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What’s the Best Cruise for Me?

Sheila Cannon Jan 02, 2015 0

What’s the Best Cruise for Me?

Whether you’re taking your first cruise or embarking on your 15th, you’re probably wondering “What’s the best cruise for me?” I do have my own preferences and am set to embark on my 20th cruise in February.  I’m happy to share my experience with you.

First, I’ll break it down by age category:

  • Best cruises for ages 30 and under: These ships and seven day or less cruises tend to attract the younger crowds, who have less time to devote to their vacations.
    • Ships*:
      • Norwegian Cruise Line – Younger folks will like the freestyle dining, meaning you can dine whenever you like. The ships have fun features; like water parks, bowling alleys and rock climbing walls. Entertainment such as the Blue Man Group appeals to younger audiences, as well.
      • Royal Caribbean International – They’ve built some mega ships with activities like ice skating, surfing, skydiving and bumper cars. Their mega ships are destinations unto themselves, with their own Central Park and amusement parks.
      • Disney Cruise Line – Disney fans are just kids at heart. What’s not to love about seeing your favorite Disney characters, Disney entertainment, as well as dining in an animator’s studio? It may not be for everyone, but Disney fans will go bonkers for a Disney cruise.
    • Itineraries:
      • Caribbean – Generally, people in this age group can’t take more than week off work for their vacation or honeymoon. A week cruise is the sweet spot and there are several itineraries to choose from in the Caribbean with popular ports like Nassau, Bahamas; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize & Ocho Rios, Jamaica
      • Mexican Riviera – With much more limited offerings, but easier to get to for West Coast residents, I recommend the 6-8 night Mexican cruises, as the shorter ones barely get into Mexico. Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan & Puerto Vallarta are the typical ports visited.
      • Hawaiian Islands – Norwegian Cruise Line has the monopoly on seven night cruises, which begin in Honolulu and visit the four main islands in Hawaii; Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.

*You’ll see that Carnival Cruise Line is conspicuously missing from my list. Some people love it, but I find that this line consistently underperforms the others listed, so I never recommend it, unless there are no other options for what my clients are looking for.

  • Best cruises for ages 31 to 55:
    • Ships:
      • Royal Caribbean International – This line boasts a large fleet of ships, so there is bound to be something to please just about anyone. Their newest ship; Quantum of the Seas, is not as large as Oasis or Allure of the Seas, which more mature cruisers will appreciate. Services such as the first robotic bartender and unprecedented connectivity this age group will find attractive on Quantum of the Seas. The more modern shows will certainly be more stimulating than the dance reviews of more mature lines.
      • Celebrity Cruises – Smaller size, refined amenities and excellent cuisine make this a great choice for this group.
    • Itineraries:
      • Caribbean – Up to ten days is the desired cruise length for this age group. They have more vacation time at their disposal and like to venture further afield. They want to visit longer to reach ports such as San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles; St. Kitts, St. Kitts and Nevis; Antigua, Antigua & Barbuda & St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The Southern Caribbean itineraries will bring them to such exotic ports as the ABC Islands; Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao.
      • Alaska – Seven night Alaska cruises are extremely popular with 31 to 55 year olds, who like to enjoy nature. Cruises departing from Vancouver, Canada or Seattle, Washington are pretty easy for Americans to reach. The most common itineraries include Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, while more exotic voyages will visit Sitka and Icy Strait Point.

 

  • Best cruises for ages 56 to 65:
    • Ships:
      • Princess Cruises – A more refined elegance defines Princess Cruises. You won’t find water slides here, but you will find piazza style atriums with street performers, wine bars and outdoor big screens. This group will also love services such as alfresco style dining on your private balcony (additional charges apply).
      • AMAWaterways – A river cruise will get you into the heart of smaller cities in Europe. This river cruise company boasts bikes onboard, which is a great feature for more active guests. This really sets them apart for a younger, mature cruiser.
      • Crystal Cruises – Luxury, smaller ships and that they are all-inclusiveness will be very welcome by the affluent mature cruiser. Complimentary gratuities, select fine wines, champagne, premium spirits and non-alcoholic beverages are all included in your cruise fare. An evening of fine dining at restaurants like Prego and Nobu are also included.
    • Itineraries:
      • Canada/New England – History buffs and nature lovers will enjoy these cruises. The best itineraries tend to be at least ten nights in length and include such ports as Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island, Bar Harbor, Maine, as well as Quebec and Montreal, Canada. The changing colors of the fall leaves is the biggest draw; therefore the best time to go is in the fall.
      • Alaska Cruise Tours – Cruise tours combine a cruise with a land vacation. By their very nature, they tend to be longer in length, starting at around nine or ten days, ranging up to almost three weeks. These tend to be more active trips, which is why I have placed them in this age range. Princesses boasts the nicest accommodations on their Alaska land packages.
      • Mediterranean/Europe – Often a trip to Europe is a goal for couples celebrating their 25th years or more anniversaries. There are many different areas to choose from; British Isles, Greek Isles, Russia & Mediterranean. Also, river cruising, which gets you right smack into the middle of smaller cities is becoming extremely popular, with cruises selling out over nine months in advance.

 

  • Best cruises for ages 66 and over:
    • Ships:
      • Holland America Line – These ships are very beautiful and they tend to attract an older set. The more exotic the itinerary, generally the older the cruisers.
      • Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection – This is a very luxurious river cruise line, where everything is included; beer & wine, excursions, internet and gratuities. It really is considered top-of-the line and they do have the most opulent ships.
      • Azamara Club Cruises – Intensive itineraries are the what sets them apart, as their smaller size allows them to reach smaller ocean ports than the big ships. Their AzAmazing Evenings program includes a free, special-event shore excursion, which gives you a deluxe experience, which guests describe as phenomenal, amazing and brilliant.
    • Itineraries:
      • European Rivers – With the surge in river cruising popularity, the rivers of Europe drawn people in with their beauty, wonderful wines, historic castles and cultural experiences.
      • Panama Canal – Full Panama Canal crossings, which go from coast to coast in the US are extremely popular with folks than have time to travel. Not only are there exotic ports to visit, but the fascination of the mechanics of crossing through the Panama Canal is sure to be the highlight of your journey.
      • South Pacific/Australia/New Zealand – Because of the island nature of these locals, cruising is an excellent way to see these exotic destinations. Because it takes longer to reach them and because the itineraries are much longer than average, most folks aren’t able to do them until they are retired and their children are on their own.

I’m Sheila Cannon and I help career focused couples, who have no time to plan, have the honeymoon, destination wedding or romantic vacation of a lifetime custom designed for them without them having to lift a finger.  If that’s you, click here to get started putting me to work for you!

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    I'm Sheila Cannon with Carefree Romantic Vacations. I work with busy couples who long to realize their dream of an exotic honeymoon or stress-free romantic vacation. They want to experience adventure & culture, in an exotic locale. They don't want the stress, drama or hassle of trying to do it all themselves.

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