Cruise NewsBest Cruise Lines for Short Cruises

Best Cruise Lines for Short Cruises

Shorter cruises are perfect for quick getaways or for anyone who may be short on vacation time from work. Cruise lines offer shorter cruises that can range anywhere from two to four days in length.

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cruise ships in nassau
Four cruise ships in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

Most cruise lines have select cruise ships sailing three and four night cruises to the Bahamas. The three day cruises typically leave on Friday and come back on Monday. The four night cruises depart on Monday and arrive back on Friday.

Here is a look at the best cruise lines for short cruises.

Margaritaville at Sea

Margaritaville at Sea is the leader in short cruises and that’s all they actually offer. They offer two night cruises from the Port of Palm Beach that visit the Bahamas and they start at just $101 per person.

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise in Freeport, Bahamas. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever
Margaritaville at Sea Paradise in Freeport, Bahamas. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

These cruises are perfect for anyone that lives near South Florida and just wants a two night trip away. You can take one of the weekend cruises and not even miss a day of work.

Since rebranding from Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line to Margaritaville at Sea, the cruises are more fun than ever. I took a two night cruise last summer on Margaritaville at Sea and loved it. My wife and I were looking for a really quick getaway and it was the perfect short cruise.

It is a little more of a party atmosphere than most cruises but after all, it is Margaritaville at Sea.

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean is taking short cruises to a new level later this year when for the first time, they will have an Oasis class ship sailing the three and four night cruises to the Bahamas.

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

Allure of the Seas will homeport at Port Canaveral and the ship’s first four night cruise will take place on October 30, 2023. The four night cruises will visit Nassau and the cruise line’s award winning private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay. They will also have one sea day.

The three day cruises will visit the same ports but not have a sea day. Select cruises will only visit the private island.

The Oasis class cruise ships are currently the largest in the world and having one of them sailing the short cruises to the Bahamas will let even those with short vacation time experience one of these amazing ships. View Prices on Allure of the Seas

Royal Caribbean also offers short cruises on other ships.  Those from the West Coast can sail on the popular Amplified ship, Navigator of the Seas, starting at just $190 per person.

Other Royal Caribbean cruise ships that sail on short cruises to the Bahamas include Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Independence of the Seas.

From Texas, Mariner of the Seas offers four night cruises to Cozumel, Mexico.  View Prices on Royal Caribbean Cruises

Virgin Voyages

If you’re looking for a short cruise without any kids, then the adults only Virgin Voyages is just for you. Sailing from Miami, their first cruise ship, Scarlet Lady, sails four night cruises to the Bahamas. It’s the cruise line’s Fire and Sunset Soirees sailing.

Virgin’s Scarlet Lady docked at PortMiami. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

The four night cruises visit Key West and their private resort destination in the Bahamas, the Beach Club at Bimini.

Cruises on Virgin also won’t nickel and dime you as the following is included in all cruise fares: gratuities, WiFi, ALL dining, and basic beverages. View Prices on Virgin

Disney Cruise Line

For those who want a little Disney magic, Disney will offer three and four night cruises from Miami on their ship, Disney Magic. The cruises will take place in August and September 2023 before the ship repositions.

All of these cruises will visit Disney’s slice of paradise in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.

Disney also offers short cruises from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and San Diego.

For those who want to cruise on Disney Cruise Line’s newest cruise ship, Disney Wish, the ship will be offering three and four night cruises to the Bahamas from now until through the end of May 2024.  View Prices on Cruises on Disney Wish

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Freedom in PortMiami. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

Carnival Cruise Line offers one of the widest variety of short cruises available. Combine that with their budget friendly prices, they are a cruise line to consider when wanting to take a short cruise.

Carnival’s four night cruises start at just $166 for a trip on Carnival Conquest from Miami. The cruise ship offers the lower rates out of all ships sailing the three and four night vacations.

The cruise line also offers short cruises from Port Canaveral, Jacksonville, Tampa, New Orleans and Long Beach.

Carnival cruise ships that sail these quick getaways are Carnival Conquest, Carnival Glory, Carnival Radiance, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Elation, Carnival Paradise, and Carnival Vista. View Lowest Prices on Carnival Cruises

MSC Cruises

MSC Seashore at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve – Photo credit Conrad Schutt

The world’s fastest growing cruise line, MSC sails three and four night cruises on MSC Seaside from Port Canaveral. Later this year, the cruise line will be moving MSC Seashore to the port for these voyages. The cruises offer budget friendly options with the sailings starting at just $139 per person.

All of these cruises visit the cruise line’s marine reserve in the Bahamas, Ocean Cay.  View Prices on Cruises on MSC Seashore

Norwegian Cruise Line

NCL is home to “Free at Sea” where you can get free beverage packages, shore excursions, WiFi, and more when sailing on one of their cruise ships.

They offer occasional three and four night cruises on the following cruise ships: Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Jewel, and Norwegian Viva. View Prices on Cruises on NCL

All prices listed in this article were verified at the time of press but are subject to change based on supply and demand.  They also are just for the cruise fare and do not include taxes/port fees.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
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