A Closer Look: Is a Cruise to Nowhere for You?

February 24, 2014 | By | 3 Comments

Image courtesy of Shutterstock/Ivan Cholakov
It’s no secret that weather woes have dominated the news this winter. From endless snows on the East Coast to bone-chilling temps down South to drought conditions in the West, it seems everyone is ready for a getaway, no matter how short.
Enter the cruise to nowhere, called “CTN” on our member forums for short. These “teaser” cruises – leaving from major ports such as Miami, New York or Los Angeles – usually offer only one or two nights at sea, with no port stops to distract you from the fun to be had onboard (especially at the bars, which is why these quick jaunts are often dubbed a “booze cruise.”)
Should you spring for a CTN? Or is it a drunken mess? We asked our expert staff for their opinion on cruises to nowhere, and here’s what they had to say:
“A CTN is a great weekend getaway for friends/ coworkers/ family/ spouse because everything you need is on the ship.  It is also a good filler in between longer vacations when you need your “cruise fix.” – Jennifer Kuhn, Community Support
“There’s always lots of free-flowing alcohol on these, and people do take advantage and are up to all hours of night and morning!  On the other hand, because of this, ships are quite empty for early risers to enjoy.” – Laura Sterling, Community Manager
Image courtesy of Shutterstock/Syda Productions
“A cruise to nowhere can be a perfect end to a hectic work week. Pay attention to how often you swipe your key card, however. It’s easy to get carried away when you’re trying to make the most of your two nights.” – Gina Kramer, Associate Editor
“The clientele can be a bit younger and more lively. On the downside, it can go too quickly. Just about the time everyone learned his or her way around the ship, it was time to go home.” – Ashley Koscielek, Associate Editor
“Cruises to nowhere can help you pick the right line or ship for you, with a smaller investment of time and money. If you’re loyal to one line but thinking about another, it’s a great way to get a “taster cruise” under your belt. They can be quite crowded, though, and everyone realizes they have only a short time to try out everything, so it’s likely you’ll be fighting the crowds at nearly every turn.” – Colleen McDaniel, Managing Editor
“It’s important to keep in mind that short cruises tend to be loud, with Sweet 16s, Bachelorette parties and other celebrations running amuck at a more concentrated level than your average cruise. Even an afternoon nap, or an early night cuts your time significantly, so be prepared to soak in as much as possible; it’s over in the blink of an eye!” – Brittany Chrusciel, Editorial Assistant
“Keep in mind that there are about 3,000/4,000 other cruisers on the ship who plan to take advantage of the activities so you really need to plan in advance. This is not for people who really want to relax on their cruise vacation. Everything, right from getting on to getting off, can be tiring. — Divya Jain, Project Manager
“A huge value add for cruising is that you have the luxury of being shuttled directly to and from exotic locations; you are essentially on a moving hotel. (Cruises to nowhere don’t have that).” –Liat Perelman, Senior Web Analyst
“A cruise to nowhere is not your typical cruise – it is one big party. Because passengers want to make the most of every minute they have, I saw many folks disembarking on Sunday who looked like they hadn’t slept a wink. Still, I was surprised how much I was able to relax even on such a crowded ship; you can always find quiet nooks and crannies. A cruise to nowhere can definitely reignite your travel bug!”  – Melissa Paloti, Director of Product Development



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    3 Responses to “A Closer Look: Is a Cruise to Nowhere for You?”

    1. Janice
      February 24th, 2014 @ 11:24 am

      I would really enjoy a 7 day cruise to no where! More time to enjoy the ship without having island distractions (money pits).

    2. Joe
      February 24th, 2014 @ 1:52 pm

      I wish that there were more of these from Los Angeles. The last one-nighter that I remember was a few years back on NCL and it sold out quickly. I think people go for the casino as well.
      Does anyone know if the cruise lines are responsible for Jones Act penalties because the ship isn’t visiting a foreign port?

    3. Michael
      February 26th, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

      We did an NCL one-nighter R/T San Francisco several years ago. What it taught us is that we NEVER want to cruise on NCL again – and we have not. I suppose there is a value to that.

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    The Lido Deck is written by Cruise Critic's editorial staff, reporting from ships and ports around the world. The daily blog covers cruise news, reviews, advice, and hot topics from the Cruise Critic message boards. Please note: When commenting, Cruise Critic's community guidelines apply.

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