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Best Bahamas cruise lines

Private islands and tropical ports await on your next holiday at sea.

Updated

View from above of the Bahamas Tropical beach

The Bahamas packs all the best parts about an island vacation into one neat little package, with pristine beaches, quaint towns and sunny skies. The best part is, you can easily cruise there and back in a couple of days or take your time and see more of the Caribbean at the same time.

Best cruises to the Bahamas

Picking your next cruise destination was the hard part. Let’s make life a little easier with our list of the best companies to choose for your Bahamas cruise.

Best for a balmy budget getaway: Bahamas Paradise

A trip to paradise for under $100? It sounds crazy but if you’re in for a quick escape and don’t need all the bells and whistles of a bigger ship then Bahamas Paradise has got you covered. Fares start from $99 for a two-night cruise and that includes your onboard entertainment, meals and all the fun in the sun you can handle.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for young families: Disney

Start the day having breakfast with Mickey, Goofy and even Snow White. Days can be spent at the waterpark, kids club or exploring Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. Come nighttime, kids will be treated to stage shows featuring old and new favorites and deck parties complete with fireworks.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for entertainment: Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean boasts some of the most impressive ships both in size and amenities. We’re talking zip lines, rock climbing walls, water parks, a skydiving simulator, Broadway shows and movies under the stars. The fun continues ashore at Cococay with the island claiming North America’s tallest waterslide and the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • Price matches
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for luxury travelers: Celebrity

Celebrity offers an upscale cruise experience for when you’re craving less raucous deck party vibes and more at-sea sophistication. Michelin-starred dining, cabaret shows and ballet performances, sunset drinks on a real glass lawn, guided stargazing and slow-dancing to a live band all set the scene for a premium holiday.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for first-timers: Norwegian

Norwegian has a unique ability to cater to a broad spectrum of cruiser so you can really ease into life at sea. Find your cruising bliss with foodie experiences, Broadway-level entertainment, onboard thrills, relaxing retreats, exclusive suites with butler service and even a solo lounge for single travelers.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for people who don’t like cruising: Virgin

Virgin’s taken the concept of cruising and turned it on its head. It’s adults-only to start with, no formal dress codes, no set dining times and no buffets. Instead, you’ll find 28 restaurants, rockstar-inspired suites, a drag show brunch, a tattoo parlor, sunrise yoga and an outdoor gym.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card

Best for young adults: Carnival

The name says it all — Carnival’s ships are known for hosting some of the best parties at sea. Onboard you’ll find nightly comedy shows, glitzy casinos and a nightclub that’ll keep you dancing well into the morning. When you need some quiet time, head for the adults-only sundeck.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Paypal, Carnival EasyPay, Gift Card, Discover Card, Debit, Western Union, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

How we picked the best cruises.

When choosing cruises for this list, we looked at the quality of routes available from each cruise line, prioritizing well-paced itineraries with port stops at key destinations around the Bahamas.

We also considered dining onboard, weighing the number, variety and overall quality of restaurants against passenger reviews. Finally, we weighed cabin amenities against each price point, looking for cruise lines that are known to deliver the highest value.

Additionally, we sought out customer reviews on travel websites and personal travel blogs, considering first-person experiences and each company’s overall reputation.

When is the best time to cruise to the Bahamas?

Sun is on the menu most days of the year in the Bahamas making it a year-round cruising destination and an easy spot to factor into your vacation plans. Take some of these into consideration to help you decide when to cruise:

  • Peak tourist season. Mid-December to mid-April is when you’ll find not only cruisers but vacationers of all sorts descending on the islands.
  • Rainy season. May to October is when you can expect the most rain, although, even at this time of year, it is relatively mild. Hurricanes are at their peak in August and September and while unlikely, remember to factor in cruise travel insurance just in case.
  • Looking to save some money? Late April to early May and October to early November have a great balance of fair weather, fewer crowds and a greater chance of savings.

Which cruise companies have private islands in the Bahamas?

Several cruise lines own or have access to private islands in the Bahamas with a combination of complimentary and paid activities.

Cruise lines private islands compared

IslandCruise linesSizeDock or tender?Lunch optionsHighlights
Castaway CayDisney Cruise Line1,000 acresDockTwo barbecue buffets
  • Floating playground
  • Nature trail
  • Adults-only beach
  • Many complimentary activities
  • Tram service
CococayRoyal Caribbean
and Celebrity Cruises
140 acresDockBeachside buffet and snack shacks
  • Three beaches
  • Wave pool
  • Waterpark
  • Wipline
  • Overwater cabanas
  • Tram service
Half Moon CayHolland America
and Carnival
2,400 acresTenderBuffet restaurant, paid seafood restaurant
  • Aqua park
  • Three miles of nature trails
  • Tram service
Great Stirrup CayNorwegian Cruise Line,
Oceania
and Regent Seven Seas
250 acresTenderBeach buffet, beach grill and taco bar
  • Three beaches
  • Underwater snorkel garden
Princess CaysPrincess Cruises40 acresTenderBeachside buffet
  • 1.5 miles of beaches
  • Kids play area
  • Handicrafts market
  • Adults-only area

What are the must-do cruise excursions in the Bahamas?

Sure, the Bahamas has its share of white sand beaches and water activities to while away your days but if you’re looking for a little something more, check out these popular shore excursions to add to the itinerary.

  • Lucayan National Park. Explore one of the world’s longest underwater cave systems or hike through the mangrove, palm and pine trees to a pristine beach.
  • Blue Lagoon Island. Spend a day relaxing at this beautiful spot home to dolphins and sea lions with a chance to snorkel, play in the aqua park and indulge in an island buffet.
  • Glass-bottom boat excursion. Take a ride through the crisp waters of the Bahamas to spot the reefs filled with exotic fish and marine life.
  • The Glass Window Bridge. A unique panoramic view where you can compare the rich blue waters of the Atlantic right next to the calm turquoise waters of Bight of Eleuthera separated by a strip of rock 30 feet wide.
  • John Watling’s Distillery. When you need a break from living the island life head inland to get a first-hand look at what goes into your piña colada before enjoying a sample at the onsite tavern.

Bottom line

The Bahamas offers as much or as little as you need for a holiday. Beaches, nature, history and attractions for days and not to mention that year-round great weather — you wouldn’t be blamed for coming back again and again. Check out these top cruise deals so you can fit it into your travel plans.

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