Why Cruising is the Ideal Vacation for The Ages

One of the wonderful features about cruising is market segmentation. Different cruise lines target different age categories. You have heard about YUPPIES (Young Urban Professionals.)  You have heard about NINJAS (No Income, No Job, No Assets.) Have you heard about WOOFs? (Well Off Older Folks)

Let us look at 14 reasons why your older friend (or their parents) might find a cruise so much fun, one cruise will lead to multiple cruise vacations every year.

  1. Cruise with people just like you. Your travel agent can tell you which cruise lines cater to young families (Royal Caribbean), adults with grown children (Azamara), people who enjoy formality and dancing (Cunard) and people worried about seasickness (river cruises).
  2. The homeport advantage. Some older people like to complain. Maybe your friend or relative does not want to fly. Is there a homeport nearby? You can drive (or be driven) to the pier and get back into your car at the end of your cruise.
  3. There are values to be found. Different industries have different business models. The airlines can charge business travelers high ticket prices if they need to fly out tomorrow. Cruise lines know they are not making any money from empty cabins when a ship sails tomorrow. You can find “sailing soon savings” especially in the off and shoulder season. Once retired, people can act quickly where vacations are concerned. They love good deals too.
  4. Everything is on one level. Does your friend have difficulty with stairs? Cruise ships have no peaks or valleys. (The ocean does, ships do not.) Decks are flat surfaces. Elevators connect decks. It is rare to use the stairs.
  5. Special diets can be accommodated. Cruise ships have huge kitchens. When sailing with Cunard over Christmas, one of our tablemates had dietary restrictions. One of the staff showed her the next day’s dinner menu and helped her choose suitable dishes. The menus also highlight vegetarian and gluten free dishes.
  6. Going ashore is practical. You do not want to be confined to the ship. You want to explore, regardless of age. The ship offers tours, called shore excursions. They are usually graded as easy, average or difficult in mobility terms. The staff at the tour office can provide helpful advice.
  7. Cruise fares are inclusive. If you stay at a hotel in town, you are paying for meals, taxis and entertainment. On a cruise ship generally speaking, this is all included. They might have specialty restaurants and you pay for drinks, but your meals in the main dining room and shows are part of your cruise fare. You have control over your spending.
  8. Your meals can come to you. Unlike living at home, you can enjoy breakfast in bed every day. You can order room service if you prefer your own company. You do not need to mingle if you want alone time.
  9. Meet people your own age. If you choose a cruise line because it targets your market segment, most of the other passengers should be of a similar age. You will not be surrounded by people much younger (or older) and feel like a fish out of water.
  10. You will like the music. If the ship caters to a specific age group, the music will be appropriate. There should also be dancing. The music will be another familiar element. Some cruise lines offer themes like Rock n Roll or Big Band cruises.
  11. The staff wants to help. They should be solicitous. They know the average age and interests of their clientele. Your waiter should learn your likes and dislikes. They quickly learn if you prefer coffee or tea.
  12. Ships are well suited for relaxing. Do you want to stretch out in the shade? You can do that. Read a book in the library?  No problem?  Play bridge daily?  Most ships have dozens of daily activities. You can do as much or as little as you like.
  13. Someone else cleans up after you. You do not need to set aside “laundry day” to wash your sheets and towels. They are collected and changed every day. Someone looks after you for a change.
  14. Drinking and driving is not an issue. This is a big concern on land today. People think twice about imbibing when they need to drive home. On a cruise ship, the captain is the only one driving.

If you are seeking experiences you will remember and re-tell, a cruise may be the ideal vacation for you. If you, a close friend or relative seems to be slowing down, doing less and less, try introducing them to cruising. They will probably thank you for it.


 

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Ed. Notes: CruiseCompete and its member travel advisors provide many curated cruise and land deals, offers and amenities on over 50 cruise lines with over 500 cruise ships sailing all around the world.

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Cover photo: St Maartin Oyster Bay Photos ©Dennis Cox/WorldViews

 

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