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 or Charleston.
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 on 7 different cruise lines 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 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 Silhouette from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Celebrity Silhouette is a Solstice Class ship that was last renovated in 2020. During her renovation, she received a few new venues including The Retreat for suite guests, Craft Social, and Entertainment Court Bar, as well as a refreshed Sunset Bar, fitness center, solarium, pool deck, art and photo gallery, and casino.
Bahamas cruises onboard Celebrity Silhouette are seasonal, as the ship will relocate to Europe for the Summer 2024 season.
Ports of call
In late 2023, Celebrity Silhouette will begin sailing to the Bahamas operating 3 and 4-night itineraries that stop in Key West, Florida and Nassau, Bahamas. If you have ever wanted to visit Key West, this is a great way to do so while also being able to explore Nassau and enjoying Celebrity Cruises' upscale cruising experience.
As of March 2023, you can find a 3-night cruise for as low as $162 per adult for an inside cabin! The catch is that you will have to wait until December 2024 to go on your cruise.
If you want something that departs sooner, 4-night cruises that depart in late 2024 start around $270 to $300 per adult for an interior cabin. If you opt to book Celebrity's "All Included" rate, this jumps up to $606 per person.
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. 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!
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 is a 3-night cruise that departs on April 5, 2024 and costs $1,675 for two people in an interior stateroom. You can find a 4-night itinerary for about $300 more, or $1,986. It, however, departs in January 2024.
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 dock 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 $260 per person for an interior room. Unfortunately, you will not be able to board the cruise until January 2024. Summer and fall cruises in 2023 are more expensive and cost around $350 to $575 per person.
The cheapest 4-night cruise currently available on Royal Caribbean's website is $290 per person and departs on January 9, 2024. If you're looking to cruise sooner than that, you could be paying as much as $680 per person for an interior room!
Read more: What is the cheapest month to go on a cruise?
3 or 4-night Bahamas cruise onboard Mariner of the Seas from Port Canaveral, Florida
At 139,863 gross tons, Mariner of the Seas is both older and slightly smaller than Freedom of the Seas, which comes in at 156,271 gross tons. She, too, received major upgrades during her Royal Amplification process, including the Perfect Storm water slides, Laser Tag: Battle for Planet Z, Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, Jamie's Italian, Izumi Hibachi and Sushi, and an escape room.
Additionally, Mariner of the Seas is only one of two ships in the fleet with the bright and colorful Bamboo Room, a Polynesian-themed bar that is centrally located in the Royal Promenade.
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.
Since Mariner of the Seas does not have any 3-night Bahamas cruises scheduled, a sea day is included on each itinerary.
The next Bahamas cruise onboard Mariner of the Seas does not depart until November 2, 2023. To be on this sailing, you can expect to spend around $550 per person for an interior cabin. The price jumps up to $822 per person for a balcony!
The sailing with the lowest fares is February 8, 2024, where an interior cabin starts at $310 per person.
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 reimagnined 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 with 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!
Read more: How to have a great time at MSC's Ocean Cay without spending any money
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 $119 per person on a 3-night cruise or $129 per person on a 4-night cruise in an interior room!
For around $230 per person for a 4-night sailing, you can book a rate that includes their Easy Drink Package, as well as internet.
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 2023 starting at $1,555 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 $1,815.
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.
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 $330 per person for an interior room. During the peak summer travel season, however, rates skyrocket to over $800 per person! Cruise fares decease to around $450 per person in October.
With the money you will save on airfare, 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 or 10-night Bermuda & Bahamas cruise onboard Norwegian Joy from New York, New York
If you can't decide between a Bermuda or Bahamas cruise, this one is for you! During Summer 2023, Norwegian Cruise Line is offering a few select sailings to both from New York.
You will sail onboard Norwegian Joy, a Breakaway-Plus Class ship the debuted in 2017. Onboard, you'll find activities such as a Go-Kart track, laser tag, virtual reality arcade, aqua park, mini-golf, and over 20 different dining venues!
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 Port Canaveral; Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; and Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda! On the 10-night cruise, you will sail to the same ports with the addition of Nassau.
While you will get a minimum of three days at sea (you will get four on the 10-day cruise), both itineraries feature an overnight stop in Bermuda!
Read more: 10 things no one tells you to do in New York but you should try before your cruise
Since this is a longer cruise, you can expect higher prices. The 8-night cruise departs on July 1, 2023 and starts at $1,799 per person for an interior room or $1,979 for a balcony! The 10-night cruise leaves on August 20, 2023, and the lowest fare starts at $799 per person for an interior room. A balcony cabin is around $1,350 per person.
The difference ins pricing goes to to show how the month you cruise can make a huge difference in pricing, as the longer itinerary is much less! In fact, a balcony cabin on the 10-day cruise is less than an interior room on the 8-night one!