To really enjoy cruising, you need adequate time to relax and soak up the experience. For many people, the stress of working, trying to get ready for vacation, and making it to a destination on time nearly erases the pleasure of the cruise. No one should be better equipped to maximize the cruise experience than seniors who are retired with plenty of time and much lower stress levels.
Since the senior years stretch from about fifty to one hundred years of age, cruises for seniors are not one size fits all.
Regardless of age, some seniors are robust and active while others prefer a more slow and steady pace. Cruise lines like Carnival tend to emphasize activities aimed at people who are still looking for vigorous and exciting adventures. Others like Holland America often target seniors that are more interested in relaxation and ease with some variety and light exploration mixed in.
For seniors traveling with their children and grandchildren, finding cruises that offer more of a compromise might be in order.
In this case, it may take a little more effort to find not just the right cruise line, but the specific cruise ship and date. Almost all ports of call have party locations that can be built into the itinerary if desired by younger cruisers or seniors who are really looking for wild time. However, some ports are better shopping than adventure venues. Not all ports offer extreme adventure like hang gliding or scuba diving. Paying attention to the shore excursions offered at each stop will give you a feel for what type of passenger that the cruise is designed to emphasize.
If you would rather not have to deal with children and teens during your trip, seek out cruises that do not offer extravagant activities for the younger guests.
Also, taking cruises that do not have dates corresponding to natural school vacations and breaks will significantly reduce the number of school age people on the ship. For example, booking a cruise during the last part of March may put you on a ship loaded with college students on spring break. Most cruise lines offer vacation planners who are more than willing to give assistance with information about what type of passengers are most likely to be your ship mates on a given cruise.
In the Caribbean, there are several ports that should be attractive to most moderately active seniors.
Cozumel offers snorkel tours just a few hundred feet from shore that are well supervised and start from a location very near to the ship. This is also a pretty good shopping venue for most items that you may want to find. A bus tour in Georgetown, Grand Cayman, is very relaxing yet interesting and informative. This island also has some of the nicest beaches in the Caribbean. Nassau is another location with plenty of activities that do not require a great deal of exercise or stamina. Most of the Virgin Islands are extremely friendly locales for seniors to visit.
It is a good idea to get a diagram with the layout of the ship with your room location before leaving on your cruise
Cruise ships are much larger than most people who have never cruised expect them to be. Rather than risk needing the first two days aboard just to figure out how to get to the dining room and back to your state room, getting a map of the ship will give you a good head start. These can be obtained easily from the web site of the cruise line where you have booked your cruise. If you are not computer and Internet savvy, have a relative or friend print this off for you. The map will give you a deck plan for each deck of the ship where passengers are allowed.
The ship itself will offer nearly all of the activities that most people require to have a good time.
Cruise ships are designed to have a huge variety of activities for passengers to enjoy. The ships are equipped with a dozen or more bars to offer adult and soft drinks for a fee to those who want them. Food is available nearly all of the time at some location or another around the ship and most of it is included in the price of your ticket. While at sea, a number of duty-free shops are open for your shopping needs. The prices are surprisingly reasonable considering the ship has a captive audience.
During the afternoon and evening hours, shows, music, dancing, bingo, and many other pleasurable activities can be found.
Almost all cruise lines offer a full scale casino for the gambling crowd. An exercise room, walking and running track, a spa, and beauty salon are also part of the cruise ship offering. Cruise ships also have multiple swimming pools.
The ship has other areas that some may need from time to time.
The business portion of the ship has facilities for check cashing. There is an Internet room and library. Cruise ships have a medical facility with a doctor and nurses. An intercom system makes it easy to get in touch with various departments of the ship or your cabin steward if needed..