In 2008, the number of people taking short cruises (five days or fewer) increased by 36 percent, thanks in part to easy planning and all-inclusive pricing. While short cruises trend young (especially given the average cruiser's age of 46), there's no doubt something for everyone.
On Disney Cruise Line's sailings, you can relax, knowing your kids will be entertained by Mickey—and supervised by the ship's counselors. 800/951-3532, disneycruise.disney.go.com, three-night Bahamas trips on Disney Wonder from $625.
Holland America Line's ships each have a Culinary Arts Center with cooking demonstrations and classes. 877/724-5425, hollandamerica.com, four-day Pacific coast cruises on Ryndam, Statendam, or Zaandam from $349.
On Norwegian Cruise Lines, Freestyle Cruising translates to no dress codes or dining-room mandates. 866/234-7350, ncl.com, five-day western Caribbean trips on Norwegian Dawn from $349.
For the stressed
All Celebrity cruise ships have an AquaSpa, where you can get aromatherapy massages and seaweed wraps. 800/647-2251, celebritycruises.com, four-night sailings to Cozumel, Mexico, and Key West, Fla., on Celebrity Century from $349.
Royal Caribbean's ships have rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, and mini-golf courses onboard, and scuba diving and caving excursions offshore. 866/562-7625, royalcaribbean.com, five-night Bermuda cruises on Explorer of the Seas from $599.