Tried my first 3 night cruise, here’s how it went

I just did my first weekend cruise and it was a pleasant surprise.

Originally from the Midwest, whenever I planned to go on a cruise, I wanted to maximize my vacation. I figured if I had to pay to get to the cruise port, I might as well book at least 7 nights to make the travel time worth it.

Now that I live in Florida it is much easier to get to many ports and I have found that my cruise options have expanded. I can easily cruise on the weekend, without the hassle of multi-day travel, by taking my PTO.

For my first 3 nights, I stayed on Freedom of the Seas from Miami, Florida. The main purpose of this trip was to test the new SpaceX Starlink internet service, but it also gave me the opportunity to try out my first weekend cruise.

Read more: I Tried Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet on a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

The shortest cruise I had done before this was a 5 night cruise so I was afraid this trip would end before I knew it. Royal Caribbean offers so many fun onboard activities and experiences that I had no idea how I was going to fit in all my favorite things in just 3 nights.

We went to port early Friday morning, getting on the boat just after 11am. After grabbing pizza in Sorrentos, testing Wi-Fi speeds, and getting some content for the Royal Caribbean blog’s TikTok account, I headed off to start my vacation.

I hadn’t been on Freedom since its refurbishment, so I decided to explore the ship to get my bearings. Wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything as our cruise had 2 stops in Perfect Day in CocoCay and Nassau. This meant there were no days at sea, which was new to me.

After watching the ship pull away from the helipad, we went to dinner, then checked the schedule to see what they had planned for that night. I was surprised to see that the first night’s activity and show schedules weren’t filled. There were no productions at the Royal Theater or Studio B, although perhaps that was just for this browsing.

Looking forward to the weekend schedule, it looks like the majority of popular activities have been booked for nights 2 and 3.

The second day was spent at CocoCay.

We spent most of our day at the Coco Beach Club, but on the way back to the ship, I began to realize that the crowd on this short cruise was leaning towards a younger age, with a more party vibe.

There was a dance party in the Oasis pool between the pool bar and the DJ booth, with more people than I had ever seen before.

That night we went to see a karaoke, where the pool party vibe continued. Before the singers started, the activities staff announced their names and where they were from.

Based on the number of Miami singers and the cheers of the crowd when it was announced, we realized most of the cruisers were local. When we’ve been on longer cruises, most people we meet tend to be from the Midwest and Northeast, especially on winter cruises.

We also started noticing that there were lots of bachelorette parties, groups of young friends celebrating birthdays and large multi-generational families sailing with us. It made sense because it’s less of a time commitment and more of a longer cruise, which makes it easier to align people’s schedules and allow them to get away together for a weekend.

The most surprising thing to me is that they packed three of Royal’s most popular activities on the last day.

After another day in port in Nassau, most of the ships gathered to watch the international competition Belly Flop, Battle of the Sexes and Love & Marriage. This crowd was eager to participate in these games, with several people ready to audition or sign up.

All in all my first 3 night cruise was a weekend well spent. I’m someone who always believes that I could use a few more nights on a boat, but since the schedule of activities wasn’t as packed as expected, I was still able to see and do everything I wanted, so just a moment of relaxation.

One of my worries before going on a cruise was that before I knew it, the weekend would be over. It may help that I have another cruise coming up, but I felt I was able to experience all that Freedom had to offer, while still having a great vacation.

With the costs of these cruises being generally lower, the ease of getting to port and having to take less PTO, I am already looking forward to seeing when I can book another 3 nights.

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