If you're a cruise first-timer and you're a little skeptical about spending a week or two at sea, one of the best ways to ease yourself into this unique style of holiday - and to find out if you like it - is to try a mini cruise.
Mini cruises are bags of fun. The format is usually a condensed version of a standard cruise, which has been compacted into just a couple of nights. Sometimes, mini cruises take place during the repositioning of a cruise ship - for instance if it needs to be moved from one location to another - or it might be designed as a taster cruise to give first-timers a chance to try it out.
Of course it's not exclusively designed for cruise first-timers. Many regulars book mini cruises too, as it's an opportunity to enjoy a short, fun-filled weekend or a few days away visiting one or two great locations in the process.
Among the most popular mini cruises are short jaunts to locations like Le Havre in France, Bruges in Belgium, and Amsterdam in The Netherlands. Typically, a mini cruise means a short round trip to one of these destinations - which gives customers the chance to visit a great destination and experience the onboard lifestyle of cruising too.
With the more budget-focused mini cruises, the on board facilities and range of entertainment could be fairly limited. This is great if you're on a strict budget and you're quite happy just to kick back and relax on the journey. Other mini cruises, such as those operated by large, established ocean-faring liners like P&O Cruises and Thomson Cruises, are usually focused on entertainment and typically serves up the full shebang - theatre, spa treatments, nightclubs, kids' clubs, the lot.
So whether you're a cruising regular or a skeptical first-timer, mini cruises are a great way to 'give it a go' and enjoy a fabulous holiday experience in the process.