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 on 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 and some of my friends (the ones who travel less frequently) have suggested that taking a short cruise isn’t worth the hassle.  I disagree.  In fact, I’ve come up with seven reasons to take a short cruise soon!

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.  You can try out all the features and 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.  For some, the benefits begin on a second cruise.  Doing a mini cruise is a great way to already have perks before a longer vacation on the same line.  For some lines (like Princess), perks accrue by the number of sailings, regardless of length, so mini cruises allow for status runs over consecutive weekends!

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 plan out each day months on advance (the shows, the various restaurants, the port stops), cruising is also conducive to the way I like to sometimes travel – with no agenda and no solid commitments.

4. Try out a new cruise line – I’ll be using this cruise to try out Princess for the first time.  I’ve only cruised on Seabourn and Norwegian so far and those lines are at opposite ends of the cruising spectrum in terms of cruise style.  This will give me another data point as to what I like or dislike which will make it easier for my travel agent to help me select other voyages in the future as I continue to sample new lines.  Three days is plenty of time to get a feel for the atmosphere and features of a line.

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, particularly if they are serving a port that is new to their brand.  If you’ve wondered about features on a specific ship class, a short cruise us a great way to check these out.

6. Sample the suite life – Have you wondered whether it’s worth the money to splurge on a suite for your next cruise?  A shorter cruise is a great opportunity to sample the upgrade for less.

7. Go with a group – Do you have friends or family with a range of budgets and/or interest who all want to do a trip together (bachelorette party, reunion, etc.)?  A cruise can be a great way to accommodate those variances so everyone can still be “together”.

I’m sure I could come up with several more reasons… but Julie McCoy is paging me to the Lido Deck!


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 eighteen 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 47.5 US states. Although she averages 200 days a year on the road, she loves to return to “the homestead” in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and cocktail mixology.

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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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