Cruises can range in length from three days to three months. How long you spend on board will mostly depend on how many ports you want to see, the amount of vacation time you have, and of course, your budget. Here's a basic breakdown on what you can expect from different cruise lengths:
Short (three to five days): Short cruises will venture to nearby destinations such as islands off the coastline or cities along a river. These are good if you want to test out the cruising experience or spice up an extended weekend.
Mid-length (seven to 14 days): Mid-length cruises offer a wider choice of destinations, as well as more time to relax and enjoy special activities. The most popular cruise length for "first timers" is seven days.
Very long (one to three months): Long cruises are mostly filled with veteran cruisers. Example itineraries range from a trip around South America to a trip around the world. These tend to be very expensive, and aren't recommended for those who aren't already sure they enjoy cruising and being at sea for a long time.