If you’re new to cruises or you’d just like to branch out and try something different, you might be overwhelmed by all the types of cruises available today. There’s a targeted cruise offering for numerous types of people, whether you’re single, gay, a family or a senior citizen. In this article, we’ll introduce you to these cruise categories to give you a better idea of what to expect. With this information, it’ll be much easier to decide which is the right cruise for you.
While many other cruises are marketed as “romantic getaways,” you may be flying solo during your travels. A singles cruise makes sure that you have a great time by celebrating your singleness and bringing you together with other singles to have fun. Here’s what to expect on a typical singles cruise:
- Singles cruises focus on fun social activities that get you to mix and mingle with other passengers. There will be plenty of mixers, dance parties, on-shore excursions, classes and other events where you’ll be encouraged to meet new people.
- If you’re traveling alone, you may be paired up with another passenger to share a room. There may be an extra fee if you want a room to yourself.
- The passengers tend to be on the younger side for singles cruises. A typical singles cruise has lots of passengers in the 30-40 age range, though there are also more targeted singles cruises for specific groups (seniors, under 30, etc.).
- While most singles cruises tend to be on the active, social and sometimes even rowdy side, there are certainly singles cruises available that suit a more low-key passenger. If you’re not one for parties, consider a singles cruise that focuses on something more relaxed, like food and wine tastings. You can also call the cruise line ahead of time to get more information about what type of atmosphere to expect.
If you have little ones in tow, then a family cruise can be a great way to ensure that all the members of your family have a good time of your trip. These cruises are specially designed to provide plenty of things for families to do together. This is what you’ll find on most family cruises:
- Most family cruises offer a variety of activities to entertain kids of all ages, from babies and toddlers to ‘tweens and teens. However, it’s wise to look into the specific events and activities before booking since some tend to offer more for the very young while others have more to offer older kids.
- A trained staff is on hand to run the youth programs. If you’re curious, you can call the cruise line to find out more about the staff’s qualifications and their counselor-to-child ratios on board.
- Each ship has a way of contacting parents when kids are dropped off at various activities or events. The child may have to be signed out or the parent may be given a pager to let them know when to pick kids up. Older kids may be able to sign themselves out with parent permission.
- While it’s easy for parents to leave their children in the care of the competent staff on board, there are also plenty of activities planned that families can enjoy together, like special themed dinners, movie nights or stage shows.
- Find out the particular policies of each cruise line if you have little ones. For example, some cruise lines don’t allow newborns or infants on board, while others don’t allow toddlers who aren’t potty-trained to be left alone with staff.
This type of cruise can be a great choice for lesbian and gay travelers who want a non-judgmental and tolerant space to relax on vacation. While these travelers can certainly go on other types of cruises, booking a spot on a gay cruise can remove any anxiety about possible clashes or awkwardness around less open-minded passengers. Here are a few things you can expect on a gay cruise:
- Most of these cruises have lots of opportunities for social interaction. Expect nightly dance parties, social hours and on-board seminars.
- Entertainment is geared towards the gay community. Gay-friendly comedians like Kathy Griffin or diva-like singers are common offerings.
- Your cruise will avoid any ports that aren’t friendly to the gay community (examples include Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Bermuda and Turkey). This ensures passengers are safe and comfortable during their trip.
- Be aware of which part of the gay community each cruise caters to. While Atlantis tends to target gay men, many lesbians enjoy traveling with the cruise line Olivia. In addition, some are geared towards singles and others towards couples.
- Many of these cruises sell out well in advance, so it’s wise to book early.
Most senior cruises are for people over the age of 50. If you fall into this category, you may find that this type of cruise offers a great way to relax among like-minded people. These cruises travel all over the world, giving you the opportunity to see and experience new things. Expect the following if you book a cruise for seniors:
- Though the clientele is older, most cruise lines don’t expect their senior passengers to be sedentary. There are plenty of activities available, whether it’s playing cards, taking a yoga class, learning about the local history or making pottery. You can also sign up for a variety of on-shore excursions.
- Taking a cruise for seniors is a great way to relax since most will be carrying few (if any) families with children. Instead, the atmosphere is quieter and more adult-oriented.
- Seniors on these cruises tend to be active, but the cruise lines are still aware of the special health needs that these passengers may require. These ships always have trained medical staff on hand and they are more than happy to accommodate special dietary restrictions.
- Many seniors can get a discount on their cruise travel. Check with an AARP travel agent for more information.
With so many popular cruises out there, it shouldn’t be difficult for travelers to find one of these ships heading to their destination of choice. Now that you know what to expect on these types of cruises, you can use this information to find the right cruise for you.