Why taking a weekend cruise is a great escape


The weekend is the perfect time to take a little break, so why not go on a cruise too?

When people think of cruises, they tend to imagine sailing for seven days or more. After all, if you’re going to a port for a vacation, you want to maximize your experience.

However, you can find plenty of weekend cruises available, and the majority of them depart from Florida ports. What makes them so appealing?


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Weekend cruises departing from Florida are Bahamas itineraries. You will find Nassau or the island of Grand Bahama as a stopover.

Almost all cruises will include a visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay. What you probably won’t find on a three-day cruise is a day at sea.

Ships are more intimate

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One thing to know is that weekend cruises tend to be on smaller ships. While it’s not uncommon for an Oasis-class ship to have a shorter specialty sail, it’s much more common to find Vision, Radiance, Voyager, and Freedom classes doing weekend sails. It’s actually a good thing.

You could spend seven days on an Oasis- or Quantum-class ship and never see or do it all. Think how difficult it would be with only three days!

There is still plenty to see and do on board. Most of the activities you’ll find on seven-day cruises are also available on weekend cruises. From quizzes and treasure hunts to rock climbing and miniature golf.

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Some ships even have a Flowrider, water slides and a sky pad. Nightly entertainment includes headliners such as singers or comedians, dancing in the lounges, and singers in the pub and Schooner Bar.

If your ship has an ice rink, you’ll be treated to an incredible ice show. You can also try skating yourself at certain times in the afternoon.

If you prefer to stay indoors, you can always go to the casino. Although it is closed during the day when docked in Nassau or Grand Bahama Island, it is open all day when docked in CocoCay. Typical opening hours that day are 8:00 a.m. for slots and noon for table games.

To eat

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While these “smaller” ships don’t have all the specialty restaurants of their larger cousins, you’ll still have more choices than you could eat in three days.

Of course, there are the free options such as the Windjammer buffet, main dining room, and poolside pizza and ice cream. However, you can also enjoy culinary specialties. Almost every ship has a Chops Grille and an Italian option, either Giovanni’s or Jaime’s.

Other ships also offer Izumi (some with Hibachi) as well as Playmakers and/or Johnny Rockets. You’ll always have a ‘dress your best’ party on a sailing weekend, so it’s nice to have specialty dining options.

A perfect trip for locals

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Those who live in Florida have the luxury of being able to travel to the nearest port. Cruising on the weekend means being able to take a little getaway without having to waste a lot of vacation time, if any.

Weekend cruises are perfect for that special celebration. You will always see a recognized birthday or anniversary in restaurants. These crossings have also become very popular with bachelor/bachelorette parties.

It’s a great way to have a mini vacation to celebrate with your friends.

You can add it to a longer vacation

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Quick getaways and minimal free time are great for locals, but why would anyone want to travel a long distance on a weekend cruise?

You can add it to an overland trip you may have already planned. Say, for example, you come to Orlando to visit the theme parks. You can easily add a short navigation before or after your trip to relax or recharge after all that time spent running and waiting in line.

It’s better value than staying at a hotel on the beach

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You really can’t beat the prices. Three-day cruises on the Freedom of the Seas from Miami currently start at $151 per person. Even if you could find a resort on the beach for that price, there’s no way it would include food, entertainment, and transportation.

We do weekend cruises quite often, even calling the ship our “weekend condo.” We tend to see the same people on a regular basis, not just the crew but also the other passengers! It’s like a big extended family of cruisers.

Cruises of seven days or more are the perfect vacation, but don’t overlook weekend cruises when you want a quick getaway to the beaches of CocoCay and enjoy those incredible sunsets at sea.

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