When most people hear the phrase “cruise,” they think of a lengthy vacation aboard a cruise ship sailing to exotic places. However, there are a variety of weekend cruises that people can enjoy for a quick getaway. Many of the world’s top cruise lines offer weekend trips to the same destinations as longer cruises at a lower cost. Here, we’ll go over some of the best things about weekend cruises and what you need to know before planning a weekend adventure.
The advantages of a weekend cruise
Although it might seem like a weekend cruise is not enough time to have fun, there are several advantages to taking one. For instance, if you are short on time or unable to take a lot of time off of work, a weekend cruise can be the perfect way to reset and get in some relaxation over a few days. Typical weekend cruises depart on a Friday and return Monday morning, so while it might be necessary to take a couple days off, cruisers will lose out on less than a week of vacation time. These cruises are likely well-suited to busy professionals who cannot be away from the office for an extended period of time. If you live close to a cruise port, you can also save time and money by driving to the departure spot instead of traveling there by air.
Another benefit of a weekend cruise is its affordability. Because it’s short, it offers an ideal opportunity to experience cruising on a budget. Weekend cruises are also a great option for group travel, especially for large parties and destination weddings. It’s also possible for cruisers to get a good group rate by booking with the help of a travel agent or cruise planner. Additionally, weekend cruises offer some of the same amenities as longer cruises, such as all-inclusive food, entertainment, and activities for the whole family.
A look at some of the best weekend cruise destinations
In terms of destinations, weekend cruises are similar to longer ones in that travelers can visit some of the most sought-after places along the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. Depending on your location, you can find weekend cruises to places like the Bahamas, where visitors can enjoy world-renowned beaches and private resorts. For example, you can consider a weekend cruise to the Bahamas’ capital city of Nassau and enjoy a luxury experience over the course of a couple of days.
Mexico is another great cruise destination, with many ships traveling to popular ports such as Puerto Vallarta and Ensenada. A number of the most popular weekend cruises to Mexico depart from Los Angeles or San Diego and stop in destinations like Baja, located nearby on Mexico’s northwestern peninsula. Known for its turquoise blue water, idyllic surfing conditions, gorgeous beaches, and peaceful atmosphere compared to other more-frequented Mexican cruise destinations, Baja can be a good weekend vacation for those who live in the Southwestern United States.
Other attractive weekend cruises depart from southeast ports in Miami and head to places like Key West, Cozumel, Mexico, Grand Turk, and various smaller islands.
Is a weekend cruise right for you?
While a quick getaway might sound like a great idea, there are few things to think about before deciding if a weekend cruise is right for you. Before booking, consider the potential drawbacks of these trips. For instance, shorter cruises might make you feel like you need to complete as many activities as possible onboard and still find time for land excursions. If you rush to get to a cruise port after leaving work and then hurry back to the office once your trip is over, you might also not feel as if you have had a true vacation experience. Additionally, weekend cruises typically occur on the smaller and older ships in a cruise line’s fleet, so your cabin choices might be limited.
It can prove beneficial to discuss your travel plans with a certified cruise planner or professional travel agent before making a final decision. If you are comfortable with a quick and potentially less luxurious trip, then a weekend cruise might be the ideal option for you. However, if you are accustomed to full-length cruises, then you should be aware that a weekend sailing can differ in a number of ways. For example, there might be fewer public spaces, activities, and dining venues available. Furthermore, most shorter cruises include a full day at sea without any stops at additional ports, which could mean fewer land-excursion opportunities.
A cruise planner can help you to plan your itinerary and pack the most fun and excitement into a long weekend trip.