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Senior Resources » 5 Must-Know Cruise Tips for Traveling Boomers

5 Must-Know Cruise Tips for Traveling Boomers

two baby boomers with leis on and clinking glasses of wine on vacation, with a cruise ship background
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Did you know that one out of four Americans have set sail on a cruise? This cruising expert would wager that a lot of those folks were probably Baby Boomers! Cruises certainly are fun, but there are ways you can make them even more enjoyable. Here are 5 MUST-KNOW cruising tips, from one Boomer to another!

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1. Cruise ships change.

Equinox used to be our favorite ship. But something happened. Between cruises, things changed. Usually, the upper lawn areas are dotted with staff members, but not the last time we went. So, pro tip—don’t expect all your cruises to be like the previous ones. Have an open mind and be prepared to go with the flow!

2. Take the time to socialize.

Baby Boomers and younger couple socializing on a cruise ship and having a meal together on the deck
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One of the best things about cruises is meeting new people! Unlike port-heavy itineraries, cruises with more sea days give you plenty of time to socialize and make new friends. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t miss out:

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  • Be Open and Friendly: Strike up conversations with people you meet in line for the buffet, at the pool, or during activities. A simple smile and “hello” can go a long way!
  • Join Group Activities: Look for activities you enjoy, like trivia nights, dance classes, or wine tastings. These are great places to meet people with similar interests.
  • Dine with Others: Don’t be afraid to ask if you can join a table with other solo travelers or smaller groups in the dining room.
  • Show Up for Events: Attend evening shows, poolside games, or deck parties. These are all designed for socializing and having fun.

3. Too much of a good thing is bad.

When you first get on a cruise ship, you’ll love to eat and maybe drink too much. By about day 4, things start to catch up with you. Trust my advice on this. Pace yourself, or else your good time might turn bad. Here’s how to pace yourself and ensure a truly relaxing vacation:

  • Plan Your Meals: Variety is great, but resist the temptation to hit every single buffet. Opt for smaller portions throughout the day, and consider skipping a big lunch if you indulged at breakfast.
  • Stay Hydrated: Sun, salty air, and delicious cocktails can dehydrate you quickly. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Schedule Downtime: Don’t feel pressured to pack every minute with activities. Schedule some time for napping, reading a book in a quiet corner, or simply relaxing by the pool.
  • Beware of Buffet Blues: Those endless food options can be tempting! Stick to your regular eating habits and choose healthy options whenever possible.

4. Get enough sleep.

woman napping on the deck of a cruise ship
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Speaking of things catching up to you, a lack of sleep will! When you’re on a cruise, it can be tempting to stay up as late as possible. You’ll want to go, go, go. There’s so much to do that you’ll want to experience everything! However, you can’t have fun if you’re running on sleep fumes. Make sure that you’re still getting enough sleep. Trust me—you’ll be glad you do.

5. Taking too many cruises back-to-back will lead to burnout.

Unfortunately, I’m speaking from bitter experience. This is, in fact, where I am now. After taking a 14-day cruise in September and an 11-day cruise in December, I decided to cancel my California Coast Cruise. That’s a little too much cruising for this Boomer! And while I may groan at the sight of a cruise ship now, the urge will come back. It always does!

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Originally published May 20, 2024

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