The best short cruises with friends

A mini cruise vacation with a group of good friends is a perfect way to catch up and reconnect. If you are looking for the best short cruises with friends, you most likely will be looking for an exciting cruise ship with fantastic facilities and activities, or even perhaps a themed cruise.

A short break with endless fun and good food is a great way to leave your everyday behind and recharge your batteries.

By choosing to sail from a local port, you can save money by driving and parking at the port rather than booking expensive flights.

If you need to fly, look for flights late evening or early morning, which are often cheaper. Then stay at a reasonably priced hotel in shared rooms for one or two nights before your cruise starts. This way, you can use much of your budget towards choosing a great cruise ship.

Accommodation on board the cruise ship

When choosing your cabin, an inside cabin with no window keep the cost down if you are on a tight budget. However, most cruise guests who travel with friends are more likely to choose a balcony cabin.

And not only that, they will aim for cabins with connecting doors or sometimes suites. You can move freely between cabins and use the balcony for those pre-dinner get-togethers.

Which cruise line and which ship?

Here is what cruise guests say they want on a cruise the most when traveling with friends:

  • Relaxation and spa & wellness facilities on board
  • Outstanding food with plenty of choices
  • High-quality entertainment
  • Adventure, sightseeing, and shopping for souvenirs in port

It’s not always easy to pick the right cruise, especially if you are a first-time cruiser. So we have put together the mini-cruise vacations that best suit these criteria.

Choose the one that suits you, get some price quotes from the cruise lines, and pack your suitcase. There is nothing more fun than planning with friends.

Royal Caribbean – 4-night Western Caribbean Cruise onboard Adventure of the Seas

This classic short cruise leaving from Galveston, Texas, is a firm favorite for a short cruise. Your port of call is Cozumel, Mexico, plus two full seas days onboard Adventure of the Seas. There is plenty to do, great relaxation areas, and top-class entertainment.

Cozumel can be your beach destination, where you can snorkel the reefs or go diving in the clear sea. Alternatively, enjoy a shore excursion offering a culture-rich day exploring the Maya ruins of Tulum with a knowledgeable guide.

Norwegian Cruise Line – 3-night Bahamas Cruise from Miami on board Norwegian Sky

It’s hard to beat a weekend away in the Bahamas with friends. And on this cruise, you sail on the refurbished Norwegian Sky with stops on Grand Bahama Island and Great Stirrup Cay. ‘If you love water sports and beach life, you’ll love these destinations.

Great Stirrup Cay is Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island. If you have the budget, splash out and rent a cabana on the beach for you and your friends. Then try something fun and new that you have never done before, such as kayaking or ziplining.

Carnival Cruise Line – 3-night Baja Mexico Cruise from Los Angeles onboard Carnival Radiance

If your getaway with friends is to let your hair down and dance the night away, look no further than Carnival Cruise Line. Long known as the party cruise line, you will find their cruises loud and lively. Indeed Carnival offers some of the best short cruises with friends.

Be prepared to join in the fun. Don’t worry; some areas are on board for relaxation if you need to escape.

This cruise departs from the port in Long Beach. It visits the ports of Catalina Island and Ensenada in Todos Santos Bay, just south of the international border in Mexico.

Catalina Island is not far from the coast of California and is known for its diving, snorkeling, and wildlife. It’s a fantastic place to visit, relax and taste island living. Search for high-adrenaline adventures such as paragliding, zip lining, diving, or relaxing on a jeep tour or the beautiful white sand beaches.

Research your options here for more ideas on how to spend your day here without the need to spend on cruise line shore excursions.

MSC Cruises – 4-night Caribbean & Antilles Cruise from Miami on board MSC Divina

Known for being a value-for-money cruise company, the Italian cruise giant MSC Cruises offer a short cruise on board their beautiful and popular ship MSC Divina. Divina sails out of Port Canaveral in Florida, and you can combine this cruise with a visit to the theme parks in Orlando first if you want your whole friend’s vacation to scream fun.

You have two ports of call from Port Canaveral: Nassau and Ocean Cay Marine Reserve, MSC’s superb private island.

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Meet the author: Sarah has created and booked hundreds of travel itineraries for thousands of customers during a career in the travel industry that spans 20 years. Having worked hand in hand with cruise lines, hotels, airlines and tour operators worldwide, she offers inspiring & detailed insights in the world of travel and tourism.

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