Deal watch: Cruise giant Royal Caribbean is selling fall cruises for under $100

It’s not just Carnival Cruise Line touting last-minute deals for fall cruises at eye-popping rates. So is cruise giant Royal Caribbean.

The world’s largest cruise line this week is offering three-night sailings to the Bahamas for just $99 — about as low as the line ever offers a three-night cruise.

That’s not per night but for the entire sailing.

Royal Caribbean this week also is offering a two-night sailing to the Bahamas for just $79. Longer, four-night sailings to the Bahamas start at just $129 — about $32 a day.

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The deeply discounted sailings, all available on Royal Caribbean’s website as of Wednesday, include:

  • A two-night Freedom of the Seas sailing from Miami to Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas, on Dec. 5 starting at $79 — or about $40 a day.
  • A three-night Independence of the Seas sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida, to Perfect Day and Nassau in the Bahamas on Dec. 5 starting at $99 — or $33 a day.
  • A three-night Liberty of the Seas sailing from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades to Perfect Day on Nov. 1 starting at $99 — or $33 a day. Another departure on Nov. 4 starts at $119 — or about $40 a day.
  • Three-night Liberty of the Seas sailings from Port Everglades to Perfect Day and Nassau on Dec. 2, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16 starting at $119 — or about $40 a day. Sailings in November start at $139 — about $46 per day.
  • A four-night Independence of the Seas sailing from Port Canaveral to Perfect Day and Nassau on Nov. 14 starting at $129 — or about $32 per day. Sailings on Nov. 7, Nov. 28 and Dec. 12 start at $149 — or about $37 a day.

All the deeply discounted fares above only are available for the lowest-category cabins on each of the ships, which all are windowless “interior” cabins. But Royal Caribbean also is offering notably low rates on ocean-view and balcony cabins on the ships, too.

Related: Some cruise fares have dropped as low as $26 a day as lines struggle to fill ships

Ocean-view cabins (that is, cabins with a window) on the three-night Nov. 1 departure of Liberty of the Seas were listed on Royal Caribbean’s website Wednesday for $158 — just $59 more than a windowless cabin. Balcony cabins on the sailing were listed for $168. That works out to just $56 a day for a balcony cabin.

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All the fares are per-person base rates that include accommodations, meals and entertainment but not port taxes and fees, which range from $101 to $110. Cruise lines typically advertise their fares without port taxes and fees included but add these costs to final bills at the time of checkout.

Related: 6 ways to get a deal on a cruise

As is typical with cruise ship pricing, the per-person fares are “based on double occupancy,” which means they are available only to passengers when booking two or more people in a cabin. Customers who want to have a cabin to themselves will pay more.

Passengers who book many of the lowest fares available also will pay extra for things like alcoholic drinks, Wi-Fi and service charges while on the cruises.

Related: 11 extra charges on cruise ships that will drive you nuts — and what to do about them

Still, even with such extra charges, the cost of such cruises is notably low when compared to the rapidly rising cost of staying in a resort or hotel on land. Cruise pricing this year has fallen far behind pricing for lodging on land, with some Wall Street analysts who cover the travel industry saying the differential is now in the 30% to 50% range.

The low rates for fall cruises at Royal Caribbean come as cruise companies struggle more than land resorts to return to normal occupancy levels in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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