As someone who loves to cruise, I always look for new and different itineraries on short weekend cruises.
Yes, you can only get so far on a weekend cruise, but you can sample many private destinations without being gone for an entire week.
There are many reasons why a short weekend cruise can be a great option. Firstly, it allows for a change of scenery without taking too much time off work or other commitments. Additionally, it can be more affordable than a week-long cruise or a weekend at a theme park.
Five reasons to take a short cruise
1. Competitively priced
Short cruises are often more affordable than longer voyages, making them an excellent option for those on a budget. Many cruise lines offer special deals and discounts for short cruises, so shop around and find the best value for your budget.
Carnival is famous for its 24-hour flash sales, while Royal Caribbean is known for its “WOW” sales. Recently, I booked a weekend sailing on Royal Caribbean for only $189 per person.
Pay particular attention to the final payment date, approximately 90 to 120 days before departure (varies by cruise line).
2. Plenty of ships
Short weekend cruises are perfect for exploring destinations close to home. You can enjoy a quick getaway without traveling far or booking a flight.
For example, you can book a cruise to Perfect Day at CocoCay, a private island in the Bahamas owned by Royal Caribbean. You can enjoy various fun activities such as ziplining, water parks, and beach lounging.
3. Weekend getaways
Shorter cruises are great for extended weekend getaways when time and family obligations limit weekday availability. Most ships offer three-night cruises from Thursday to Sunday or Friday to Monday, requiring minimal time off work.
Florida has the most weekend cruises, with three to four-night sailings departing from Port Miami, Tampa, Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, and Jacksonville. Los Angeles also offers short cruises down to Mexico from Long Beach and San Pedro on the west coast.
4. Private islands
Many cruise lines offer a chance to visit their private islands during your trip. Carnival has Half Moon Cay, Royal Caribbean has Perfect Day at CocoCay, Disney has Castaway Cay, MSC Cruises has Ocean Cay, and Norwegian has Great Stirrup Cay.
You can now add Bimini Cruise Port, which is used mainly by Virgin Voyages, to that list.
For the most part, the cruise line owns and operates these private destinations, ensuring a safe and secure visit for all passengers. It’s a perfect opportunity to enjoy a great beach day without any safety concerns.
5. Perfect for first-time cruisers
If you’ve never been on a cruise before, a short weekend cruise is the perfect way to dip your toes in the water and see if cruising is for you. With minimal time commitment and plenty of onboard activities to keep you entertained, a short cruise is a great way to understand cruising.
Two of my friends live in New York City and got hooked by taking a cruise to nowhere back when they were still legal.
RELATED: 21 First Time Cruise Tips