Best first cruise for seniors

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Jan 10th, 2018, 07:05 AM
  #1
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Best first cruise for seniors

Looking for some input on best cruise lines and destinations for seniors. Hoping to help my parents who are in their 70's and don't love huge crowds find a good fit. They love beaches, but would be open to other destinations as well. A low key cruise is something they would like to try, to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Probably no more than a week in duration.I have limited cruise experience, so all help would be appreciated!
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Jan 10th, 2018, 07:46 AM
  #2
 
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"Best" is a relative term. A lot will depend on your parent's budget.

Regent Seven Seas has smaller ships (700 passengers) and are very popular with senior citizens. They are an upscale cruise line with EVERYTHING included in the price (all meals, including specialty restaurants, drinks - both alcoholic and non-alcoholic - wines, excursions, shipboard activities, gratuities, etc. Once on board the only time you need to touch your wallet is when you want to purchase souvenirs in the gift shops.

Seabourn has ships with only 450 passengers. Also an upscale line with lots of on-board amenities.

Also check out Silver Seas Cruise Line - 400 to 600 passenger ships with an All Inclusive set up.

Go to Cruisecritic.com - you can compare all of the different cruise lines and read hundreds of reviews. After some basic research you should be able to narrow down your choices to 2 or 3 cruise lines that best fit what you have in your mind's eye for your parents. You can then look at the various itineraries to pick one that most interests them.
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Jan 10th, 2018, 08:22 AM
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I recommend meeting wirh a travel agent who specializes in cruises to discuss a comparison of cruise lines and itineraries.
We (68 & 70) love Oceania for the smallish (684 or 1250 passengers) ships, great food, fabulous staff, port intensive itineraries.
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Jan 10th, 2018, 08:58 AM
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Bigger ships do not always seem more crowded. It depends on the layout of the ship, plus they usually have more public space anyway.
Choosing is very personal.
What is most important to them? Cabin, food, entertainment, pools, casino, itinerary, exclusive service?

I love the open promenades on older ships, like Caribbean Princess.
I am not in the big budget price range, so have not done the more expensive lines. In general, I like Princess for value of what you get overall. However, I enjoy just about any ship.

What is most important to me is itinerary. I like cruises that go to interesting places everyday, so Greek Island cruises are nice. Also wonderful if you live in a cold climate, are cruises to the Caribbean in winter. Choose one that goes to nice beaches. My first cruise was to the Southern Caribbean from San Juan in February and it made me love cruising.

You say no more than a week, but I would say no less than a week. It takes a day to get acclimated to the ship and longer cruises go to nicer ports.

Another important thing might be ease of getting to the ship. If they are flying, they should go to the port city the day before in case of flight delays and to be rested when they first get on the ship. Direct flights from wherever they live are great.

On a first cruise, you don't have to have a balcony, but at least get an outside.

Talk with a travel agent who knows about cruising, but also look at www.vacationstogo.com and www.cruisecritic.com for lots of information, reviews and approximate costs.
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Jan 15th, 2018, 02:27 PM
  #5
ira
 
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Hi Brenk,

> They love beaches, but would be open to other destinations as well. A low key cruise

Why spend a lot of money to go sit on a beach. You can do that anytime.

My Lady Wife and I are about their age.

We suggest: A visit to the Norwegian Fjords in June in an aft cabin on the Promenade deck aboard The Prinsendam.
https://book2.hollandamerica.com/hal...4e2932m65snibh

Hope this helps.
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Jan 15th, 2018, 04:15 PM
  #6
 
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Budget? Time of year?

I'll agree with what Sassafrass about considering first and foremost what's important to them. Cruise lines have different styles, different levels of service, different customer demographics. All have advantages and disadvantages depending on what you're looking for. Personally, I find cruises with a lot of at sea days, plenty of deck chairs on the promenade, and lots of good books to be the most low key, but I'll also add that a Canada/New England cruise we took was also quite laid-back (most ports on that cruise were smaller, charming towns with not much in the way of a crazed rush to see major, "must-see" sights).
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Jan 20th, 2018, 08:32 PM
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I have been on seven ocean cruises to various parts of the world and three river cruises. Now that I have had the opportunity to try river cruising (all in Europe), I think it is a perfect introduction to cruising for first timers. The boats are smaller (averaging 200 people or less), they dock right in city centers so there are no tenders or long rides into the city, and it is much easier to make friends and enjoy the staff with this smaller venue. Depending on their interests and budget, there are a variety of different itineraries. I highly recommend them.
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Jan 23rd, 2018, 01:30 PM
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Slw
 
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I second river cruising. Small boats, good selection of activities, good food.
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Jan 24th, 2018, 03:52 AM
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They might be able to sit on a beach anytime, but not the amazing beaches in the Caribbean, where the colors of the water are visually stunning, colorful fish swim right around your feet and it is lovely and warm in winter when it is cold and freezing in the NE US. I am leaving next week for 9 days in the Bahamas and again in March for 7 days in the Southern Caribbean to enjoy sun, warm water and island breezes, music and foods. It isn't everyone's cup of tea, but certainly relaxing.
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Feb 7th, 2018, 05:32 PM
  #10
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Thanks all for the wonderful suggestions. The river cruises are a fantastic idea. They are now toying with the idea of Scotland as well, so I may be back for some advice as I have only been to England and Ireland.
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