credit redeemable toward dining and spa services plus amenities like wine, chocolates and champagne. Terms apply.

Booking a cruise recapped

When looking for the best way to book a cruise, the price is virtually the same on every website. The difference lies in how each seller sweetens the deal.

Several cruise booking sites set themselves apart from the competition by offering additional benefits to encourage booking through them. Additionally, being able to book other parts of your trip — like flight and excursions — on the same site, or offering access to a travel agent, distinguishes some of the best cruise websites. 

When prices are the same, we recommend cruise bookers compare the perks being offered, then book on the site with the most appealing bonuses, like onboard credits, airline miles, hotel points or cash back.

If you're searching for cruises on a third-party website, you may question the legitimacy of that site. This is especially true if the site doesn't look professional or some of the information is outdated.

For this reason, you should stick with one of the best cruise booking sites on this list because they've been vetted for legitimacy and have a good track record with travelers.

Yes, last-minute deals can be the best way to book a cruise. If your travel plans are flexible, these deals can save you a lot of money. Keep in mind that you may not be able to book your preferred destination or routing if it is sold out.

Unfortunately, most cruise lines do not offer free cancellations or changes to take advantage of price drops after you book. Passengers can always negotiate with a booking site or cruise line, but they aren't obligated to refund the difference. Instead, they may offer you onboard credit, complimentary excursions or credit toward another cruise booking.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

1x-5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

75,000 Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

1.5x-2x Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

60,000 Receive 60,000 online bonus points - a $600 value - after you make at least $4,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

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If you have a place on your bucket list, chances are, a cruise will get you there. Cruises cover the world, taking millions of passengers each year to destinations like the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Alaska, Europe, the Mediterranean and even Antarctica. Cruising offers a tremendous value, with trips that include your lodging, meals and entertainment, all rolled into one. Some cruise lines even offer fully inclusive vacations, which cover drinks and tours ashore. Cruising means seeing the world while unpacking only once.

Cruises also provide a wonderful option for families, with many ships offering things like waterslides, mini-golf courses and fun clubs for kids and teens -- all for free. Planning is easy: Pick your destination and the right ship for you. The cruise line makes it simple, offering packages to help you save on extras like alcohol, shore tours or even airfare.

Travelers say they choose to cruise because cruising often costs less per night when compared with staying at a hotel, where they'll have to book -- and pay for -- all their extras.

What are Tips for Finding Cheap Cruises?

If you're a flexible traveler, you'll have a better chance of finding cheap cruises. Take a cruise that doesn't sail over the summer or holidays, when prices are highest. Book an inside cabin, or take your chances with a "guarantee cabin," ideal for passengers who aren't picky about their cabins but really want the lowest price available. Book cabins on lower decks, which often come with lower prices than those rooms on higher floors.

Cruise lines such as MSC Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International offer rates that might drop as low as $75 per person per night -- and sometimes lower. Here's a tip: Many times, the smaller ships from these lines offer the smallest prices.

If you want a real bargain, consider a transatlantic or repositioning cruise. These cruises are one-way or open-jaw trips, that start in one port and finish at another. You can score a deal sailing from Florida to Europe, for example, or even from New York to Florida. Just be aware, you'll probably have to pay a bit more for airfare to return.

What are Tips to Finding Last-Minute Cruise Deals?

Being flexible will get you the best last-minute cruise deals. If you live near a cruise port and can drive, you're probably going to be able to jump on those deals that might pop up a week or two before the ship is set to sail.

If you don't have flexibility with dates and locations, be willing to bend on destination. This will allow you to find a wider range of last-minute deals traveling to locations in their off-season or shoulder season.

Do plenty of research and know what your ideal cruise costs on average. When you see it drop, pounce! Many cruise lines update pricing several times every day, so be prepared.

Best cruises in 2020

Part of the appeal of cruising is that there's truly something for everyone. Ships come in an array of sizes, some loaded with so many activities, you couldn't get to them all in a week.

Families will find plenty of options and activities onboard big ships, which have transformed cruising, making the vessels as exciting as the destinations to which they sail. The Caribbean is a great option for families, offering lots of sunshine, great beaches and culture. Alaska, famous for its incredible vistas and abundant wildlife, also is a solid family cruise option. Consider cruise lines such as Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Disney, Celebrity, MSC and Holland America for a family cruise.

River cruising has been heating up over the past few years, with itineraries that send passengers down the Danube or Rhine rivers in Europe or to even more exotic locations, like the Mekong River in Cambodia or Vietnam or the Volga River in Russia. Popular river cruises embark in cities like Amsterdam, Budapest and Lisbon. Popular river cruise lines include Viking, AmaWaterways, Avalon, Scenic, Emerald Waterways, Tauck, Uniworld and Crystal.

If you're a thrill-seeker, consider an expedition cruise. These cruises, often onboard small ships, offer an intimate experience that brings passengers right up next to glaciers, whales, penguins and iguanas. Ships visit tiny spots all over the world, including Antarctica, Alaska, Australia and Greenland. Passengers will spend their time kayaking, hiking, biking and exploring with expert guides and knowledgeable naturalists. Expedition travelers love cruise lines such as Lindblad Expeditions, UnCruise Adventures, Silversea, Hurtigruten, Ponant and Quark Expeditions.

Luxury cruises offer all-inclusive experiences onboard smaller ships with perks like butlers, high-end amenities and personalized, intuitive service. Ships often feature luxury touches like marble and crystal decor, intimate spaces and beautiful spas. Because luxury ships tend to be smaller, they can often reach off-the-beaten-path destinations bigger ships can't -- ports like St. Tropez or Guadeloupe. If you're looking for a luxury cruise, consider Crystal, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania, Azamara, Viking Oceans and Silversea.

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Find the best cruise vacation for you

How can i find a cheap cruise.

Cheap cruise deals are fairly easy to find in most cases, and you can begin by considering what kind of features and itinerary you want. The more simplistic the experience is, the cheaper it is in general. On Expedia.com, you can filter for specific features and sort your results by price. By mixing and matching certain features, unforgettable experiences may be available with discount cruises. For example, booking a cruise with stunning restaurants and live performances while opting for an inside cabin without an ocean view window or balcony could be ideal for a traveler who doesn't plan on spending much time in their cabin anyways

What is the cheapest month to take a cruise?

The cheapest month to take a cruise varies based on your destination and the cruise line company that runs the ship. A Caribbean cruise , for example, is generally cheapest in the late summer and early fall since it's the local hurricane season.

Can I cancel my cruise booking?

Yes, you can cancel, but there may be fees for canceling depending on how far in advance you cancel and what kind of booking you have. You can check the specific cruise lines’ cancellation policies in your itinerary on Expedia.com.

Are river cruises worth the money?

River cruises are quite relaxing, with much more varied scenery than you'd experience on an ocean cruise. These ships often also feature several stops along the river, so passengers can enjoy a greater variety of destinations to explore. Viking river cruises are especially adept at providing this unforgettable experience.

What cruises are best for families?

The best family cruises in 2024 / 2025 tend to be Disney cruises with plenty of offerings for kids and adults alike, though MSC cruises are known for their iconic Children Cruise Free promotion. Disney cruises, specifically, are essentially a Disney theme park on a boat with live shows, rides, and attractions with your kids' favorite characters.

How much does a cruise ship cost?

Cruise prices can vary quite a bit, with cheap cruises and especially luxurious all-inclusive cruises available. Budget lines can offer cruise tickets as low as $50 per night in some cases, while the more high-end experiences can reach up to $1,000 per night and more.

What are some of the best cruise lines?

Several different cruise lines have a lot to offer, such as Viking cruises , which are known for traversing oceans and rivers with a style that blends outdoor and indoor splendor. Celebrity cruise line is more upscale with luxurious features like WiFi, included beverages, champagne, and suites with panoramic views. Other top cruise lines include Royal Caribbean International , Carnival Cruise , Disney Cruise , and Norwegian Cruise .

How far in advance do you need to book a cruise?

It's generally best to book a cruise about 6 to 12 months before your cruise departure. That's the safest way to balance availability and affordability. Technically, you can book earlier or later than that, with some last-minute cruise deals occasionally available up to a weekbefore cruise departure.

Are cruise trips affordable?

They can be, and it's especially simple to search for more affordable cruises with Expedia.com. Not only can you filter by cruise length, cruise line, and cabin experience, but you may also sort your results by price to put the more affordable options first on your search results page.

What is it like to go on a cruise?

A cruise is generally designed to offer the most relaxing experience possible. Despite the size of the ship, it's possible to feel the wave. Many passengers report that the movements help them sleep. Additionally, many fun cruises offer live stage performances, several restaurants, and shopping opportunities. When the ship is in international waters, you may even be able to enjoy a bit of tax-free shopping.

Are cruises a good way to travel?

Cruise travel is great if you're looking for some varied fun. Compared to a plane or a train, cruises have their own attractions and can be considered an integral part of cruise vacations. Plus, a cruise can hit several different destinations as well, with plenty of time to enjoy the cruise and scenic locales. It's certainly worth it for a unique experience no other method of travel can match.

Which cruise line is the cheapest?

The actual cheapest cruise available depends on a variety of different factors. Still, Carnival Cruise tends to be very affordable overall, most of the time with great options like the Carnival Sunrise and Carnival Horizon . Royal Caribbean is also another fantastic cruise line offering great deals if you are watching your budget.

How can I get the best cruise deals in 2024 / 2025?

If you're looking for some of the best cruise deals, booking through Expedia.com makes it easy since you can sort your cruise search results by price and have access to special deals. One Key members can earn  OneKeyCash  on all eligible bookings and get instant discounts with Member Prices. Sign up today!

What do I need to know when I book a cruise?

To book a cruise, you'll need to know where you'll be setting off from and where you'll be going, in addition to how many people will be with you and the features of the specific cruise you book. Keep in mind that you'll want to factor in spending money in your budget for the cruise's restaurants and shops in most cases.

Where should I go on a cruise in 2024 / 2025?

Plenty of incredible cruise destinations are accessible such as cruises to the Bahamas and cruises to Mexico . You may also be interested in cruises to Alaska or cruises to Europe for something outside of the Caribbean.

What countries are best to visit by cruise ship?

A lot of countries are accessible via a cruise, but the best include a cruise to Australia . However, a cruise to Australia is quite a long trip at sea and really allows you to take in everything the cruise ship has to offer.

Can I get last-minute cruise deals?

Yes, last-minute cruise deals are often available, and you can find them on Expedia.com by inputting your travel dates in your search and sorting your results by price. The deals will automatically be applied to the price estimates so that the cheapest estimates will show up first on your search results page.

Are cruises all-inclusive?

Cruises aren't always all-inclusive, but they can be. If you're interested in all-inclusive cruises, you can activate a search filter for it to ensure your search results only show cruises that meet your all-inclusive standard.

Is food free on a cruise?

Food is sometimes free on a cruise, but there are often specialty restaurants that aren't included with the general booking that you'll have to pay for separately. Check the details of each cruise before you book in the "What's included" section after clicking the cruise on your search results page.

What cruise lines are adults only?

Several lines offer adults-only cruise experiences, including Viking cruises , Carnival cruises , and Princess cruises . With an adults-only cruise, you can relax in a tranquil and laid-back setting without kids running around and enjoy all the cocktails you want.

What cruise lines are considered to be the most luxurious?

Viking cruises are considered exceptionally luxurious, with smaller ships and larger cabins that make them feel more exclusive, but Celebrity cruises offer luxury cruise lines too. Booking a luxury cruise means you can expect high-end amenities including gourmet restaurants, sizable suites, top-tier performances, massive pools, and much more.

What are the best cruises for couples?

Viking Cruises have much to offer for a more romantic experience. Holland America Line cruises can be quite refined and romantic as well, with an adult-oriented experience that's sophisticated rather than rowdy. Romantic cruises offer exceptional service as well as cozy suites for you and your partner to enjoy that's complemented by delicious food often themed around the cruise destination.

Why should I go on a cruise for my honeymoon?

Going on a cruise is a great way for you and your new spouse to be pampered with luxury while also being able to explore a new destination. Whether you're taking a cruise to Hawaii or a cruise to Bermuda , a particularly romantic experience is almost guaranteed thanks to the sheer number of things to do.

Are there any Christmas cruises?

Yes, quite a few cruise lines operate around Christmas, and you can find them easily by entering travel dates around Christmas into your 2024 cruise search. Some of the most popular Christmas cruises are available with Carnival and Disney.

Do I need a passport to go on a cruise?

Whether or not you need a passport depends on where you're going and the kind of cruise it is. Any US territory like Bermuda and Puerto Rico won't require a passport, of course, but you also don't need one if you're on a closed-loop cruise. This is a cruise that begins and ends at a US cruise terminal, even if there are stops in other countries on the way.

Why should I book a cruise with Expedia.com?

Booking a cruise with Expedia.com makes it easy to find a cruise type that works best for you. You can use the cruise finder and sort by cruise line, type, destination, length, and itinerary. One Key members also earn OneKeyCash on all eligible bookings that can be used to save on future eligible trips.

What happens if a cruise is canceled?

Every cruise has a different cancellation policy, but generally, passengers are entitled to either a full refund or a credit for a future cruise at a later date. Remember that they may automatically change your booking to their rescheduled date, so you may have to contact them if that date doesn't work for your schedule.

*OneKeyCash is not redeemable for cash and can only be used on Expedia,  Hotels.com  and Vrbo.

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44-Foot Whale Found Dead on Bow of Cruise Ship Coming Into New York

The endangered sei whale, usually found in deep waters, was discovered on the bow of a cruise ship as it arrived at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, marine authorities said.

The Statue of Liberty is seen in the background behind a sign for the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.

By Livia Albeck-Ripka

As the cruise ship approached New York on Saturday, it was found to be carrying a grim, and unexpected, catch: The carcass of a 44-foot-long endangered whale, draped across its bow.

The whale, which marine authorities described as a sei whale, is known for its rapid swimming and preference for deep waters, far from the coast. Its body was discovered as the ship neared the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, and the authorities were “immediately notified,” said MSC Cruises, which owns the ship.

A spokeswoman for the company said in an email that it had “comprehensive measures” in place to avoid such collisions, including training deck officers and altering itineraries in certain areas to avoid them. “We will continue to evaluate and update our procedures with our partners and the authorities,” she said.

Marine authorities said that they had towed the animal, estimated to weigh some 50,000 pounds, from the bow, and transferred it by boat to a beach in Sandy Hook, N.J., where they conducted a necropsy on Tuesday.

The investigation is continuing, but preliminary results — broken bones in the whale’s right flipper; tissue trauma along its right shoulder blade; a full stomach and decent layer of blubber — all pointed toward the animal having been in otherwise good health when it was likely struck and killed by the ship, said Robert A. DiGiovanni, the chief scientist of the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, which is leading the investigation .

The whale was already “pretty decomposed” by the time scientists began the necropsy, he added, so they worked quickly to collect samples that could be tested for contaminants and other biotoxins that would indicate any other relevant health issues. “It looks like the animal was alive and it was hit by a vessel,” he said, noting that investigators had not ruled out other factors.

Mr. DiGiovanni said that his conservation group, which is federally authorized to respond to marine mammal strandings in New York, had dealt with more than 100 whales over the past several years, many of which had been entangled in nets or struck by vessels. Most of those whales were humpback and North Atlantic right whales, he added, noting that it was more uncommon to come across a sei whale.

Sei whales usually live in subtropical, temperate and subpolar waters and are named after the Norwegian word for pollock, “seje,” because the mammals are often found together with the fish. Their long, sleek bodies are usually dark blue or black with a cream-colored underside, and are often scarred by shark and lamprey bites.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the whales were commercially hunted for their meat and oil, decimating their population, which is now designated as depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act .

Mr. DiGiovanni said that the death was a reminder that humans shared the open water with many other mammals. “When you’re out there, these animals might be there,” he said. “We need to make people more aware about how to operate around these animals.”

A spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said by email that mariners along the East Coast were encouraged to slow down their vessels, stay alert, and report any sightings of dead, injured or entangled whales to the authorities.

Livia Albeck-Ripka is a Times reporter based in Los Angeles, covering breaking news, California and other subjects. More about Livia Albeck-Ripka

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Royal Caribbean Cruise Deals Guide

When it comes to planning the ultimate getaway, there are so many reasons why cruise vacations rank among the most popular travel options. First of all, they’re completely stress-free. On a cruise vacation, all the planning is taken care of by the cruise line — from the destinations you sail to and the shore excursions available at each port, to a full range of entertainment and activities happening onboard every day. If you’re not a planner, or if the only things you’re looking to focus on during your getaway is savoring great food, relaxing, and soaking up the sights, cruise vacations are the way to go. A cruise vacation is also a great option if you’re traveling with the whole family, especially when you opt for a Royal Caribbean cruise. All of the ships in this cruise line’s fleet offer family-friendly experiences for guests of all ages. Even little ones will find plenty of ways to play with spaces and activities designed for tots to tweens. One of the top reasons savvy travelers love cruising, though, is because of the incredible value it offers. With Royal Caribbean, your cruise fare includes access to most of the ship’s attractions, select dining venues and all of the entertainment onboard. If you want to make your experience even more all-inclusive, you can opt for beverage and specialty dining packages that cover drinks and dinner at some of the most exclusive restaurants in the fleet. On top of all that, the cruise line presents frequent limited-time offers and seasonal sales, making it easy to score big savings when booking your vacation.

I’m ready to start planning my cruise — how can I score the best deals?

Whether you’re looking to book a short getaway or a longer adventure to far-flung destinations, Royal Caribbean makes it easy to save big on everything from your cruise fare to special experiences onboard and onshore. The first step to making sure you get the best deals is to join the cruise line’s email list. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive regular updates on all the latest offers, like deals by destination , kids sail free promotions and flash sales. The savings don’t end when you book your cruise, though. Once you’ve made a reservation, you’ll also receive notifications about special offers for onboard experiences — like discounts on beverage and specialty dining packages, shore excursions, spa services, and more via My Royal Cruise .

Does it pay to plan ahead, or should I wait until the last minute?  

It’s an age-old question — does the early bird really get the worm, or are there perks to taking a “wait-and-see” approach? If you’re booking a cruise vacation, you’ll find there are benefits to both strategies. Planning ahead is a great way to score big savings , as Royal Caribbean often runs early saver deals to guests booking well in advance. It’s also pretty safe to assume prices usually go up as availability goes down the closer you get to your sail date, so booking ahead is a surefire way to lock in a great rate. That said, booking a cruise at the last minute can also yield some unexpected savings — but only if the itinerary you’re interested in hasn’t sold out yet.

If you can be flexible when it comes to your travel dates, you’ll have your pick of unbeatable savings. Popular vacation dates — like the holidays , spring break , summer vacation and week long cruises — sometimes see the highest prices (though you might get lucky with a seasonal sale). If you have the flexibility to travel during the shoulder season or off season, you’ll likely enjoy big savings on popular stateroom categories , like Balconies and even Suites. The deals don’t only apply to your cruise fare, though. Once you’ve booked your vacation, you could easily unlock discounts and specials on add-ons, including beverage and dining packages , Voom® high speed internet, shore excursions, and amazing experiences not included in your cruise fare — like a day of pampering at Vitality SM Spa, a behind-the-scenes tour of the ship’s galley followed by brunch, VIP seating at shows, and much more.

How can I maximize the value of my cruise vacation?

There are plenty of ways to get more bang for your buck when you sail on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Every ship in the fleet offers a range of delicious complimentary dining options , but you can dig into even more crave-worthy flavor by purchasing a Specialty Dining Package for less ahead of your cruise. Add a Specialty Beverage Package — which includes unlimited alcoholic beverages, soda, and more — and your experience is as close to all-inclusive as it gets. And with so many complimentary shows and attractions onboard, you can easily fill every sea day without spending a single dollar extra.

Royal Caribbean also offers deals based on departure ports  and destinations, so if you’re a flexible traveler looking for great savings, you can plan your next vacation around which itineraries are on sale. Just check your email or visit RoyalCaribbean.com/cruise-deals to stay up to date on promotions, sales and special offers. You can even browse sailings and deals by homeport, destination and season, so you can rest assured you’re getting the best possible deal no matter when or where in the world you choose to set sai.

Ready to start planning your next getaway? Start exploring cruise deals now.

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"Big Nude Boat" offers a trip to "bare-adise" on a naked cruise from Florida

By Li Cohen

Updated on: May 2, 2024 / 8:20 AM EDT / CBS News

Like to travel light? One cruise ship soon to set sail from Florida is making sure all you need is the bare necessities – no shoes, no clothes but plenty of service. 

" The Big Nude Boat " will take travelers from Miami to the Caribbean on "an 11-day adventure back to Bare-adise," the website says. Setting sail from Feb. 3 through Valentine's Day 2025, the trip offers a "stress-free, clothes-free experience" during which up to 2,300 passengers can roam the ship in the nude while out at sea. 

"It's our pleasure to provide you with the luxury of deciding what NOT to wear," Bare Necessities Tour and Travel says. 

@cbsmornings Would you dare to set sail on a nude cruise? 🚢 Cruisebare's upcoming full-ship nude cruise, departing from Miami in February next year, is making waves. Even #TonyDokoupil is down to go. 🌊 #cruises #vacation #experience #miami #sail ♬ original sound - CBS Mornings

Passengers won't be allowed to be naked when the ship is docked, but can ditch their usual attire once they are anchored or out on the water. And when clothing is optional, standard nudist etiquette must be abided by, the website says. When sitting, nude passengers must either wear a thong or sit on a towel or some kind of fabric. And while the self-serve buffet on the pool deck is a clothes-free area, passengers must be dressed for all dining room meals – and no, bathrobes don't count. 

Photos and videos will also not be permitted unless all individuals being documented give consent. 

"The Big Nude Boat" is just one of the cruises offered by Bare Necessities, which says on its website that the company has been "working to break down the barriers against social nudity and make clothing-optional vacationing a viable and acceptable option for all." 

"Social nudity is not a sexual activity, and we strive to dispel the misconception that it is anything but natural and beautiful," the company says. "We have made strides in the acceptance of nude vacationing and our wide range of cruise charters are a testament to our success."

  • Cruise Ship


Li Cohen is a social media producer and trending content writer for CBS News.

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Tour company announces themed cruise on ‘the big nude boat’.

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Norwegian Pearl

Packing for this cruise could be a breeze.

Bare Necessities Tour & Travel (a nudism-focused travel company) has announced an 11-day Caribbean cruise for nudists on Norwegian Pearl.

Although the cruise represents a new partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the company has chartered over 75 full-ship nude and clothing-optional cruises since 1990.

Norwegian Pearl has a maximum capacity of 2,394 guests with staterooms spread across seven decks. The ship offers 16 dining venues, 14 bars and lounges, a casino, and a spa, so guests will have ample opportunities to relax and socialize with people with shared interests.

In addition to the onboard entertainment on the ship, Bare Necessities typically hosts a passenger talent show and themed events.

The ship has a range of staterooms, including accommodations in The Haven , the ship-within-a-ship concept pioneered by NCL. Upscale amenities at this luxury enclave include 24-hour butler service, concierge services, keycard access, and a private sundeck.

Prices for the cruise, based on double occupancy, start at around $2000 per person and go up to more than $30,000 for a three-bedroom Garden Villa in The Haven.

FAQs on the Bare Necessities website explicitly states that clothing will be required while docked at port, in the main and specialty dining rooms, and during the Captain’s reception. Crew members are clothed throughout the cruise and all guests must be 21 years and older.

So, what do you pack in a carry-on for a nude cruise?

At a minimum, you’ll need lots of sunscreen, a swimsuit for excursions, and appropriate attire for the dining rooms.

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The “Big Nude Boat” will set sail from Miami, Florida on February 3, 2025, and make stops at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Roseau, Domenica; Port-de-France, Martinique; and Castries, San Lucia, before returning to Miami on February 14, 2025.

The itinerary includes two stops at the line’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay, Bahama.

  • Have more questions about nude cruises? See Nude Cruises: 13 Questions We All Hav e on Cruise Critic.
  • For reservations and additional pricing information, see the Bare Necessities website.

Irene S. Levine

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cruise ship websites

Royal Caribbean recruiting up to 10K workers in 2024 to meet record cruise demand

R oyal Caribbean is looking to recruit as many as 10,000 workers worldwide this year to staff its ships and private destinations as demand for ocean cruises hits fresh records.

The number of people taking cruises hit an all-time high in 2023, and with the surge in demand and larger vessels, labor needs are growing.

Tourism boards and port operators from around the world said Royal Caribbean — which already has a workforce of close to 100,000 — is looking to hire worldwide.

The company confirmed to Reuters that it’s anticipating hiring around 10,000 workers this year.

According to the company’s annual filing, its sea-based workforce last year — which comprises of staffers on its cruise ships — totaled about 88,700 employees, 6% lower than the year prior.

The giant’s land-based workforce, meanwhile — which is comprised primarily of port operations and corporate office roles — including at its private destinations consisted of approximately 9,500 full-time employees in 2023, up 17% from the year prior.

“The recruiting strategy follows the business strategy of moderate capacity growth,” a company spokesperson told Reuters.

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) in April was reportedly approached by Royal Caribbean in regards to recruitment and hiring, a request it hadn’t received in the past, said Natasha Chalwell, BVI Port Authority marketing director.

But the cruise giant isn’t only focused on the Caribbean: The company also approached West Africa’s Gambia Tourism Board in April with an interest in hiring more workers, a spokesperson said.

For reference, Royal Caribbean currently employs about 700 workers from the nation, which is the smallest on mainland Africa.

Royal Caribbean’s influx in hiring comes at a time when it’s adding three new ships to its fleet, the company rep added.

Earlier this year, the company debuted the world’s largest cruise ship, dubbed Icon of the Seas .

The $2 billion behemoth reportedly  lived up to the over-the-top  hype surrounding its launch, which included buzz that it spans 20 stories and boasts eight distinct neighborhoods.

Icon of the Seas can accommodate nearly 10,000 passengers and crew at full capacity, who are invited to enjoy a 17,000-square-foot on-board water park or book an upscale reservation at the 38-seat Empire Supper Club, an eight-course dinner complete with cocktail pairings and live jazz. 

All the while, the gargantuan ship is sailing on week-long itinteraries from Miami to Caribbean destinations like Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis and Cozumel, Mexico, among others.

Come July, Utopia of the Seas is scheduled to sail every Friday and Monday from Port Canaveral, Fla., to Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas. 

The forthcoming ship can accommodate 5,668 guests at capacity and offers 21 dining options, five pools, a zip line, ice-skating rink, basketball court and two rock-climbing walls.

Royal Caribbean’s Star of the Seas, meanwhile, is anticipated to set sail in the summer of 2025.

The company’s website touts the ship as having “over 40 ways to dine and drink,” plus “six record-breaking waterslides” and “seven splashy pools.”

Royal Caribbean said its bookings hit a record in the first quarter of 2024, boosting quarterly revenue to $3.73 billion, up 29%.

At the same time, the Miami-based company’s stock price has doubled over the past year to hit a new record.

Royal Caribbean recruiting up to 10K workers in 2024 to meet record cruise demand

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South African man arrested for stabbing on cruise ship

JUNEAU, Alaska – A South African man was arrested by the FBI today on criminal charges after disembarking a cruise ship in Juneau for allegedly stabbing multiple people with medical scissors while aboard the ship.

According to court documents, on May 6, 2024, Ntando Sogoni, 35, was working on the cruise ship when other ship employees observed the defendant attempting to deploy a lifeboat. Sogoni was contacted by ship security and escorted to the ship’s medical center for an assessment.

Upon arrival, Sogoni physically attacked a security guard and a male nurse inside an examination room and proceeded to enter another examination room where a woman, who is a U.S. citizen, was being examined. He grabbed a pair of scissors and stabbed the woman multiple times in the arm, hand and face. He also stabbed two security guards who intervened—one in the head and one in the back and shoulders. Sogoni was detained and held in the ship’s jail prior to his arrest.

Sogoni is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon within maritime and territorial jurisdiction in violation of 18 U.S.C. §113(a)(3). If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker of the District of Alaska and Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Day of the FBI Anchorage Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI Anchorage Field Office and FBI Juneau Resident Agency, and the Coast Guard Investigative Service are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Reagan Zimmerman

Public Affairs Officer

[email protected]

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A federal grand jury in Alaska returned an indictment charging a Washington man with cyberstalking victims and distributing child sexual abuse materials.


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