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Why taking a weekend cruise is a great escape

28 Jan 2022
Marcy Miyar

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

When people think of cruises, they tend to imagine a sailing that’s seven days or longer. After all, if you’re going to fly 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 which sail from Florida ports. What makes them so appealing?


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Weekend cruises out of Florida are Bahamian itineraries. You will find either Nassau or Grand Bahama island as a port stop.

Nearly every cruise will include a visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay. What you most likely won’t find on a three day cruise is a day at sea.

The ships are more intimate

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One thing to be aware of is that weekend cruises tend to be on smaller ships. While it’s not unheard of for an Oasis class ship to have a shorter, specialty sailing, it’s much more common to find Vision, Radiance, Voyager and Freedom classes doing the weekend sailings. That’s actually a good thing.

You could spend seven days on an Oasis or Quantum class ship and still never see and do everything. Think of how hard that would be with only three days!

There is still plenty to see and do onboard. Most activities that you will find on the seven day sailings are also available on the weekend cruises. From trivia and scavenger 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 headliner acts such as singers or comedians, dancing in the lounges and singers in the pub and the Schooner Bar.

If your ship happens to have an ice rink, you will be treated to an amazing ice show. You can also try skating yourself during select hours in the afternoon.

If you’d rather stay indoors, you can always go to the casino. While it will be closed during the day when docked in Nassau or Grand Bahama island, it is open all day when you’re docked in CocoCay. Typical opening hours that day are 8:00 a.m. for slots and noon for table games.


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While these “smaller” ships won’t have every specialty dining restaurant of their larger cousins, you will still have more choices than you could eat in three days.

Of course there is the complimentary options such as the Windjammer buffet, main dining room, pizza and ice cream at the pool. However, you can enjoy specialty dining too. Just about every ship has a Chops Grille and an Italian option, either Giovanni’s or Jaime’s.

Other ships also offer Izumi (some with Hibachi) along with a Playmakers and/or Johnny Rockets. You will still have a “dress your best” night on a weekend sailing 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 drive to your nearest port. Taking a weekend cruise means being able to go for a quick getaway without having to burn a lot of vacation time, if any.

Weekend cruises are perfect for that special celebration. You’ll always see a birthday or anniversary being acknowledged in the restaurants. These sailings 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 on to longer vacation

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Quick getaways and minimal time off of work is great for the locals, but why would someone want to travel a great distance for just a weekend cruise?

You could add it on to a land trip you may already have planned. Let’s say, for example, you’re coming to Orlando to visit the theme parks. You can easily add on a short sailing before or after your trip to relax or recharge after all that running around and waiting in lines.

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

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You really can’t beat the prices. Three day sailings on the Freedom of the Seas out of Miami are currently starting at $151 per person. Even if you could find a resort on the beach for that price, there is no way it’s going to include food, entertainment and transportation.

We do weekend cruises quite often, even referring to the ship as our “weekend condo.” We tend to see the same people regularly, not just the crew but fellow passengers as well! It’s like one big extended family of cruisers.

Seven day or more cruises are the perfect vacation but don’t overlook the weekend sailings when you want a quick get away to the beaches of CocoCay and to enjoy those amazing sunsets at sea.

Planning a short cruise? Check out these helpful articles:

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