11 Cheap Fall Cruises From the Caribbean to Canada
Looking for a bargain cruise? Fall is the right time to sail the seas. It's shoulder season in Europe, and travel to the Caribbean and Mexican Riviera has quieted down now that summer vacations are over. But cruise deals aren't limited to these regions. There are even a handful of discounted cruises in New England and Eastern Canada during prime leaf-peeping season.
Cheapism.com reached out to experts at Cruise Critic, Cruiseline.com, and Priceline to identify 11 of the least expensive offerings of the season. The deals can be quite significant: From Caribbean cruises for as low as $60 a day to Pacific Coast trips starting at $59, there are plenty of options for budget vacationing.
Related: 25 Cheap Destinations for Off-Season Travel
Snorkeling, tropical drinks, and pristine beaches are among the highlights of a seven-day itinerary from Miami that includes stops in St. Thomas, Tortola, and Nassau. In St. Thomas, travelers have the chance to visit the town of Charlotte Amalie, which has been described as one of the most breathtaking harbors in the world. Tortola, an island discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, is known for towering mahogany trees and white-sand beaches. The price for all this tropical color and relaxation starts at $429 a person (the third and fourth guests in the same stateroom travel free). The ship is the Norwegian Escape, one of Norwegian Cruise Line's newest commissions.
Visit Seattle's Space Needle, tour Pike Place Market (perhaps slurp down some of the city's famous oysters), or take a Boeing factory tour before sailing up the Pacific Coast. While the trip from Seattle to Vancouver, British Columbia, lasts only one day (on three dates in September), it's a hassle-free way to enjoy two lovely coastal cities. Prices for the one-way cruise start at about $59 a person. Remember to factor in the cost of returning home and bring a passport.
Another take on the Eastern Caribbean, this seven-day cruise from Miami includes a day in Philipsburg, St. Maarten; two days in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and a visit to Nassau, Bahamas. Prices range from $399 a person for an inside cabin to $599 a person for a room with a balcony. Complimentary breakfast, lunch, and dinner and a midnight buffet are all part of the experience. MSC ships include spas, Turkish baths, salons, specialty restaurants, and programming for children, who sail for free.
How does a week of sailing between Cozumel, Belize, and Isla Roatán in Honduras sound for a fall getaway? Carnival Cruise Line offers a bargain cruise from Galveston, Texas, starting at $419 a person for an inside cabin. In addition to all the expected ship offerings, such as endless buffets, pools, and bars, the Carnival Freedom includes an adult-only "serenity retreat" and a dedicated spot for 12- to 14-year-olds to do their own chilling out.
Developed into a tourist destination in the 1920s by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., Catalina Island is the first stop on a budget-priced four-night cruise from Los Angeles. After that, it's onward to Ensenada, Mexico, the third largest city in the Baja region and known as the "Cinderella of the Pacific." The cost of this brief trip aboard the Carnival Imagination starts at $179 a person for an inside cabin.
'Tis the season for leaf peeping, and Carnival's five-night Canada cruise from New York City is one way to indulge in this annual tradition, with stops in places such as Saint John, New Brunswick, and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Both are ranked among the best places in Canada for fall foliage. They're also charming destinations in their own right, even when the leaves aren't the main attraction. Prices for the trip aboard the Carnival Sunshine start at $319 a person.
Another take on a fall foliage itinerary, this one-way cruise from Boston on Holland America Line's MS Veendam includes stops in some of the region's most scenic spots, including Bar Harbor, Maine; Prince Edward Island; and Quebec City, Quebec. The trip also involves cruising along the St. Lawrence River, a scenic, 744-mile waterway that serves as a partial boundary between the United States and Canada. The cruise ends in Montreal, Quebec, where it's easy to spend days eating, shopping, and exploring. Per-person prices start at $499; the return trip home must be arranged separately.
Three words: Bermuda in October. It's a bargain cruise option if warm-weather idylls are your thing. A trip from Boston on Norwegian Cruise Line includes three days in port in Bermuda (think turquoise waters, pastel houses, pink beaches, and lush foliage) and three days at sea to pass the hours reading, swimming, eating, or watching the sun rise and set. An interior cabin aboard the Norwegian Dawn for seven nights is listed on Priceline for a starting price of $599 a person.
Ever wonder what it's like to have your own private island à la Johnny Depp or Richard Branson? A Royal Caribbean International cruise may be as close as mere commoners come to such an experience. The ship, Majesty of the Seas, spends a day docked at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's own eco-friendly private island. Activities include snorkeling, kayaking, nature walks, or simply sitting in a hammock, enjoying the fresh air. The itinerary from Port Canaveral, Florida, includes a stop in Nassau, Bahamas, before circling back. The four-night cruise is listed on Priceline with a starting price of $233 a person for an interior cabin.
If hitting some of Mexico's most popular beach cities is on your to-do list, a cruise from San Pedro, California, provides a helping hand. It includes stops in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. Travelers offer up overwhelmingly positive reviews on Cruise Critic, describing the itinerary as an excellent way to get an overview of Mexico's sun-drenched coast. The per-person cost to spend seven nights flitting around the Mexican Riviera aboard the Ruby Princess starts at $549.
Related: 10 Vacations in Mexico for Less Than $100 a Day
Just in case you're still searching for that perfect Caribbean itinerary, here's one last cruise to ponder. Carnival's Exotic Western Caribbean cruise aboard the Splendor out of Miami mixes things up by visiting Cozumel, Mexico; Belize; Isla Roatán, Honduras; and Grand Cayman. The cost for this seven-night sampling of the Caribbean starts at $379.