Six ways to avoid cruise crowds

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Fancy getting away from it all? If you’re considering a cruise, but are worried that you’ll be sharing your floating resort with too many other people, there are plenty of ways to find some quiet spaces. Here are our top six recommendations.

Book a balcony
Balcony accommodation gives you a private outdoor space of your own for sun bathing, reading, watching the scenery and, if your ship offers room service, enjoying your meals. If your budget can stretch to it, opt for a suite with even more space, with the bonus of a separate bedroom and larger balcony.

Find your ship’s quiet spaces
Good places to seek out include the library and, on larger ships, the promenade deck beneath the lifeboats, which should be shadier and have sun loungers. Another great place to escape to is the spa – besides a spot of pampering, they are havens of quiet with relaxation rooms. Some ships even offer dedicated spa accommodations such as Celebrity and Costa.

Go small, luxury
A small, luxury ship has fewer guests sharing your space, and cruise lines including Seabourn and Regent offer more balcony accommodations from which to choose. Dining is also open seating – you dine when and with whom you choose – and 24-hour room service is a given, so you can eat in your suite.

Pick a ship with an adult-only enclave
These offer grown-ups a chance to get away from the crowds into an exclusive, child-free space; examples include The Sanctuary on Princess, and The Retreat on P&O. However, some ships do charge for entry and restrict how long you can stay, and on school holiday cruises they can also be extremely popular.

Explore ashore on your own
If your ship visits ports of call which are easy to explore without the need for a tour, go it alone. That said, if you need to take a tour and can stretch to it, consider hiring a private tour guide and car, or rent a car of your own. And if your ship visits its own private island, renting a cabana is a great way to escape the crowds.

Splash out
Some big ships have facilities which are exclusively reserved for cruisers who book suites. Guests of MSC’s Yacht Club, for example, have their own concierge, lounge, swimming pool and other amenities served by a round-the-clock butler service. It’s a similar situation for guests of Haven by Norwegian on NCL’s Epic, and Queen’s Grill guests on Cunard’s Queens.

To find out more about cruising or to find the cruise of your dreams within your budget, visit

Written by joannaha


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