Seven Reasons to Take a Short Cruise

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I’m excited to be sailing on Golden Princess this afternoon out of Los Angeles.  This will be a quick three-day cruise to Ensenada and back.  While three days is definitely not enough time to take advantage of every feature the ship has, it will still be a fun journey.

Golden Princess docked in San Diego on October 14, 2014.

Golden Princess docked in San Diego on October 14, 2014.

This will be the shortest cruise I’ve taken to date.  Some of my friends (the ones who travel less frequently) have suggested that taking a short cruise isn’t worth the hassle.  But I disagree and I’ve come up with seven good reasons to take a short cruise!

1. Try out cruising for the first time – A short cruise is a great introduction to what cruises are like.  If you’ve been apprehensive about cruising, it is a great introduction.  You can try out all the features.  If you try a short cruise, you can see for yourself if you like it before committing to a longer trip.

2. Accrue credits in a cruise line’s frequent guest program – Many cruise lines offer loyalty programs.  In some programs, the benefits begin on the second cruise.  For that reason, taking a short cruise is a way to accrue status quickly.  On some lines perks add up by the number of sailings, regardless of length.  Princess is one program that counts each cruise, no matter how short, as a credit toward program status.  A short cruise allows for status runs over consecutive weekends.  For those trying to achieve a milestone in advance of a longer vacation, that can help.

3. Enjoy a mini getaway that requires little planning – The beautiful thing about cruising is that you really CAN wing it if you like.  Sure, some people do plan out each day in advance.  They figure it all out – the shows, the various restaurants, the shore excursions.  But that isn’t really conducive to the way that I like to sometimes travel.  I sometimes need a short getaway with no agenda and no solid commitments.  A short cruise fits the bill for a minimalist escape.

4. Try out a new cruise line – I’ll be using this cruise to try out Princess for the first time since I’ve only cruised on Seabourn and NCL.  Those lines are at opposite ends of the cruising spectrum in terms of cruise style so I needed a short cruise to balance out my experiences.  Because of that, I’ll now have another data point as to what I like or dislike.  Three days is plenty of time to get a feel for the atmosphere and features of a line.  That will make it easier for my travel agent to help me select other voyages in the future.

5. Check out a new ship – When new ships come online, some lines will offer a handful of shorter cruises to help build a passenger base.  A short cruise can be a great way to check out features on a on a specific ship before committing to a longer cruise.

6. You can sample the suite life – If you have wondered whether it’s worth the money to splurge on a suite for your next cruise, a shorter cruise may be a great opportunity to sample the upgrade for less.

7. Go with a group and please everyone – Sometimes friends or family with a range of budgets, interests, or ages still want to travel together.  A short cruise can be a great way to accommodate those variances.  Everyone can still have an enjoyable vacation on their own terms.  And you as the planner won’t go crazy trying to please everyone!

I could easily come up with several more reasons if I only had the time.  But Julie McCoy is paging me to the Lido Deck as it is time to start my own short cruise soon.

About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last nineteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 48.5 US states. Once an "every week" road warrior, she now only travels around 100 days a year. She resides in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and playing with her Border Collie/Great Pyreness mix puppy Harley Quinn.

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    • Generally, IME you the passenger have control over whether you are “nickel & dimed.” On Princess at least, you do NOT have to spend any more than the basic cruise fare (& port fees) to have an enjoyable cruise. Of course, some things can enhance the experience, such as organized shore excursions, alcoholic beverages, internet usage etc., but you are never required to indulge in those things. Princess automatically charges passengers $11.50 or $12.00 per day for tips on your onboard account (distributed among crew members), but you can opt out of that (and of course you can give additional tips to individual crew members where appropriate).

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