If you’re heading into your senior years (or if you’ve been there for a few years now), we’ve got some tips for choosing your cruise to ensure you get the most out of your holiday.
- Cruise line and ship – Many seniors prefer smaller cruise ships over the larger liners as there are not the same distances between facilities, nowhere near as many people, smaller queues when getting on and off and more personal service from the crew. You may also like to consider whether you would prefer a cruise line with mostly adults or whether you enjoy having families with young children around.
- Consider your mobility – If you’re an active cyclist or tramper, you may prefer a cruise with plenty of hikes and activities. If your mobility isn’t so good, however, take a look at the excursion options before you book to make sure you will be able to participate. Ask about the tender situation, if the ship has an elevator or stairs between floors and what level of mobility is required for the excursions. You may also like to request an accessible cabin with added features such as additional handrails, wheelchair access etc. If you find walking distances or being on your feet tiring, you can also request wheelchair assistance for your flight. At check in, one of the staff will provide a wheelchair and help you through customs and take you to the airport gate.
- Your cabin – You may like to request a cabin in the centre of the ship where there is less movement , or a cabin close to (or on the same floor as) the restaurant. If you’re travelling with family, you may like to have inter-connecting cabins. On the other hand, you may like to be on another floor so you can enjoy the grandchildren then enjoy the quiet of your own space too!
- Solo Travellers – Travelling solo is becoming more and more popular. If you’re by yourself or travelling with another solo friend, check out the offers specifically for single travelers. Many cruise lines offer “no single supplement” offers on select voyages or departures meaning that you pay the normal twin per person rate, rather than the full cabin rate. If you’re travelling with a friend, you can have your own rooms rather than sharing a cabin.
- Medical - If you’re on medication, be sure to request and fill your prescriptions ahead of your departure date and keep your medications in your hand luggage just in case your luggage goes missing or is delayed. If you have regular or serious medical conditions, make sure your travel insurance covers your condition and you may like to make sure there is a ship’s doctor on board.
- Itineraries and port stays – You may like to choose an itinerary that goes at a slightly slower pace. Overnight stays in a port mean you have more time to look around rather than being on and off in a single day and cramming in as much as you can into a few hours. Likewise, you may wish to choose a longer itinerary that gives you some “at sea” days where you can relax between stops rather than being in a new destination every day.
- Pre-book - Pre-book as much as you can before you leave – transfers from the airport to your hotel/wharf, excursions, restaurant bookings on board if you can. The more you have pre-booked, the more relaxed you will be on board!