Millions of seniors choose to cruise for the service, food, ease of movement, amazing itineraries, and all- inclusive nature. Many cruise lines cater to the older market with a variety of onboard seniors cruise programs and amenities such as gentleman hosts, enrichment lectures, medical facilities, facilities for the disabled, special diets, and programs for those who bring their grandkids along (read below for more details).
Every cruise line appeals to a different age and style of passenger. Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises, and Princess Cruises generally cater to older travelers in the moderately-priced cruise category. The Yachts of Seabourn, Cunard Line, Silversea Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Crystal Cruises cater to older travelers in the luxury cruise category.
In a desire to enhance the cruise experience for unescorted, female, senior travelers, many luxury cruise lines have introduced a "gentleman host" program. These hosts are carefully screened and available for dining, dancing, enjoying onboard activities, and accompanying ladies on shore excursions. This program is offered on Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, and Holland America Line.
From music and art to sports, cooking, wine, and current events, there is something to enlighten the most-seasoned traveler on today's cruise ships. Every cruise line offers dockside lecturers to give history and details about the port. Many lines are also featuring prominent celebrities or speakers to speak on relationships, anthropology, make-up, films, sailing, hockey, and much more.
All cruise ships are fully- equipped with both medical facilities and a doctor. Passengers are encouraged to notify their Cruise Consultant about special medical needs prior to sailing. This way, the ship can stock appropriate medications should they become necessary.
Facilities for the Disabled
Cruise ships nowadays have excellent facilities for disabled travelers. While the newer ships are generally better than older ones, and facilities vary by cruise line, most cruise ships have wheelchair-accessible cabins, ramps, and elevators.
Princess Cruises publishes a brochure called Love Boat Access that answers all questions regarding their disabled facilities. It informs passengers about their amazing facilities like wheelchair-accessible cabins, a wheelchair gangway mechanism, Braille elevator buttons, visual smoke detectors, doorknocker sensors, and text telephones.
While many people go on a cruise to enjoy the amazing cuisine, cruise lines understand that many people are on a special diet. That is why ships today carry a lighter choices section on their menu as well as vegetarian and kosher menus. Options include low sodium, low fat, low cholesterol, and sugar-free entrees, and desserts. Be sure to inform your Cruise Consultant and Maitre d' should you have any extra-special dietary needs.
Cruising with Grandchildren
Cruising is an excellent way to bridge the generation gap with fun activities for people of all ages. Grandparents can spend the day taking in a lecture, reading by the pool or betting in the casino. The grandkids can participate in organized children's activities, play in the pool, or watch a movie. Then everyone gets together for a dinner with grandparent and kid-friendly food before taking in a night of activities fit for kids of all ages.
Please note: While many mainstream cruise lines offer children's activities year-round, most luxury cruise lines only offer organized children's activities during peak family seasons like summer vacation and Christmas. Be sure to have your Cruise Consultant check if activities are offered when you want to sail.