Bill and Betty booked their third cruise of the year with excitement! They were cashing in some rewards points and splurging on a deluxe stateroom with a balcony, perfect for admiring the epic glaciers gently scrolling by as their ship approached the next Alaskan port. They couldn’t wait to take in the midnight sun and add another page to their growing scrapbook of adventures.
Cruises are fantastic vacation ideas for active seniors on the go. A cruise package can make an excellent retirement gift idea or bucket list item, no matter where or how you prefer to vacation. The wide range of routes and destinations ensure you’ll find a cruise to fit your personal needs and preferred travel destinations. Cruise ships are so well appointed they are referred to as floating all-inclusive resorts. If you’re used to an active social calendar, there’s always something fun to do aboard a cruise ship, even if you never leave the boat.
What to do on a Cruise?
Cruises are favorite vacations among seniors for a reason. There is so much to do onboard and so many luxuries and amenities to enjoy. Many frequent cruisers enjoy life onboard so much that they’re known to skip a port or two in favor of the fun aboard.
- Onboard entertainment- Enjoy evening entertainment such live music and performers, onboard theaters and magic shows, try your luck at the onboard casino, or dance the night away under the stars. Every ship offers entertainment staples and unique experiences.
- Fine dining- Cruises are well-known for their elegant dining offerings. Many ships feature several upscale offerings, world-class room service, and endless buffets.
- Art and Shopping- Cruise ships often showcase both decorative showpieces and art for sale. And the shopping certainly doesn’t end there! Peruse the floating malls and gather keepsakes from curated options.
Ultimate relaxation- Do absolutely nothing! Sun yourself on the pool deck while your server keeps the drinks coming! Book yourself a massage or spa treatment for peak vacation relaxation.
Senior-Friendly Cruise Excursions
Many travel agents and cruise professionals are familiar with matching passengers to excursions that suit their interests and needs. If you need a wheel-chair accessible adventure or outings with limited walking, give your booking professional the opportunity to exercise their expertise. Many seniors enjoy excursions from the following categories.
- Bus tour- Enjoy the AC and take in the sights with a guided bus tour.
- Take a taxi- If you’re interested in a personal tour, consider booking a taxi to take you up close and personal to your must-see destinations. Stay as long as you like and leave when you’re done!
- See a show- Watch a parade, show, or demonstration with a seated performance.
Best Cruise Lines for Seniors
Many seniors enjoy cruising with the following lines because of their senior-friendly accommodations and offerings. Some cruise lines, like Silver Seas, cater exclusively to seniors.
- Royal Caribbean
- Holland America
- Celebrity Cruises
Popular Cruise Destinations for Seniors
Seniors enjoy traveling anywhere a cruise ship takes them. When we polled our Seattle-based retirement community residents, it’s no surprise that cruises that depart from Seattle are popular. Lines like Holland America and Royal Caribbean that cruise Alaska and Northwestern Canada are especially popular because they depart right from Seattle. Sunny and historic destinations round out the wish list, no surprise in rainy Seattle.
- The Caribbean
Cruising with Unique Needs
Cruises are great options for retirement travel, even if you’re a disabled senior. Many cruise lines have a process to alert them of your special needs. If applicable, complete a special needs form and book early to ensure the resources you require are available.
Dietary Needs and Cruises
Outline your dietary needs upon booking. When you arrive, check-in with your main dining staff regarding your dietary restrictions. Stick with the same dining staff whenever possible, and double-check your order if someone new is serving you. Enlist your staff’s expertise in planning dining during your excursions. They likely know a great deal about the options in port.
Cruising with Limited Mobility
Communicate your mobility needs when you book. There are many ways you can strategically choose a room for easy access. Reserve a stateroom close to an elevator or near the attraction that appeals, like the pool. Many cruise ships offer wheelchair-accessible staterooms with features like walk-in showers and wide doorways. These rooms often need to be reserved early.
Vision or Hearing Needs Onboard
Many cruise lines offer portable room kits with items like teletypes and visual-tactile alert systems to accommodate passengers with hearing or vision differences.
Many travel companies offer themed cruises. Cruises for fandoms, professions, or companies are common yearly occurrences. If you’re deeply passionate about Star Wars or sleight of hand magic, there is likely a cruise where you can take to the seas with your peers.
Singles cruises and over 60 cruises are among the most popular specialty cruise offerings.
How Do Seniors Get A Discount On Cruises?
With most cruise lines, seniors over 55 or 60 earn an automatic age-based discount. Explore discounts through other avenues to maximize your savings. Be on the lookout for discounts through:
- Your discount shopping club (e.g., Costco)
- Your union or former union
- Your travel club (e.g., AAA)
- Willingness to travel last minute
Posh Retirement Living in Seattle, Washington
Daystar is proud to include vibrant and adventurous residents. Our wide selection of independent living options and a bustling social calendar ensure there’s always something interesting to experience. Reach out today. We cannot wait to meet you!
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