One of the perks of living as a retiree is the luxury of traveling. Even if you’ve yet to retire, wouldn’t it be nice to plan a cruise?

However, with the wide selection of cruises available, picking the right one can seem overwhelming and a bit taxing. You don’t want to book a trip that falls below your expectations.

Cruises come in so many types — different destinations, durations, and activities aboard the ship as well as on land.  You want to pick a cruise that best fits you, especially if you’re opposed to cruises geared towards a younger generation or if you have medical or physical limitations.

Things you need to consider:

Before you even start scouting for the best cruise packages, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself first to help you narrow down your choices:

– How many days do you intend travel?
– Are you traveling solo, with a partner, family, or with a group?
– What are you looking forward to achieve from this trip?
– Do you have any mobility issues? Any health conditions that need to special assistance?
– How much is your budget?

You see, different ships offer different amenities, different services, and different facilities. Some cruise lines don’t offer the utmost convenience to passengers with disabilities, even though they have complied with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Yet, some cruise lines go as far as featuring hydraulic pool chairs in their pools as well as providing wheelchair accessibility. Some ships cater to multi-generation families while others are designed to exclusively accommodate adults.

Our Top 5 Picks for Best Senior Cruises:

1. Viking Cruises

Viking Cruise Lines is a privately held company. What’s interesting is that although this cruise line offers luxury service, they are listed in the class of small ships. As such they can travel to the same locales as larger ships but can also go places where larger ocean lines cannot go. Nevertheless, many of their guests commend the cruise line for its upscale service and amenities they provide. These services are inclusive in the fare. Among its many accolades, Viking Cruise ship Venus has been ranked #4 by Condé Nast Traveller in “The Best New Cruises in the World: 2022 Hot List”. It was also nominated #1 for “The Top 10 Large-ship Ocean Cruise Lines in 2020” by Travel + Leisure.

The Fleet

Viking Cruises takes pride in its nine ships for ocean travel. All of their ships offer high-end amenities and services while small enough to be able to enter places larger ships would have to avoid. Viking Cruises are known for their complimentary onshore excursions as well as their fantastic food experience. Known for large ship amenities on a small ship, most ships can accommodate 686 guests.

Three Viking Cruise Ships
Three Viking Cruise Ships
cruise ship atrium
Stairs and large video screen inside the Atrium on-board the Viking Sea

From the Viking Venus (built in 2021) grand amenities and exceptional food service to its unique itineraries and personal service on board, Viking certainly knows how to treat guests. The ships choose certain ports so guests have the opportunity to explore and immerse themselves in the local culture. Guests describe their Viking experience as intimate and breathtaking. Their Infinity pool is perfect for any senior who seeks a moment of detoxification and relaxation.

The Destinations

Almost anywhere you would want to visit. 

The itineraries are spectacular. Decide what port you wish to visit and chances are Viking Cruise Lines goes there.  

Why You’ll Love It

  • Accommodates guests with special needs and medical conditions
  • Medical facility with onboard physicians
  • Wheelchair accessible staterooms for guests
  • with special needs and limited mobility
  • Fantastic rates for singles
  • Onboard cooking school program
  • Spa services in the Nordic tradition
  • Guest lecturers
  • Resident historian for lectures and discussions
  • Accommodates special dietary needs (to be arranged a minimum of 30 days prior to sailing)
  • Complimentary onshore excursions
Stateroom
The Deluxe Veranda Stateroom
Kitchen Table
The Kitchen Table

 Other Unique Offerings

  • Amazing Evenings – experience local culture up close and personal
  • Land Discoveries – exciting shore excursions led by the world’s top tour guides
  • Nights and Cool Places – after dinner tours that include after-hours museum visits and live performances and visits to arts, architecture, and scenery experienced best at night
  • Guest Experiences – immersion into local culture including excursions to private ancestral homes, farms, historic estates, and villas that allow you to mingle with the locals

The Cost

  • Gratuities are prepaid upon reservation
  • Cruise rates are all inclusive, they include shore excursions and specialty restaurants

Upcoming cruises:

What: 13- Night Atlantic Ocean Passage
When: March 21, 2023, on board the Viking Star
Where: Embark: Fort Lauderdale-St. Marten-Madeira- Mediterranean Sea- Debark: Barcelona
Price: Starting at $3.499.00

What: 10-Night Classic Panama Canal Passage
When: February 1, 2023, on board Viking Star
Where:
Price: Starting at $3,349.00

What: 10-Night Temples, Jungles & Beaches Voyage
When: March 26 – April 05, 2016
Where: Embark: Fuerte Amador (Balboa – Panama) – Colon (Cristoba – Panama) – Cruise through Panama Canal – San Jose (Costa Rica) – Roatan – Belize City – Cozumel – Key West – Debark: Fort Lauderdale
Price: Starting at $3,799.00

In one word… Elegant. 

2. Celebrity Cruise Line

With over 34 years of cruise experience, Celebrity Cruise Line certainly understands travel in its truest sense. In particular, the Celebrity Apex, built in 2020, exemplifies their attention to detail.

Every nook and cranny of the ship showcases the luxury ship. The lounges are opulent, and the dining is superb. They have specialty dining, main dining, complimentary dining. There should be no complaints concerning the dining.

deck pool
Adult Only Pool Area

They have an adult only solarium pool if you prefer some romantic time with just you and your partner. The rooftop garden is a few steps away. In addition, the pool is surrounded by a deck whose focal point is the ocean views. 

The lounges are available to everyone on the ship. It is exciting to spend a few hours in the casino. Workouts are available in the gym and the machines are always beckoning you to work out. After a busy day there is nothing like lounging in the spa to work up an appetite for the coming dinner.

The Fleet

Another premium cruise line, Celebrity Cruise Lines has 13 cruise ships as well as three Galapagos Expedition Series ships. 

There are 29 departure ports to choose from. After choosing your departure port, the hard part is determining where to cruise to because the choices are endless. 

The Destinations

Alaska and Yukon

Africa and Arabia

Asia and Pacific

Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific

Canada/New England

The Caribbean

Europe

Hawaii and Tahiti

Mexico

Panama Canal

Pacific coast

South America and Antarctica

Ship in Mediterranean
Celebrity Edge in the Mediterranean

Why You’ll Love It

  • Shore excursions
  • New accessible cabins & amenities
  • Wheelchair-accessible tender transfer system
  • Widely enhanced enrichment programs
  • The Culinary Arts Center – Daniel Boulud is their Global Culinary Brand Ambassador
  • “Select Dining Anytime” dining option
  • Flexible dining schedule
  • Wine tasting & mixology
  • Sidewalk Cafe / Exploration Center
  • Movie Theater
  • Laundry service

Other Unique Offerings

  • World Cruise itineraries – extensive, varied, and length up to 18 days
  • Exotic itineraries (Amazon and Antarctica)
  • Partnered with Special Needs at Sea for those guests with special needs
  • Broadway show tunes
  • Art tours & art galleries – Partnered with Park West Gallery

In one word…Worldclass. 

3. Royal Caribbean International

Now if you’re looking for the really, really huge ships, then the Royal Caribbean International’s fleet would certainly not disappoint you.  This cruise line offers a wide array of activities that will surely make your stay worthwhile and full of fun and adventure.  This line is a true match for the active seniors. Also, it is the best fit if you wish to bring your entire family (kids and grandkids) because of the many different amenities and services they offer that there is always something to do for everyone.

The Fleet

The Royal Caribbean International cruise line operates 28 ships, which are categorized according to 6 different classes, the quantum, voyager, Radiance, Vision, Oasis, and Freedom. Each of which has ships with names that end in “of the Seas.”

cruise ship
Quantum of the Seas

The Quantum of the Seas may have been built in 2014 but Conde Nest Traveler considers it to be one of the best cruise ships in the world. That says a lot for Royal Caribbean. The Quantum class is one of the largest classes of passenger ships in the world. It holds a maximum of 4905 passengers. If you can not find something to do, the fault lies with you. There is always something going on while cruising on Royal Caribbean. 

The Experience

Royal Caribbean ships are very large, and they offer several activities. There is no way you will ever run out of things to do during your voyage.

You can eat and eat and eat. Or you can drink and drink, and drink. In between there is a surf simulator, rock climbing wall, sports court, movies, indoor pools, outdoor pools, theater, bars, and lounges to name a few. While you visit the casino, the kids can visit the adventure ocean youth area. 

Activities include an escape room, laser tag, music hall, entertaining shows, bumper cars, sky diving, surf stimulators, to name a few.  on shore excursions. If you prefer you can just lay back and relax. Your waiter will bring you whatever you require. You have the choice, relax or participate. Hey, just do both! 

The Destinations

Asia

Australia/New Zealand

Bahamas

Bermuda

Canada and New England

Caribbean

Europe

Hawaii

Mexico

Pacific Northwest

Panama Canal

South Pacific

Why You’ll Love it

  • Wheelchair-accessible staterooms
  • Rock-climbing wall
  • Surf simulator
  • Skydiving simulator
  • Observation tower – a glass-walled capsule that reaches up to 300 ft above sea level
  • Outdoor and indoor pools
  • Fitness center
  • Kids’ water park – wave pool
  • Multiple whirlpools
  • Indoor Solarium
  • Broadway-style, The Royal Theater
  • 2-story Royal Esplanade mall
  • Library and card room
  • Multi-purpose venues
  • Lounge that offers panoramic ocean view
  • Large, indoor gym
  • Basketball court
  • Bumper Cars and Roller Skating arena
  • Circus school
  • Casino and Music Hall
chocolate dessert
Dessert Time
Casino
Casino
Cruise ship lounge
Lounge
deck pool
Outdoor Pool

Other Unique Offerings

Quantum of the Seas offers a Dynamic Dining experience where it does not have a main dining room; instead, the ship has several complimentary main restaurants along with 6 more smaller complimentary dining venues, not to mention room service.

In one word… Dynamic. 

4. Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises is luxury cruising and intimate. They are also known for their exquisite dining experiences as well as their hands-on culinary classes. Artisanal ice cream is offered daily to all guests. Their Lido buffet offers some of the best dining experience at sea.

The Fleet

Oceania is luxury cruising and intimate. Most of their mid-size ships have a maximum of 656 guests. These include the Regatta, the Insignia, Sirena, and the Nautica. Two ships that can accommodate 1238 guests are the Marina and the Riveria.  The ships can accommodate 684 guests include Insignia, Nautica, Regatta, and Siren.

cruise ship

The Experience

Aboard the Oceania ship, guests experience a more personal touch because of its high staff-to-guest ratio so guests are assured that they can be attended to at any given time. This cruise line is known for their impeccable service as well as their internationally acclaimed restaurants.

The Destinations

Africa

Asia

Bermuda

Caribbean

Greek Isles and Aegean

Mediterranean

Northern Fjords

South America and Amazon

Alaska

Australia and New Zealand

British Isles and Ireland

French Rivera

Greenland and Iceland

Mexico

Pacific Coast

South Pacific and Tahiti

Antarctica

Baltic and Scandinavia

Canada and New England

India

Middle East and Holy Lands

Panama Canal

Why You Will Love It:


  • Spacious suites and staterooms, 70% with private verandas
  • Coffee Cafes
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Library
  • Cooking classes
  • Art & craft lessons
  • Access to boutique ports and seaside villages
  • Enrichment programs
  • The Culinary Center (cooking classes) – onboard
  • Culinary Discovery Tours
  • English-trained butlers for guests in suites
  • Shore excursions
Pool Deck
Pool Deck
coffee cafe
Coffee Cafe
Cruise ship stateroom
Oceania stateroom

Other Unique Offerings

  • Dining at all specialty restaurants
  • Soft drinks, bottled water, cappuccino, espresso, teas and juices
  • Shuttle service from ship to city center in many ports of call
  • Access to Canyon Ranch SpaClub® private Spa Terrace
  • Room service dining 
  • Artist Loft enrichment center

Upcoming cruises:

What: Stockholm to Oslo
When: September 4-13, 2022
Duration: 9 days
How much: Starting at $2,699.00

One word to describe it… Intimate. 

5. Silversea Cruises

Owned by an Italian family, Silversea speaks luxury, excellence, and elegance. Silversea Cruise ships are small but don’t be fooled by their size since their ships are known for being ultra-luxury as they offer all-suite accommodations coupled with their staff’s exemplary service. With their eleven ships sailing to over 900 ports across seven continents, Silversea cruise line is unique. Their fare is all-inclusive, including shore excursions.

The Fleet 

cruise ship at sea
Silver Nova

The ships range from carrying 100 guests up to 608. In 2023 they will introduce the Silver Nova which will have a capacity of 728 passengers. Most suites face the ocean and there is no scarcity of staterooms with verandahs.

The Destinations include all 7 continents and places in between. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • All accommodations are suites (75% have private verandas)
  • Butler service
  • Sails up narrow waterways
  • Open-seating dining
  • Enrichment programs including guest lecturers and culinary and wine voyages
  • Library
  • Spa and fitness center
  • Medical center onboard (doctor and nurse)
  • Luxury Cruise on a smaller intimate ship
stateroom
Bedroom with a view in the Medallion Suite, Silver Cloud.

Other Unique Offerings

pool area

All-inclusive cruise fare. All port charges, gratuities and beverages are included in the cruise fare. No surprise additional fees.

The Cost

range from $3,300 for a 6-day cruise to $96,400 for a 131-days, depending on where you want to go and how long you want to be on a cruise.

Upcoming Cruises:

What: Seward (Anchorage, Alaska) Barcelona to Vancouver

When: August 25, 2022, through September 1, 2022 (9 days)

Ports of Call: Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, Skagway, Hubbard Glacier, Debark: Seward

How much: Starting at $3,750.00

One word to describe it… Ultra-luxury. 

What better way to travel than to sail on a cruise? Explore other local cultures. Taste some fine cuisine. Behold magnificent scenery. Get all the pampering you deserve. There’s a whole lot more to experience even when we’re getting older.

Read more at GuideForSeniors.com for all things senior. You can email us at guideforseniors@gmail.com. 

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