Embarking on a 2, 3 or 4-night mini-cruise can be a great way to sample a holiday at sea, but it might not give a true picture of a full-length cruise.
I am aboard a cruise ship for the first time and ready to see what a holiday at sea is all about. I have a beautiful room with a balcony, although I am told that it is referred to as a stateroom. The dining options are incredibly varied; I can have a fine dining experience for no extra charge or opt for something more casual in the buffet, and the drinks prices seem to be reasonable, just £4.25 for a fruity cocktail. My cruise spends a day in port at Bruges.
I feel like I have made the perfect choice for sampling ship life. I sit back and relax with a Mojito, watching the sunset on the horizon and enjoying the sounds of the live band as we sail from Southampton. I have only been on board several hours, but already I am starting to feel myself being consumed by everything that is on offer and I like that feeling. Later, I may even browse future cruise potential – that would be voyages, not men.
My enthusiasm, however, is short-lived. The last thing I wanted to see was a group of half-naked, intoxicated young women, but that is exactly what I was faced with as a gaggle of hen parties got into full swing. I had enjoyed Beef Wellington in the main dining room and was looking forward to a few drinks in one of the lounges when the young boots appeared and sent me scurrying in search of somewhere more peaceful.
This is not what I can expect from a two-week summer cruise around the Mediterranean, however. I have already met some very nice fellow-passengers and we might even book another holiday before we return home.
What’s good about booking a mini-cruise?
- An affordable option for a weekend break
- A chance to sample the varied dining options
- Evening entertainment
- 1, 2 or even 3 destinations and only unpacking once
- Wide variety of ships to choose from
- Great last-minute getaway option
- Easily accessible embarkation ports
- A chance to see what accommodation level works well for you
- Duty-free shopping
What’s bad about booking a mini-cruise?
- Some can turn into 2-night parties at sea
- Stag and hen groups often use cheap weekend options
- Not a true overall representation of what cruising is like
- Can be expensive depending on the time of year
- Crew can sometimes be less attentive