In response to the growing demand, more cruise lines are offering short sailings -- an attractive option for the first-timers and budget-conscious. Carnival Cruise Lines leads the trend with short cruises operating out of nine U.S. ports and nearly half of its customers opting for short cruises. "[S]hort cruises are very convenient, they're affordable because of the shorter itineraries, and there is a real variety," said Terry Thornton, a senior vice president at Carnival Cruise Lines. "So you're not sacrificing destinations for the shorter cruise. It's a good, convenient, affordable cruise that takes you great places."

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