There aren’t many more relaxing fantasies than sitting topside 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, or 18 annoying teens swearing and carrying on in a video game arcade.
So, what should more mature travellers should look for in a cruise? Let’s start with an overview of what makes for a good cruise:
- having the everyday travel details looked after
- travelling to multiple destinations
- unpacking only once
- top-notch pampering, service and fine food
- value for money.
There are, however, certain aspects of cruising that retired rovers prefer more than their younger shipmates.
Choice of itinerary
Itinerary choice is important for seasoned tourists who’ve already travelled to many 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, even though they still enjoy the on-board experience in between shore experiences. 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.
Also important are the quality and quantity of enrichment programs available on board, especially for those who wish to maintain active brains during retirement. Learning a new skill, gaining knowledge or even working on your dancing techniques can make you feel younger and more energetic. This can result in a more rewarding trip from which you’ll feel better upon return.
Options for all types of travellers
Whether by choice or personal circumstance, a lot of seasoned travellers may find themselves traveling solo, yet most cruise lines aim their product towards couples. This means that roaming 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 kids and grandkids, 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 more favoured by older holiday makers.
Many travellers may have mobility or health issues, so high-quality medical care and ships with good accessibility are preferred, especially by those who are not as nimble as they once were. It’s also a good idea to check with the travel operator on the availability of on-board physicians and clinicians who can treat chronic conditions. For passengers with specific dietary requirements or restrictions, it’s obviously 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, while others may not. It’s best to check beforehand.
Do you have any favourite cruise lines that you can recommend to others? Do you have any tips for first-time cruisers? Why not share them?