April 16, 2013 -- intro: With all the talk about how Carnival Cruise Line's troubles might be driving down the price of a cruise, it seems clear that the traveling public wants to know where to find a cruise deal.
Turns out Carnival isn't the only line offering cabins at great rates. But the great prices are less likely the result of a troubled industry than timing: This is what's known as "shoulder season" in the cruise industry, the period between spring break and summer when kids are in school and cruise lines need to fill ships.
See, a cruise ship departs whether one cabin is sold or the ship is sold out. So it's in the cruise line's best interest to get you onboard for a cheap price and hope you'll spend money on the ship, whether it be on alcohol, spa treatments or shore excursions.
We (easily) found five cruises leaving in the next few weeks priced for less than $50 per person, per night. And while it might not be cheaper than a Motel 6, it's still a crazy deal, especially when you consider that meals and on-board entertainment is included in the price. What's not included? Taxes and fees, which are in the $50 a day range.
quicklist: 1 title: $23 / Night: Eastern Caribbean text: If you don't have much vacation time to spare, consider this deal from Royal Caribbean: A three-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on Grandeur of the Seas from Colon, Panama, to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The cruise departs April 21 and is priced from $69 per person for an inside cabin or $23 per person per night. Want a balcony? It'll only cost you $56 per night.
quicklist: 2 title: $31 / Night: Transatlantic Luxury Cruise text: If you love cruise ships, this one's for you. There will be plenty of sea days on your transatlantic crossing from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Southampton, England. But don't worry, there will be a few tops along the way, in places like Nassau, Bahamas; San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. And the ship? It's the luxury line Celebrity on its ship Eclipse. All this for $339, or $31 per person, per night. Want an ocean view? It's only $38 per night. Act fast: The ship departs April 20. media: 18960555
quicklist: 3 title: $43 / Night: Pacific Coast text: This seven-day cruise on the Norwegian Pearl departs from Los Angeles and ends in Vancouver, B.C., stopping at San Francisco, California; Astoria, Ore.; Victoria, British Columbia and Nanaimo, British Columbia. It departs May 5 and is priced from $299, or $43 per person, per night.
quicklist: 4 title: $48 / Night: Bahamastext: This five-night Bahamas cruise is round-trip from Jacksonville, Fla., on the Carnival Fascination. It departs April 27 and calls on Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, and Nassau, Bahamas, before returning to Jacksonville. It's priced from just $239 for an inside cabin, or $48 per person, per night.
quicklist: 5title: $50 per night: Mediterraneantext: It's the stuff vacation dreams are made of: A round-trip cruise from Barcelona, Spain, calling on Marseille, France; Livorno, Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy and Messina, Sicily. The 12-night cruise on the Carnival Sunshine departs May 26 and costs just $599 per person for an inside cabin, braking down to $50 per person, per night.