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OpinionWhat If You Took a Cruise Every Week for a Year Straight

What If You Took a Cruise Every Week for a Year Straight

I reviewed the cheapest 7-day cruise itineraries for an entire year and broke down the price, ports, and details of what this year would entail.

I ran a little experiment. I wondered what it would be like to take a cruise every week and spend the entire year at sea.

What would it cost? What ports of call would I get to see? What ships would offer the best deals?

And what is the minimum I would have to spend to enjoy an entire year on a cruise ship, one week at a time?

Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise ships in port in Nassau, Bahamas
Cruise port in Nassau, Bahamas where 12 visits would be made on the Sunday weekly itinerary below. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

So, I chose a cruise port, ran the numbers, and came out with some rather interesting results.

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Granted, this is not a year-long trip I would likely ever take myself, but knowing some who like to spend their retirement at sea almost every week of the year, I thought it was a fun project.

A few things surprised me along the way, and I wanted to share what I learned with our readers here at Cruise Fever.

There were a few ground rules I used for gathering this information.

Here is the criteria I employed:

  • First, the cruise had to depart from PortMiami, the Cruise Capital of the World. This just made those turnaround days easier. As the busiest cruise port in the world there would be more selection and availability of ships. I also chose to stick with one cruise port so we could simply hop off one ship and jump on another with ease. I could have mixed in Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale as well if I wanted, but decided to keep this variable constant.
  • Secondly, the cruise had to be a 7-night itinerary. There were times that a 6 or 8 night cruise would have made more sense, but the goal was to spend every night in a cruise cabin and not in a hotel. This also meant that I had to choose either a Sunday or Saturday for departure dates. I ended up running the numbers for each.
  • Thirdly, for each week I chose the cruise ship with the lowest price and the cheapest cabin. So, this would be a year spent in interior cabins only. Not ideal for most, but this was a test to see how little we could spend on an adventure like this.

Related:  PortMiami parking guide

Also the cost below is for two people, so the listed fare price, taxes, and fees have already been doubled to account for the second person in the cabin.

cruise ships in portmiami, miami with virgin and royal caribbean
PortMiami, Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

What information did I gather for these bookings?

  • Dates of the cruises
  • Cruise ships
  • Ports of call visited
  • Taxes and fees for each cruise
  • Total cost

Obviously, there would be more costs involved than the cruise fare, taxes and fees. Things like excursions, gratuities, eating off the ship, and all kinds of other expenses would have to be calculated to get a true cost of this year-long expedition. But these numbers at least will provide a baseline.

As mentioned above, I had to run these numbers twice: Once starting 7-day cruises on a Sunday, and then again beginning on a Saturday. 7-day itineraries typically begin on one of these two days and I wanted to make sure I covered my bases by trying out each of these days of the week.

The first cruise would begin in August of 2023 and the last cruise would end in the same month of 2024.

Why did I start in August?

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Simply put, it was far off in the future enough that cruise ships were not going to be booked, and there were plenty of cabins still available.  Since we are looking at prices over an entire year the starting point shouldn’t be that much of an issue.

After comparing prices on booking websites and cruise line websites and spending a few hours compiling the information, here is a breakdown of the results.

 

A year’s worth of 7-day cruises when departing on a Sunday

This year-long journey would being on August 6th, 2023 and sail out of PortMiami on MSC Seascape.  The cheapest rates for each week would mean sailing on a total of 5 different cruise ships as listed below.

Cruise ships

  • MSC Seascape – 12 weeks
  • MSC Divina – 6 weeks
  • Carnival Celebration – 26 weeks
  • Carnival Magic – 6 weeks
  • Oasis of the Seas – 2 weeks

(Data table for these 52 cruises at the end of the article.)

 

Cost average throughout the year

This chart shows weekly costs of these cruises, showing most weekly totals with cruise fare and taxes/fees.

chart of cruise costs
Chart made from compiled data in my excel spreadsheet

Related: What are the cheapest weeks of the year to cruise?

 

Ports of call

Another interesting part of this experiment is how many times some of these ports of call would be visited on a year-long cruising schedule.  Note that since we are sailing out of PortMiami every week it does mean our port stops are limited to these areas below.

Here is the breakdown of how often each port would be visited in a year’s time.

Number of times each port would be visited during the year-long cruise journeys.

 

How much would it all cost?

Now, the big question: how much would this year-long voyage cost?

(52) 7-day cruises sailing for an entire year would cost $76,566.  This includes taxes/fees and cruise fare.

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Remember this is by sailing only out of PortMiami starting in August of this year and only choosing 7-day cruise itineraries.  Many other factors could have changed this figure.

I also broke down the taxes/fees and just the cruise fare separately.

  • Taxes and fees:  $16,742
  • Cruise fare for two passengers: $59,824

The cost average for two people each week was $1,472.42.

Related: What is the best cruise line for you?

 

What if we left on a Saturday instead?

After seeing that many 7-day sailings out of PortMiami also depart on a Saturday I decided to run these numbers as well, just so we have a clearer picture.

This year-long journey would being on August 5th, 2023 and sail out of PortMiami on MSC Seascape.  The cheapest rates for each week would mean sailing on a total of 5 different cruise ships as listed below.

Cruise ships

  • Harmony of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) – 8 weeks
  • MSC Seascape – 38 weeks
  • Carnival Horizon – 3 weeks
  • Norwegian Joy – 2 weeks
  • Valiant Lady (Virgin Voyages) 1 week

Note: For this year-long journey we would sail on MSC Seascape a total of 38 times.  This ended up playing a large factor in the final price because of the affordability of MSC cruises.

Also, there were a few weeks in September and October where PortMiami did not offer a 7-day sailing on a Saturday.  For these weeks I simply found the cheapest 6 or 8 day cruise and then lined up the next itinerary to get back on track with Saturday departures.

By the end of November we were back on track for 7-day cruises on Saturdays.

 

Cost average throughout the year

This chart shows weekly costs of these cruises, showing most weekly totals with cruise fare and taxes/fees.

chart of cruise cost if cruising every week for a year

 

Ports of Call

Here is the breakdown of how often each port would be visited in a year’s time if we sailed out of PortMiami on a Saturday each week.

pie chart of ports of call if taking cruise every week for a year from portmiami

 

How much would it all cost?

Departing on a Saturday how much would this year-long voyage cost?

(52) 7-day cruises sailing for an entire year would cost $67,525.  This includes taxes/fees and cruise fare.

Remember this is by sailing only out of PortMiami starting in August of this year and only choosing 7-day cruise itineraries (mostly) that depart on Saturdays.  Many other factors could have changed this figure.

I also broke down the taxes/fees and just the cruise fare separately.

  • Taxes and fees:  $16,187
  • Cruise fare for two passengers: $51,338

The cost average for two people each week was $1,472.42.

 

Here is the table for some of the data points I collected.  I eliminated the individual fare cost and tax/fees cost column so the table is easier to read in mobile, but that data has been separated above for the breakdown.

This information below is for the itineraries departing on Sunday.

Dates Ship Ports of Call Total for 2 (Fare + Fees)
Aug 6 – 13 Seascape Puerto Plata, San Juan, Nassau, Ocean Cay $1,662.18
Aug 13 – 20 Seascape Puerto Plata, San Juan, Nassau, Ocean Cay $1,462.18
Aug 20 – 27 Seascape Puerto Plata, San Juan, Nassau, Ocean Cay $1,462.18
Aug 27 – Sep. 3 Seascape Puerto Plata, San Juan, Nassau, Ocean Cay $1,302.18
Sept. 3 – 10 Seascape Puerto Plata, San Juan, Nassau, Ocean Cay $1,302.18
Sept. 10 – 17 Seascape Ocean Cay, Ocho Rios, Georgetown, Cozumel $1,282.00
Sept 17 – 24 Seascape Puerto Plata, San Juan, Nassau, Ocean Cay $1,302.18
Sept 24 – Oct 1 Seascape Ocean Cay, Ocho Rios, Georgetown, Cozumel $1,282.00
Oct 1 – 8 Seascape Puerto Plata, San Juan, Nassau, Ocean Cay $1,362.18
Oct 8 -15 Seascape Ocean Cay, Ocho Rios, Georgetown, Cozumel $1,342.00
Oct 15 – 22 Seascape Puerto Plata, San Juan, Nassau, Ocean Cay $1,362.18
Oct 22 – 29 Seascape Ocean Cay, Ocho Rios, Georgetown, Cozumel $1,342.00
Oct 29 – Nov 5 Celebration Cozumel, Costa Maya, Mahogany Bay $1,386.40
Nov 5 -12 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Thomas $1,316.40
Nov 12 – 19 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Maarten $1,326.40
Nov 19 – 26 Oasis of the Seas Labadee, St Thomas, Cococay $1,564.84
Nov 26 – Dec 3 Celebration Cozumel, Costa Maya, Mahogany Bay $1,286.40
Dec 3 – 10 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Thomas $1,336.40
Dec 10 – 17 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Maarten $1,306.40
Dec 17 – 24 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Thomas $1,496.40
Dec 24 – 31 Celebration Mahogany Bay, Costa Maya, Cozumel $2,126.40
Dec 31 – Jan 7 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Thomas $2,176.40
Jan 7 – 14 Divina Cozumel, Georgetown, Ocho Rios, Ocean Cay $878.00
Jan 14 – 21 Oasis of the Seas Nassau, Cococay, Labadee, Falmouth $1,376.84
Jan 21 – 28 Celebration Cozumel, Mahogany Bay, Costa Maya $1,366.40
Jan 28 – Feb 4 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Thomas $1,396.40
Feb 4 – 11 Divina Cozumel, George Town, Ocho Rios, Ocean Cay $1,078.00
Feb 11 – 18 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Thomas $1,436.40
Feb 18 – 25 Celebration Cozumel, Costa Maya, Mahogany Bay $1,446.40
Feb 25 – March 3 Divina Roatan, Belize City, Costa Maya $1,078.00
March 3 – 10 Divina Cozumel, George Town, Ocho Rios, Ocean Cay $1,078.00
March 10 – 17 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Thomas $1,716.40
March 17 – 24 Celebration Cozumel, Costa Maya, Mahogany Bay $1,626.40
March 24 – 31 Divina Roatan, Belize City, Costa Maya $1,178.00
March 31 – April 1 Divina Cozumel, George Town, Ocho Rios, Ocean Cay $1,078.00
April 7 – 14 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Thomas $1,476.40
April 14 – 21 Celebration Cozumel, Costa Maya, Mahogany Bay $1,466.40
April 21 – 28 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Thomas $1,476.40
April 28 – May 5 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Maarten $1,466.40
May 5 – 12 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Thomas $1,456.40
May 12 – 19 Magic Cozumel, Belize City, Mahogany Bay $1,381.92
May 19 – 26 Magic San Juan, Amber Cove, Grand Turk $1,393.74
May 26 – June 2 Celebration Grand Turk, Amber Cove, Nassau $1,888.90
June 2 – 9 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Thomas $1,876.40
June 9 – 16 Magic Cozumel, Belize City, Mahogany Bay $1,601.92
June 16 – 23 Magic San Juan, Amber Cove, Grand Turk $1,633.74
June 23 – 30 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Thomas $1,916.40
June 30 – July 7 Celebration Nassau, Amber Cove, Grand Turk $1,948.90
July 7 – 14 Magic Cozumel, Belize City, Mahogany Bay $1,641.92
July 14 – 21 Magic San Juan, Amber Cove, Grand Turk $1,633.74
July 21 – 28 Celebration Grand Turk, Amber Cove, Nassau $1,908.90
July 28 – Aug 4 Celebration Amber Cove, San Juan, St Thomas $1,876.40
    Average = $1,472.42
    Total = $76,566

 

In Summary

Sailing on the same ship and heading to the same ports of call over and over again is probably not the ideal way to spend your year.  I, for one, like a little more variety in my travel destinations.

And while you could make the argument that these ports of call could become like a second home after a while, the point of this study was to see how feasible it would be to spend a year on a cruise ship.

If you really wanted to spend a year at sea I would recommend much longer itineraries as well.  Taking a few world cruises mixed-in with 14-day cruises and such would make this a much more interesting task in my opinion.

Prices will change throughout the year as well, so the numbers might work out differently a few weeks from now.

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J. Souza
J. Souza
Jon got hooked on cruising after his first cruise on his honeymoon, and today he is always looking for cruise deals and reading information about the cruise industry. Jon lives in the foothills of North Carolina and wishes there were a cruise port that far inland. Jon can be reached at [email protected]
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