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How to Get the Most Out of a Weekend Cruise

Sometimes people have it in their mind that cruises are long…normally over a week. But you know what? There are weekend cruises out there, and even they can satisfy all your cruising desires. You can book them last-minute, you can pack light, and you can feel refreshed from your 9-5 grind during a quick 3 or 4-day escape.

In 3-4 days, you’ll have plenty of time to make new friends (including the cruise staff) and make lasting memories. We’re going to share a little bit from our recent weekend cruise aboard the Carnival Victory. We left out of Miami on Friday afternoon, spent a day in Nassau, had a fun day at sea, and were back in Miami early Monday morning.

We believe that in order to get everything you want out of your weekend cruise, there are three things that you should probably consider…


Having some routine to your cruise will make you feel like you are at home. When we get on board, the first thing we do is unpack. Take all of our belongings out, pack them away throughout our cabin, and make our stateroom feel cozy. Next, we take a lap around the ship, briefly exploring everything it has to offer. Finally, we head to the main lounge area (on the Carnival Victory this is the Seven Seas Lounge) and have a drink while looking over the schedule of events for the coming days. It’s essential to have an idea of what is going on, especially during a short cruise.

On Carnival cruises, here are the things we do every single day…

  • Lounge – Even on a port day, we like to catch some rays
  • Nap – Every day, we find time to nap
  • Pizza Pirate (IMPORTANT – see below)
  •  Dine in our dining room – We love sitting at the same table and getting to know the people around us and our wait staff
  •  Chocolate Melting Cake (see below)
  • Comedy Club – Laughing is the best
  • Piano Bar – A great way to close the day is singing songs with your new best friends.

#2 PLAN ON YOUR DIET STARTING MONDAY (when you get back)

You are on a short cruise. The purpose is to relax, refresh, and see the world. So please don’t be on a diet while you are cruising. This is your time to eat adventurously, and eat whatever you want, whenever you want. If you are nervous about how much you may eat without any self-control over the 3-4 day trip, then commit to your diet starting Monday (assuming that’s when you get back to reality).

Since you are going to indulge in whatever you feel like, here are some of our favorites.

First, take advantage of room service. With Carnival, they have a continental breakfast that you can have via room service each day. Fruit, cereal, bread, coffee, and juices. If you need some eggs, bacon, or something more hearty, head up a few floors to the Lido deck and grab something from the buffet.

Next, love Pizza Pirate as much as we do (they have both regular and gluten-free crust). We probably ate 1 pizza each per day. Ha! And on our sea day, Bobby ate 2 pizzas in one sitting! These amazing thin-crust pizzas are whipped up right in front of your eyes and can be customized to your liking. Pizza Pirate is seriously one of our FAVORITE parts about Carnival Cruises. Even if the secret gets out on how amazing it is, you’ll never wait more than 15 minutes from the time you get in line, to when you sink your teeth into a delicious slice of pepperoni.

Finally, get everything you want at dinner (including dessert). Carnival’s American Table-themed restaurants serve up amazing cuisine with a standing menu, and a menu that changes based on the port you have been in that day. If you can’t decide between a Fried Chicken B.L.T. from the current port-of-call or one of their nightly Steakhouse Selections, get both! The portions are relatively small, and most people could probably eat an appetizer, a salad, and a main dish. Bobby normally gets an appetizer, the item from the “rare-finds” menu (escargot, cured salmon, etc.), and 2 main dishes. Even if you don’t have room, you must order dessert. We ALWAYS get a Chocolate Melting Cake, and usually 1 (or 2) other desserts. Hehe. Remember, diet starts Monday.



Cruising is a great opportunity to try new things. Food, activities, and excursions that are probably different from your norm. We like to look through the schedule of events and pick at least one thing each day that we wouldn’t normally do. On this cruise, it was Karaoke (we would probably do this normally), an art auction, and ballroom dance lessons. If you’re worried about looking silly when you’re in front of everyone, realize you will probably never see any of these people again. So go for it!

We are confident that weekend cruises can be for everyone! Enjoy one soon and let us know how it was!

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.