Many cruise lines offer cruises to the Bahamas year-round, so choosing the perfect one can be difficult.
Most are either 3- or 4-night cruises that depart out of Florida. You can, however, opt to take a longer Bahamas cruise that leaves from a port further north, like New York, Charleston, or Baltimore.
Everyone's preferences are different, and you might be looking for a quick weekend getaway! On the other hand, you might not want to fly all the way to South Florida just for 3 or 4 nights.
Here are the best Bahamas cruises you should try in 2024 that range from 3 to 10 nights!
Read more: Best Month to Cruise to the Bahamas
What is the difference between a 3- and 4- night cruise?
Most of the time, a 3-night cruise will take place over the weekend, departing on Friday afternoon and returning Monday morning. 4-night cruises, however, take place during the week. They will depart on Monday afternoon and return on Friday morning.
Additionally, both usually visit two ports of call. You can occasionally find a 3-night cruise that only visits one port of call, but they are not as frequent as the sailings that visit two. While the two port days encompass both full days on a 3-night sailing, you will have a sea day on 4-night cruises, meaning you will be able to explore the ship a little bit more!
3 or 4-night Bahamas cruise onboard Celebrity Reflection from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Celebrity Reflection is a Solstice Class ship that was last renovated in 2022. During her renovation, she received a general refresh, as well as the dark blue hull art that was first launched on Celebrity Edge.
Onboard, you'll find Celebrity classics like the Sunset Bar and The Retreat for suite guests.
Beginning in April 2024, Celebrity Reflection will begin sailing to Perfect Day at CocoCay.
Ports of call
Celebrity Reflection will offer cruises to Perfecy Dat at CocoCay that also stop in Key West, Florida.
If you have ever wanted to visit Key West, this is a great way to do so while also being able to explore a private island in The Bahamas and enjoying Celebrity Cruises' upscale cruising experience.
As of November 2023, you can find a 3-night cruise for as low as $307 per adult for an inside cabin!
3 or 4-night Bahamas cruise onboard Disney Dream from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
While Disney Dream might not be Disney Cruise Line's newest ship, it still has a lot to offer guests, including the AquaDuck water slide, Animator's Palate dining venue, theatre productions, and more. Now that she is sailing from Fort Lauderdale, taking a cruise onboard the ship just became a lot more accessible.
Port Canaveral, where Disney Wish is currently sailing from, is a great cruise port (and the world's busiest!), but Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) is located minutes from the Fort Lauderdale airport. Plus, Disney Cruise Line recently opened a brand-new terminal here!
The closest major airport to Port Canaveral is Orlando, which is about an hour away. Flying into Fort Lauderdale means you can hop into an Uber or taxi and arrive at the port within minutes! It is also easier to plan a pre- or post-cruise beach stay.
Ports of call
A 3- or 4-night cruise onboard Disney Dream will take you to Nassau and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay, which means that the only time you will not be immersed in Disney magic is when you step off the ship in Nassau!
Some cruises will also visit Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point, their brand-new private destination that's set to open in 2024 that's located on the island of Eleuthera in The Bahamas.
Read more: 20 fun things to do at Castaway Cay
Disney Cruise Line is one of the more expensive mainstream cruise lines. A weekend cruise can often be as much, if not more, than a 7-night cruise on Carnival or Royal Caribbean!
The cheapest sailing onboard Disney Dream that visits Nassau and Castaway Cay is a 3-night cruise that departs on April 19, 2024 and costs $1,776 for two people in an interior stateroom.
If you want to visit Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point and Castaway Cay, consider the 3-night cruise that departs on November 6, 2024. At the time of writing, this sailing started at $1,974 for two people in an interior room.
3 or 4-night Bahamas cruise onboard Freedom of the Seas from Miami, Florida
Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas underwent the cruise line's Royal Amplification right before the cruise industry was shuttered by the pandemic. In fact, there was only one sailing on the refurbished ship before the No Sail Order went into place.
During the dry dock process, the ship received a new Caribbean-style pool deck with the signature Lime & Coconut Bar, Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade, Perfect Storm water slides, Splashaway Bay kids aqua park, Giovanni's Italian Kitchen, El Loco Fresh, Izumi Hibachi and Sushi. In addition, many of the public venues were refreshed.
Ports of call
A 3- or 4-night cruise onboard Royal Caribbean's beloved Freedom of the Seas promises moments of relaxation and ultimate thrills, especially since one of the ports of call is Perfect Day at CocoCay. Here, you can test your bravery by going down Daredevil's Peak or spend the day in the crystal clear ocean!
Either before or after your day on the cruise line's private island, you will dock in Nassau.
A 3-night Bahamas cruise can be as low as $255 per person for an interior room. If you wait until July 2024, you could pay as much as $580 per person for an interior room.
3 or 4-night Bahamas cruise onboard Utopia of the Seas from Port Canaveral, Florida
Utopia of the Seas isn't set to launch until July 2024. When she does, however, she will become "The World's Biggest Weekend." This massive Oasis Class ship won't be identical to her sisters, either, making her a once-of-a-kind adventure for all, even if you're familiar with Wonder of the Seas.
Once completed, Utopia of the Seas will measure 236,860 gross registered tons and 1,188 ft. She won't, however, be the largest cruise ship at sea, as that title will remain with Icon of the Seas.
There will be over 40 ways to drink and dine when onboard Utopia of the Seas. You'll find anything from the complimentary Windjammer Marketplace to brand-new concepts, such as the immersive train car dining experience and Pesky Parrot bar.
Ports of call
Like with 3 and 4-night sailings onboard Freedom of the Seas, you will sail to Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay; however, you will depart from Port Canaveral instead of Miami.
If you want to be one of the first on the ship in July or August, you should expect to pay at least $720 per person for a 4-night cruise and $600 for a 3-night one. For voyages later in the year, say in October or November, you can find rates for a 4-night cruise for around $650.
3 or 4-night Bahamas cruise onboard MSC Seashore from Port Canaveral, Florida
MSC Cruises is an Italian cruise line that has begun to enter the North American cruise market.
MSC Seashore is part of what MSC Cruises has dubbed the "Seaside EVO" subclass. While MSC Seascape is technically part of the same class of ships as MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview, the cruise line claims that 65% of the public areas were reimagined onboard the two newer ships.
While you will not find a zip line onboard like on the two original Seaside Class ships, guests will be kept busy onboard activities that are on par with other mainstream cruise lines, including a water park, sports court, ropes course, 5D cinema, and race car simulator.
Ports of call
Like nearly every other Bahamas cruise, you will visit Nassau, but you will also get to go to the cruise line's private island, MSC Ocean Cay Marine Reserve.
This is one of the newer private islands in the Bahamas and cost MSC Cruises $200 million dollars!
If you are trying to take a cheap cruise, a weekend sailing on MSC Seashore might be the perfect fit, as you can sail for as little as $139 per person in an interior room! Note that in the summer, rates increase to around $350-$480 per person.
With MSC Cruises, can book a rate that includes their Easy Drink Package, as well as internet, if you want to bundle to make your cruise more inclusive. For the sailing that departs on June 16, 2024, the base rate is $489 per person, while the "Best Rate" is $739.
4-night Fire & Sunset Soirées Bahamas cruise onboard Scarlet Lady from Miami, Florida
Virgin Voyages is a relatively new cruise line that caters only to adults. While you will not find any mega "thrills" like onboard, you'll be able to enjoy one-of-a-kind entertainment that you have never seen before -- think drag shows, interactive late-night cabaret shows, circus-like performances, and some of the craziest dance parties onboard a cruise. And if you feel like it, you can even get a tattoo at sea at their tattoo parlor!
Additionally, Virgin Voyages has done away with the traditional concept of cruise ship dining. There's no buffet, main dining rooms, or set dining times.
All 20 (yes, 20!) restaurants are included, and passengers can walk in anytime to be seated. Unfortunately, you probably won't be able to get to every restaurant on a 4-night cruise!
Ports of call
Their 4-night cruises from Miami, Florida sail to Key West, Florida and the Beach Club at Bimini. While Bimini is not Virgin's private island, they do have an exclusive beach club for their cruise ship passengers!
Virgin is also more expensive than other mainstream cruise lines, with a 4-night Bahamas cruise in July 2024 starting at $2,025 for two people in an interior stateroom. If you want to enjoy lounging in a hammock on your private terrace, this will cost you a minimum of $2,590.
It's important to note that this rate includes Wi-Fi, gratuities, and most entertainment onboard! Unlike other cruise lines, however, Virgin Voyages does not offer any drink packages. Each drink is á la carte, but you might be able to score a rate that includes a set amount of money that can be applied towards your bar tab!
5-night Bahamas cruise onboard Carnival Sunshine from Charleston, South Carolina
If you live in the Carolinas, a cruise on Carnival Sunshine is a great way to take advantage of the convenience of the Charleston cruise port, especially since 2024 is the last year you will be able to sail from here! In mid-2022, the Port of SC decided not to renew their contract with Carnival Cruise Line.
Carnival Sunshine was formerly the Carnival Destiny. In 2013, she underwent a complete renovation and received a brand-new name! Now, she has many venues and amenities that Carnival fans love, including WaterWorks, RedFrog Pub, Guy's Burger Joint, and SportSqaure.
Ports of call
You will visit Nassau, which is one of the most popular cruise ports and recently broke their record of over 28,000 passengers in a single day, and Carnival's private island, Half Moon Cay. Additionally, you will get two sea days along with your two days in port!
A 5-night cruise onboard Carnival Sunshine can start as low as $445 per person for an interior room. During the peak summer travel season, however, rates skyrocket to over $700 per person!
With the money you will save on airfare, if you live within driving distance, you will be able to purchase other incidentals that will enhance your cruise vacation, including drink packages, shore excursions, spa treatments, and specialty dining experiences.
8- to 10-night Bahamas & Eastern Caribbean cruise onboard Carnival Venezia from New York, New York
If you can't decide between a Caribbean or Bahamas cruise, this one is for you! During 2023, Carnival Cruise Line is offering a few sailings to both from New York.
You will sail onboard Carnival Venezia, a Venice Class ship that began sailing for Carnival in 2023. Onboard, you'll find activities such as a waterpark, ropes course, mini-golf, and more.
Ports of call
If you depart from further north (i.e., Baltimore, Maryland; New York, New York; or Cape Liberty, New Jersey) you can take a weeklong or longer cruise to the Bahamas! This will allow you will have more time to experience everything onboard. On shorter cruises, this can be hard to do.
On the 8-night cruise, you will depart from New York and sail to Half Moon Cay, Amber Cove, and Grand Turk.
For a 10-night cruise, there are a few different itinerary options to choose from. While all visit Grand Turk, you can visit either Nassau, Half Moon Cay, and Amber Cove; Princess Cays, Amber Cove, and San Juan; or Half Moon Cay, Amber Cove, and San Juan.
The cheapest 8-night cruise to the Caribbean and Bahamas departs on June 18, 2024 and starts at $749 per person for an interior room or $1,199 for a balcony! The cheapest 10-night cruise is actually significantly cheaper, departing on April 26, 2024 with the lowest fare starting at $474 per person for an interior room. A balcony cabin is around $754 per person.