The Island Princess left Fort Lauderdale a week ago and was bound for Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
The boaters asked cruise workers to give them fuel so they could continue on their way, but the cruise workers said they don't do that. They took the men aboard and notified officials in Jamaica.
The captain of the cruise ship notified passengers about the small boat earlier Monday on the loudspeaker.
"We noticed the boat slowing down," said passenger Andy Greenberg of Omaha, Neb. "We pulled up and the occupants were screaming: 'No food, no water.' "
Greenberg said passengers were told that the motor on the boat broke down.
The Coast Guard declined comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
The rescue took less than 45 minutes.