Por Georgina Cruz
Para Al Día Today
Want to get your family’s feet wet when it comes to cruising? A short voyage, lasting two to five days, may be the ticket for first-timers and families that always wanted to try a cruise vacation. Why? Well, for a couple of reasons. First, because short cruises involve less sailing so if something goes wrong – like if you discover you or a family member are prone to seasickness—the end of the voyage is always near. Secondly, because short voyages provide an introduction to the cruising lifestyle: onboard activities, children’s counselor-supervised programs, dining and entertainment as well as some ports of call, while requiring smaller investments of time and money than week-long and longer cruises. In other words, if you find you don’t like it, you have spent less vacation time and money. Very likely, you and your family will discover you enjoy cruising and, if so, you can go on future short or longer voyages on your horizon confidently, with experience under your belt.
Generally short cruises from Florida visit the Bahamas including Nassau and Grand Bahama Island, and in many cases, they stop at the cruise line’s private island for a fun beach day with water toys, barbecue lunch (included in the fare), steel band music and various organized activities – snorkeling, water balloon toss, and limbo contest, anyone?
For those who would like to try a short cruise and enjoy a breezy Bahamas getaway, here are some options from Florida (arranged alphabetically by cruise line). Fares are the ones we found online at each line’s website. Always check if there are any specials available for when you plan to cruise.
Carnival Cruise Line – The “Fun Ships” line offers short cruise getaways from Miami to the Bahamas aboard its Carnival Imagination. The line’s three-day cruises visit Nassau. Visit www.carnival.com.
Celebration Cruise Line – This line features two-night Bahamas cruises to Grand Bahama Island, departing from the Port of Palm Beach. The cruises can be combined with two- or four-night stays at Our Lucaya Beach Golf Resort on Grand Bahama Island. Visit www.bahamascelebration.com.
Disney Cruise Line – A premium line offering a variety of three-, four- and five-night cruises (plus longer voyages as well) Disney Cruise Line is an ideal choice for families due to its extensive children’s facilities, family-friendly programs, Disney character appearances and award-winning shows for all ages. Among its short sailings is a four-night voyage to Nassau and Castaway Cay. This line recently started offering short cruises from Miami to the Bahamas and the Caribbean on the Disney Wonder and Disney Magic. Visit www.disneycruise.com.
Norwegian Cruise Line – NCL features a varied menu of short cruises from Miami to the Bahamas with multiple departures on the Norwewgian Sky. Among them is a three-day sailing to Great Stirrup Cay, NCL’s private island in the Bahamas, and Nassau. Among four-day cruises on the Norwegian Sky from Miami is a sailing to Grand Bahama Island, Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau. Visit www.ncl.com.
Royal Caribbean International – CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas, is one of the stops on this line’s short cruises aboard the Majesty of the Seas from Miami. Among the sailings are three-night cruises to Nassau and CocoCay. Visit www.royalcaribbean.com.