Homeport Cruising: Save Time and Money on Your Cruise!
For many, cruising from a port that you can drive to is much more convenient and friendlier on that vacation budget. With a variety of cruises leaving from ports in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Gulf Coast and West Coast, you can save money and time by cruising from a port that is close to home!
If you’re familiar with cruising, you probably know that many cruises leave from ports in Florida including Port Canaveral, Miami and Fort Lauderdale. For this post, I’m focusing on the best cruise deals from the ports that are outside of these 3 large cruise centers, because chances are many of you are within driving distance of one of these other ports!
Carnival takes the award for the most cruises offered year round out of the most US ports. In fact, they have cruises out of almost every US port. But they are in good company as other cruise lines are also increasing their offerings in more ports in the U.S.
Below, I’ve outlined some of the most popular areas of the United States that feature cruise ports, and which cruise lines you will find cruises from. I’ve also picked out my favorite deal from each region, be sure to check them out!
Northeast: New York, Bayonne and Boston
Destinations: Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean, Canada & New England, Transatlantic Crossings
The Northeast has a great selection when it comes to variety of cruise lines and ships. Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Cunard all have ships that are based in the Northeast, more specifically the New York area, year-round. In fact, Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, the Quantum of the Seas will be based out of Bayonne when she is makes her debut in the fall.
You will also find more choices during the summer and into the fall season as Celebrity, Holland America and Princess, as well as luxury brands like Crystal, Regent and Oceania move ships into this region for part of the year.
My favorite Northeast homeport cruise deal is on one of Norwegian’s newest ships, the Breakaway:
Mid Atlantic: Baltimore, Charleston and Jacksonville
Destinations: Bahamas, Bermuda and Caribbean
Royal Caribbean and Carnival are the only cruise lines to have a ship that is based of Baltimore year round and Carnival is the only cruise line to have ships in Charleston and Jacksonville year-round as well. Out of Baltimore, you will find 6 – 10 night cruises, while out of Charleston and Jacksonville you will also find some shorter itineraries offered.
My favorite Mid Atlantic homeport cruise deal is on the Carnival Fascination out of Jacksonville:
Gulf Coast: Tampa, Galveston, Houston and New Orleans
Destinations: Bahamas, Caribbean, Transatlantic
There are quite a few options now for cruises that leave from gulf coast ports. There are now more ships than years past that leave from Galveston and Houston year round. Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess all have ships sailing from these ports throughout the year. Norwegian will also move the Norwegian Gem to Houston this fall. Out of Tampa, you will find cruises year round from Carnival, and cruises from Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Holland America from the fall through spring.
For those closer to New Orleans, Carnival offers cruises from your homeport year-round. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian also have ships out of New Orleans in the fall and spring.
My favorite Gulf Coast homeport cruise deal is on the Navigator of the Seas this fall:
West Coast: Los Angeles/Long Beach, San Francisco, Seattle
Destinations: Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, Pacific Coast and Panama Canal
If you live on the west coast and want a shorter cruise, Carnival is going to be your main option. While you will find some one time shorter itineraries from other cruise lines right before or after the Alaska season (May – September), Carnival has the two ships that sail from Long Beach year-round.
When it comes to cruise that are 7 nights are longer, the West Coast is beginning to get more options, however they are mostly seasonal. For the fall, winter and spring Princess and Norwegian, in addition to Carnival, all offer cruises out of Los Angeles. Out of San Francisco, Princess is the main option (seasonally as well), with a few cruises offered from Holland America, Celebrity, Cunard as well as luxury brands Regent Seven Seas, Oceania and Silversea.
For those close to San Diego, there are some seasonal options as well. Mostly offered during the fall and spring seasons, you will find most of these cruises from Holland America, in addition to a few from Celebrity and Disney.
Of course, during the Alaska season (May – September) you will find offerings from almost all cruise lines from Seattle.
Click here to search for cruises leaving from the West Coast!
My favorite West Coast homeport cruise deal is on the Carnival Inspiration: