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- Best Overall: MSC Cruises – See Rates at Expedia "Its own private island in the Bahamas that’s been the talk of the cruise industry."
- Best Budget: Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line – See Rates "A live nightly entertainment in the theater, sail away shows and parties."
- Best Family Cruise: Disney Cruise Line – See Rates at Expedia "Perfect for families who want to visit the parks before their Bahamas cruise."
- Best Nightlife: Norwegian Cruise Line – See Rates at Expedia "Features like laser tag, a race track on the top deck, and thrilling water slides."
- Best Activities: Carnival – See Rates at Expedia "When it’s time to relax, there’s Cloud 9 Spa or Serenity adults-only retreat."
- Best Short Cruise: Celebrity Cruises – See Rates at Expedia "A great choice for a more upscale cruise experience."
- Best Extended Cruise: Royal Caribbean – See Rates at Expedia "Combine the pink-sand beaches of Bermuda with a trip to the Bahamas."
- Best Cruise Experience: Princess Cruises – See Rates at Expedia "Escape to a private port in the Bahamas on a short, three-night jaunt."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: MSC Cruises
- Sails from: Miami
- Duration: 3-5 nights
- Ship Name: MSC Meraviglia
- Itinerary: Nassau, Ocean Cay, Bahamas; Miami, Florida
European cruise line MSC Cruises has been rapidly expanding in the U.S market by opening its own private island in the Bahamas. Onboard the new, 4,500-passenger Meraviglia, guests can take in a dazzling Cirque du Soleil performance or stroll along the stunning central atrium that spans the entire length of the ship, including a digital LED “sky” at sea. Kids will love the Aqua park, complete with four water slides and a Himalayan climbing bridge. The island of Ocean Cay debuts in November 2019 with a land-based spa, several beaches, snorkeling tours, and an iconic red-and-white-striped lighthouse featuring an outdoor bar.
Best Budget: Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line
- Sails from: Port of Palm Beach
- Duration: 2 nights
- Ship Name: Grand Celebration
- Itinerary: Grand Bahama Island, Port of Palm Beach
If you’re looking for a short getaway to blow off steam and let your hair down, then Grand Celebration might be for you. The cruise line operates a regular schedule of short overnight cruises to Grand Bahama Island (similar to a ferry boat), but with many attractions found on a cruise ship, including live nightly entertainment in the theater, sail away shows and parties, a steel-drum band, spa, and casino. Most cabins are standard interior or oceanview categories with a handful of suites, and pricing is very budget-minded. While these ships lack the bells and whistles of some of the other cruise ships, there’s fun to be had onboard during quick getaways from the Port of Palm Beach.
Best Family Cruise: Disney Cruise Line
- Sails From: Port Canaveral, Florida
- Duration: 3 nights
- Ship Name: Disney Dream
- Itinerary: Nassau, Bahamas; Disney Castaway Cay; Port Canaveral, Florida
For families who can’t get enough of Disney, a Bahamas cruise on the Disney Dream transports the magic from the theme parks to paradise. Based in Port Canaveral — about an hour drive from Disney World Resort in Central Florida — the 4,000-passenger Dream is perfect for families who want to visit the parks before their cruise. One highlight on Dream is the Aqua Duck Waterslide, a transparent, 4-story slide extending over the side of the ship that passengers zoom down in rafts. Favorite Disney characters will roam the decks for meet-and-greets with the kids, and the theater showcases live musical performances of classic Disney films. On the private island of Castaway Cay, there’s a blue lagoon for snorkeling, a teens hideaway, game pavilion, sports courts, and more.
Best Nightlife: Norwegian Cruise Line
- Sails from: New York
- Duration: 7 nights
- Ship Name: Norwegian Bliss
- Itinerary: Port Canaveral, United States; Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; Nassau, Bahamas
Norwegian Cruise Line makes it easy to escape the New York City grind aboard its newest ship, Bliss, on a round-trip sailing from Manhattan. Bliss has buzzworthy features like laser tag, a race track on the top deck, and thrilling water slides that overhang the sides of the ship. Plus, there’s a sizzling nightlife onboard including theme parties, Spice H20 (an adult-only club inspired by the beaches of Ibiza), and live entertainment, such as a performance of Jersey Boys. The ship has accommodations for every type of cruiser, including solo staterooms and elegant suites in the Haven, a luxurious enclave. Bliss has more than 15 dining venues onboard ranging from cafes serving gelato to fine dining specialty restaurants.
Best Activities: Carnival
- Sails from: Charleston
- Duration: 4 nights
- Ship Name: Carnival Sunshine
- Itinerary: Princess Cays, Bahamas
Get a full dose of the Bahamas in a short amount of time aboard the 3,002-passenger, Carnival Sunshine. Known for a festive atmosphere onboard, Sunshine hosts comedy shows, lip sync battles, deck parties, karaoke, and live theater performances. When it’s time to relax, there’s Cloud 9 Spa or Serenity adults-only retreat. Expect a variety of dining options including Guy’s Burger Joint (from television restaurant personality Guy Fieri), as well as the Blue Iguana Cantina — Carnival’s signature Mexican restaurant. The ship cruise calls on the private island Princess Cays, and includes kayaking, eco tours, and more. Sunshine sails round-trip from Charleston.
Best Short Cruise: Celebrity Cruises
- Sails from: Fort Lauderdale
- Duration: 2 nights
- Ship Name: Celebrity Equinox
- Itinerary: Nassau, Bahamas; Fort Lauderdale, Florida
If you’re just looking for a quick, quiet getaway with less of a party atmosphere, Celebrity Equinox is a great choice for an upscale cruise experience. During the two-night cruise to Nassau, passengers can choose from a variety of different cabin options, including the AquaClass, which is located near the spa and comes with exclusive access to Blu specialty restaurant as well as unlimited use of the spa’s thermal suite. Or, book a cabin in Suite class and enjoy butler service and dining at Luminae, an elegant international restaurant. Other highlights onboard Equinox range from ballet shows and classes with the American Ballet Theater to the outdoor lawn club — a living, breathing space at sea.
Best Extended Cruise: Royal Caribbean
- Sails from: Baltimore
- Duration: 7-8 nights
- Ship Name: Grandeur of the Seas
- Itinerary: Port Canaveral, United States; CocoCay, Bahamas; Nassau, Bahamas; Baltimore, Maryland
Combine the pink-sand beaches of Bermuda with a trip to the Bahamas onboard Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas for a longer, sun-soaked getaway. The cruise sails from Baltimore and overnights in Port Canaveral, for even more time exploring. Then, it continues to Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas for private cabanas, gigantic water slides, and swim-up bars. Onboard Grandeur, passengers can watch movies under the stars, watch a tango show, take culinary or sushi classes, and even learn some new dance moves. Sample excellent cuisine at one of Royal Caribbean’s signature restaurants like Chops Grille steakhouse or Giovanni’s Table — as well as Italian eatery.
Best Cruise Experience: Princess Cruises
- Sails from: Fort Lauderdale
- Duration: 4 nights
- Ship Name: Caribbean Princess
- Itinerary: Princess Cays, Bahamas; Fort Lauderdale
Many cruises on Princess tend to have longer itineraries, but you can escape to a private port in the Bahamas on a short, four-night jaunt aboard 3,140-passenger, Caribbean Princess. While sailing to a private port in Eleuthera, passengers can spend time at sea exploring the newly-refurbished ship or participate in a roster of daily activities ranging from trivia, scavenger hunts, pub crawls, spa seminars, and sports contests. In the evenings, catch “Movies Under the Stars,” the “Voice of the Ocean” (a live show), or head over to the Club Fusion dance club. The private, 40-acre resort in the Bahamas has white-sand beaches, a craft market, volleyball and watersports, and a beach party complete with a barbecue lunch.
Still can't find what you're looking for? Check out our roundup of the best cruises for adults.