The Short Version on Cruising

The little boy is sitting at the dinner table, adamant that he’s not going to eat the turnip his mother arbitrarily put on his plate, and accompanied it with this: “How do you know you don’t like it when you’ve never tried it?”

The teenage girl hears her parents slagging her choice of music and when she objects her that falls on mostly-deaf ears is: “How do you know what it’s like when you’ve never listened?”

There are people who say they don’t like cruising. To us, obviously, this is akin to saying you don’t like to eat lobster, golf, drink wine, read, fly, listen to music or do any of what we consider life’s pleasures. It happens. We all have different tastes.

Cruising? What’s not to like? And: “If you’ve never been on a cruise, how will you know?”

Find out. Try a 3-day cruise. And arm yourself with this knowledge in planning a test-run voyage:

• Such short cruises tend to attract younger, working types who need a little getaway. If you’re lucky enough to live near an embarkation port (Miami, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and New York are some), you may only need a few hours off work…and who minds skipping out a little early on Friday afternoon?
• The cost of a 3-day cruise is often less per day than longer cruises, so even if you happen to hate it, you haven’t made a huge investment of either money or time. But seriously, who would hate it? Good food, lots of entertainment, usually sunny weather, a spa, a casino, a gym or absolute relaxation if that’s what you need.
• Forget about taking a 3-day cruise on a mega-ship. They’re almost always a week or longer. That means you may be on a ship with a little more…character.
• And one more…weekend cruises are popular for bachelor/bachelorette events, so there could be a little partying on board.

Sold yet?

Okay, I’ve found a couple of appealing 3-day fares:

The recently-refurbished Norwegian Sky sails from Miami every Friday in September, at 5:00 p.m., stops in Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, returning to Miami at 7:00 a.m. Monday. The boss won’t even know. Fares start at less less than $250 per person, based on double occupancy.

Carnival’s Paradise leaves Long Beach at 5:30 p.m. on Fridays, spends a day in Ensenada, a day at sea, and docks back in Long Beach at 8:00 a.m. Monday. Inside-cabin fare, per person, is $389, based on double occupancy.

Most  major cruise lines offer short cruises. Some are one-night, cruise-to-nowhere deals. That means setting sail for nowhere, and returning to the same port you left. And who wouldn’t like spending a little time going nowhere?

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