Cruise travel is a popular form of vacation travel among seniors. Each year, over 70% of cruises are enjoyed by people who are over age 55. Here are some practical suggestions that can help seniors make the most of their cruise travel.
Start with a short cruise
If you are new to cruise travel, “test the waters” by choosing a short 3-4 day cruise to see if you like the experience or not. Be flexible with your travel dates to receive a good discount.
Research in advance
Look over various shore excursions to see which ones are interesting and book them ahead of time so you will not miss out.
Seek senior discounts
Almost all cruises offer various types of discounts to cruise travelers. For example, there are often special drink packages. It may be a good idea to buy a soft drink package if you are traveling with grandchildren.
Pick a smaller ship
Though small ships offer fewer dining and entertainment options, they are less crowded and many offer excursions that focus on the history and culture of a region. A small ship often visits more remote ports that big ships normally cannot.
Most cruise lines will not allow you to cancel close to your departure date. If you are booking a long cruise that costs thousands of dollars, it is a good idea to purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
Use a packing checklist
A packing checklist will ensure you bring everything you need. You can simply Google online to find many cruise packing checklists.
Arrive at the departure port a day ahead of time
Plan your trip well to avoid booking a flight to arrive on the same date that your ship departs. You will be in trouble if the flight gets delayed for some reason. So plan to arrive a day earlier to avoid rushes and unexpected delays.
Watch for your phone usage
Put your phone in airplane mode to avoid being charged unnecessary roaming fees. Using the ship marine satellite service can be very expensive and you will receive some surprise bills, so limit yourself unless you can use land cellular signals.
Limit your onboard activities and excursions. Do not exhaust yourself by planning too many activities and shore excursions, premium dining experiences, and so forth. Cruises are supposed to be relaxing and fun so be selective in scheduling your days.