29th Jan 2015
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Top tips for cruise ships
Top tips for cruise ships

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.

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 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.

Medical care

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?






    COMMENTS

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    Maggie
    18th Nov 2017
    7:53am
    Fine dining at fixed times can be just lovely, and a real break away from the shoving and queuing of the all day restaurants on board, BUT you can be landed with really incompatible table companions. If you are on your first cruise you might not realise it is OK to ask to dine at a different time or in a different restaurant!
    Blossom
    30th Dec 2017
    4:17pm
    We booked fine dining which we only used 3 times they gave us a time that was not really suitable with a 5 y.o. and a 6 month old. Although they knew well in advnce that we had a baby there wasn't much suitable food for him. Another family had the same issue. Fortunately we took some sealed baby food with us. Special Needs Diet they were fantastic. Even when we went to the same resturant a few nights apart the staff on the door remembered as soon as our surname was mentioned. On a couple of occasions they even allocated us the same waiting staff. A lot of the staff doted on all the babies on board. They miss their families while they are away working for several months before they go home again so interacting with other little ones seems to fill the gap for them.
    Gra
    4th Jan 2018
    8:33pm
    Blossom, when you book Fine Dining YOU nominate the time you want, it isn't determined by the cruise line. We always choose the 6pm sitting which means we are then free to take in any of the shows on offer.


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