Looking for an inexpensive vacation getaway? A 3- to 5-night cruise may be just the answer. These cruises depart from a wide variety of U.S. and international ports, eliminating expensive flights and making these vacation options particularly convenient. With base prices currently starting as low as $199 per person, short sailings can be an excellent value.
Short cruises visit a wide variety of ports in exciting destinations including the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Mexico, and even Spain, Greece and Italy for those living in Europe. 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 kinds of vacations are perfect for:
* People with limited vacation schedules. Short cruises of 3-, 4-, or 5-nights are the perfect choice for a long weekend getaway or vacations with compressed time frames. 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 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 cruise versus a land-based vacation.
* Coastal dwellers. Short cruises leave from a number of drive-to-port cities, eliminating the high 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; Long Beach, California; and San Diego, 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.
* Families seeking fun for everyone. A short cruise vacation 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 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.
For more information on taking a short cruise vacation, talk to your favorite travel agent or visit sites such as VacationsToGo.com, Cruises.com, CruiseCompete.com and others.