Take A Cheap Short Cruise Vacation This Summer

Take A Cheap Short Cruise Vacation This Summer
Hotel and resort prices have skyrocketed this year. If you’re looking for an affordable summer vacation, a short three- to five-night cruise may be the answer. These cruises depart from a wide variety of U.S. ports, which can also eliminate expensive airfares.

Short cruises are also a fantastic way to stretch your vacation budget. Base cruise fares on some cruise lines are less than $400 per person for a three-night cruise, making these short summer sailings an incredible value. Daily meals, activities, and entertainment are included in these fares as well.

Most major cruise lines offer short cruise itineraries. Short summer cruises from ports in the United States visit enticing destinations including Bermuda, the Caribbean, Eastern Canada, the Bahamas, and Mexico. Short cruises are also available in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and Asia. Cruise lines' short cruise itineraries vary, but they generally include two or more ports and often a day or two at sea.

Some smaller branded cruise lines, such as Margaritaville at Sea, specialize in inexpensive short cruise vacations. The cruise line offers two-night Bahamas sailings from Palm Beach, Florida. The cruise line’s sole ship, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise, is undergoing a multi-million dollar upgrade which will add new entertainment, sports facilities, and dining options. An unlimited sailings pass, deep discounts, and Buy One, Get One Free deals are sometimes available. Margaritaville at Sea also offers an innovative “Cruise + Stay” package with partner resorts on Grand Bahama Island.

So, who should consider a short summer cruise? These kinds of vacations are perfect for:

Budget-oriented cruisers. Short cruise vacations are very affordable and provide accommodations, food, and entertainment at an inexpensive price. These quick getaways are an excellent value compared to other similar land-based vacation options. To accurately assess the cost of your vacation options, do your research to see what's included on a short summer cruise versus a land-based vacation and compare the cost of similar trips.

Escapists with limited vacation schedules. Short cruises of three- to five-nights are an ideal choice for a long weekend getaway or for those with only a few days available for a summer vacation. Although mid-week short cruises are available, most short cruise itineraries are built around long weekends.

Coastal dwellers. Short cruises depart from many drive-to-port cities, which can eliminate the high cost of airfares. Some homeport cities include Boston, Massachusetts; New York City, New York; Bayonne, New Jersey; Baltimore, Maryland; Charleston, South Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Palm Beach, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Tampa, Florida; Miami, Florida; Port Canaveral, Florida; Galveston, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; Seattle, Washington; 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 voyages and itineraries are shorter, you'll still get a feel for this vacation lifestyle and see whether you'd enjoy a longer cruise experience. It’s important to remember that cruise lines and ships are quite different. It's often wise for new cruisers to consult with a cruise-focused travel advisor to find the best match for your needs and interests.

Families seeking fun for everyone. A short summer 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. Carefully review each ship's family-oriented programs and amenities to choose the best floating playground for your family's summer vacation.

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, rock walls and zip lines, discos, casinos, specialty restaurants, bars, theaters, boutiques, and other amenities. It's hard to get bored on these floating entertainment-laden resorts at sea.

Multigenerational and family reunion 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 and with their group. With proper planning, 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 members.

Cruise junkies. Are you passionate about cruising and just can't get enough time at sea? 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 relish the opportunity to get away, enjoy the beautiful ship, and relax in tropical ports of call.

Some of the many short summer cruise vacation options available this year include:

MSC Cruises offers three-night sailings on MSC Seaside, departing from Port Canaveral, Florida and visiting Ocean Cay Marine Reserve and Nassau, Bahamas.

Carnival Cruise Line features five-night cruises on Carnival Sunshine, departing from Charleston, South Carolina and visiting Half Moon Cay and Nassau, Bahamas

Margaritaville at Sea offers two-night sailings on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise, departing from Palm Beach, Florida and visiting Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas.

Royal Caribbean offers four-night sailings on Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas, departing from Miami, Florida and visiting Royal Caribbean’s CocoCay private island in the Bahamas and Nassau, Bahamas.

Carnival Cruise Line sails four-night cruises on Norwegian Venezia, departing from New York City, New York and visiting Bermuda for one day.

Royal Caribbean features five-night cruises on Vision of the Seas, departing from Baltimore, Maryland and visiting Bermuda for two days.

Carnival Cruise Lines offers five-night cruises on Sunrise, departing from Miami, Florida and visiting Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

Disney Cruise Line offers five-night sailings on Disney Magic, departing from Miami and visiting Grand Cayman and their Castaway Cay private island in the Bahamas.

Royal Caribbean features four-night cruise on Voyager of the Seas, departing from Galveston, Texas and visiting Cozumel, Mexico.

Carnival Cruise Line offers five-night cruises on Carnival Valor, departing from New Orleans and visiting Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico.

Royal Caribbean sails three-night cruises on Navigator of the Seas, departing from Los Angeles and visiting Ensenada, Mexico.

Norwegian Cruise Line offers five-night cruises on Norwegian Sky, departing from Miami and visiting Key West, Cozumel, Mexico, and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

Royal Caribbean features four-night cruises on Liberty of the Seas, departing from Bayonne, New Jersey and visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Carnival Cruise Line offers five-night cruises on Carnival Venezia, departing from New York City, New York and visiting Saint John, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

For more information on finding a cheap short summer cruise, talk to your favorite travel advisor. You can also visit websites such as VacationsToGo.com, Cruises.com, CruiseCompete.com, and other travel sites to find the best short cruise vacation options for you.

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