Looking for the most affordable way to travel during your college Spring Break? Well, what if I told you that cruising is the answer to all your prayers. I have collected a list of the cheapest Spring Break cruises, itineraries, and cruise lines that will allow you to enjoy your vacation stress-free!
As a college senior, I know how hard it can be to save and then later spend every last penny on your Spring Break adventure. That's why I highly recommend planning a vacation with all your college besties on a college cruise!
So buckle up and grab my free cruise planner - equipped with budgeting assistance, shore excursion planners, daily itineraries, and packing lists - because we are going to walk through all the best and cheapest Spring Break cruises for you to enjoy on your next Spring Break vacation!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.
Finding the Best Spring Break Cruise Deals
Vacations to Go
By far my favorite site for comparing the best Spring Break cruise deals is Vacations to Go.
This site is the simplest way to compare all the destinations, durations, time frames, and cruise lines for your Spring Break cruise. Therefore, I highly suggest starting your search for Spring Break cruises here, as you will be able to see all your options up front.
Even if you would prefer to book through your travel agent or directly with the cruise line, Vacations to Go offers a helpful tool to compare all the all-inclusive cruises offered within your exact criteria, offering the lowest prices found on the internet.
Booking Through Travel Agents
While at first, it may seem counter-intuitive to work through a "middle man" to book your college Spring Break adventure, you can truly save hundreds of dollars AND receive bonus perks for booking through these top-tier cruise travel agents.
These sites and agents typically work directly with the top cruise lines to provide eager college students with the best Spring Break cruises possible.
Most cruise agents will book out blocks of staterooms on each Spring Break sailing dedicated specifically for their personal customers to book. Thus, if you are bummed that your dream Spring Break cruise stateroom is booked out, head on over to one of the dozen cruise travel agencies, and I can almost guarantee that they will have something that's affordable and perfect for your college Spring Break.
Cruise Direct is an amazing example of a trusted, top-tier cruise travel agency offering fantastic deals on Spring Break cruises.
Once on their site, you can simply search for your ideal cruise itinerary and time of year. From there, you will find all the best-in-the-industry deals with plenty of open staterooms.
Plus, you can choose the exact stateroom you are looking for, which, at least for me, is a big deal! (booking through cruise lines do not typically offer this)
Best Cruise Lines for Spring Break Cruises
Royal Caribbean offers the most Spring Break cruise sailings with over 20 ships sailing the seas.
The main factor that will attract college students to this cruise line is the amplitude of Caribbean cruise opportunities which usually come with a low cost. These include 3-nights to 7-nights which, coincidentally fit perfectly into any college Spring Break.
Another major attraction of the Royal Caribbean is their all-inclusive cruise drink packages and fabulous nightlife. Most of the Royal Caribbean cruise ships, especially the newer ones, have numerous fun and themed bars. There are even a couple of ships with bionic bars that will serve you directly!
Another reason to sail with Royal Caribbean for Spring Break cruises is that these ships have hip nightclubs and unique forms of entertainment including comedy and Broadway-caliber shows.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line is known for its popularity with young cruisers-- especially on its Spring Break cruises.
My favorite part about NCL is their “freestyle” cruising guarantee which allows guests to choose whatever they want to do, whenever they want. From going to any show (without reservations) on the ship to eating at any restaurant (again, without reservations), wearing whatever you would like, being sat right away, Norwegian Cruise Line truly caters to college students on Spring Break students.
In addition, Norwegian has frequent promotions for free drink packages, free or discounted flights, excursion credits, and free WiFi packages that allow you to keep your Spring Break cost to a minimum.
Norwegian's “lounges” onboard transform into fun night clubs during the evening for the younger crowd looking to have a blast. Most of the night clubs will be open until 2-4 am and have a bar onsite, perfect for your Spring Break cruise. This is also a safer way to drink on Spring Break as you will not have to worry about finding a ride home.
My final recommendation for cruise lines that cater to college students on Spring Break cruises is Carnival.
Carnival is 100% the most affordable cruise line at sea, which explains how they perfectly accommodate the younger crowd for Spring Break cruises. You can frequently find cruises on Cruise Direct for as low as 60$ a night, which would include accommodations, food, and entertainment.
Plenty of Carnival's ships feature some of the best amenities at sea. Plus, you will more than likely find their ships filled with college students on their Spring Break cruises. This creates an atmosphere that most students are looking for when traveling— pool parties, 24-hour eating, packed night clubs, and more.
2 to 5-Night Spring Break Cruises
If you are looking for the cheapest Spring Break cruise possible, choosing a sailing with a lower amount of nights will be the best bet. While I tend to book longer college Spring Break cruises, I know others would just like a few days exploring the Caribbean or Mexican cruise ports while having a great time with their friends.
With that being said, the cheapest Spring Break cruises will typically visit the Bahamas, the Caribbean, or the Mexican Riviera-- perfect for your tropical college Spring Break.
Bahamas Spring Break Cruises
The most affordable option of the lower night Spring Break cruises is those to the Bahamas. These Spring Break cruise itineraries are typically 2 - 4 nights and depart from one of the popular Florida cruise terminal ports of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral (Orlando), or Tampa.
If you are looking for a great party cruise, the Bahamas may be the itinerary for you! These shorter Bahamas cruises are typically under $300 per person (including stateroom, food, etc.) and allow you to lay back and relax on all the beautiful Bahamian beaches.
Caribbean Spring Break Cruises
The next popular option for shorter itineraries running as Spring Break cruises are Caribbean cruises. These typically depart from Florida, Texas, or Louisiana and may include a stop in the Bahamas. Further, they mostly focus on the larger area of the Caribbean Sea stopping in other foreign Caribbean islands.
This is a great option for those looking for a cruise around 4 or 5 nights as Caribbean Spring Break cruises will rarely be under that 4 night mark. That being said, you will also want to book a college cruise to the Caribbean if you are looking to do more exploration than relaxation and partying. These Spring Break cruises can be more expensive than the Bahamas, but they also tend to be longer and bring you to more diverse destinations.
Mexican Riviera Spring Break Cruises
The final itinerary for 3 to 4-night Spring Break cruises is a Mexican Riviera cruise. If you are looking to start your Spring Break cruising adventure on the West Coast of the United States, a Mexican Riviera cruise may be the best college cruise for you!
These Spring Break cruises typically leave out of Los Angeles or San Diego up in California and stop in ports only in Mexico. These ports include some of the top tropical and historical Mexican cities of Los Cabos, Ensenada, and Puerto Vallarta. If you are looking to relax on the beach eating some delicious Mexican cuisine at a lower cost, a Mexican Riviera Spring Break cruise may be the way to go!
6 and 7-Night Spring Break Cruises
If you are looking for a Spring Break cruise that will last the entire week, definitely opt for one of the cheaper 6 to 7-night cruise itineraries. I honestly prefer these longer cruises than shorter, 3 - 5-night cruises as you can become adjusted and enjoy your time in port.
If you are looking to see more of the Caribbean or Mexico and have a slightly higher budget (not always necessary!), I highly suggest booking a Spring Break cruise for the entire week. This way, you can spend the first day or two adjusting to ship life and spend the other five or so days having at blast at sea or on shore!
Caribbean Spring Break Cruises
The majority of week long Spring Break cruises will be sailing in the Caribbean. Now, when it comes to Caribbean cruises, most itineraries are split into three categories-- Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean, and Southern Caribbean. These cruises will depart from a variety of ports including Texas, Louisiana, and Florida in the continental United States and San Juan, Puerto Rico in the Caribbean.
These Spring Break cruises can be personalized a lot further than the 2 - 4-night cruises as there a bunch of Caribbean island cruise ports to choose from! You will most likely notice that some itineraries on each of the cruise lines' newer ships will cost ALOT more, so I highly recommend opting for the older ships, which are still super nice and equipped for all college Spring Break festivities.
Mexican Riviera Spring Break Cruises
The most popular Mexican Riviera cruises tend to be 7 nights long. That being said, you can expect to visit a BUNCH of Mexican cruise ports, including Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, Ensenada, and more on your Spring Break cruise.
This may be the most expensive (still cheap compared to other areas of the world) option for Spring Break cruises, but it can also be the most fun! When I listed the Mexican Riviera cruise ports you can expect above, you probably noticed that a bunch of these are already popular Spring Break destinations. This means that you can enjoy all the Spring Break festivities while sailing to numerous beautiful and unique ports on your college travel budget!
Spring Break Cruise Ports
Bahamas Itinerary Cruise Ports
Nassau, the Bahamas
The most popular cruise port in the Bahamas, and maybe the entire Caribbean Sea, is Nassau-- the capital of the Bahamas. That being said, Nassau has a lot to offer any college students on Spring Break cruises.
You will definitely not have time to see all of what Nassau has to offer while in port on Spring Break cruises. The easiest way to get around the island is by foot as many of Nassau's popular historic sites and shopping districts are all within walking distance of the cruise ship dock.
Start off your Nassau adventure climbing the 66-step Queen's Staircase which connects the historic Fort Fincastle and downtown Nassau. If you prefer to relax by the beach with a margarita in hand, head over to Arawak Cay. This fabulous Spring Break spot is home to plenty of eclectic oceanfront restaurants and bars for you to grab a bite to eat while laying out at the beach.
Grand Bahama Island, the Bahamas
From swimming with dolphins to dancing with the locals, there is something for every college student on Spring Break cruises visiting Grand Bahamas Island.
Fun, relaxation, and tasty dishes await you as you arrive on Grand Bahamas Island. Very few Bahamas cruises will visit this island, but if you get the chance to stop, head over to some of the most gorgeous beaches found in all of the Bahamas.
Ever notice pictures of Insta-influencers or pins on Pinterest of college students swimming with pigs? Well, you can easily enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience at Deadman's Reef at Crystal Beach. Alternatively, head over to the mangrove swamps and sand dunes of Lucayan National Park. The best way to explore this scenic National Park is via kayak.
Key West, Florida
Another great port visited on Spring Break cruises is actually not far from the departure cruise port in Florida! Key West is a tropical island paradise perfect for beach lovers and Spring Break partiers alike.
Key West is home to numerous historical museums for those looking to learn something during Spring Break. Alternatively, you can enjoy playing sand volleyball along the sand-lined shoreline of this beautiful beach in Florida.
Start off your day in port visiting Mallory Square located right in the heart of Key West. Here you can stroll the streets and enjoy local musicians and performers as you snack on the tasty local cuisine. Later, make sure to go bar hopping along Duval Street-- a great place to find the Spring Break party crowd. If you are looking for a more unique experience, check out the floating tiki bars found right off shore of Key West.
Private Cruise Islands
All three of the big cruise lines running excellent Spring Break cruises have their own private islands. These Bahama cruise ports are the best way to save money because, if you are looking to save money, there are free dining facilities in port.
- Perfect Day and CocoCay (Royal Caribbean)
- Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian Cruise Line)
- Half Moon Cay (Carnival)
Caribbean Itinerary Cruise Ports
One of the most popular destinations for Spring Break cruises in the Caribbean is the Dominican Republic. If you are stopping in this tropical cruise port, you can expect to arrive in Punta Cana, La Romana, or Puerto Plata.
This tropical Caribbean country is home of some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. The warm, shallow, and safe waters along the Dominican Republic's shoreline serve as the perfect spot to enjoy a dip in the ocean or go snorkeling in the nearby coral reefs. If you are feeling slightly more adventurous, try out scuba diving at some of the island's sunken shipwrecks like The Astron.
US Virgin Islands
If you end up enjoying a Spring Break cruise to the Caribbean, there is a high chance you will be stopping in one of the trio islands making up the US Virgin Islands-- St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas. These beautiful Caribbean islands have something to offer for everyone, whether looking for scenic hiking trails, rejuvenating beaches, or a lively college party scene.
On Spring Break cruises to the US Virgin Islands, you can enjoy diving into the turquoise waters to discover colorful fish. Later, grab a lounge chair along one of a dozen picture-perfect Caribbean beaches. Finally, stroll the local artisan markets and shops before finding your way back onboard your college cruise break cruise.
Another great Caribbean port for your Spring Break cruise is Belize. Fewer Caribbean sailings will visit this beautiful country, but those that do, are absolutely fabulous! As the second smallest country in Central America, you would be surprised by the diverse landscapes found here.
From the second largest barrier reef in the world to the luscious rainforest jungles, Belize is home to countless adventurous activities. Most cruises will tender into Belize City (around 20 minute boat ride) for spring breakers to get off. From there, you can explore the local village filled with delicious restaurants and lively bars. If you would like to walk to some of the tourist attractions, make sure to check out Baron Bliss Lighthouse.
If you were bummed that you weren't able to afford a Mexican Riviera cruise, don't worry! If you plan Spring Break cruises correctly, you can easily visit some of the top spots in Mexico on the Caribbean. Some of the more popular ports in Mexico include Costa Maya and Cozumel.
While visiting Costa Maya, you should try to check out Mahahual, the local fishing village. This spot is located around 30 minutes away from the cruise port, but is well worth the wait for the beautiful and quaint atmosphere. If you are stopping in the more popular port of Cozumel, explore the charming town of San Miguel to discover the way of life for Cozumelians.
If you are looking to have the ultimate Spring Break cruise experience, I highly recommend seeking out cruise itineraries that stop in Jamaica. This lively cruise port lives up to the hype with tropical music, delicious food, and some of the best beach parties in the entire Caribbean.
Most cruise lines will either dock in Falmouth, Montego Bay, or Ocho Rios while stopping in port on Spring Break cruises. Thankfully, all three of these popular Jamaican cruise towns are within a 30 - 45 minute drive of each other. If you are looking to explore Jamaica's beautiful natural landscape, make sure to check out Dunn's River Falls. This stop is frequently noted as the best shore excursion in Ocho Rios.
Related: Attractions in Jamaica
If you are stopping in Cayman Islands on your Caribbean cruise, you are going to love what Grand Cayman has to offer. This destination is one of the top Caribbean spots to go swimming with wild Stingrays!
You ship with dock in George Town, located on the western coast of Grand Cayman. Make sure to book an excursion to nearby Stingray City to experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of swimming with stingrays. There are also plenty of fun snorkeling activities to enjoy on Spring Break cruises stopping at Grand Cayman. Check out the Wreck of Cali or Smith's Cove to discover everything Grand Cayman has to offer.
Puerto Rico is another great port on Spring Break cruises and may actually be your departure cruise port if you are sailing certain Caribbean cruises. Royal Caribbean and Carnival both frequently use San Juan as a home port, so make sure to keep your eye out for these sailings!
While stopping in Puerto Rico, make sure to explore Old San Juan. As an islet that connects to the San Juan mainland, you will most likely dock in this town. From here, head out to the western end of Old San Juan to explore the impressive forts at the Castillo San Felipe Del Morro fortress. Later, try out some of the tasty meals on the island before returning to your Spring Break cruise sailing.
Mexican Riviera Itinerary Cruise Ports
Cabo San Lucas
Whether it is your first time visiting this Mexican cruise port or your third year in a row making a trip to Cabo San Lucas for Spring Break, there are countless activities to enjoy. As one of the top cruise ports for Mexican Riviera Spring Break cruises, Cabo San Lucas is also one of the top Spring Break destinations for college students in the world!
Head over to Santa Maria Bay for snorkeling adventures where you can explore some of the most beautiful shorelines in Cabo. Later, lay out at Medano Beach, world-renown for its perfect golden sand. This is also a great spot to enjoy some calm waters for swimming, jetskiing, and parasailing.
Related: Attractions in Los Cabos
Another excellent port on Mexican Riviera Spring Break cruises is Ensenada, located in the Baja California region of Mexico. This underrated cruise port is home to some of Mexico's top wine and most rugged outdoor adventures.
Start your fabulous time during Spring Break in the Ensenada cruise port by strolling along the Avenida Lopez Mateos. This is Ensenada's most popular shopping street-- a perfect spot to pick up a classic straw hat or colorful Mexican dress. Next, make sure to grab a bite to eat at El Guerrerense. With Ensenada being the birthplace of fish tacos, it is a no brainer to try out some of the local Mexican cuisine.
The final port in Mexico popularly visited on Spring Break cruises is Puerto Vallarta. This beautiful port is known as a resort town on Mexico's Pacific coast world-renown for its picturesque beaches and vibrant party scene.
Start your adventure in Puerto Vallarta by strolling down Malecon-- a mile-long boardwalk stretching along the coastline. This boardwalk will take you across the city where you can check out the various sculptures of Puerto Vallarta. Later, head over to the Temple of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a temple that honors the Virgin of Guadalupe. This is an iconic landmark in Puerto Vallarta that you should definitely check out on your college Spring Break cruise.