Cruising is a favorite pastime for many Baby Boomers. It’s no wonder! Not only do cruises take the stress out of vacation planning, but they’re equal parts fun and relaxing. From sunrise yoga and lounging by the pool to exploring new cities, cruises have a little something for everyone. The 55 and over community agrees—they’re worth every penny!
Let’s be honest: vacation planning can be stressful. You have to whip up an itinerary, research attractions and restaurants in the area, call up hotels, and figure out transportation. With a cruise, there are three steps: Book it. Pack. And go! Aside from the drive to the airport, you don’t have to worry about your car or parking. Plus, the crew takes care of the itinerary and dining! Bonus point—this is a comfortable way for individuals with mobility issues to travel, since the ship does all the “driving.”
If you’re retired, it’s safe to say that you’re ready for some fun. A cruise offers an almost endless supply! From casinos to concerts to dancing and stage shows, you’ll have your pick of entertainment. And that’s only the fun onboard! When you reach a port destination, you have even more entertainment options at your fingertips.
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Vacation can cost a pretty penny. With a cruise, the price is comprehensive. Food, lodging, entertainment, transportation—it’s all included in your package price.
No need to worry about “could’ve, should’ve, would’ve” if you’re on a cruise. Cruise ships take passengers to countless destinations. Want to soak up rays in the Bahamas? Or see Mayan ruins in Mexico? Interested in whale watching in Alaska? How about a trip Down Under to the land of kangaroos and koala bears? You can visit all those places, and more on a cruise. It’s the perfect way to see it all while you can!
Celebrating an anniversary or a birthday? Or—particularly relevant for Baby Boomers—celebrating retirement? Booking a cruise is the perfect way for the 55+ community to make the most out of any occasion. Who needs more stuff at this juncture of life? Experience is the gift you grant yourself by taking a cruise!
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Making friends can be hard for Boomers. A lot of our friends have moved away, while others are busy with family. Some of our friends may still be working! The best thing about a cruise? It’s an easy place to make friends! You’re all going to the same places, anyway. Might as well meet one another and enjoy the company!
Celebrity Cruises are there for you without being intrusive. If you’re looking for a high-quality cruise with quiet elegance and unique destinations, this is the line for you! Celebrity boasts over 300 ports visited and award-winning experiences, like the Galapagos Cruise.
Known for its variety of all-ages fun and lively staff, Princess Cruise Lines offers themed getaways, a variety of destinations around the world, and award-winning excursions. Money Magazine named Princess as “Best in Travel,” and Cruise International (UK) has named it the “Best Cruise Line, 5 Years Running.” Princess offers last-minute deals, military discounts, and an array of packages and add-ons.
Understated elegance and laid-back cruising. With Holland America, ships offer a variety of dining options (perfect for those with dietary restrictions), live music, salons, and spas. With special packages that include up to $400 in onboard credit, seniors will love Holland America’s luxurious choices for cabins and excursions!
Royal Caribbean offers consistently good quality cruising. The service is snappy, and the food and activities are plentiful. Longer cruises are among the 55 and over community’s favorites. By the way, senior discounts apply to those over the age of 55!
Viking is absolutely and completely customer-oriented! Offering unique options for river and ocean cruises, as well as expeditions, Viking Cruises is a premier choice for seniors who are active in their retirement years! Staterooms and suites are large and luxurious, and the dining experience is top-notch.
Every time my wife and I take a cruise, we ask staff members for their favorite cruising tips. Here are 7 of their most helpful tips.
Bring a bottle or a refillable container. The water on the ship available for purchase is overpriced! Save money by filling your bottle with water from your faucet in the bathroom sink. Since most ships bunker or make their own water in a reverse osmosis plant, it’s safe to drink.
Don’t buy any gifts on the ship until the last day. See what you can find in port, and then use the ship as a last resort. Spoiler alert: that’s when everything goes on sale!
The absolute cheapest time to cruise is between Thanksgiving and Christmas—non-inclusive of the actual holidays. January is also a good time.
Kids are great, but kids are also loud and disruptive. So, if you want to avoid tiny humans on your vacation, sail longer than 7 days and during the school year. Voila! No adorable noisemakers. Want a kid-friendly cruise? Then go on a 3-4 day cruise in July.
Want extra-special service? Pre-pay your gratuities and slip your room steward a $20 or $50 on the first day. You’ll be treated like the king or queen that you really are.
Cruise with carry-on and day bags. From one Boomer to another—no one cares if you wear the same pants 2 or 3 times. This is not a fashion show. This is your vacation! Free yourself of the burden of too much luggage and enjoy yourself to the fullest.
Avoid the crowds by doing what everyone else is not doing. Go to the pool at night. Eat at earlier or later hours. See the show that’s less attended. (Note: the cruise director will tell you which one it is for that specific cruise. It does vary from trip to trip.)
Originally published December 12, 2023