What is the best cruise line for seniors? It really depends on what kind of senior you are. Some retirees are ready for adventure, wanting to conquer the world (or tick off the list of places to visit) with extensive travel and new experiences. Others want to use their work-free years to pursue their hobbies or broaden their horizons. Other seniors just want to relax and enjoy not having a schedule.
Whatever your vacation goals are, there’s a cruise line for you. And here’s the secret: The most popular senior cruises are often equally popular with younger cruise passengers. You’re not stuck with a boat full of elderly people – and you can travel with your family (when they have holidays!).
While any cruise line can be a good choice for seniors, here is our selection of the top five cruise lines for seniors.
1. Holland America
Large dining room on Nieuw Statendam
Holland America has long been a popular cruise line for seniors looking for classic and elegant cruises. Middle-class cruisers prefer simpler activities – live music, shuffleboard, good food – at the expense of lavish blinging and crazy rides on the upper deck. Here you will find traditions such as ringing the bell to announce the start of dinner and serving pea soup on Alaska’s freshly baked glaciers.
Seniors who want to explore the world while remaining loyal to their favorite cruise line choose Holland America for their international itineraries, which include annual world cruises and longer voyages. Its central research department creates onboard events to educate travelers about the culture, food and attractions of their cruise region.
If Alaska is on your to-do list, Holland America has a long history in the area and offers multiple boat cruises each season. Land tours before and after the cruise include stations and train sets specific to Alaska, as well as routes in Canada’s Yukon that no one else offers.
The rhythm on board may be quiet, but that is not synonymous with boredom. Holland America’s commitment to live music has earned its trio of musical hotspots high praise: Billboard Onboard with its rock pianists, the B.B. Blues Club. King’s Blues Club, which offers Memphis-style R&B, and Lincoln Center Stage for the classics. His passengers accept the fact that you’re never too old to boogie.
Westerdam (Photo courtesy of Holland America)
Gourmets and foodies can mix their own wines, attend cooking demonstrations and make reservations at various specialty and pop-up restaurants for a romantic evening of fine wines and gourmet food. And older people who are tired of depending on their grandchildren for help can learn a few computer tricks at the entry-level workshops in the Microsoft studios.
For those who travel alone, Dutch America does its utmost. On the airline’s newer ships, there are several individual cabins for the price of one, and the event staff make sure solo travelers can meet, mingle and chat with the group.
2. Viking (Ocean)
As a new cruise line, Viking Ocean Ships quickly became a favorite among older customers. Older travelers appreciate the airline’s commitment to immersion in the destination, the variety of dining options, the well-designed cabins and the fact that there are no additional fees.
For older people who travel a lot, Viking is more of a destination than a series of quiet sea days. You can explore a new port almost every day, with one or more shore excursions included in each port. Cruise passengers can pay extra for special experiences, but they’re not obligated to spend a penny if they don’t want to. The itineraries also include at least one night in port so passengers can dine at a local restaurant or attend a cultural show in the evening.
Each ship in the fleet is individually built and they are almost all identical, so dedicated passengers won’t have too many surprises during a cruise. All cabins are spacious and feature thoughtful details such as king size beds, spacious showers, heated bathrooms, free movies on demand and balconies in every room.
Deluxe Verandah Cabin on Viking Sky
Viking is also aiming for a lower cruise fare. In addition to a free excursion to each port, the line includes Wi-Fi, all onboard restaurants and room service, spa suites, self-service laundry, and a variety of beverages (specialty tea and coffee, bottled water and wine, beer and soft drinks for lunch and dinner) at their rates. Thrifty people will appreciate the incredible value they get for their money.
Entertainment on board is discreet, but organized according to Viking’s target audience. To learn more about your cruising route, consult a local historian or watch a TED Talk. Enjoy live music in the common areas, an intimate musical show in Torshavn Hall or a Beatles rock show on the pool deck. Some ships even have planetariums.
If you are planning a multi-generational cruise with your grandchildren, think again. Viking has no policy for children and all passengers must be over the age of 18.
5 things I like about Viking Sky
Some luxury lines impress with the quality of the food, the attentive service, the well-appointed rooms on board and the comfortable itineraries…. but the variety of entertainment is lacking because the ships are just too small. Crystal is one of the best luxury cruise lines for seniors, finding the right tone between total pampering and a wide variety of entertainment.
Crystal’s ships are slightly larger than those of their high-end competitors, which means more room for meals and entertainment. Every night you can choose between a great Broadway show in a theatre, an actor or cabaret in a small venue, a live duo throwing a party in an Irish pub in a bar, or even a movie in a theatre. Entertainment is the center of the line, not an afterthought, and Crystal makes the most of the space she has available.
The routes take you to many exotic ports, but don’t forget to spend many days at sea attending bridge master classes, mahjong games, ballroom dancing lessons (with male hosts for single women), conferences, golf courses…. Or days of relaxation and entertainment. Spend an afternoon at the spa and you’ll feel like you’ve found the fountain of youth.
There is also a wide choice of dining options. Transform yourself into a sushi smoker at Nobu on board, stuff your head with meat at a Brazilian churrascaria or try it all at a family dinner in the Silk Kitchen. Oenophiles can book intimate gourmet dinners in the wine room. Trident Grill’s snacks and burgers are also very popular.
Silk Kitchen in Crystal Serenite (Photo courtesy of Crystal).
Crystal has diversified into river cruises, yacht cruises and expedition cruises. So seniors who like variety can try out different boat types and routes without sacrificing the Crystal quality they have come to know and love. Riverboats sail the Rhine and Danube, intimate yachts enjoy relaxation in Greece and the Seychelles, and expedition ships undertake adventures to the Poles. Add annual cruises around the world and Crystal offers several ways to help you tick off this list of destinations.
Retirees who want to relax with their children and grandchildren, or who want a wide choice of ships without the hustle and bustle of mega giants, should take a look at Princess. The ships are large (but not oversized) and offer cabins, activities and dining options for different budgets and interests.
Family patriarchs can book spacious family suites and enjoy VIP privileges, while young parents can book rooms that are cheaper or can accommodate a family of four without breaking the bank. Seniors can enjoy a cooking class or an evening at the casino, escape to the terrace of the Adult Sanctuary and even renew their wedding vows. (Princess is Love Boat’s cruise line, after all.) Meanwhile, the grandkids can make friends at the Camp Discovery Kids Club, swim in the pool or play games on the digital screens around the ship.
In the evening, the whole family can gather for dinner and a show. Celebrate an important birthday at a steakhouse or Italian trattoria, opt for a buffet or pizza, or head to the main dining room where the menu can satisfy all tastes and dietary restrictions.
You won’t find climbing walls or water slides on Princess ships, although evening movies on the pool deck, with popcorn, are a popular after-dinner event. During the day, the piazza-style atrium offers plenty of entertainment, from theme parties to animal shows and live performances. The evening’s main stage will feature the talents of Jim Henson and Stephen Schwartz, as well as some of your talented shipmates in The Voice of the Ocean. (While not all shows are offered on all ships, keep this in mind before booking if it is an important option for your family).
Piazza style atrium (Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)
With almost 15 ships, Princess goes almost anywhere you want. The line is well established in Alaska, receiving rave reviews for their Japanese yachts and offering many North American options to Mexico (their original love cruise route), the Pacific Coast, Hawaii and Canada/New England. This is in addition to the major cruise lines in the Caribbean (for family fun in the sun) and Europe (for sightseeing with grandchildren).
Queen Mary 2 (Photo courtesy of Cunard)
Do you fancy crossing the Atlantic, spending whole days looking out at the seemingly endless sea, your only concern being whether you’ll arrive at the puck deck before or after lunch? Would you prefer an ocean liner over a cruise ship, especially one with a long history of ocean crossings and even military service? If you’re such a scholar, Cunard is the perfect line for you.
Cunard distinguishes itself from other cruise lines by its commitment to transatlantic cruises. She offers week-long cruises between Southampton (near London) and New York City most of the year. There are no port calls, so passengers can fully enjoy the ship and the activities on board.
And Cunard sends ships, but ships that please the elderly. In addition to ballroom dancing and fitness classes, travelers can also participate in fencing and watercolor painting workshops. High school students who want to broaden their horizons can attend lectures by experts and educational shows at Planetarium QM2, and learn how to use iPads and computers. Look out for special themed cruises such as. B. Fashion, Literature and Genealogy Navigate if you want to explore interests of depth during your week at sea.
Tradition is important to cruise passengers on this British line, and one of the Cunard’s hallmarks is daily afternoon tea with live music and cream and jam scones. Official line dinners are another option; just like in the old movies, after dinner you should put on your best dress or tuxedo and escort your partner to the ballroom dance floor. Do you sail alone? Don’t worry, the gentlemen hosts are ready to give you all the information you need about Queens Hall.
(photo via Kunnar Line/Facebook).
Another shortcoming is the separate dining rooms for guests in the Princess and Queens Grill suites. For the ultimate in luxury, book one of the best suites (some are deluxe duplexes) and enjoy personal butler service, a private terrace, priority boarding and reservations at the most exclusive eateries on board.
Just because the line is British doesn’t mean it’s rigid and formal. Each ship has an onboard pub serving classic English food and games such as quizzes or cheering on your favourite sports team. The outdoor decks offer plenty of entertainment, including paddle tennis and bridge cues, as well as outdoor parties in the evenings.
Cunard has three ships, two of which sail around the world in the winter months. So seniors who want to explore the Mediterranean or chase the sun in the Caribbean can make all their travel dreams come true without having to change lines.
READ MORE: 7 best lines for a family reunion cruise
frequently asked questions
What is the best cruise line for seniors?
Considered by many to be one of the best cruise lines for seniors, Princess Cruises offers many options – different departure cities, round trips and cruises with extensive shore excursions.
Which cruise lines offer discounts for seniors?
Among cruise lines offering discounts for seniors (on some yachts) : Azamara, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean.
What are the top five cruise lines?
8 best cruise lines for little money – Travel News USA
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