Looking for an inexpensive way to escape winterís cold temperatures? A 3- to 5-night cruise may be just the answer. These cruises depart from a wide variety of U.S. ports, which can eliminate expensive flights and make these vacation options particularly convenient. With base rates that are often less than $250 per person, short sailings can be an excellent value.
Short cruises visit a wide variety of warm weather ports in exciting destinations including the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Mexico. 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 during the winter months? These kinds of vacations are perfect for:
* Escapists with limited vacation schedules. Short cruises of 3-, 4-, or 5-nights are the perfect choice for a long winter weekend getaway or for those who have only a few days available for a vacation. Although mid-week short cruises are available, most short cruise itineraries are built around long weekends and depart from a variety of cities.
* Budget-oriented cruisers. Short cruise vacations are very affordable and provide accommodations, food, and entertainment at a reasonable price. These quick winter getaways are a particularly good value when compared to other pricey vacation options. To accurate compare vacation options, do your research and look closely to see what's included on a short winter cruise versus a land-based vacation.
* Coastal dwellers. Short cruises leave from a number of drive-to-port cities, often eliminating the high cost of airfare. Some of these cities include Charleston, South Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Tampa, Florida; Miami, Florida; Port Canaveral, Florida; Galveston, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; and two ports in the greater Los Angeles, California area.
* 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.
* Families seeking fun for everyone. A short winter cruise break can be one of the best family vacation options. Cruise ships cater to families with extensive daily kids' and teens' programs, triple and quad cabins, high-energy activities and entertainment, family-friendly dining options, and much more.
* 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. It's hard to get bored on these floating entertainment centers.
* Multigenerational and celebration vacation groups. Short winter 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 getting away from winterís cold temperatures, the beautiful ship, and a welcome chance to relax.
For more information on taking a short winter cruise vacation, talk to your favorite travel agent or visit sites such as VacationsToGo.com, Cruises.com, CruiseCompete.com and others.