Things to consider before you cruise

It’s hard to trump the dream of lounging on the deck of a luxury cruise ship, overlooking sapphire seas, with a colourful cocktail in one hand and a gripping novel in the other.

But cruising can have its perils. Imagine being trapped on a ship with 77 squealing kids as they throw themselves down a waterslide …

So, what should more mature travellers look for in a cruise? To start with there’s the key components that make for a good cruise:

  1. having the everyday travel details looked after
  2. travelling to multiple destinations
  3. unpacking only once
  4. top-notch pampering, service and fine food
  5. value for money.

Following these core requirements, there are four further considerations that more discerning travellers should consider to get the most out of their cruise.

Choice of itinerary
Itinerary choice is important for seasoned travellers who’ve already visited a large number of destinations. For many, relaxing on a cruise deck or in an observation lounge and watching awe-inspiring scenery pass by is highly regarded – especially for those who may not be as mobile as they once were. Others, who are still quite active, may prefer to plant their feet on dry land whenever possible. Cruises with scenic-focused itineraries work better when they are close to shorelines, so that the wildlife and natural beauty can be easily observed and enjoyed. 

Enrichment programs
Also important are the quality and quantity of enrichment programs available on board, especially for those who wish to maintain active brains during their trip. Learning a new skill, gaining knowledge or even working on your dance moves,  can make you feel younger and more energetic. This can result in a more rewarding trip that sees you returning home even more accomplished than when you left.

Options for all types of travellers
Whether by choice or personal circumstance, a lot of seasoned travellers may find themselves travelling solo, yet most cruise lines concentrate on couples. This means that cruising alone can be expensive, mainly due to limited access to twin-share rates. It can also be a bit more difficult having to do everything by yourself. And, in a domain dominated by duos, solo cruising can be a little lonely. 

Many grandparents find that organising a cruise for the whole family, including adult children and grandchildren, is a great way to see the world, keep in touch and not be alone on the holidays. However, with a greater range of ages comes the challenge of keeping everyone satisfied and occupied. Cruise lines that cater to a wide range of age groups are the best option for this type of trip.

Medical care
For travellers with mobility or health issues, finding ships with high-quality medical care and good accessibility is important. It’s also a good idea to check the availability of on-board physicians and clinicians who can treat chronic conditions. For passengers with specific dietary requirements or restrictions, it’s advisable to find out what types of meals are served from the galley. Most cruise operators will be happy to work with your specific requirements, however, should they not be, it’s best to know beforehand.

What’s your top tip for cruising? Share it in the comments below. 

More articles that may interest you:

Cruising: what to pack
Seven essential cruise tips
Big ships versus small ships

LOADING MORE ARTICLE...