Best Southern Caribbean cruise lines

Cruise to the islands few get to see like Bonaire and Curacao.

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View of the Caribbean St Lucia Bay

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If you’ve been there, done that with the usual port of call and are ready to explore more of the Caribbean, you need only head south. Southern Caribbean cruises are more exotic and less touristy than northern islands. Sure, it takes longer to get to, but a sun-soaked island adventure is your reward.

Best Southern Caribbean cruises

Warm, green and blue waters. Soft, white sand. Jungle and volcanoes. It all awaits with these top Caribbean cruise companies.

Best for a breezy budget escape: Carnival

Set sail with Carnival for as little as $60 a night — and sometimes less, if you score the right deal. Fares include accommodations, nightly shows and entertainment, pools, hot tubs, waterslides, youth programs and a wide variety of dining options.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Paypal, Carnival EasyPay, Gift Card, Discover Card, Debit, Western Union, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
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Best for families: MSC

If its “kids travel free” policy isn’t enticing enough, families will find more to get excited about onboard. Supervised kids club programs, water parks, video arcades and even Lego-designed playrooms and entertainment are a handful of what’s on offer.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for couples: Celebrity

Sip cocktails over live jazz, have a picnic on the grassy top deck, watch a movie under the stars or splurge at a specialty restaurant. Celebrity’s modern luxury vibe is designed for adult getaways with plenty of onboard spaces made just for two.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for luxury travelers: Seabourn

All about that caviar and champagne lifestyle? Well, it’s not just award-winning cuisine awaiting you. Seabourn’s oceanfront suite ships are intimate and all-inclusive, offering shore excursions and enriching guest speakers along with spacious, contemporary suites fitted with high-end European amenities.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for onboard entertainment: Royal Caribbean

Known for its innovative ship entertainment, you’re sure to find something impressive on your vacation. From ice-skating shows to Tony Award–winning Broadway hits, late-night comedy to live music perfect for dancing, boredom isn’t an option.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • Price matches
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for New York departures: Norwegian

Even if you’re as far north as New York, you can get a taste of the southern islands with Norwegian. The cruise line offers 10- to 14-night cruises with a wide range of dining and entertainment options that can keep you satisfied on your days at sea.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

How we picked the best cruises.

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

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

We also seek 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 Southern Caribbean?

The Caribbean’s peak season runs from December to April, but you aren’t limited to any particular season when planning your visit. Consider weather, festivals and your budget when narrowing down tickets for your Southern Caribbean cruise:

  • Best weather. You won’t find huge temperature fluctuations here, but summers are warm and more humid than winter months.
  • Rainy season. Rain is likely from September to December, and hurricane season falls between June and November. Most islands in the south are below the hurricane belt, but you can avoid financial disappointments by insuring your cruise travel.
  • Key festivals and events. The biggest annual celebration is Carnival, when you’ll find parties and parades filled with music and costumes. Festivities start as early as January and culminate just before Ash Wednesday.
  • Off-season prices. You’ll find the best deals in late summer to early fall due to hurricane concerns and kids back at school.

What are must-do cruise excursions in the Southern Caribbean?

  • Soufrière Bay, St. Lucia. Take a catamaran ride or drive to the town of Soufrière, the heart of St. Lucia. Visit the drive-in volcano of Sulphur Springs and take in views of the skyscraping Pitons along the way.
  • Christoffel National Park, Curacao. Curacao’s largest nature reserve bursts with wildlife. Explore by foot on one of the eight hiking trails, by bike or even on a 4×4 safari tour.
  • Aruba tours. Many go to this island for the beach, but it’s worth spending at least half a day exploring more remote parts of the island that include Natural Bridge, the aloe balm factory and the Butterfly Farm.
  • Harrison’s Cave, Barbados. Venture into an underground world full of natural passages, crystal formations and cascading waterfalls either by tram or on foot.
  • Seven Sisters Waterfall, Grenada. Take in the scenery of Grenada’s largest national park along with plenty of birdlife and monkeys, if you’re lucky, before a refreshing swim.
  • Champagne Reef, Dominica. Snorkel in volcanic bubbles thanks to geothermal springs at the edge of a submerged volcano.

Current cruise deals

CruiseDirect CruiseDirect

6-night Caribbean cruises from $321 on Carnival!

Exclusive – up to $500 to spend on board, plus 10% off shore excursions!

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Expedia.com Expedia.com

Save up to 72% off Royal Caribbean cruises

Cruises to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mediterranean, Asia and South Pacific all on sale from just $156. T&Cs apply.

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Travelocity Travelocity

Up to 64% off Royal Caribbean Cruises: 2,000+ sailings discounted

Book cheap Royal Caribbean cruises from just $156 to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, South Pacific and more. T&Cs apply.

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Avoya Travel Avoya Travel

Up to 75% off cruises to the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska and Beyond

T&Cs apply

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Deal ends

Sandals Resorts Sandals Resorts

Book your all-inclusive Caribbean vacation save up 65%

Plus receive an instant air credit of up to $1,000

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Deal ends

Bottom line

Less visited but no less beautiful, the Southern Caribbean packs a punch with its gorgeous tropical islands filled with history and adventure. Make it your new cruising hotspot with our top cruise deals.

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