4 Day Caribbean Cruise

Perfect for First-Time Cruisers!

My family took its only 4-day Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas in July 2010 and was disappointed. Our disappointment was not with the overall cruise experience. 

We were regretful of the length of the cruise.

After you have been on a 7-day cruise, it is hard to settle for 4 day Caribbean cruises. Try to imagine a toddler crying, "More, I want more!" That's how it was for my family of cruisers.

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Overview Of My Family's Cruise Experiences

Our first inclusive family Caribbean cruise was a 5-day Western Caribbean sailing out of Tampa, Florida. We visited Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico and Nassau, Bahamas aboard the Carnival Sensation.

We were so impressed with our cruising experience that we wowed never again to sail for less than 5 days.

My family's next cruise was a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise via Carnival Glory. What a "glory" it was! However, by day 6 of the cruise, we were ready to go home. That was strange! 

I do not know what it was.

The ship was great and so was the food, activities and amenities. The ports of call were also fine. We visited Costa Maya, Cozumel, Belize City and Nassau. There was only one of those stops that we thought a little sad - Belize City - because we could not see what the government was doing with the tourist revenue. 

The city, especially the roads, appeared to be in need of some much needed "repair."

Anyway, our next cruise was another 7 day cruise - this time to the Eastern Caribbean - and we had a ball!

We did all of these cruises before the 4-day sailing.

Based on our experiences, I believe that if your family is cruising for the first time to the Caribbean, you should choose a 3 or 4 day Caribbean cruise.

What to Expect on a
4 Day Caribbean Cruise

1. Accommodations on a 4 Day Caribbean Cruise

As you might suspect, your cabin will not be as big as your bedroom (unless you live in New York where some bedrooms are really tiny - Sorry New Yorkers!). 

Therefore, sleeping in a cruise ship cabin with three of four family members (unless you book a separate cabin for the kids), will take some getting used to. (Yet, you learn to make the most of it and enjoy your trip).

You are better able to survive those accommodations on a 4 day Caribbean cruise than on a 7 day family cruise.

If you choose a cruise suite for your family, you will have more spacious accommodations.

2. Fellow Guests on a 4 Day Caribbean Cruise

Inclusive family Caribbean cruises tend to be crowded. While you will not stumble over each other, you will "run into" hundreds of fellow passengers. For those of you and your family members who may have an issue with too many people in one place - repeatedly - it will be easier to get through 4 days at sea than a longer sailing.

Please do not misunderstand me - the cruise experience is great and Caribbean cruise ships are big. Therefore, you will have adequate space to get around. However, the fact is that there are hundreds of guests onboard cruise liners - bigger ships now carry thousands - and you will definitely notice the number of people on board, especially at the pools or the buffets.

3. Food on a 4 Day Caribbean Cruise

If you have not read my webpage about Cruise Food, then you should. There is an abundance of food. Some cruise ships have several restaurants (naturally, bigger ships have more than smaller ones) conveniently located in several spots onboard your Caribbean cruise liner. 

Also, you will find a variety of cuisines served onboard, so your appetite should remain wet - wanting to try something new. Such is the case for lunch and dinner.

Breakfast, on the other hand, is a different story. While you will find a wide range of breakfast items to choose from - eggs, toast, waffles, pancakes, sausages, bacon, pastries, fruits, cereals, etc. - you will find the same items every morning. That should not be a problem, however, because you do not have to eat the same things every day.

Yet, for some reason, breakfast can become overwhelming, if you allow it.

On 4 day Caribbean cruises, you only have 4 mornings to "worry" about this. Think about seeing the same items for 7 days! Well, we have and we survived and enjoyed our cruise anyway.

However, for the first time, the shorter cruise is definitely better.

4. Ports of Call on a 4 Day Caribbean Cruise

Generally, a 4 day Caribbean cruise includes about two (2) stops in its itinerary. As noted above, our inclusive family Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas stopped in Coco Cay (Royal Caribbean's private Bahamian resort) and Nassau, the island's capital city. Coco Cay is largely a beach stop. We swam, some people snorkeled and para-sailed and we had a Caribbean style barbecue.

We all enjoyed Coco Cay!

The stop in Nassau opened the doors to many possibilities - touring the island (which we did), visiting the world renowned, Atlantis (which we also did), swimming with dolphins, going to the beach, snorkeling, duty free shopping in Nassau Harbour, and several other shore excursions that beautiful Bahamas offers.

Two stops, with great things to do, were perfect!

I remember on one of our 7 day Caribbean cruises (which generally has about 3 or four stops), we were tired after the third stop and decided to relax at the fourth stop - port of call.

Do not misunderstand me, going ashore in the Caribbean is delightful. We enjoy interacting with the residents, checking out the wares for sale, and where it is a Spanish speaking city (Cozumel or Costa Maya), practicing our Spanish. 

That can be funny and the locals will smile at your attempt to speak Spanish - good or otherwise.

However, with just two stops on a 4 day Caribbean cruise, it is difficult to feel exhausted. Instead, you will long for more!

That is exactly what a 4 day cruise does - it leaves you wanting more. That makes it perfect, because you will definitely look forward to the next one - perhaps a 7 day Caribbean cruise.

Ready to book?

U.S. Cruise Ports & Cruise Lines Offering
4-Day Caribbean Cruises

Now that you are ready to book your cruise ship vacation for 4 days, let me show which ports offer such sailings.

Note: Cruise ships are often re-deployed. Therefore, what is true today, may not be true next summer season.

At the time of writing this, the following U.S. cruise ports are offering 4-day Caribbean itineraries:

Cruise Ports

Cruise Lines

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

1. Celebrity Cruises

2. Princess Cruises

3. Royal Caribbean 

Galveston, Texas

Carnival Cruise Lines

Jacksonville, Florida

Carnival Cruise Lines

Miami, Florida

1. Carnival Cruise Lines

2. Disney Cruise Line

3. Norwegian Cruise Line

4. Royal Caribbean

New Orleans, Louisiana

Carnival Cruise Lines

Port Canaveral (near Orlando)

1. Carnival Cruise Lines

2. Disney Cruise Line

3. Royal Caribbean

Tampa, Florida

1. Carnival Cruise Lines

2. Royal Caribbean

Click the link to book your 4-day cruise ship vacation at Petes Travel Center (PetesTravel.com).

You are now ready to go, but let me clarify one thing...

A 4 day Caribbean cruise is synonymous with a 4 night Caribbean cruise. The cruise is really 4 nights and 3 1/2 days. Generally, the 4 day cruise leaves the respective US port at 4 pm one evening and returns after 4 nights the following morning. 

For example: What is considered a 4 day / night Caribbean cruise will leave on Monday evening at 4 and return to port on Friday morning at about 8 am.

What makes it a 3 1/2 day cruise is that you can board as early as 12 noon - 1 pm on the day of departure and enjoy a hearty and delicious lunch before you set sail and then it is time for dinner - just a little later.

If you have questions, please go to our Contact Page and shoot us your questions.

Whatever you do, have fun on your 4 day Caribbean cruise!

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