In this paper, we introduce a reduced order model (ROM) for the propagation of nonlinear multi-directional ocean wave-fields. The ROM relies on Galerkin projection of Zakharov equations embedded in the high-order spectral (HOS) method, which describes the evolution of nonlinear waves. The dominant flow features of wave evolution are computed from proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) and these modes are used for the projection. The HOS scheme to compute the vertical velocity is treated in a novel way for an efficient implementa- tion of POD-based ROM. We refer to this alternative formalism of HOS as HOS-simple. The final reduced order model (ROM) is derived from the Galerkin projection of HOS-simple. For the case of irregular waves, where the number of modes required are in the range of 200, the ROM has no significant advantage since both HOS and HOS-simple are much faster than real-time. The real advantage is demon- strated in multi-directional (or short-crested) irregular waves, where the ROM is the only model capable of achieving real-time computa- tion, a major improvement to the standard HOS method. The potential use of the ROM in propagating short-crested waves from far-field to near-field for real-world applications involving wave probes in a wave tank/controlled environment as well as X-band radar in open ocean is also demonstrated.