Are weekend cruises a thing?
Yes, they are. I didn’t realize that myself until I started living this cruise obsessed life. But now that I’ve discovered them, I’m hooked. After having such an amazing time on our last-minute weekend cruise to Ensenada earlier this month, I’m thinking we’re going to make these three-night jaunts a regular part of our cruising repertoire.
Not sure if a weekend cruise is right for you? Allow me to convince you that they’re the best last minute getaways.
- Why Weekend Cruises Are Great
- How Short Cruises Are Different From Long Cruises
- Where Do Weekend Cruises Depart From?
- How Do You Feel About Weekend Cruises?
Why Weekend Cruises Are Great
When you think about taking a mini-break, a cruise ship may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But if you live within driving distance of a port (or even a short flight away from one) a two- or three-day cruise makes for the perfect weekend away. Why?
You Can Plan It On a Whim
Most of these short cruises do not sail at full capacity. If they do, they’re not filling up until the last minute. That means there’s plenty of time for you to make a last-minute decision. Looking for something to do next weekend? You could shlep out the tent and sleeping bag and go camping in the woods… or you could have the most luxurious experience of your life on a cruise ship!
You’ll Spend Less Money
Fewer nights on board means a more affordable cruise vacation. If you’ve been wanting to take a cruise, but you could never fit it into your budget, this might be a great option for you to get a taste of the cruising life without breaking the bank.
You Can Pack Light
Sure, I gave you plenty of tips to pack light for a cruise, but when you’re only cruising for two or three nights, you don’t have to worry about capsule wardrobes. If you’re driving to the port, you don’t have to worry about travel-sized TSA-compliant toiletries, either. And you’ll still be able to fit everything you need into a carry-on!
It’s a Quick Fix for Your Cruise Jones
If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly fiending for your next cruise. But between work, school, and life in general, it can be hard to fit a four-, five-, or seven-night cruise into your schedule. You wind up booking them months in advance, then waiting… and waiting… and waiting some more. Weekend cruises are short enough to fit into your busy schedule, but long enough to satisfy your cruise cravings.
How Short Cruises Are Different From Long Cruises
In my limited experience, I’ve found some key differences between a weekend cruise and a weeklong cruise. That’s not to say weekend cruises are bad. (Obviously not, or I wouldn’t have written this post.) But if you’re thinking of booking a two- or three-nighter, you might want to consider the following.
Weekend Cruisers Love To Party
Short cruises definitely have a party atmosphere. A lot of people will be trying to take full advantage of their beverage packages. On our last weekend cruise, there was a group next door to us that seemed to be drunk 24/7, blasting music and yelling at two in the morning. (Thank goodness for my portable noise machine! I turned it up to drown them out so I could go back to sleep.)
On the plus side, the early mornings were peaceful and the Windjammer was empty at breakfast.
It’s About the Journey, Not the Destination
To some extent, this is true of all cruises. Half the fun of a cruise vacation is enjoying all the amenities on board the ship, right? But on my three-night cruise, I discovered that plenty of people weren’t even getting off the ship when we docked in Ensenada. There were also fewer shore excursions available than on other longer cruises I’ve been on.
In general, people were about relaxation more than exploration. And that’s alright with me.
It’s Over Before It’s Begun
You’ve settled into your stateroom, stuffed your face at the buffet, seen some incredible shows… and it’s suddenly time to go home. That’s how it felt, anyway. The moment I’d finally exhaled all my stress, we were already packing up again. And while all cruise vacations go by too quickly for my liking, no matter the length, the weekend cruise felt like I blinked and it was over. Sad face. 🙁
Where Do Weekend Cruises Depart From?
Not every cruise port caters to the weekend cruiser, but if you live in Southern California or the southern tip of Florida, you’re in luck.
Weekend Cruises from California to Mexico
Most weekend cruises out of California leave from Los Angeles and go to Ensenada, Mexico. You can find them on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. (I did the three-night to Ensenada on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. You can read all about it here and here!)
You can also find weekend cruises to Ensenada leaving out of San Diego on Disney Cruise Line.
Weekend Cruises from Florida to the Bahamas
They all sail to the Bahamas, stopping in either Nassau, Bimini, or a private island owned by the cruise line.
How Do You Feel About Weekend Cruises?
Maybe you love weekend cruises like me. Maybe you can’t stand them. Maybe you’ve never been on a weekend cruise, but I’ve piqued your interest. Whatever the case may be, comment below and tell me your thoughts on weekend cruises.