Are you looking for an inexpensive vacation that fits your tight budget and time-crunched schedule? A 3- to 5-night cruise may be just the answer. These cruises depart from a wide variety of U.S. ports, eliminating expensive international flights and making these vacation options particularly convenient.
Short cruises visit a wide variety of ports in exciting destinations including the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, and even Alaska. Ships vary in size and amenities, with some cruise lines deploying newer ships to handle shorter cruises. Itineraries vary, but generally include two or more ports and often a day or two at sea.
So, who should consider a short cruise? These vacations are perfect for:
* People with limited vacation schedules. Short cruises of 3-, 4-, or 5-days are the perfect choice for a long weekend getaway or vacations with compressed time frames. Many cruise itineraries are built around long weekends and a variety of departure cities are available.
* Budget-oriented cruisers. Short cruise vacations are very affordable and provide accommodations, food, and entertainment at a reasonable price. These cruise options are a particularly good value during the fall, late spring, and in pre- and post-holiday periods. Kids sharing a cabin usually sail at a lower cost.
* Coastal dwellers. Short cruises leave from a number of drive-to-port cities, eliminating the cost of airfare. Some of these cities include Boston, Massachusetts; Baltimore, Maryland; Bayonne, New Jersey; New York City, New York; Charleston, South Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Tampa, Florida; Miami, Florida; Port Canaveral, Florida; Galveston, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Long Beach, California.
* Cruise newbies. Short cruises are an excellent way to try out the cruise experience to see whether it's something you will enjoy. Although these itineraries are shorter, you'll still get a feel for this vacation lifestyle and see whether you'd enjoy a longer cruise experience.
* Type-A vacationers. Short cruises are filled with a wide range of activities and diversions. In addition to calling on fun ports, newer ships feature indoor and outdoor pools, spas, fitness centers, children's and teens programs, kids pools and waterplay fountains, rock walls and bungee trampolines, discos, shopping complexes, specialty restaurants, bars, theaters, and other amenities.
* Multigenerational and celebration vacation groups. Short cruises offer activities and amenities for every age range, making them excellent choices for family reunions and celebrations. Children's programs, teen activities and adult diversions allow people to spend time on their own as well as with the group, and it's easy to get everyone together at meals and other events. In addition, low prices make short cruises affordable for even the most budget conscious family member.
* Cruise junkies. Passionate about cruising and just can't get enough? Short cruises do have a slightly more rushed feel than their longer counterparts, but remember - a cruise is still a cruise, even if it's just for a few days. You'll still enjoy a change of scenery, a beautiful ship, and the chance to relax. So, when you find yourself longing for the attentive service provided by your cabin steward and friendly wait staff, take a short cruise and say “bon voyage” to the stresses of everyday life.