Skip to main content

How much is a 7 day cruise in 2024?

Two cruise ships docked next to each other

You are ready to take a cruise vacation, but have no idea how much it will cost and what to account for in your budget.

This is a pretty common concern among first-time cruisers who may be hesitant to give cruising a try but struggle with the price. Just like cars, televisions, restaurants, and watches, the average price can factor heavily into your decision to pursue that purchase.

Even if we limit ourselves to a 7-night cruise, the cost can be as cheap as a few hundred dollars if you sail on a budget line in an inside cabin or more than $20,000 on a luxury cruise line in suite. Even mainstream cruise lines have suites that can cost more than $5,000 per person for the week. 

Not to mention costs outside of the cruise fare, such as airfare, drink and internet packages, and excursions in ports of call. 

In order to give you an idea of how much a cruise costs, here is a breakdown of what to consider for your 2024 or 2025 cruise!

What is the average price of a cruise?

Norwegian Getaway

According to data provided by the cruise industry (CLIA: Cruise Line Industry Association), the average cruise duration is seven days and the average cost is around $1700. Cruise lines charge between $800 and $8,000 for a 7-night Caribbean trip in a balcony stateroom. 

You shouldn't expect that to be your price necessarily, because the price of a cruise depends so much on the choices you make: cruise line, type of room, date you sail, how much you spend on extras, etc.

Because cruising is such a personalized vacation, you will find a large discrepancy in prices. Cruise pricing is anything but "cookie cutter."

resort-style pool deck on board Odyssey of the Seas

You have to factor in not only the price the cruise line charges you to sail (known as the cruise fare), but also the cost of extras.  Unless you sail an ultra-luxury line, a cruise is not all-inclusive. You'll have to spend money on accommodations, food, and transport to get to and from your cruise port.  Drinks, gratuities, and shore excursions could cost you extra once onboard. And then there's other optional purchases, such as souvenirs, casino gambling, or wifi access.

While you could pay just the cruise fare and then relegate yourself to what's included in your cruise fare and never spend an extra penny, the reality is most people don't do this.  There's just too many compelling things to do, and part of vacation is splurging a little.

Read more: What Is Worth Paying Extra Money for on Cruises

Cruise line affects price

MSC World Europa

Similar to car brands, which cruise line you choose can have a significant impact on the cruise fare you will pay for a 7-night cruise.

Mainstream cruise lines, such as Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International, will offer an average price that should fit most budgets.

These mainstream lines include some budget-friendly cruise lines and usually have very affordable fares, but they can also see prices go up if you elect to sail in a more expensive cabin or during peak season. 

Do not let that discourage you, though! If you are really interested in sailing with a particular line, try and be flexible with your sail dates. You never know what you will find. 


Of course, mainstream lines do not include as much in their cruise fare. They prefer to let the passenger decide which extras they want to buy in addition to the cruise fare, such as alcoholic beverages, Wi-Fi, shore excursions, spa treatments, and more.

Premium & luxury cruise lines, such as Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, Crystal Cruises, and Holland America Line, will likely see a higher price, but they sometimes include more in their cruise fare. Some will even let you decide if you would like to pay for a more inclusive fare or a base fare.

Celebrity Cruises, for instance, has an "All Included" rate, which includes a Classic Drinks Package, basic Wi-Fi, and prepaid gratuities, as well as everything that is included in the standard fare. You will pay more if you opt for this rate; however, they advertise that you will save up to 45% than if you were to purchase all the add-ons individually. 

Likewise, Princess Cruises has their base fare and two more inclusive rates: Princess Plus and Princess Premier. With either of these fares, however, you can expect to pay more than you would for a standard base option.

Moreover, you may find more lavish cabins to choose from on the upscale lines.

It is important to note that cruise lines almost always charge for a cruise cabin based on double occupancy. There are studio rooms on some ships, but if you are cruising alone, expect to pay for a second person, whether you are sailing with one or not.

Carnival Balcony room

The price range for a 7-night cruise in the Caribbean will run between $400 - $4,000 on most lines in a balcony cabin. Keep in mind these cruise rates are an merely an estimate, and prices can vary wildly depending on the cabin type, time of year, how many people are in the room, and cabin location.

If you are not sure where to start with picking a cruise line, a good travel agent is a wonderful asset to work with in the cruise planning process. 

Not only can a travel agent help you with picking the right cruise line, they can save you money and even net you extra onboard credit. Plus, they can assist with other aspects of your cruise vacation, including booking shore excursions and specialty restaurants. 

Read more: The best first-time cruises for anyone

Type of cabin


Whether you select an inside cabin, ocean view, balcony, or suite will be a primary factor in how much your cruise costs.

In the same way a compact car is probably going to cost less than a full size sedan, inside rooms will probably cost less than a balcony room, and suites will drive the price up even higher.


There are four cabin types on most ships:

  • Inside stateroom
  • Ocean view stateroom
  • Balcony stateroom
  • Suite

The best value is often a balcony cabin since it provides extra living space and a private veranda without blowing out most people's budgets. 

Of course, interior rooms are still great options, especially if they allow you to purchase other things to make the most out of your vacation, like a few shore excursions or drink package. 

Veranda cabin on Holland America's Rotterdam

Think of suites like first class airfare: they are nice to have if you can afford it; however, they are certainly not necessary. How much time are you planning to spend in the cabin, anyway? For most people, it is more logical to book a standard cabin and allot extra money towards other expenses, such as drink packages, shore excursions, etc. 

A good choice for a family cruise can be to book two connecting rooms, rather than one large cabin. This might mean booking two interior rooms instead of one balcony, but your family will surely appreciate having two separate bathrooms to get ready in!

The itinerary you are considering might impact your cabin choice, too. Alaska, for instance, might warrant a balcony splurge, so you can soak up all of the views from the comfort of your stateroom.

Read more: Inside vs outside cabin: What's the best cruise room choice?

Time of booking


As a general rule, people that cruise a lot will swear by the mantra of booking as early as you can, as the best prices can often be netted when booking a cruise many months in advance.

Cruise ship ticket prices tend to go up over time because inventory goes down as more and more people make reservations.

Be careful about waiting too long to put a deposit down.  It is common for the there to be price increases even a day or two later after you first priced things out!

Many cruise lines will offers sales during what is known as "wave season," which runs January, February, and March of each year. During this industry-wide sales event, you may be able to score more than a lower cruise rate-- think free upgrades, prepaid gratuities, and onboard credit. 

Read more: What is the cheapest month to book a cruise?

Time of year


When you elect to sail can also have an impact on getting the best deals out there. Lower prices are usually found during hurricane season, when there is less demand for a cruise.

In addition, shoulder season is a good time to get a lower price. Shoulder season is at the very beginning or end of a cruise season when there is less demand, usually due to less than perfect weather or traditional school holidays.


Higher prices usually follow popular times to take a vacation, such as summer or Christmas.

The typical costs of a peak season cruise will be higher than if you can get away during off-peak times.

When choosing your sailing date, consider demand for that time of year and look at prices earlier and later in the season to see if you can save a lot of money. If you can sail, for instance, in October instead of the middle of July, you are certain to see a price reduction. 

When abiding by traditional school holidays, you are likely to find a lower rate at the beginning or end of the summer. Instead of taking the kids on a trip in July, why not consider mid-August? 

Read more: What is the cheapest month to go on a cruise?

Departure ports


It's no secret that there are numerous departure ports for cruise itineraries. 

When thinking about the Caribbean, for instance, you have 6 ports in Florida alone: Port of Miami, Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale), Port Canaveral, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Port of Palm Beach. 

That being said, we can't forget those outside of Florida, either, including New Orleans; Mobile, Alabama; Galveston; and Charleston, South Carolina. Cruises from departure ports that are home to older ships tend to be less expensive. 

On average, a Caribbean cruise from Miami or Port Everglades is going to be more expensive than one from Tampa or New Orleans. Similarly, a 7-night Alaskan cruise departing from Vancouver will often be cheaper than one departing from Seattle. 

Royal Caribbean Terminal

Additionally, many cruise lines have constructed new state of the art terminals in the past few years, and itineraries departing from them will probably cost more. New terminals means enhanced boarding procedures and increased capacity for larger and newer ships. 

Plus, if you are able to find a cruise port within driving distance, you can save money on airfare and other travel related costs. 

Additional costs


Not only do you need to factor in the price of a cabin, there are other fees and extra costs you will have to pay for before setting sail.

Port fees and government taxes are levied by the ports of call your ship visit, and the exact amount will depend on the country. Expect port fees to average between $100 and $200 per person. 

They are rarely included in the advertised rate of the cruise fare. Be sure to read the fine print to determine what costs are part of the cruise fare.

Gratuities are also compulsory on most lines. Some lines, like Virgin Voyages, include gratuity in their cruise prices. MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and many others do not. 

Cruise ship gratuities run usually between $14 and $25 per person, per day. The exact amount will depend on which cruise line you are sailing with, as well as your cabin categories. Suites are subject to higher rates. 

Harvest Caye zip

The total cost of a cruise can also include popular add-ons such as:

  • Alcoholic drinks or drink packages
  • Select non-alcoholic beverages
  • Spa treatments
  • Specialty restaurants
  • Shore excursions
  • Airfare
  • Hotels before or after your cruise
  • Gift shops onboard

While you do not have to purchase every add-on to have a great trip, they certainly will not hinder your vacation. 

Read more: 14 cruise ship extra charges you should know about

Ports of call

Chen Rio Beach

You will need to budget for how much you want to spend in each port. For the most part, it is unrealistic to think that you will not spend anything, especially if you want to go on a shore excursion to make the most of your time there. 

Staying on the ship is always an option; however, there is usually less going on than on sea days. 

Are you going to take a taxi to the beach? Grab a bite to eat? Purchase a souvenir? It is best to research each port of call to understand what there is to do there and how much the average excursion costs. 

Read more: 10 tips for getting the best cruise shore excursion values

Sample itineraries

MSC ship docked at Ocean Cay

To give you an idea of how much you could spend on the base fare of a 7-night cruise, we found some sample bookings to consider:

A 7-night cruise onboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas currently starts at $1,181 per person for July 2024. In October 2024, the lowest price drops to $910 per person. If you were to sail on an older ship, such as Enchantment of the Seas, the price for a cruise in October 2024 is a low as $461 per person. 

Thus, the age of the ship and onboard amenities are other factors to consider when selecting the perfect 7-night cruise for your budget. 

A 7-night cruise onboard Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Magic in July 2024 currently is priced at $684 per person. They are not offering 7-night sailings in October 2024; however, you can snag an 8-night voyage starting at $464 per person. In other words, a longer cruise is actually cheaper if you go during the off season. 


Finally, a 7-night cruise on Norwegian Breakaway in July 2024 currently begins at $949 per person, while a 7-night cruise on Norwegian Joy starts at $649 in October 2024. Note, however, that because of Norwegian's "Free at Sea" offers, you can often get more included in your base rate. If you opt for a drink package or specialty dining, you will only be responsible for the gratuities. 

Of course, these rates are for interior staterooms and do not include any port fees, gratuities, or other travel expenses. They are simply base fares meant to give you an idea of what you might see when you begin your search. 

Tips for saving money on a cruise


My best advice is to work with a good travel agent to help guide you through all the options available. There are so many factors to consider that a good travel agent can help make it all simpler, while side-stepping pitfalls along the way.

Additionally, you can cut out certain add-ons. Sure, a drink package might be nice, but spending $50+ per person, per day adds up quickly! You also do not have to dine in specialty restaurants, as there are plenty of complimentary options that will keep your stomach full. Finally, you can plan on own shore excursion, rather than booking directly with the cruise line. 

If the minimum price you can afford for a 7-day cruise just is not practical, you could always go with a shorter cruise to help bring down the total vacation price. 

Note that while the overall cost may be cheaper, the price per day is often more expensive on shorter cruises. Plus, this might allow you to focus on doing more unique things in port or get the drink package that you really want! A longer cruise is not necessarily worth it if you are going to feel restricted. 

Read more: 16 tips to not waste money on your first cruise

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average cost of a cruise trip?

There are so many factors that greatly affect the cost of a cruise, but you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000 on an average cruise. Keep in mind how subjective a cruise vacation can cost, similar to how a trip to a major city can vary depending on the choices you make.

Cruisers spend an average of $750 per passenger in port cities over the course of a typical seven-day cruise.

There are certainly some good strategies to save money and cut down the overall cost of a cruise.

How much does a 4 day cruise cost?

We looked at a few sample four-night cruises across multiple cruise lines to give you an idea of what to expect. Each of these sailings occurs around the same week in April 2024. Prices are for two people in a standard balcony cabin.

  • Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas April 15, 2024: $1,188.02
  • Carnival Liberty April 15, 2024: $1,359.30
  • MSC Magnifica April 15, 2024: $1,018
  • Disney Dream April 15, 2024: $2,497.66

These are all base fares with port fees and taxes, but they do not include gratuities or other add-on costs.


Loading Comments