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Make Your Getaway Count

Royal Caribbean International's short cruises stop at its private island, CocoCay, Bahamas, above. Norwegian Cruise Line, at top, offers two-night cruises out of Miami, New York and Vancouver.
Royal Caribbean International's short cruises stop at its private island, CocoCay, Bahamas, above. Norwegian Cruise Line, at top, offers two-night cruises out of Miami, New York and Vancouver. (By David Emmite/royal Caribbean International)

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Need a long vacation? Take a short cruise. Though the sojourns last only two to four nights, the ships pack in the action (and relaxation) with at-sea activities and onshore adventures in exotic destinations. Best of all: no major time or fiscal commitment. The chart below lists cruise lines and a sampling of their two-, three- and four-night sailings around North America. And you can often book a quickie cruise on short notice. (Information below was accurate at press time. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and don't include taxes and fees, transportation to city of embarkation, excursions, alcohol or some specialty onboard activities.) Note: These cruise lines also offer longer cruises. -- Kristin Harrison

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2-Night Cruises

Carnival Cruise Lines

Trips: The Cruise to Nowhere travels round trip from Norfolk or the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York; round trip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Nassau, Bahamas.

Season: Fall

Vessels: Carnival Victory and Carnival Triumph (from Norfolk), Carnival Miracle (New York), Carnival Dream (New York), Carnival Splendor (Fort Lauderdale)

Sample voyage: The point of the Cruise to Nowhere is to float in the Atlantic on a theme-park-like ship, complete with multiple swimming pools, more than a dozen bars and lounges, a casino, Vegas-style shows, a spa and a variety of dining options. Prices from $329.

Additional notes: Carnival's Fun Ships are known for their water slides, poolside movies and partylike atmosphere. Don't expect lectures or educational presentations.

Info: 800-227-6482, http://www.carnival.com

Imperial Majesty

Trips: Round trip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Nassau, Bahamas.

Season: Year-round


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