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Cruises to Charleston

Charleston (Photo:Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)

About Charleston

I'm going back to Charleston, back where I belong. I want peace. I want to see if somewhere there isn't something left in life of charm and grace. --Rhett Butler, "Gone With the Wind"

The Holy City, Charleston, is so named for the skyline of steeples seen by ships' passengers as they enter Charleston harbor. The view was there before the American Revolution, during the Civil War, and you'll see the same today as your ship arrives or departs. Charleston has endured much over the centuries, but the city also has thrived and prospered. Pirates, wars, disease, hurricanes, earthquakes and, most frequently, fires have left their mark on the city and the region known as the Lowcountry, as have the unique individuals and personalities that have shaped the centuries there -- and left us the Charleston we know today.

Today's Charleston is a treasure trove, a unique blend of architecture and history, art and culture. Visit the Old Exchange Building, and see the history of the city and that of the port. Look at Rainbow Row to see how individual buildings have become part of a city landmark. Turn down any corner, and discover quiet alleys and cobbled streets where the past is always present. The air can be thick with scent -- tea olive, jessamine, magnolia; camellias and azaleas burst forth with color, each in their season. It's hard to get lost -- sooner or later, you'll end up at either the Ashley or Cooper River. Walk the Battery, with planters' mansions behind you, and gaze across the harbor at Fort Sumter, where the tragedy of the Civil War began. Stroll the neighborhoods, and begin to understand why Charlestonians are proud of what has been preserved and maintained. They're eager to share it and will go out of their way to help visitors, which explains why Charleston has been named the "Most Polite" city in America several years in a row.

Bring your camera, your appetite and a shopping bag. The city is overwhelmingly picturesque, and you'll find yourself stopping over and over for that perfect photo, that intriguing view. Dine well and often in this city where, in years gone by, residents ate only at home; now, the city is a foodie haven where dining out has become a never-ending adventure. The Saturday Farmers' Market is always crowded, and an annual Food & Wine Festival has been introduced. And, make sure to set yourself to shopping mode. National chains do exist, but it's what's local that really counts. The must-have items are handwoven sweetgrass baskets; they're expensive, yes, but you're buying centuries of tradition. Look for antiques, silver, jewelry and art of every kind. (No, it's not legally required to have an art gallery on every block ... it just seems that way.)

Take your time, and don't try to do everything; you'll be coming back.


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  • 10 Night
    Cruise to Charleston

    Leaving:
    Bayonne
    Visiting:
    Newport, Charleston ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Celebrity Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    10 Night Cruise to Charleston Route (Celebrity Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
    • Day 2
      Newport
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Charleston
    • Day 5
      Charleston
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      King's Wharf
    • Day 8
      King's Wharf
    • Day 9
      King's Wharf
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
    Ship Details

    Celebrity Summit - Celebrity Cruises

    Pros

    Smaller size means consistent service; heavy emphasis on food and wine, with good results.

    Cons

    Nighttime entertainment is hit or miss, with some live music shows more snooze fest than snappy.

    Bottom Line

    The ship presents some of the best features of Celebrity, without being too overwhelming.

    Reviews

    Celebrity Summit Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.5
    Value4.0

    Immediately upon stepping foot onboard Celebrity Summit, one gets a sense of the ship's elegant...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    bfa5y
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    celebrity summit southern carribean get away
    Read More
    printingchick
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Royal Caribbean Cruiser Tries Celebrity
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 8 Night
    Cruise to Charleston

    Leaving:
    Baltimore
    Visiting:
    Nassau, Perfect Day at CocoCay ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Royal Caribbean International
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    Cruise Itinerary

    8 Night Cruise to Charleston Route (Royal Caribbean International)
    • Day 1
      Baltimore
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Nassau
    • Day 5
      Perfect Day at CocoCay
    • Day 6
      Port Canaveral (Orlando)
    • Day 7
      Charleston
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Baltimore
    Ship Details

    Grandeur of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

    Pros

    Smaller size, veteran crew and repeat clientele give the ship a homey feel

    Cons

    Cabins feel old; ship lacks line's newest bells and whistles

    Bottom Line

    Affordable ship in Baltimore draws families, seniors and everyone in between

    Reviews

    Grandeur of the Seas Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.5
    Dining3.5
    Service4.0
    Value4.5

    Can a cruise ship ever feel like home? For the many passengers who return multiple times to Bal...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    skiwithapro1234
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    We kept trying, but now we are done with the Grandeur of the Seas
    Read More
    Kath123
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Average cruise
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 4 Night
    Cruise to Charleston

    Leaving:
    Charleston
    Visiting:
    Nassau, Charleston ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Carnival Cruise Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    4 Night Cruise to Charleston Route (Carnival Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Charleston
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Nassau
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Charleston
    Ship Details

    Carnival Sunshine - Carnival Cruise Line

    Pros

    Ship offers updated bars, restaurants and revamped kids' spaces.

    Cons

    Adults-only areas, while lovely, are a bit small.

    Bottom Line

    Former Carnival Destiny underwent $155 million makeover, and the improvements are noticeable.

    Reviews

    Carnival Sunshine Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value5.0

    Carnival Sunshine is the result of a 2012 massive, $155 million, 49-day transformation that saw...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    pvaickus
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Fun Cruise, better service than I remember, and some fun and good food options.
    Read More
    CaptEZ2Like
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Cold and Packed In Carnival Sunshine
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 5 Night
    Cruise to Charleston

    Leaving:
    Charleston
    Visiting:
    Nassau, Princess Cays ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Carnival Cruise Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    5 Night Cruise to Charleston Route (Carnival Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Charleston
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Nassau
    • Day 4
      Princess Cays
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Charleston
    Ship Details

    Carnival Sunshine - Carnival Cruise Line

    Pros

    Ship offers updated bars, restaurants and revamped kids' spaces.

    Cons

    Adults-only areas, while lovely, are a bit small.

    Bottom Line

    Former Carnival Destiny underwent $155 million makeover, and the improvements are noticeable.

    Reviews

    Carnival Sunshine Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value5.0

    Carnival Sunshine is the result of a 2012 massive, $155 million, 49-day transformation that saw...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    judagar
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    1st time on Sunshine
    Read More
    Quillylurlean
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Good Cruise That Could Be Great!
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 8 Night
    Cruise to Charleston

    Leaving:
    Baltimore
    Visiting:
    Charleston, Port Canaveral ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Royal Caribbean International
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    8 Night Cruise to Charleston Route (Royal Caribbean International)
    • Day 1
      Baltimore
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Charleston
    • Day 4
      Port Canaveral (Orlando)
    • Day 5
      Perfect Day at CocoCay
    • Day 6
      Nassau
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Baltimore
    Ship Details

    Grandeur of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

    Pros

    Smaller size, veteran crew and repeat clientele give the ship a homey feel

    Cons

    Cabins feel old; ship lacks line's newest bells and whistles

    Bottom Line

    Affordable ship in Baltimore draws families, seniors and everyone in between

    Reviews

    Grandeur of the Seas Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.5
    Dining3.5
    Service4.0
    Value4.5

    Can a cruise ship ever feel like home? For the many passengers who return multiple times to Bal...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Shopdelilah
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Not Impressed
    Read More
    AbyA
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    From beginning to end...Disappointing
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 11 Night
    Cruise to Charleston

    Leaving:
    Miami
    Visiting:
    Nassau, King's Wharf ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Regent Seven Seas Cruises
    View Deal
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    Cruise Itinerary

    11 Night Cruise to Charleston Route (Regent Seven Seas Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Miami
    • Day 2
      Nassau
    • Day 3
      Atlantic Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 4
      King's Wharf
    • Day 5
      King's Wharf
    • Day 5
      St. George
    • Day 6
      Atlantic Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 7
      Norfolk
    • Day 8
      Atlantic Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 9
      Charleston
    • Day 10
      Charleston
    • Day 11
      Port Canaveral (Orlando)
    • Day 12
      Miami
    Ship Details

    Seven Seas Navigator - Regent Seven Seas Cruises

    Pros

    Lovely public spaces, excellent cuisine, free tours, drinks and tips

    Cons

    Entertainment is limited and offerings could use a refresh

    Bottom Line

    Intimate, all-inclusive ship is a comfortable home base for exploration

    Reviews

    Seven Seas Navigator Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining4.5
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    These days, the 33,000-ton, 490-passenger Seven Seas Navigator feels so elegant and contemporar...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    The Shadow
    Sail Date Feb 2018
    Brown water in bath
    Read More
    petal06
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Fine Dining every night with endless cocktails
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 20 Night
    Cruise to Charleston

    Leaving:
    San Francisco
    Visiting:
    Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Oceania Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    20 Night Cruise to Charleston Route (Oceania Cruises)
    • Day 1
      San Francisco
    • Day 2
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 3
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 4
      Cabo San Lucas
    • Day 5
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 6
      Acapulco
    • Day 7
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 8
      Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)
    • Day 9
      Corinto
    • Day 10
      Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)
    • Day 11
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 12
      Panama Canal
    • Day 13
      Cartagena (Spain)
    • Day 14
      Caribbean Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Miami
    • Day 17
      Port Canaveral (Orlando)
    • Day 18
      Charleston
    • Day 19
      Charleston
    • Day 20
      Atlantic Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 21
      New York (Manhattan)
    Ship Details

    Insignia - Oceania Cruises

    Pros

    ** Excellent food and attentive service accompany an intimate and mature atmosphere onboard

    Cons

    ** Activities are few, which can prove either relaxing or slightly dull

    Bottom Line

    ** Insignia is a small, quiet and comfortable ship oriented toward adults

    Reviews

    Insignia Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining5.0
    Service5.0
    Value4.0

    On Oceania's Insignia, size matters. At 684 passengers, the ship is large enough to have most of t...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    stoshb
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Small ship is the way to go
    Read More
    BrocktonCruiser
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Great Small Ship Experience - Happy Holidays
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Far