Weekend Cruises From New York
Weekend cruises are growing in popularity due to the ease of scheduling such a short cruise around your work hours and other commitments. There are two major cruise lines currently offering weekend cruises that leave from New York, Carnival Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Line. The itineraries offered by the competitors are similar, as are the prices, so it is important to learn more about the accommodations, services, food, and entertainment offered on each cruise before booking your tickets.
Carnival uses the more traditional cruise line dining format, where passengers are served at set dining times. When you make your reservation, you will request a specific dining time which will be honored as closely as possible based on availability. If you are cruising with a small party, you will be seated with other passengers. There is also a buffet option without any timing restrictions in case you get hungry before or after your assigned dining time slot.
Cruise Accommodations and Dining
If you’ve never been on a cruise before, you should know that food is often the focus. Norwegian Cruise Line is known for its more laid back Freestyle Dining, where you can stop by the dining hall whenever you like and be seating on a first come first serve basis. Here you can eat with your friends or with other passengers for a more social setting. You can also make reservations at the specialty restaurants where the staff will wait on you, but there are additional fees for this dining option.
As you go about selecting your cabin, you should have a clear idea of how much room you need. Some guests get very claustrophobic in the tight quarters and prefer to have a window or balcony, while others don’t spend much time in the cabin itself, and can get by with a standard room. You will find that the cabins on the Carnival ships are bigger on average than those on the Norwegian Sky, but the Norwegian Cruise Line has more cabins with balconies that they can make available to guests.
The Norwegian Cruise Line has a very casual cruising atmosphere, where guests are encouraged to relax as they eat, drink, dance, and party on their own schedule. These weekend cruises tend to draw in guests of all ages and interests. The Carnival Cruises cater to a younger crowd who spend their time on The Fun Ship drinking, letting loose, and getting loud. It’s not uncommon to find Bachelor and Bachelorette parties on board, and the staff encourages some of the young and goofy behavior by leading conga lines and running various competitions with the guests. As long as you have the right expectations, you will have a great time on any of the weekend cruises from New York.
New York Favorites
New York is actually one of the busiest cruise ports in the US, hosting ships from five different cruise lines. The city is a great place to wait for your cruise departure thanks to all the shops, museums, restaurants, and of course, Central Park! While the weekend cruises focus more on the on board entertainment rather than any port destinations, there are cruises out of New York that take you to the Caribbean, the Bahamas, or even further south. In addition to the port in Brooklyn, you can also look for cruises that sail from the Cape Liberty Cruise Port to meet your travel needs.
If you are traveling in the fall, some of the most popular New York cruises sail to New England and Canada to enjoy the fall colors. Crystal Cruises offers some of the most luxurious cruises you can find to Canada. For anyone looking for a longer cruise, the Queen Mary 2 will take you across the Atlantic Ocean to England and various ports in Europe.