While the six-night, seven-day sailing is still the standard, there are lots of “shortie” cruises to choose from these days, and not just on older ships as used to be the case. These mini breaks — which visit the Caribbean, the Bahamas or Bermuda — are great for newbies who want to see if a cruise vacation is right for them, but they work for the vacation-time starved too. Here are a few of our favorites.
Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Cruise Line
Sails out of: Miami, Florida
To: Great Stirrup Cay, the line’s private Bahamian Island
Best for: This is for those looking for a truly “mini” break, albeit on a great new ship with a fabulous seafood restaurant created by Food Network star chef Geoffrey Zakarian.
Cost: One-night cruises from $199 per person, double occupancy.
Carnival Magic, Carnival Cruises
Sails out of: Galveston, Texas
Best for: The short sailings on this line tend to draw a young crowd that keep the bars and clubs full well into the night.
Cost: Three-night cruises from $329 per person, double occupancy.
Disney Dream, Disney Cruise Line
Sails out of: Port Canaveral, Florida
To: Nassau and Castaway Cay, the line’s private island in The Bahamas.
Best for: Families with kids of all ages will love this line, as will couples who are die-hard fans of “the mouse.” (There are plenty of adults-only spaces.)
Cost: Three-night cruises from $1,500 per person, double occupancy.
Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean
Sails out of: Fort
To: Nassau in the Bahamas
Best for: This is a great cruise for families with older kids, but also for active travelers who are young at heart. There are loads of activities onboard, like climbing walls, a zip line and a surfing simulator.
Cost: Three-night cruises from $517 per person, double occupancy.
SeaDream II, SeaDream Yacht Club
Sails out of: St. Thomas
To: Anguilla, St. Barts, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke
Best for: Beach lovers will flip for this sand-and-surf driven itinerary that hits some of the region’s most gorgeous, and least crowded, strands.
Cost: Five-night cruises from $2,999 per person, double occupancy.