There are short cruises (3-5 nights) that are geared towards families, for those who are traveling on a budget, and for those who are looking to be spoiled in luxury on the high seas. While 7 night voyages remain the most popular cruises, shorter cruises are perfect for those who are looking for a short getaway from the cold, or for those who can’t take much time off of work.
Best Short Cruises for Luxury
Most luxury cruises are 7+ nights, however Celebrity Cruises offers 3-5 night cruises on the Celebrity Constellation. The ship leaves from Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The 4 night cruises stop in Key West, FL and Nassau, Bahamas. The 5 night cruises stop in Key West, FL and Cozumel, Mexico. Rates for this January/February are as low as $369 a person (plus taxes/fees).
Princess Cruises offers 3-5 night “Getaway” cruises, not to be confused with the Norwegian Getaway that will make its debut next month. These Princess Getaway cruises have Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries as well as cruises from Los Angeles. Prices start as low as $299 a person (plus taxes/fees).
Best Short Cruises for Families
The best short cruises for families for a winter getaway are on Disney Cruise Line. Disney offers 3-5 night cruises on the Dream, Magic, and Wonder that start at $420 a person (plus taxes/fees). Nearly all of these short cruises have a stop at their private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.
Castaway Cay has a huge advantage over the other private islands owned by the other cruise lines. The Disney cruise ships are able to dock right on the island, tenders are not needed. During the winter months when cold fronts move in or the water is rough, cruise ships often have to cancel their stop at the private islands because it is unsafe to tender. This happened to me on a Norwegian cruise a few years ago. Disney is able to dock at their island unless the weather is really bad. Don’t let the thought of a “cold front” scare you. When a cold front moves over the Bahamas, it means that it will be 65-70 degrees.
Royal Caribbean offers a few 3-5 night cruises that are also great for families. They have cruises on the Liberty of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas that travel to the Caribbean. If you are interested in going to the Bahamas, they have the Enchantment of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas making 3/4 night cruises. Prices for the Caribbean cruises start at $349 a person (plus fees/taxes) and the Bahamas cruises start at $189 a person (plus fees/taxes).
Best Short Cruises for Budget Travelers
For those who would like to take a cruise but are on a tight budget, incredible deals can be found on the Norwegian Sky. Norwegian offers 3 and 4 night cruises to the Bahamas out of the Port of Miami with prices as low as $159 a person (January 6 & 13, 2014 sailings – plus taxes and fees) for a 4 night cruise. For less than the cost of a hotel room, you can take a cruise and get away from the winter blues. At less than $40 a night, it is almost cheaper to take this cruise than to stay at home.
Since Carnival has the most cruise ships out of all of the cruise lines, they are able to offer the widest range of itineraries. They have several ships (Ecstasy, Sensation, Imagination, Inspiration, Paradise, and the Victory) that offer 3-4 night cruises starting under $200 a person (plus taxes/fees) during the winter months.
If you are looking for a short getaway this winter to get away from the cold, these are a few options that you have to consider. The prices listed in this article were verified at the time of publishing and are subject to change as cruise lines fill capacity on each particular sailing.