Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Travel Topics > Cruises
Reload this Page >

Best time of year to avoid drunken crowds? Cruise lines to avoid?

Best time of year to avoid drunken crowds? Cruise lines to avoid?

Apr 13th, 2015, 07:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 2
Best time of year to avoid drunken crowds? Cruise lines to avoid?

My family wants to go on our first cruise, with grandma and the kids. But, our friend once had a terrible experience on a cruise ship where she couldn't access parts of the ships because of all the rowdy drunk students. She also couldn't sleep at night from the noise. I want this to be a nice experience for our family.
So, It's obvious to me not to book a cruise in the springtime or the summertime, or fall break or thanksgiving break, in order to avoid the massive party scenes. But my question is, for those experienced cruises out there, if there are certain ships to avoid or if there is any time of year in particular that's more peaceful? ( Like late september, right when school begins and the college kids won't be free to go out?)
I have also heard that this scene is more prevalent on the Carnival cruise line. Is it always like that on Carnival? Has anyone had any experiences on a carnival cruise that didn't involve witnessing drunken kids? Has anyone had any experiences on other cruise lines where the drunken kids were a problem too?
Does it always correlate to a drinking package being available?
daisy12 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2015, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 326
I went on a cruise in the spring on Carnival and didn't have that experience. My family was with me during Easter. Usually college spring breaks are different from the school systems. I can only go on cruises when we are off, I teach. I have also gone during Thanksgiving and New Years holidays but on Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. The only thing I saw was some children being unsupervised, the parents were there, on Royal Caribbean during the New Year cruise this year.
tch912 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2015, 03:04 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,426
You have to be 21 to get booze on a ship, far different from say Cancun.

That doesn't mean it can't happen but it won't be like spring break kooks.

If you want a nice family vacation skip the 3-5 day booze cruises on the older CCL ships and choose a destination that would not attract boozers like Alaska or NE/Canada and go when school is in session.

On our last CCL cruise on the Legend out of Tampa last spring there was only one obnoxious drunk, a guy old enough to know better and I did call security as he was dropping f bombs out loud on the pool deck. We left before they came but I did see him several times more and he was quiet so I think he got the message. However frankly we saw some stuff that was appalling and the ships decor was hideous so never again for us. This was our 3rd CCL and the other two were fine. One was the Destiny out of San Juan in the summer but it was fine, no wild behavior and the other was NE/Canada so again this itinerary won't attract the boozers.

Where do you want to go and when. This would help to know.
jacketwatch is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 05:04 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,754
I have exclusively sailed Carnival. I cruise with kids during summer vacation. I have never witnessed this party atmosphere people attribute to Carnival. During summer, Fall, winter break you will find the 7 day or longer cruises filled with families, couples, singles, seniors, etc. I have found that unsupervised kids are more likely to be prevalent and causing mischief than adults.
trvlgirlmq is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 11:26 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 2
So, could I say that in general the busy booze scene doesn't occur on longer cruises? (7+ days)?
We are looking to go to the Caribbean between Sept and Nov
daisy12 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 7
I have had great experiences on Carnival cruises, the only complaints I hear are about the prevalence of young kids, but who doesn't like the sound of children laughing and playing?

I think that carnival cruises are a better choice for people bringing their kids, more activities for them. Some other cruise lines have an older crowd, and those lines can get really long if you are waiting for wheelchairs and walkers.

I have always gone out of Florida, as the Caribbean cruises are the cheapest My favorite ship so far has been the Carnival Breeze, which is newer and has a large lanai that goes around the ship. We always go when most of the kids are in school, so I think they are a bit quieter.

Regardless, I'm sure you will have a wonderful time!
Sreilly is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,426
Yes Daisy that's true. If you embark from San Juan then that's even better. Those who want to cruise for booze don't want to spend much except for booze so shorter cruises which of course means less fare and not spending money to fly figures in. This is my opinion of course but for example if you want to carry on you won't pay for say air fare to Eurpoe and then embark on say a Med or Baltic cruise which are usually at least 10'days.
jacketwatch is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,754
Agree with Jacketwatch that the 7 day or longer cruises are more family-friendly. I love the Breeze as well and we are going again in May.
trvlgirlmq is offline  
Apr 14th, 2015, 05:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,312
Have no fears about the partying or going during Spring Break. Just do some research on the ship and on the itinerary. We are Seniors, non-drinkers, and have done three Spring cruises in the Caribbean, the last two during Spring breaks. We just got back yesterday from one with our little five year old GD and daughter. It was Easter and they had chocolate rabbits for the little ones. I think Christmas would also be great for a whole family. New Years, depends on the ship.

Ships with great kids programs will have more families, ships with more elegant dining and sophisticated shows will have fewer partyers, etc.

How old are your kids? Going during their school break might be really good because they would have more chance to meet other kids. If they are young, you want interesting, safe activities. If they are older, you might want more adventure excursions.

Actually, the most partyers we encountered were on a winter cruise out of SJ. Think about it. Young people out of college and working can go any time so may be likely to choose a winter trip to a warm place. Children through HS are mostly during school breaks, so that is when you will see more of the younger kids, rather than young adults looking to party.

We love embarking from San Juan because cruises from there visit more islands, but we have done Florida because of shorter flights for GD and because of the ships we choose.

Which is most important to you?
Quality or sophistication of shows, food, elegant or casual dining, places to visit, excursions, ship activities, kids programs, music, style of ships, cost, cabins, etc? Those are more the issue. Pick right on those and the rest will be fine.
Sassafrass is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:45 PM.