A Selection Of Short Cruises In 2018/2019
If youd like to book a budget weekend cruise, check your options through NEA Travel or click on these links to see short cruises that are available during 2018/2019 from Carnival, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.
Finally, here are a few 3-, 4- and 5-night itineraries that are scheduled throughout 2018. All depart from American homeports and are just a selection of whats available. Check directly with the cruise lines for all available departure dates.
Charleston, South Carolina, Round Trip
Four nights on Carnival Ecstasy: Nassau and two sea daysFive nights on Carnival Ecstasy: Nassau and Freeport and two sea days
Galveston, Texas, Round Trip
Four nights on Carnival Valor and Disney Wonder: Cozumel and two sea days
Five nights on Carnival Valor: Cozumel and Merida and two sea days
Long Beach, California, Round Trip
Four nights on Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration: Catalina Island, Ensenada and a sea day
Los Angeles, California, Round Trip
Four nights on Emerald Princess: Ensenada and a sea day
Four nights on Ruby Princess: Catalina Island and Ensenada and a sea day
Five nights on Star Princess, Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess: Cabo San Lucas and two sea days
San Diego, California, Round Trip
Five nights on Disney Wonder: Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada and two sea days
Miami, Florida, Round Trip
Three nights on Royal Caribbeans : CocoCay and Nassau
Three nights on Norwegian Sky: Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay
How To Get Last Minute Cheap Cruise Deals
Doug advises that you start with a travel agent, as they have relationships with the cruise companies and can often get better rates and last-minute deals. And my experience has me agreeing. While there are many do it yourself options, travel agents often can find much lower prices and can act as liaison to cruise companies when something goes wrong.
If you want to go with the do it yourself angle, you only need to go to these three best websites for finding a cheap cruise:
These websites do a detailed job of scouring the web for cheap cruise deals. Vacations to Go is more of a travel agent/operator and thus often has better deals since they can negotiate with the cruise lines directly, but keep in mind that they add a lot of fees. Cruise Sheet is simply a website aggregator that crawls the web and then displays cheap last-minute fares. This is my favorite cruise site, as it seems to find all the deals and makes finding a cheap cruise easy.
In terms of timing, dont book early. As Doug states, the only benefit to booking early is to secure the room you want. If you want a specific cabin, book early. Otherwise, wait until the last minute. As I said in the beginning, cruise companies dont want to sail empty ships and so do heavy last-minute discounting be sure to sign up for cruise company newsletters to stay informed!
As Chris from Chris Cruises states, There are so many ships now, prices are at an all-time low. Now is a great time to go on a cruise.
Con: The Ships Demographics Are Different On Short Cruises
Throw demographics out the porthole on short cruises. A cruise line may tout a certain demographicfamilies, solo travelers or retireesthat like its product. But, that data doesnt hold true for shorter voyages. On quick cruises, expect a much wider swath of the population, from young singles and families to middle-aged couples to multigenerational groups and retirees. Be aware, too, that some lines may have a reputation for party cruises when it comes to the shorter voyages. Check cruise forums like the one at Cruise Critic to do a bit of research to be sure the ship draws your kind of crowdeven on truncated voyages.
Recommended Reading: Best Rhine River Cruise Lines
Stop Dreaming Start Packing
We get it. You want to see the world, but traveling on your own can be intimidating. Relax, this isnt a traditional cruise! With SinglesCruise, youll enjoy an exciting, multi-destination vacation while gaining friendships with fun-loving single adults. Youll experience the thrill of travel alongside people just like you.
With SinglesCruise youll enjoy:
- All-inclusive experience complete with lodging, food and onboard entertainment
- Fun onboard events like cocktail mixers, theme parties, dance lessons, karaoke nights, speed meeting, trivia and more
- Friendly onboard hosts to answer any questions and make your cruising experience perfect
- Optional shore excursions like ziplining through verdant rainforests, exploring hidden waterfalls or snorkeling colorful ocean reefs
Looking for something other than hosted singles groups? Our Travel Advisors will be happy to help you plan vacations including, all-inclusive resorts, cruises, tours, individual travel, family vacations, group getaways. Let us know what you have in mind and well make it happen.
Pro & Con: Nearly Every Short Cruise Includes A Sea Day
A sea day means that your ship will not stop in any port on that day. You will simply enjoy the ship while it sails to the next destination. Short cruises often program at least one sea day because it gives you a chance to experience the ship and pay for all the onboard extrasthink bingo, spa treatments, exercise boot camps and wine tasting sessionsthat you might not have time for if you were out exploring a port of call. A sea day can be a blessing or a curse. Its awesome when youre sailing on a ship that has a lot to see and do not so great if the ship is small and outdated with limited activities and entertainment options to keep you occupied. So again, do your research before you commit. Visit sites like Cruise Critic and Onboard to read ship reviews, and go to your cruise lines website to consult the ships deck plan. Learn about the public spaces, restaurants and entertainment options onboard before you buy the cruise.
Also Check: Myrtle Beach Dolphin Sightseeing Cruises
Pro: Short Voyages Tend To Be Inexpensive Voyages
If youre looking for a budget vacation, you cant do better than a short cruise. These voyages often sell for as little as $45 to $50 per person per night. For example, select four-night itineraries out of Long Beach, California, aboard Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration, which visit Catalina Island and Ensenada, can be booked for as little as $179 per person. Thats a true bargain.
Fares will be higher during peak seasons , but even then fares are often priced for the budget conscious. Voyages on newer ships and those aboard all Disney Cruise Line ships will carry a premium.
Check pricing directly at cruise line websites, or look for discounted fares online. NEA members can get discounts on cruises through NEA Travel. Or search sites such as Vacations To Go or Cruise Brothers or request pricing from a variety of travel agents simultaneously through Cruise Compete. Agents will respond with their best offers, which may include stateroom upgrades, prepaid gratuities, onboard credit or a free beverage package.
Limited Days Off Book An Inexpensive 3
- Many mainstream cruise lines offer 3-, 4- and 5-night itineraries that are ideal for quick and inexpensive trips.
- There are important differences between a full-blown cruise vacation and a weekend escape.
- Browse a list of cruise ships that offer these itineraries throughout 2019.
Cruising is a near-perfect vacation. You board the ship at a port , unpack once andfor one low all-inclusive priceenjoy free meals and entertainment while never having to worry about where to go or what to do next. Just pick from the myriad activities that are laid out in the ships daily program, which is delivered to your cabin each day. But with precious few days off during the school year and a busy schedule year-round, committing to a traditional 7-night cruise may sound impossible. However, you dont have to rule out an ocean voyage for your next stress-busting getaway.
These days, many mainstream cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Holland America, Princess and Disney Cruise Line, offer three-, four- and five-night itineraries to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico, New England and more from ports across the United States. These short cruises are ideal for quick and inexpensive trips. There are important differences, however, between a full-blown cruise vacation and a weekend escape. Lets look at the pros and cons of short cruises as well as a few cruise ships that offer these itineraries throughout 2019.
Also Check: Cruises From Miami To The Bahamas
Top Things To Do In Tampa
Visit a Gulf Coast Beach
Some of the nations leading beaches are found on the Gulf Coast, and passengers on Tampa cruises will have plenty of award-winning options to explore. Clearwater Beach frequently tops best-of lists. At Fort de Soto, you can canoe or kayak, hunt for seashells, and explore the historic fort. At the upscale St. Pete Beach, try an exciting watersport like parasailing or kiteboarding, or simply lounge on its sugary sands.
Explore Downtown St. Petersburg
Located southwest of the city of Tampa, St. Pete is an artsy city that boasts upscale boutiques and restaurants, museums and art galleries, and fun activities for the whole family. If youre here on a Saturday, stop in the Saturday Morning Market for live music, international cuisine, and artisan goods.
Catch a Game
No matter what type of sport youre into, youre bound to find it here in Tampa. Sit near the ice and dodge pucks at a Lightning game, cheer on the Bucs to the sounds of a pirate ships cannonballs blasting at Raymond James Stadium, or snack on cracker jacks while watching the Yankees during spring training or the Rays during the regular season.
Where can I eat near the Tampa Cruise Port?
Berns Steak House
1208 S. Howard Ave., Tampa
For the ultimate culinary experience in Tampa Bay, Berns Steak House is the most sought-after choice. Its extraordinary wine menu, delectable steaks, and magnificent dessert room make it a top spot to celebrate a special occasion. Reservations are recommended.
Why Choose Anywhere But Tampa
Why Port Tampa Bay is an ideal homeport for cruise lines wanting to offer exciting itineraries and pre- and post-cruise activities
As any itinerary planner knows, cruises provide guests with a unique and wonderful way to explore the world, allowing them to continuously move between beautiful locations and make memories that will last a lifetime. Every port of call on an itinerary plays a vital role in creating an enjoyable cruise experience, but what about the homeport?
Embarkation is as crucial to the overall cruise experience as the ship, its onboard amenities and the itinerary of picturesque ports. A homeport that is easy to navigate, and provides a variety of unique and interesting activities just steps from the ship? Now thats an attractive prospect for guests. And thats exactly what cruise operators and their itinerary planners will find at Port Tampa Bay on Floridas West Coast.
Positive impressions start from the moment the cruise guests arrive at the modern, award-winning Tampa International Airport. The airport is a convenient 15-minute drive from the Channelside District in Downtown Tampa, which enables travellers to get a view of the water and soak up the Florida vibe and sunshine before they arrive at one of the three cruise terminals.
Recommended Reading: Disney Cruise Ships Newest To Oldest
Pro: Teaser Cruises Give You The Chance To See If Youll Like Cruising
Short 3- and 4-night teaser voyages are ideal for first-time cruisers. You may find that you love exploring the ship, attending trivia competitions, lounging by the pool, hitting the spa, discovering a port of call on a shore excursion, dining out at a different restaurant each evening, taking in a Broadway-style show or belting out a tune during late-night karaoke sessions. But, if you find that cruising really isnt for you, youre only confined to the ship for a very limited amount of time.
Con: Most Short Cruises Are On Older Or Less Lavish Ships
One shortcoming of the weekend cruise concept is that the itineraries are often sailed by a lines oldest ships. These shipsmost dating from the 1990smay be a bit long in the tooth. Carnival Fantasy, which offers year-round four- and five-night sailings from Mobile, Alabama, is 26 years old . These ships have something else in common: They lack some of the more modern amenities and entertainment options that the newest mega-ships all share. You wont find skydiving or surf simulators onboard, though there may be a rock-climbing wall or two.
If you have your heart set on a short cruise but want to sail on a new ship, look to Royal Caribbeans mega-ship Anthem of the Seas, which was christened in 2015. The ship sails four- to five-night itineraries from Bayonne, New Jersey, to Bermuda in late 2018.
Recommended Reading: November 2022 Cruises From Florida
Three Things To Remember When Booking A Cheap Cruise
1. Smaller is cheaper Smaller boats tend to be less expensive since they offer fewer amenities and attractions.
2. Cruise in the off season Traveling off season will get you markedly cheaper fares.
3. Take a repositioning cruise Repositioning cruises are when cruise lines move ships from one part of the world to the next in anticipation of the upcoming season. These cruises are a great way to cross an ocean or sail down a continents coast on the cheap and can be found on any cruise booking website.
What about your flight? Dont book your flight with the cruise book it separately. Check out this guide to finding a cheap flight to lower that cost.
Pro: You Can Drive To The Embarkation Port
Many ships that sail short itineraries have a homeport in a major American city. That means a specific ship sails round-trip voyages out of that port, part or all of the year. Cruise lines often homeport ships sailing weekend-style itineraries so locals can drive directly to the embarkation point, park their cars and start enjoying a quick vacation. While you expect to see cruises leave from Florida ports, like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral, Tampa and Jacksonville, there are many more U.S. ports to consider. Look for itineraries departing from Louisianas New Orleans, Galveston in Texas, Mobile in Alabama, Californias Long Beach, Brooklyn or Manhattan in New York City, Bayonne in New Jersey, South Carolinas Charleston and Baltimore, Maryland.
Read Also: Carnival Cruise Promo Code For Excursions
Tips To Helps Enjoy A Cheap Cruise
Tip 1: Cruises are not often all-inclusive and become increasingly less so each year. Chris states, the gravy is what people spend on board. Cruise ships want you spending, since thats where they have the best margins. However, if you are smart and disciplined, cruises dont have to cost much more than the price of the cabin itself. Heres how to save money while on board:
Tip 2: Skip the soda A long time ago, soda was free. Now, you have to pay around $3 USD for a tiny glass, or you can pay $45-60 USD for a soda card that gives you unlimited soda for the duration of the cruise. Youd have to drink a lot of soda to make that worth it. Instead, stick to the free water, iced teas, and juices on the ship. Your wallet and insulin levels will thank you.
Tip 3: Say no to photos Do you really need some cheesy professional photos of your family? I didnt think so. Get them done back home for less or take a digital camera and have someone take them for you on the ship.
Tip 4: Avoid the restaurants On most cruise ships these days, there are specialty restaurants that you can book for an added cost. Some are à la carte, some charge a set fee. Avoid these specialty restaurants. The food in the dining areas, the buffets, and the other shops is just as good and less costly.
Tip 6: Bring your own supplies Cruise companies will let you bring one case of your own water, soda, and beer, as well as a bottle of wine onto the ship.
Tip 8: Avoid the casino This goes without saying.
Tampa Port Facilities & Location
Passengers departing on cruises from Tampa Bay will leave from Port Tampa Bay, home to three cruise terminals. Just outside of the cruise terminals is the Channelside district, where youll find a handful of shops and restaurants. Tourist information centers, Wi-Fi, and bathrooms are available at the port.
You May Like: Cruises To San Juan Puerto Rico
About Vacations To Go
Vacations To Go is America’s clearinghouse for deeply discounted cruises. Since our founding in 1984, we have provided more than eight million savvy shoppers with a dream vacation at a fraction of the regular price.
Vacations To Go is a bonded and fully accredited travel agency, and a member in good standing of the Airlines Reporting Corporation , the International Airlines Travel Agent Network and the Cruise Line International Association . We have achieved the highest level of recognition possible from every major cruise line in the world for our exceptional sales and superior service. to read what top execs at every major cruise line, tour operator, river cruise company and resort chain have to say about Vacations To Go.
Vacations To Go is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau , with an A+ rating, the highest rating they award.
Back in 1984, we practically invented the last-minute discount by convincing major cruise lines to drastically reduce the price of unsold cabins close to departure. Rather than offer “sale” prices to the public , top cruise lines prefer to discount unsold cabins to our exclusive and highly confidential client list. Our clients have confirmed reservations, just like full-fare passengers, and no one on the ship knows what they paid . Click 90-Day Ticker to scan our list of last-minute markdowns.
Cheap Cruises From Tampa Florida
Cheap cruises from Tampa FL offer you the chance to venture out to places like Costa Rica, the Panama Canal, the Bahamas, other Trans Atlantic locations and primarily the Caribbean. From Royal Caribbean to Carnival Cruises to Holland America Line, we offer a variety of cheap cruises from Tampa FL so you can find the best cruise for your vacation.
Our year-round excursions to the Caribbean are all offered from 4 to 7 nights, taking you to locations like Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and more. Finding cheap cruises from Tampa FL may seem hard to find, but they’re right here, waiting for your desire for adventure and relaxation. You can live large, enjoy the ride, and have an unforgettable vacation – all at a reasonable price when you book your cruise through CruiseCheap.com.
Read Also: Cruise From Charleston To Key West