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6 of the Best Cruise Itineraries for Travelers on a Budget

©Norwegian Cruise Line

©Norwegian Cruise Line

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, cruise ships were one of the last places a traveler wanted to be. News stories of passengers isolated in their rooms for weeks and ships being turned away from ports seemed to surface every day.

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Thankfully, it’s gotten a lot better since then, and cruise travel has returned. Plenty of caution is still required, however. The CDC requires that all passengers wear masks while on board and recommends that travelers get tested before and after travel. Many cruise lines also require that travelers be vaccinated.

But if you’re ready to set sail and sail away from your COVID cares, there are plenty of options — including for budget travelers.

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Carnival Cruise Line: 5-Night Cruise to Mexican Riviera

Price: $254 per guest, plus resort fees

Leaving out of Long Beach, California, this cruise travels to Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada before returning. The lowest rate gets you an interior room, and you can upgrade to an ocean view or balcony room for up to $304 per night.

With amenities such as water slides, a rum bar and comedy club, this Mexican cruise is a good bargain for travelers.

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Royal Caribbean International: 7-Night Cruise to Western Caribbean

Price: $399 per guest, plus resort fees

A seven-night, eight-day cruise from Galveston, Texas will run just under $400, with an upgrade to an outside view room at $596.

With stops in Belize City, Puerto Costa Maya and Cozumel, this cruise packs plenty of adventure for a good price. The ship itself boasts dueling water slides, an ice skating rink, shows and plenty of nightlife.

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Holland America: 5-Day Cruise to Mexican Riviera

Price: $299 per guest, plus fees

Leaving out of San Diego, this sunny cruise visits Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada aboard the Konigsdamm boat. There’s plenty of nightly entertainment and a casino, plus a program built specifically to entertain kids ages 3-17.

©Michel Verdure

Norwegian Cruise Line: 7-Day Cruise to Caribbean

Price: $579 per guest

Advertised as “7 days, 5 ports, 1 amazing trip”, this cruise leaves from New Orleans and stops in Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic), St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands), Tortola (British Virgin Islands) and Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas).

With entertainment and activities such as go-carts and laser tag, you’re sure to find plenty to do on the ship, too.

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Michel Verdure / Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises: 4-Night Cruise to Key West and Bahamas

Price: $399 per guest

This cruise leaves from Miami and visits Key West, Florida, and Ernest Hemingway’s former home, along with Nassau, Bahamas. There are plenty of food and entertainment options, plus a spa and a kids’ camp.

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Princess Cruises: 3-Night Pacific Coastal Cruise

Price: $278 per guest

If you’re not looking for a warm-weather cruise, consider taking this trip up the West Coast. This cruise leaves from San Francisco before stopping at Victoria, B.C., and then finishing in Vancouver, B.C.

The cruises features entertainment, spas, art galleries, a putting course and a sports court with basketball, tennis and volleyball.

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Christian Long contributed to the reporting for this article.

Photo Disclaimer: Please note photos are for illustrative purposes only. As a result, some of the photos might not reflect the cruises listed in this article.

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