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First Timers Should Avoid Short Cruises

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If you’ve never gone on a cruise before I know it is very tempting to consider the shorter 4 or 5 day cruises; they’re shorter and they’re less expensive.

I know, because that was me back in 1994. When we were married I had promised Mrs. Kuki a cruise for our 10th wedding anniversary, and I had managed to avoid fulfilling my promise by using imaginative excuses until our 15th anniversary.

I just knew I would get “island fever” being on a ship; feeling like I had nowhere to go; nowhere to escape the boredom. So, my out for fulfilling my promise with minimal pain was to book a short cruise. I booked a cruise out of Los Angeles, because it was the closet embarkation port, and therefore the cheapest to fly to, and I booked an inside cabin.

I had already decided I wasn’t likely to enjoy a cruise, and I was going to spend the least amount of money possible on a vacation I was for sure not going to like.

Five years later I was writing about cruising for CruiseMates, and have continued to for 13 years. So, I was obviously wrong regarding my original hypothesis about my affinity for cruising.

But that’s not really the point of my Blog this week; though I do predict a similar scenario would apply to many of you hesitant first time cruisers; with the exception of writing for CruiseMates. I want to keep this job, thanks.

My premise here is for a first time cruiser the short cruise does not effectively represent the “real” cruise experience of a full seven day cruise.

Yes, the ship will be at sea somewhere, and yes there will be one or two ports of call, and yes you’ll get to eat more than your share of meals for whatever duration cruise you take.

However, on shorter cruises I think a large majority of passengers on board are trying to fit “the fun” of a full length cruise into the shorter time frame.  They are trying to fit seven days worth of shows, entertainment, eating, and… drinking into the time available on a four or five night cruise.

In my view, that’s why the shorter cruises are very active, but have more frenzied activity on board. They generally are missing the “relaxing” part of the cruise experience. And to my mind the relaxing is a part of the cruise experience.

Even for the most active type of personalities, the moments of relaxing while sailing on the ocean or sea, laying on a deck lounger, or standing by the railing staring out over miles of empty water, are part of the “full meal deal” of a cruise.

I have little doubt that some people doing a short cruise first, as I did, will end up falling in love with it, just as I did.

But I’m pretty certain a vast majority will do so, even more enthusiastically, if their first cruise is seven days in length.

Once you are a more experienced cruiser, fitting in shorter cruises for a break, when you have some time makes much more sense. You’ll already understand cruising, and will better be able to enjoy the days you do have on board, and efficiently use that time to simply enjoy the opportunity.

– A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising –

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Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time December 12, 2012 at 5:56 am

For me a short cruise is anything less than 7 days – no exception.

Never been on a 3 or 4 dayer.

My first cruise was 16 days on the QE2, second, 14 days, on the QE2, third, 21 days on the SS France – so, you see I would not even consider a cruise less than 7 days.

Seriously, I am not bragging, that is just the way it has played out over the years.

Short cruises, one that can not help being “short” are 7 day Bermuda’s, preferably out of New York and on a decent cruise line, of which there are few these days. Once the reigning line was Home Lines.

Other shorties and the iconic Cunard Line transatlantic crossings on the magnifient Queen Mary 2, 7 days, although there are a few that call at Hamburg, and add a couple of days more to the crossing from New York, or Southampton. Interestingly enough, the crossing can be done in as little as 5 days, however, due to passenger demand, the crossing has expanded to 7 days.

Other shortere cruises, the industry “norm” and accepted cruises, are 7 day caribbean cruises. After 7 days, as noted one can cwertainly tell if they love the cruise and would go again. I always am ready to take another cruise, we usually have 3/4 booked in advance each yeaa.

Comment from Steve
Time December 12, 2012 at 10:58 am

I would disagree with you. When we took our first cruise I was ready to get off the third day (3 day cruise) and I don’t think I would have enjoyed a 7 day. I have had friends start out on a 7 day and have never cruised since. We are now going on our 12th. I think someone should start out with a 3 or 4 day to make sure they like the cruising experience (some people don’t like cruising)

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time December 13, 2012 at 6:19 am

Personally, many cruise lines that offer 3 or 4 day cruises are not true representatives of what the cruise experience actaully is.

Often major cruise lines use their crappiest cruise ships on the cheap runs, offer lousey food and so forth – read the reviews at this cruise site, you’ll get the point.

Then again, these same cruise lines also offer a lousey product on their longer cruises, and have for decades. So wheres the trade off?

Its a big world of ships out there, unfortunately, many people end up on the wrong ship to suit their lifestyle.

When I stated that my first cruises were on long cruises, the reason for that was these were lost leader cruises, right after Christmas/New Years, and prior to these cruise lines 3 month world cruises. They were bargains then, not so today.

Comment from Mia Lakes
Time December 20, 2012 at 8:12 am

I agree that taking a seven day is better. I love sea days as they give me a day to “vacation” from my vacation.

I am typically an over active traveler and like to see and do everything. A day or two at sea slows me down and that’s a good thing!

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