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Four and Five Day Cruises

Short, mainly weekend cruises, can be great for people who want to take a cruise, but don't have a whole week or two to do it.

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Often, one day just isn't enough to sail someplace spectacular. It can be too short to truly unwind and enjoy the experience. Just getting unpacked and getting familiar with the ship can take a day by itself. Therefore, some cruise lines offer four- and five-day cruises.

For example, Carnival Cruise Lines sails from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico on five day voyages and Miami to the Caribbean for four days.

This can be great news for people who want to take a cruise, but don't have a whole week or two (or more) to do so.

It also means that, with the increase in the number of such voyages offered by the various cruise lines, there will be more options. Demand for the shorter, less expensive cruises is already heavy, but having the option to take off for a four-day weekend holiday aboard a comfortable cruise ship is a great thing.

Even if travelers don't live in California, or Florida, (and many do), they can take an early flight from almost anywhere, and still make it on board for one of these outstanding trips. San Diego, Miami, and other points of departure for these cruises, often have a large, international airport not that far from the dock.

Sailing from Thursday to Monday, or Friday to Tuesday makes a short work week go really quickly. It's also plenty of time to explore the ship, enjoy many of the onboard activities and have an excursion or two on shore. You'll still have plenty of time to relax AND get around the beach and town for shopping and sightseeing.

Because of the weather where these cruises generally operate, they are usually available pretty much year round. That provides several benefits. Not only can they accommodate those winter-weary travelers from the mid-West or the East Coast, but also anyone who wants to get away any time of the year. It also helps smooth out sailing schedules, since peak season isn't squeezed into just July and August.

The Carnival ship currently doing trips out of New Orleans and Galveston, the Elation, is 855-feet and offers the weekend (plus) cruiser a stunning array of amenities. Everything from a 12,000 square foot health club to 12 lounges and bars compete for a traveler's attention.

With that mix, you can put down some hefty calories with great drinks and food, and then work off those calories, and associated guilt, the very next day.

You can choose from a wide selection of methods for physical or mental exercise, as the ship has a jogging track, an Internet cafe and (as many do these days) ship-wide WiFi facilities for those (Like you and me...right?) who just can't leave the computer at home. Shopping is ample. With three swimming pools and a waterslide, kids will have plenty of fun, too.

From the food point of view, by the way, there are some great options, including three restaurants with elegant dining rooms and a 700-seat poolside eatery that offers pizza and ice cream...there's something for everyone. That includes a patisserie and, of course, complementary room service. There's plenty for the active cruiser, but those who think that cruising is mostly about eating may be onto something.

If you want to "get your feet wet", at least as cruising is concerned, why not plan to make your next long weekend a cruise vacation?

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Page Updated 3:37 PM Thursday 3/15/2012