A Variety of Cruises to Cater for the More Senior Traveller

According to the dallasnews, who ask the question “What are the best cruises for seniors?”, and their conclusion is that there is no real easy answer, because there is no one size fits all seniors.

Of course, seniors are no longer people who have retired at 65 and are now looking ahead to a few years of retirement bliss. They may be only fifty years old and may still be employed in regular work, with a yearning for travel and adventure. Also, they might be people who like to cruise with plenty of activities to keep them interested, both off and on the ship. They may also prefer peace and quiet and a more relaxing, cruise environment.

Of course, each has their own personal favourites, and that means that there is a whole load reasons seniors will choose certain cruise itineraries and ships.

“The definition of seniors is changing. Now they are more active, more daring,” said Carolyn Brown, who is the editor of Cruise Critic, which is an independent online magazine.

That is just one reason, for example, that Seabourn, which is a luxury line long a popular choice with older passengers who favour a more traditional  European Cruises, is putting more emphasis on active itineraries on its three newest ships.

“Seniors are looking for more things to do, to explore,” Nancy Parode,  senior travel guide for About.com, was quoted to say.

If you are looking for a great seniors choice cruise, Holland America and Celebrity are renowned as the best premium lines offering excellent choices, Royal Caribbean and Princess are best for active seniors, Cunard are great for ocean crossings, with Carnival for seniors on a tighter budget, Disney for inter-generational family cruises at sea, or Cruise West for best light adventure programmes and finally Silversea as best luxury small ship cruise operator for seniors.

Getting Married at Sea with P&O Cruises

Getting Wed in the middle of a perfect blue ocean is as about as romantic as it gets. Lots of passengers celebrate their big day in this way and they chose P&O Cruises to do it with! Last Year, 124 couples tied the knot on board Ventura last year. Even the littlest P&O ship, Artemis, saw seventeen fantastic weddings on board in 2009 alone.

The Marriages at Sea experience will allow lucky couples to celebrate the most special day of their lives in style and start their honeymoon immediately on a very romantic and extremely unforgettable cruise. The experience begins with flowers and champagne in your stateroom and continues on with the services of a personal wedding arranger.

The private wedding ceremony is conducted by the Captain, or if the Captain is unavailable the Staff Captain will step in,  in one of a number of indoor wedding venues, which are able to accommodate all types of wedding party sizes, small or large . The wine, champagne, music, cake, flowers and photography can all be choosen to suit individual needs and are also offered reception options for groups of all sizes too – from intimate meals to more grandiose affairs.

This means you can enjoy all the variety but have none of the stress to endure! The added luxury is that you will not have to choose between a honeymoon in Venice or Rome – you could see both wonderful cities, as well as many more! Whatever way an on board wedding is arranged, this is for sure, it will most definitely be an occasion to remember forever.

How better a way can you think of to start off married life? The most basic wedding package starts from £1,050 (applicable from April 2010 to April 2011).  More details, see www.pocruises.co.uk/wedding

European Cruises for Summer 2010

So it is time now to start thinking about next summer’s ( that’s 2010 ) European cruise if you want to get the ship, date and cabin of that you want. And, after taking cruises in Baltic, Mediterranean and northern European waters, I have been looking at the necessary requirements for picking a ship to be different than in the Caribbean.

On a Europe cruise the focus is much more on what is not on the ship itself but whats going on ashore. You will normally be going  ashore at roughly 8:30 a.m in the morning and you are driving or walking until late afternoon. In the Caribbean though,  there are many more days spent at sea and the focuses are on the ship and all its activities, facilities and entertainment. On European cruises, many passengers simply miss the floor shows and head for bed earlier, tired out and in need of rest for the next early morning start.

Here are three very important criteria in choosing the right ship for a European cruise:  1) Itinerary, 2) Time in spent port and 3) dress policy.

When comparing boats, check the length of stay in each port — you will want as much time as possible in sightseeing-orientated destinations, after all how many times in your life will you visit cities like Rome and Florence?

On a Baltic cruise, the two best ports are St. Petersburg and Stockholm.  In the first city, aim for a ship that stays in port three days instead of two.  Believe me, there is so much to see that you’ll want a longer visit to get the most out of the city!

These days, however more and more cruise lines are removing or greatly reducing nights when formal wear is necessary.  If you don’t want to bring along a suitcase full of nice clothes, check the suggested dress codes of ships.

On a European cruise, you may want to not choose the extra cost of a balcony cabin since the ship is in port nearly every day. It is much better to spend the money you will save on shore excursions and shopping. Another critical area is shore excursions.  Princess is the pick for the best excursions available at the moment. They just have the edge over other cruise lines because of the volume of passengers they carry every year.  They have first shot at the best guides, and can demand special treatment and have the ground arrangements perfected.

To conclude; the perfect European ship will offer casual dining in the Lido restaurant at night, important when you are worn out from sightseeing to get dressed up and dine for several hours. Oceania, Princess and Norwegian Cruise Line offer the best casual dining options.