A beautiful cruise ship ready to push off for another fun adventure!
By Jim, Our “Senior” Contributor
Many seniors have found that cruising is a “right” vacation for them. We all know that vacations can be stressful; and for cruising these are usually at the beginning and end of the cruise – but overall, while on the cruise these are usually minimal.
A cruise vacation has the benefits of being pretty much in one place for the length of the cruise, usually represents cost efficiency, convenience, safety, attention of crew members, and a variety of entertainment and things to do. Cruise ships are now equipped with the latest safety devices and are handicap ready and friendly. The newer ships even have rooms with walk-in showers and adjustable shower locations.
Our last cruise was with other older friends. The general consensus was that the enjoyment of a cruise revolved around the entertainment, relaxation, luxury, food, and meeting new people (generally from all over). You will hear all languages over the course of most cruises, which is stimulating for me and my wife.
And did I mention Food? Levity aside about the amount food that can be consumed on a cruise, cruising has become a big pastime for the older crowd. This can be seen by the types of advertisements, the number of cruise gatherings directed at the older adult that cruise lines and travel agencies conduct, and types of tours that emanate from the ships. Benefits for the cruise lines include a less rowdy population, the seniors have money to spend, they like the casino, and they tend to have cruise line loyalty.
Cruising is a big industry in Florida and is exemplified by large ports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Cape Canaveral, and Tampa. Ships range from hundreds of passengers to 5,000+ passengers, and with destinations to about anywhere. In other parts of the country, you’ll find river cruising too which some seniors find to be just as enjoyable.
The senior cruiser uses a travel agent more often than the general population. There are many important reasons for this. One-stop shopping using a travel agent makes planning easier – for the cruise itself, for insurance, and for tours. Plus, you get the “expertise” and “advice” of the travel agent on aspects of the trip that are generally considered the most important.
While my wife and I are far from frequent cruisers, we are finding now that some of the cruises will visit at least one destination on a voyage that we have already been to. However, the aspect of traveling with different people and changes in the various destination’s itineraries reduce the feeling that we have done all this before.
Cruising is not for everyone but if it sounds like something you might want to do, it is senior friendly and presents a whole new senior life experience.