Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

The 7 Best 3-Day Cruise Itineraries for 2024

Whether you’re short on vacation days or you only have a long weekend to spare, three-night cruises offer a fun and affordable way to get a change of scenery. These shorter sailings from the U.S. often amount to a weekend cruise and only depart from Florida and California for now. However, short cruises still let you dine and dance on board, enjoy world-class entertainment, and visit nearby destinations like Nassau in the Bahamas; Key West, Florida; or Ensenada, Mexico.

If you’re looking for short cruises that pack a lot of good times into a weekend vacation, you should know that many cruise lines offer these trips, including Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises. Read on to find out which short cruises we recommend, where they depart from, and everything you can see and do over the span of three incredible nights.

3-Day Cruises From Florida

Norwegian Sky from Miami

(Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

Stops: Key West, Florida; Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas

Starting price: $399 per person

This three-night cruise on Norwegian Sky departs from Miami in August 2024 with stops at two iconic tropical destinations. The vessel’s first stop is Key West, where cruise passengers will have the day to visit the southernmost tip of the United States, book a snorkeling or kayaking tour, or bar hop along the world-famous Duval Street. From there, the cruise stops at Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, which is a private island paradise that’s only for cruise passengers. Here, visitors can enjoy some beach time, plan a WaveRunner adventure or snorkel the clear waters to watch out for wildlife.

When not at port, passengers on Norwegian Sky can enjoy the ship’s 10 dining options, onboard spa, casino at sea, and variety of pools and hot tubs. The Norwegian Cruise Line vessel even has a sushi bar and a Starbucks onboard, and it was completely renovated from top to bottom in 2019.

MSC Seashore from Port Canaveral

(Conrad Schutt/Courtesy of MSC Cruises)

Dates: Multiple dates in November and December 2024

Departure port: Port Canaveral, Florida (Orlando)

Stops: Nassau and Ocean Cay Marine Reserve, Bahamas

Starting price: $169 per person

This three-night cruise on MSC Seashore departs from Port Canaveral near Orlando and takes passengers to two tropical destinations in the nearby Bahamas. The first is the island of Nassau, which is known for its luxury resorts (including the exclusive Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas), huge casinos and powder white sands. After that, guests can spend a second day at port at MSC Cruises’ private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. This island offers a perfect beach retreat for people who just want to relax, including several expansive white sand beaches with ample seating, an interior ocean lagoon for swimming, and beach bars and eateries dotted throughout.

MSC Seashore features huge pools, an onboard water park for kids, the expansive MSC Aurea Spa and 11 distinct dining venues for passengers to choose from. The ship also boasts the exclusive “ship within a ship” Yacht Club area, which offers the best of everything for discerning guests.

Celebrity Reflection from Fort Lauderdale

(Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)

Departure port: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Stops: Perfect Day at CocoCay and Nassau, Bahamas

Starting price: $273 per person

This three-night cruise on Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Reflection departs from Fort Lauderdale and leaves for two days in the sunny Bahamas. The first stop gives guests a full day to enjoy at Perfect Day at CocoCay, a cruise line private island that’s typically reserved for Royal Caribbean guests. This island paradise features an exclusive beach club, idyllic white sand beaches for swimming and floating, a water park, a zip line, and plenty of places to eat and drink all day. The next stop is Nassau: Visitors can dine and shop their way through the port area or book a fun day pass to the Baha Bay water park, which is located at resort Baha Mar and features waterslides, an expansive lazy river and incredible cuisine options right at the park.

Celebrity Reflection was recently refurbished in 2022. It features an incredible array of included dining options, eight specialty and exclusive dining establishments, and bars and lounges throughout the ship. The Retreat, a VIP ship-within-a-ship concept, is also offered on board for those who want an elevated cruising experience.

Disney Dream from Fort Lauderdale

(Courtesy of Disney Cruise Line)

Departure port: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Stops: Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point and Disney Castaway Cay, Bahamas

Starting price: $1,973 per stateroom

This three-night Bahamian cruise on Disney Dream stops at two exclusive destinations in the Bahamas – Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point, then Disney Castaway Cay. The first stop offers incredible beaches with play areas and crystal-clear water for swimming, as well as the Bahamian Arts and Culture Pavilion for families who want to learn something about the local culture on vacation. At Disney Castaway Cay, families can relax the day away on white sand beaches, go biking or kayaking, ride two waterslides, and more. Both destinations even have adults-only beach areas for cruisers who are traveling kid-free.

Disney Dream holds a maximum of 4,000 passengers and has everything you would expect on an exclusive Disney Cruise Line vessel, including kids and family areas, adults-only dining options and pools, and two large theaters. The ship also has several supervised kids clubs as well as dedicated clubs for teenagers and tweens.

Liberty of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale

(Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Departure port: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Stops: Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay, Bahamas

Starting price: $263 per person

Royal Caribbean International also boasts a Bahamas cruise from Fort Lauderdale that stops in Nassau and at the line’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay. In Nassau, cruisers get the chance to explore one of the most popular cruise ports throughout the Caribbean, where you can book an excursion to a local beach, plan a snorkeling adventure or play in one of the two biggest casinos throughout the region at Atlantis or Baha Mar. At Perfect Day at CocoCay, families can stay active with waterslides, book a kayaking tour or ride a hot air balloon up to 450 feet in the air.

Liberty of the Seas is also an ideal ship for families thanks to fun features like a huge onboard water park with slides, an ice skating rink with shows and the Broadway at Sea theater. The Royal Caribbean vessel also has nearly a dozen different dining venues, including Cupcake Cupboard, Johnny Rockets, a pizza kitchen and an old-world Italian eatery called Giovanni’s Table.

3-Day Cruises From California

Navigator of the Seas from Los Angeles

(Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Departure port: Los Angeles

Starting price: $282 per person

Royal Caribbean offers a three-night West Coast adventure on Navigator of the Seas that includes a fun day at sea and a full-day stop in Ensenada, Mexico. This Mexican destination is known for the many activities that can be enjoyed along its rugged shores, which can include leisurely days at nearby Estero and Mona Lisa beaches, hiking experiences, exploration of Baja California’s wine region, whale watching and more.

Dates for this sailing are offered throughout 2024, and the ship itself has plenty to keep passengers enthralled while at sea. For example, Navigator of the Seas features the longest waterslide at sea, enlarged pool deck areas for relaxation, ice skating shows and shopping – not to mention Broadway-style shows with dancers, acrobats and singers. There are also 12 unique dining options onboard, including Starbucks, Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver and Johnny Rockets.

Carnival Radiance from Los Angeles

(Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Dates: Jan. 26 to 29 and Sept. 24 to 27, 2024

Departure port: Long Beach (Los Angeles)

Starting price: $244 per person

Carnival Radiance also embarks on three-night journeys to Mexico from Los Angeles throughout the year, including in January and September 2024. This Carnival Cruise Line itinerary includes a fun day at sea and a stop in Ensenada, Mexico, where passengers can plan a sightseeing trip, nosh on the unique Baja cuisine the area is known for, shop for silver jewelry and other keepsakes, or spend the day relaxing on the beach.

Carnival Radiance itself serves as the perfect floating vessel for this fun weekend vacation, with onboard amenities that span the Cloud 9 Spa and WaterWorks water park with slides to a comedy club and special clubs for kids and teens. The ship also boasts an adults-only solarium and 10 different bars to choose from.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Holly Johnson is a professional travel writer and cruise expert who has covered family travel and cruises for more than a decade. She has cruised more than 40 times across most of the major cruise lines in destinations throughout the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East. Johnson used her personal experience and research expertise to curate the itineraries for this article.

You might also be interested in:

Source link

Bernard Greenhall
Bernard Greenhall

Bernard is a sports and physical education expert with years of experience. He's passionate about promoting health and wellness through physical activity, and he's worked with athletes and non-athletes alike to help them achieve their fitness goals. Bernard holds a degree in Physical Education and is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and research in his field.

Articles: 1397