Cruises can be a great way to spend time with the family, celebrate an anniversary or have a girls’ weekend away.
However, not many cruises are designed for seniors. This is a shame, as many retirees would love to have an affordable and enjoyable holiday during their retirement years.
Continue reading to get educated and learn more about traveling with older parents!
Cruises for seniors are no different than any other cruise.
They offer an excellent opportunity to see the world without having to worry about planning or packing! But as we age, there are a few things to consider before jumping on board!
What if you break a bone? What if you get sick? What if the ship gets stranded in the middle of the ocean?
Of course! All these are valid questions. After all, senior citizens can be at risk for different types of injuries compared to their younger counterparts.
When choosing a cruise, it is essential to do your research.
Find out more about the ship you are considering, including its sailing record and safety procedures.
From my experience, ships with more than 5000 passengers will have a better medical staff on board!
So if you are considering a trip aboard one of these ships, here is everything you need to know about the best cruises for seniors!
Benefits of Taking One Senior Cruise?
While it may not be for everyone, these ships are usually designed with senior citizens in mind.
They will provide you with a number of facilities which make traveling easy if you have mobility problems. You will be amazed by the number of services they offer!
1. Free Help To Get Onboard
You’ll enjoy free transportation from your home to the passenger ship terminal, as well as assistance at embarking and disembarking.
And while onboard, there is a free shuttle service around the ship. You won’t even need to walk or use stairs!
2. Suite Options For Wheelchair Users
If you’re not able to move around quickly, some cruise lines include booking an accessible suite for disabled passengers who cannot ascend stairs and must remain near elevators during all the duration of their journey.
The best thing is that these cabins are on the same deck (usually A-Deck) as all the main attractions.
Standard Staterooms Provide Optimum Comfort For Disabled Passengers – Most cruise ships have several suites and classic rooms sized to accommodate wheelchairs.
All these rooms are specially calculated to be entered and exited quickly from a wheelchair or walker.
They include extra-wide doors, lowered closet rods, and other special equipment such as wheelchair-accessible showers.
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Best Cruises for Seniors
Considering taking a cruise with your parents or grandparents? Here is a list of the eight awesome cruises for seniors:
1. Viking Star (Viking River Cruises)
Known worldwide as one of the best river cruises for seniors, the Viking River Cruise offers various perks for seniors, such as suites that are equipped for wheelchair users.
The best thing about this vessel is that there are unique venues available specifically designed for people who have limited mobility:
A wheelchair-accessible elevator as well as wheelchair access to all entertainment areas and dining rooms.
There are also no stairs between decks, so your transfer from one area of the vessel to another will be very easy without using a lift.
Best Feature: If you chose a Viking star cruise, you would never have to use any stairs during your journey because this ship has elevator access from decks 5 to 7.
These elevators are pretty spacious, so they will accommodate you even if you’re using a scooter or wheelchair.
Plus, this cruise has everything you need onboard, such as library, multiple swimming pools, jogging track, casino, and much more!
2. Queen Elizabeth (Cunard)
This ship is an authentic British tradition and has been cruising for over half a century across the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea making it the best choice for your first trip if you are interested in taking a cruise for seniors over 60.
Queen Elizabeth offers spacious interior cabins on deck 6, just below 513 cabins with verandas, and can be used by wheelchair users or passengers with mobility issues who don’t want to use stairs.
All these rooms offer excellent accessibility features, but they also include some additional amenities for more comfort: lowered closet rods, a dining table that extends out of the wall, and an accessible bathroom.
There is a free shuttle service available throughout the day, which eases walking for the older passengers, and the best thing is that there are plenty of areas onboard you can use for spending quality time with your family.
Best Feature: The best thing about this ship is that it offers accessible cabins where you can enjoy many amenities such as flat entrance doors and lower cabinetry for easy use.
3. Pride of America (Norwegian Cruise Line)
This ship offers everything you need on board, including several elevators that extend all the way up to deck 10!
It also has no stairs between decks, so if you’re in a wheelchair or using a walker, it won’t be difficult accessing certain parts of this ship because there are many special lifts available.
Although this vessel has both open space and pool area, some cruises do not offer pool access for disabled passengers, so it’s best to check if this is available when you’re choosing your cruise.
Best Feature: Onboard Pride of America, there are special entertainment facilities for senior passengers with limited mobility, such as the best seating areas, best tables, and best viewing performances.
These seats are spacious, so you will be able to easily transfer from your scooter or wheelchair to a regular chair without any assistance.
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4. Regal Princess (Princess Cruises)
The best part about this ship is that it has special deck areas called “All Access,” where you will find a wheelchair area, priority seating for disabled guests/senior people, and a ramp near the swimming pool.
The best thing is that this cruise offers many activities that are geared towards all passengers, so whether you’re in a wheelchair or using walking aids, these programs are available for everyone!
The best thing is if you’re looking to have dinner with other passengers when visiting ports of call, there’s an accessible table on board that saves time and money.
Best Feature: Onboard this vessel, there’s a crew member explicitly assigned for passenger assistance.
This makes life easier because all your questions can be answered quickly without you having to wait in long lines before getting the best service possible.
5. Voyager of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
Royal Caribbean offers exceptional amenities onboard, such as a wide selection of accessible restaurants with special seating areas which are spacious.
You won’t have any trouble moving around them even if you’re using a scooter or wheelchair.
Many passengers require assistance from family members or friends on certain ships because there’s only one elevator available,
but that’s not an issue with Voyager because it has several elevators available with plenty of access space and sufficient room for wheelchair users.
Best Feature: There is an area specifically designed for passengers with limited mobility where they can participate in their favorite activities without any assistance.
There is also a space for passengers with limited mobility who prefer to relax while watching their favorite activities.
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6. Tauck World Discovery (Tauck River Cruises)
When talking about the best river cruises for seniors, Tauck is one of the best choices out there!
This ship is one of the best available for seniors, being equipped with elevators in each of its decks.
For best results, you should choose the “Penthouse” stateroom as it has can accommodate a wheelchair.
This vessel offers various activities that help all users to socialize and keep their bodies fit, such as Zumba classes, lectures about local cultures, or hands-on cooking sessions!
Best Feature: Aboard this ship, you have access to many cultural activities geared towards active senior citizens.
The best thing is that these programs are fully accessible to disabled passengers whether they are using scooters or walkers.
All special events onboard take place in an accessible area, so even those who are in wheelchairs can in enjoy the best of this cruise.
7. Sun Princess (Princess Cruises)
The best feature of this boat is its spacious interiors. It’s the perfect cruise for families with seniors because there are areas explicitly designated just for passengers using walkers, wheelchairs, or scooters.
There are two elevators in each section, so if one elevator should be out of service, then the other will suffice.
The best part is that they’re designed especially to allow wheelchair users to glide right in, making life easier when traveling around without any assistance.
There’s a special area on board where capsized passengers can be treated while the ship is in distress.
Best Feature: The best thing about this boat is that it has an area onboard specially designated to treat older passengers who might suffer seasickness as there’s a separate place where they can rest and relax if they are feeling ill.
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Cruising Tips for seniors to Make Your Trip More Enjoyable
If you are a senior citizen and have never visited a cruise before, the best thing to do is research.
It’s best if you visit different sites that offer advice for seniors. A lot of them even provide tips.
- Find senior-friendly travel services.
- Make sure you have all the best equipment and supplies necessary for a comfortable trip.
- Prepare in advance to avoid any last-minute surprises by laying out your best clothes, carrying power devices or medications – even snacks. Use appropriate sunscreen lotion and bring water bottles.
- Consider taking one of the nicest cruises for seniors that offer special services like suites with roll-in showers, easy access cabins, spacious interiors, etc.
- If you’re not familiar with using a scooter or wheelchair, then it’s best if you ask somebody who knows about these machines how they work so that you won’t be confused when traveling on board. This way, you’ll feel more at ease – especially during emergencies.
FAQs about Cruising as a senior
How Can I Best Prepare Myself If I’m Traveling for The First Time to a Cruise?
If this is your first time, then it would be best to plan in advance by checking out the best cruise for seniors that best suits you.
You can do so by visiting their website and asking plenty of questions about accessibility.
Should I Take My Own Scooter Or Wheelchair With Me?
It is best if you speak to the cruise line ahead of time to determine whether they’ll have equipment on board for disabled passengers and how to best use it. If not, then best to bring your own.
Is it best to Have Someone with Me and Who Should It Be?
It is best to bring somebody with you who is aware of your medical condition. Plus, make sure that you carry a doctor’s prescription before leaving home so in case a problem arises, then there will be no questions about getting help immediately.
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Final Thought about Seniors’ Cruises
Cruise travel is amazing for seniors if they know what to expect.
If you’re a senior citizen who has never visited a cruise before, the best thing to do is research and make sure that you have all of your best equipment with you.
It’s also essential to prepare in advance by taking one or more appropriate medications for your condition so there will be no questions about getting help immediately should an emergency arise.
The best cruises for seniors offer special services like suites with roll-in showers, easy access cabins, spacious interiors, etc.
Choosing one of these may ease some anxiety felt when passengers need assistance from staff members on board – especially during emergencies where it can feel overwhelming without any familiarity with how things work.