updated 6/1/2009 11:25:37 AM ET 2009-06-01T15:25:37

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Select dates through January 2010

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The deal
If the idea of cruising without port stops has you scratching your head, consider why people attend fashion week. It’s a chance to show off the latest creations from the hottest lines. The same concept applies to the cruising world as new ships are introduced. Since each unique ship appeals to different personalities, these short cruises provide an affordable way of finding your perfect match, without having to fully commit for the long haul. It’s kind of like speed dating for travelers.

Besides, who needs a reason to take a quick, luxurious ocean escape complete with dinner and dancing? So don’t over-analyze, simply jot down the embarkation dates for these sampler cruises leaving from New York.  All are headed for the next A-list port of call: nowhere.

Up to 42 percent off New Carnival Dream
Set to launch in October 2009, the new Carnival Dream will offer a whirlwind of funky features, and is a perfect ship for the entire family.  For starters, there are separate areas for each age group. Kids ages 2-11 can head to Camp Carnival, tweens can kick back in Circle C with video games and karaoke, and teens have a nightclub all to themselves. Adults can unwind in the spa or relax in one of the many lounges and bars.

On the main deck, there is a giant outdoor theater and a splash park with twisting waterslides. The 2-night sampler cruise sets sail from New York on November 13, with interior cabins priced from $349 — that’s up to 42 percent off rack rates!

Dinner and Dance Cruise on Norwegian Gem
Foodies flock to the Norwegian Gem, which boasts twelve restaurants and eleven bars and lounges.  Recently launched in late 2007, the Gem also offers a wealth of activities including a mood-lit bowling alley, a library, fitness center, art gallery, jogging track, and much more.

The bright, modern décor in the staterooms has triggered a new era in cabin design, while category options range from inside staterooms and “courtyard villas” to the 5,000-square-foot Garden Villa. Although the ship spends much of its time sailing around the Mediterranean, its second home is New York.

The overnight dinner and dance voyage offers two sailing dates on January 2, and 23 with prices starting at $149 for interior cabins, or upgrade to a balcony stateroom for just $50 more.

Two-night cruise on Carnival Miracle from 45 percent off
Although the Carnival Miracle has been around the block since 2004, just three short years after its maiden voyage this popular ship underwent a major refurbishment. You can check out the new makeover this fall starting from as little as $349 — that’s 45 percent off original rates.

However, the largest savings amount when booking an oceanview stateroom (for just $10 more) or balcony cabin (for $20 more). Onboard this mid-sized ship, there’s a theater, sports bar, casino, an elegant supper club, and main lounge featuring comedians, karaoke and more.  The main highlight is the towering eleven-story Metropolis atrium with a sparkling ruby-red glass ceiling. This special two-night nowhere cruise embarks on October 15.

The dollars
All quotes are per person and based on double occupancy. Rates cover accommodations, meals and entertainment on the ship. Fees and taxes, as well as shore excursions, personal expenses, alcoholic beverages, and tips are additional.

The catch
It won’t be long before nowhere becomes commercialized. There’s already been talk of a Starbucks going in.

ShermansTravel is a guide to top travel deals and destinations. Sign up for Sherman's Top 25 e-newsletter which features the best editor-screened deals from hundreds of travel providers and is delivered to over 4 million subscribers, free, each week. ShermansTravel also publishes trip ideas and travel features to inspire, guide, and go.

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