Set Sail for the Sun! Ten Tips for Older Cruisers

  • Published 19.05.2024

by Nick Daws

Women and the sunset on the river

Cruising is an adventure that knows no age limits. For older cruisers, setting sail for the sun can be a rejuvenating and fulfilling experience. Whether you’re embarking on your first voyage or you’re a cruise veteran, here are ten tips to ensure your holiday is smooth sailing from start to finish…

  1. Choose the Right Cruise Line. Look for cruise lines that cater to older passengers and offer amenities and activities suitable for your preferences. Consider factors such as onboard medical facilities, accessibility and the pace of the itinerary.
  2. Plan Ahead. Research your destinations and shore excursions in advance. Opt for those that aren’t too physically demanding and offer opportunities for relaxation and cultural immersion. If you’re not doing an excursion, don’t rush to disembark on port days or you’ll just end up in a queue for the gangway. Have a leisurely breakfast and leave it till later.
  3. Pack Wisely. Bring comfortable clothing and suitable footwear for both onboard activities and shore excursions (my sister Annie says, ‘Wear high heels at your peril on the high seas’). Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, hats and medications. And pack at least one smart suit or dress. Most cruises include one or more ‘formal’ nights and you don’t want to miss out.
  4. Stay Active. Many cruise ships offer fitness facilities and activities tailored to older passengers, such as yoga, tai chi, dance and aqua aerobics. Engaging in gentle exercise can help you stay healthy and energised during your cruise.
  5. Mind Your Health. Prioritise your health during your cruise by staying hydrated, eating well-balanced meals, and getting enough rest. Be sure to bring any necessary medications and if appropriate consult with your doctor before embarking on your journey. Remember too that the sun’s rays are reflected off the sea, and in warmer latitudes especially it’s very easy to burn. Put on a high-factor sunscreen every day, therefore, and don’t spend too long in direct sunlight.
  6. Stay Connected. Keep in touch with loved ones back home to reassure them all is well. Most cruise ships have onboard wi-fi or internet cafes to stay connected while at sea, though you may have to pay a bit extra for this. Alternatively you may be able to find free wi-fi at your ports of call.
  7. Enjoy the Onboard Entertainment. Take advantage of the onboard entertainment options, including live music, shows, lectures and classes. There’s something for everyone, whether you prefer relaxing with a book or dancing the night away. Once on board, look out for the daily newsletter. This will be pushed under your door every night and set out everything you need to know about the ship’s itinerary next day and all the many entertainments on offer.
  8. Socialise. Cruising offers ample opportunities to meet new people and make lasting friendships. Attend social events, join group activities, or simply strike up a conversation with fellow passengers. Some cruise lines offer ‘freedom dining’, where you can opt to share a table with other passengers including seasoned cruisers who may be able to give you useful tips.
  9. Relax and Unwind. Don’t forget to take time to relax and enjoy the scenery. Find a quiet spot on deck, indulge in a spa treatment, or simply watch the world go by.
  10. Embrace the Experience. Above all, embrace the experience and savour every moment of your cruise. Whether you’re trying your hand at deck quoits, exploring exotic ports of call or simply enjoying the tranquillity of the open sea, cherish the memories you make along the way.

Going on a cruise as an older passenger can be a rewarding and enriching experience. By following the tips above, you can ensure a memorable journey filled with adventure, relaxation and newfound friendships. So set sail for the sun, and let your cruising adventure begin!

As always, if you have any comments about this article, please do leave them below. You must be registered with Over 60s Discounts and logged in to comment.

Nick Daws writes for Pounds and Sense, a UK personal finance and lifestyle blog aimed especially at older people.

Leave a Reply

We've been featured in