Weekend Cruises offer Quick,
By Benjamin S.
says you can't get away from it all in a weekend? Arriving at the pier on a Friday
afternoon, it's only hours before your ship sets sail for some tropical island
and the passing sea starts soaking up all your worries and stress. After two full
days and three nights onboard, you're back at work just a few hours late on
Caribbean Monarch of the Seas cruises Mexico for 3 to 4 days.
first time cruisers looking to get their feet wet or seasoned travelers who just
feel the need for a quick escape, three, four and five night cruises are an increasingly
popular and inexpensive way to get away from it all. Gone are the days when three
and four day cruises left almost exclusively from Miami.
you can sail from every coast on a variety of short cruises to match your style
-- and your budget -- with ships ranging from the whimsical "Fun Ships"
of Carnival Cruise Line to the classic liner Regal Empress. Even some luxury lines
offer an occasional short cruise, giving everyone the opportunity to sample the
ship before booking a longer trip.
the cruiselines want to lure people onboard and get them hooked on cruising, there
are often incredible bargains. All the major companies offer pretty comparable
fares starting around $250 for an inside cabin and $350 or less for a four-night
cruise-and prices well below those are often available. Don't be put off by the
exorbitant brochure prices-any good travel agent can get you prices up to 50%
off. Generally, the newer the ship the more you'll pay, and the best bargains
to be found are on a classic liner.
It is better to book a cheap cabin on a nice ship rather than vice
versa, and that is especially true on a short cruise when you are rarely in your
cabin. With the money you've saved, indulge in the spa or take a shore excursion
instead. I'm always amazed how people spend literally thousands on a four-night
cruise, which is well above the cost for a seven-night trip in an average cabin.
The centrum of Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas.
big advantage for today's cruiser is that the building surge of ships has forced
companies to look for new cities from which to deploy their ships. From Port Manatee,
Fla., to New Orleans, weekend cruises are appearing in areas they were never seen
before. This influx of new ships also means that while three and four-night cruises
used to be operated on a cruiseline's 'already put to pasture' fleet, today you
may sail on a ship only a few years old with the same amenities of the newest ships.
soaring atriums, alternate restaurants open all night and big show rooms
that will make you wonder, "Am I really on a ship?"
short cruise will have a higher energy level than you'll find on a longer cruise,
and the bar will most likely be the most popular spot onboard. Still, there are
always places to slip away from the forced fun and enjoy the ultimate shipboard
pleasure -- simply being out at sea and looking at the passing ocean.
Disney sailing the Caribbean.
Carnival and Royal Caribbean offer the most short cruises, but there are a variety
of other companies offering similar escapes. However, several cruise companies are offering weekend cruises included luxury cruise providers such as Seabourn and Regent Seven Seas. Also, for a unique cruising expercience, try lines such as Norwegian or Disney. For those of you who aren't near an ocean and cannot get to one easily try cruising on the Mississippi with Majestic American Line.
matter which cruise you choose you'll discover your ship has transported you somewhere
much farther away than any car could. If you go out on deck and step away from
the pulsing lights in the disco, you'll be overcome by a calm only found
at sea. With the ocean swishing by and the stars above set against the ship's
powerful funnel, work seems much more than a weekend away.
IF YOU GO...
Crown & Anchor Society,
P.O. Box 026053
Miami, FL 33102-6053
7665 Corporate Center Dr.
Miami, FL 33126
6100 Blue Lagoon Dr. Suite 400
Miami, FL 33126
Regent Seven Seas
1000 Corporate Dr. Suite 500
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334
P.O. Box 10238
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830