All cruise sites are not created equal. Although you might find similar prices at different sites, each site offers its own benefits, offers, and cancellation policies. What’s the best way for you to book a cruise? These are our top picks for booking cruises, along with the pros and cons. How to get the best […]

All cruise sites are not created equal. Although you might find similar prices at different sites, each site offers its own benefits, offers, and cancellation policies.

What’s the best way for you to book a cruise? These are our top picks for booking cruises, along with the pros and cons.

How to get the best cruise websites

To sail across Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean: CheapCaribbean

CheapCaribbean.com, the leading cruise website in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean is the best. You get a lowest price guarantee and exclusive offers and discounts for a limited time.

CheapCaribbean will price match or beat any competitor’s offer within 24 hours. The company’s customer support is available from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

  • Best-price guarantee.

  • Customer support is available 7 days a week.

  • Reserving a room requires a $24.99 processing charge.

  • You must provide an email address in order to receive the best deals or promos.

See Cruise Critic for reviews from other cruisers

Cruise Critic is an independent website which encourages members to share reviews and tips.

The site’s message boards allow website visitors to ask questions or share their opinions based on personal experiences. It also serves as a metasearch site for cruise deals by pulling prices from multiple websites.

  • See cruise reviews written by travelers who have been on the same itinerary.

  • Deal Score ranks deals to determine the best value.

  • Price Tracker shows 90-day trends in cruise prices.

  • Click through the deal to book your cruise via other websites

  • Prices cannot be guaranteed and may change prior to booking. This is due to restrictions and fees on the websites where the cruises will be sold.

See all cruise prices in one place: CruiseDirect

CruiseDirect is the best website for cruise prices. You won’t find any hotels, flights, rental cars, or other bookings for your next vacation through CruiseDirect. CruiseDirect offers travelers who book through its website bonus opportunities.

You can filter your search results by cruise line, destination or departure port for various ships. This website offers cruises for all budgets, including luxury and budget-minded travelers. It also features every type ship from mega-ships to riverboats.

  • Additional value is provided by Reserving with

  • Price Guarantee and No Reservation Fees

  • Get financing now and pay it off later.

  • Promotions from cruise lines are not exclusive to CruiseDirect.

  • Unfriendly customer service is possible.

Budget-friendly options available: Priceline

Priceline was initially known for its “Name Your Own Price” promotions. However, it has evolved into an online travel agency that offers flights, hotels and rental cars, saving customers more than $1 billion annually.

Book a cruise through Priceline and receive $2,000 to spend on the seas, as well as waived deposits.

  • Spend up to $2,000 onboard

  • Book your cruise and receive a 50% discount on deposits up to $500

  • Best-Price Guarantee within 48 Hours of Booking

  • Book flights, hotels, rentals cars, and other services from one site.

  • Call Priceline for exclusive deals and unpublished fares

  • Limitations make it harder to get the best-price guarantee.

Book travel experiences beyond the cruise with TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor allows travelers to share their reviews, photos, ratings, and recommendations for hotels and other activities. It is a great website to book cruises because of its honest feedback and travel inspiration.

  • Find over 70,000 cruise deals on more than 60 websites at once.

  • Share details, reviews and photos on dedicated ship pages.

  • It is difficult to narrow down your search results.

Match with a vacation planner: Avoya Travel

Avoya Travel, a family-owned website, matches travelers with vacation planners based on their preferences. A travel planner is the best way to book cruises. It offers a low price guarantee and doesn’t charge extra for planners.

Online pricing is not always “live.” To get the most current prices and to book your cruise, it is best to speak with a travel agent.

  • Use cruise planners to match your needs.

  • does not charge Avoya for cancellations, booking changes or cancellations.

  • Enjoy a low price guarantee and the expertise of vacation planners without additional fees.

  • To get the best deals, you must become a member.

  • The pricing on the website does not reflect “live” pricing. Actual costs may differ.

  • You cannot book a cruise online. Talk to an independent vacation planner.

Book a Vacation Package with an Airline or Hotel

American Airlines Cruises

BookAACruises.com allows American Airlines AAdvantage members to earn airline miles by booking cruises. For every dollar spent on cruise reservations, all members receive one mile. Maximum 10,000 miles Based on the cruise you choose, some cruise specials offer up 100,000 miles

American Airlines credit cards allow you to earn up to 2x miles and up to 20,000 miles. These loyalty points and miles can be used to earn airline elite status. You can also book your trip through this site to receive promotions from the cruise lines.

  • Earn miles, loyalty points and travel rewards for your elite status and travel.

  • Cardholders can earn 2x miles and up to 20,000 miles when they cruise with

  • Experts in Cruise are available seven days a semaine, 24 hours a Day.

  • Cruise reservations can only be made by third parties, so customer service problems may arise.

Delta SkyMiles Cruises

Delta Air Lines offers members the opportunity to earn airline miles by booking cruises through their portal. SkyMilesCruises.com allows you to earn Delta SkyMiles for every purchase.

Members can get as much as 10,000 miles on most cruises, and up to 100,000 miles for luxury cruises. The site also waives deposits for eligible cruise reservations.

  • Book a cruise and earn 100,000 miles.

  • Deposits for eligible cruises

  • 100% price guarantee within 48 hours after booking.

  • The majority of cruise awards have a limit of 10,000 miles.

  • Miles earned depend on how long the cruise lasted, not how much money was spent.

United Airlines Cruises

United Airlines MileagePlus members earn up to 25K miles for booking cruises through United at Cruises.United.com.

You can earn as many as 45,000 miles if you have a United Airlines creditcard. This site offers up to 4x miles per $1 spent, or 7x if you are a cardholder. It is the best place to book a cruise and to earn airline miles. You can enjoy additional perks, such as wine and onboard credit, if you are a Premier member.

  • Get up to 7x miles off your cruises

  • United MileagePlus Premier members receive additional perks.

  • You can redeem miles for a portion or all of your trip.

  • Not all cruises are available online.

  • Prices do not include a non-refundable $24.99 processing fee.

Marriott Bonvoy Cruises

Marriott Cruise with points is the best website to earn hotel point on your cruise. Earn up to 6x points for your cruise purchase. You can also redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for your trip.

Marriott cardholders are eligible to earn 2x points for every purchase made with their card. Some luxury cruise lines offer up 250,000 Marriott points, while most cruises have a maximum of 25,000 Bonvoy points.

  • Get up to 6x points for your cruise. You can also earn up to 250,000 Marriott Points.

  • Marriott cardholders get an additional 2x point when they pay with their cards.

  • You can use Bonvoy points for your cruise payment.

  • The redemption value for Bonvoy points is only 0.4%.

  • Call to book cruises with points

  • Reservation fee of $24.99

For cruise package deals: Costco Travel

Costco is a retailer offering exclusive pricing and products to its members. Costco members can book hotels, rental cars and cruises, as well as travel packages, through the Costco Travel website.

Executive members earn 2% back on Costco Travel purchases, and get additional benefits on selected packages. Costco Anywhere Visa(r), Card by Citi cardholders can earn 3% cashback rewards on Costco Travel purchases

  • Get 2% in rewards and additional perks when you join the Executive Membership.

  • There are some cruises that offer Costco gift cards and onboard credit.

  • You must be a member in order to make reservations at Costco Travel.

Directly With the Cruise Line

Booking directly with the cruise company can sometimes be better than booking through another agency. You don’t need to worry about the cruise line and booking site pointing fingers at you if there is a problem with your reservation.

If you already know the cruise line and cities you wish to visit, this may be the best way to go. You may not be able to take advantage of promotions on third-party websites.

  • Simple search functions.

  • No dealings with third parties regarding problems, cancellations or changes.

  • It is less likely that you will be scammed by fraudulent websites.

  • Don’t miss out on third-party deals.

  • It is more difficult to compare prices, benefits, and routes across multiple cruise lines.

Comparison of cruise prices across websites

It can be difficult to find the best cruise site without being able compare prices. We have priced a seven-night Caribbean cruise for two adults to make it easier for you to compare.

We chose the lowest-priced balcony rooms on Royal Caribbean, departing from Miami in 2023. These are the results.

Booking site

Total cost

Extra benefits



Two gratuities free, up to $50 credit onboard and up to $1,000 for spending onboard.

Cruise Critic


Two gratuities free, up to $50 credit onboard and up to $1500 for Visa prepaid cards or onboard.



Get 10% off your shore excursion, and a $50 Visa gift certificate.


Two gratuities free, $50 onboard credit, and up to $2,000 onboard credit.



Two gratuities free, up to $50 credit onboard and up to $1500 for Visa prepaid cards or on board.

Avoya Travel

American Airlines Cruises


Two gratuities free of charge, up to $50 in onboard credit. Earn AAdvantage points.

Delta SkyMiles Cruises


Get gratuities free for two, waive deposits, up to $50 credit onboard, and earn up to 10,000 SkyMiles.

United Airlines Cruises

$1.834.12 or 244,549 Miles.

Earn up to 4 miles per $1, get gratuities for 2 and waive your deposit.

Marriott Bonvoy Cruises


Get gratuities for two and waive your deposit. Earn 6x points. Cardholders of Marriott earn an additional 2 points per dollar.

Costco Travel


$95 Costco Shop Card, 2% Rewards for Executive Members

Royal Caribbean (Direct Booking)


The bottom line

The price of a cruise is almost the same for all websites. How each seller sweetens the deal is what makes the difference.

Many cruise booking websites offer additional benefits that encourage customers to book through them. Some of the most popular cruise websites offer access to travel agents and the ability to book other parts of your vacation, such as flights or excursions.

We recommend that cruise bookers compare the prices of the different options and then choose the one with the best bonuses like hotel points, onboard credits or cash back.

Questions frequently asked

How can I tell if a website to book a cruise is legitimate?

You may have doubts about the legitimacy of a website that you use to search for cruises. This is especially true when the website doesn’t look professional, or if some of the information is out-of-date.

You should choose one of the top cruise booking websites on this list. They have been verified for legitimacy and have a track record with travelers.

Is it worth the wait for last-minute cruise deals?

Last-minute deals are a great way to book a cruise. These deals are great if you have flexible travel plans. If your preferred route or destination is already booked, you might not be able book it.

What happens if my cruise price drops?

Most cruise lines don’t offer cancellation or change free of charge. Although passengers can negotiate with booking sites and cruise lines, they don’t have to refund any difference. They may instead offer credit onboard, free excursions, or credit towards another cruise booking.

Maximizing your Rewards

A travel credit card should be able to prioritize what is most important to you. These are our top picks for the best travel cards in 2023, as well as those that work best for: