You don’t need to book two weeks off of work to enjoy a cruise holiday. The delights of Europe and the British Isles are ready for you to discover thanks to the wide selection of short cruises on offer.
Now all you need is two or three days to escape to Amsterdam, Dublin, France and many more destinations. Cruise holidays really are for everyone with these short breaks that allow you to choose from a relaxing break or a whirlwind city break. But how to you make the most of a short cruise?
With so much to see, taste and experience, how do you fit it all in to just a few days? To ensure you have the best cruise possible, let us walk you through everything you need to do to really enjoy your short cruise holiday.
Planning and preparation
Creating a detailed, meticulous plan can often take the fun out of things. But we accept that it is a very important part of making the most of a short cruise. Organisation is key to a short cruise as photographer, writer and blogger Mandy Charlton told us:
"My number one tip about taking a short cruise is that you need to be organised, check ahead what facilities are on board and furthermore don't over pack.” Mandy also recommended packing plug adapters for your electrical devices or alternatively bring an extension lead in case there are limited sockets.
Research your destination
Research your ports and research what you can do in the time you have there. Short cruises can be great way to tick a few items off of your bucket list. Want to drink a pint of Guinness in Dublin? Easily done. Want to see the best museums in Amsterdam? No problem. So long as you have a good idea of how to get there and how long it will take. Sometimes with such time restraints you may have to compromise on a few things, but that can leave you with a concise idea of seeing the very best of your destination.
You may find that your cruise will give you the chance to pre-book shows and dinner. This is something you should jump on. It is just another process to ensure that you are going to do everything you want on your holiday. Equally, you can do this to on-shore activities like museum trips, restaurants and tours.
Before you head off on your short cruise you will already have a good idea what you want to see and do, but you cannot prepare for falling in love with one place in particular. You can easily be caught up in a coffee shop, in a bar, restaurant or an attraction that you enjoy so much that the day passes you by before you know it. This is not a problem. Why should it be? You’re just having fun.
Alternatively something might be closed or full, meaning you cannot get in and do what you wanted to do. Also not a problem. Just move on to something else. Be willing to change your plans at the last minute and even just be willing to relax on your cruise ship if you have decided that you are actually in need of some R&R.
You’re not going to be able to see everything
But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the best sights. You will be restricted to exactly how much you can fit in, but you’ll know that time is against you on a short cruise. This is about being able to go back to work and being able to tell those who ask “what did you do at the weekend?” how you enjoyed Amsterdam or found your new favourite bar in Dublin.
So don’t worry. As long as you have planned to see the things that you actually want to then you can have a very fulfilling holiday in a short space of time.
Choose between the ship or the destination
When you book a short cruise holiday you will have your place on a small to mid-sized ship. This means you have the joys of an intimate experience while still having your choice of entertainment and dining options. It does also mean you will be able to see much more of the vessel than on one of the bigger ships. But this is where timing becomes an issue. You may have booked your mini cruise to relax and unwind, which makes staying on board and enjoying all that the ship has to offer your prerogative. Or you could be looking for a weekend break to see the sights of a new city. Either way, you can’t have the best of both worlds.
Particularly if you are limited to just two or three days you just don’t have the time to really embrace both. This points back to what we said in our planning and preparation section. If you know that your cruise is visiting a destination you particularly want to see then you can set about making a checklist of sights.
It only takes a moment to fall in love with a new place. One bite of the local dish, a drink in a bar, a visit to a famous attraction or simply interacting with the people. And it will only take a few days on a short cruise to appreciate this practical and enriching way to see more of the world over the course of a couple of days. Be sure to be flexible, plan, prepare and compromise slightly and you will be able to really make the most of your short break.