With Spring officially beginning on Sunday, people may be making plans for a spring or summer cruise. Gene and I have only been on one 3-day 2-night cruise once, so we are definitely not seasoned cruisers. However, now that we are both officially in the 55+ club, it may be time to do some cruising. I did some research and there are wide selections of cruises available. Even after doing some research, picking the right one can seem overwhelming and a bit taxing. There are many things to consider when picking a cruise that doesn’t just include the destination. You also have to think about the duration of the cruise, activities aboard the ship, as well as activities on land.
As important as those questions are, there could be even more important things to consider. Do you have any mobility issues? Any health conditions that need special assistance? This may limit some of your cruising options but need to be addressed to make sure you have a pleasant cruise. 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. One of Gene’s co-works is on dialysis and they were able to find a ship that would administer dialysis while on their trip. Thought that was wonderful as they wouldn’t have been able to cruise otherwise. While searching cruise lines, I found the same few that kept popping up as the best 55+ cruises. Here they are in no particular order:
Azamara Club Cruises
Some of their top destinations include North and South America, The Caribbean, Europe, and Asia/Pacific.
Amenities: Accommodates guests with special needs and medical conditions, Medical facility with onboard physicians, Wheelchair accessible staterooms for guests with special needs and limited mobility, Service animals are welcome aboard, Fantastic rates for singles, Fitness and nutrition classes, Spa services, and acupuncture therapy offered, Guest lecturers, Personal butler, Enrichment programs and classes (seminars, wine tasting, culinary demos, computer classes), Accommodates special dietary needs (to be arranged 40-80 days prior to sailing), and Complimentary onshore events to experience local culture (dance, cuisine, music, theater)
Holland America Line
They have such great destinations as Alaska and Yukon, Africa and Arabia, Asia and Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Bermuda, Canada/New England, The Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii and Tahiti, Mexico, Panama Canal, Pacific coast, South America and Antarctica.
Amenities: Shore excursions, new accessible cabins & amenities, wheelchair-accessible tender transfer system, and widely enhanced enrichment programs.
Royal Caribbean International
Some of their top destinations include: Alaska, Europe, Dubai, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Panama Canal, South America, South Pacific, Transatlantic
Canada/New England, Caribbean Hawaii, Pacific Northwest, and the Bahamas
Amenities: Wheelchair-accessible staterooms, Rock-climbing wall, Surf simulator, a 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 a panoramic ocean view, Large, indoor gym, Basketball court, Bumper cars, and roller-skating arena, Circus school, Casino and Music hall
Their amazing destinations include: Antarctica, Alaska, Australia, and New Zealand, Canada & New England, Caribbean & Central America, Galapagos Islands, Mediterranean, Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia, Northern Europe and the British Isles, Russian Far East
South America, and Transoceanic.
Amenities: 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), as well as Contract and Duplicate Bridge sessions.
They have such exotic destinations as Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, The Caribbean, Alaska, Canada/New England, South America, and the South Pacific.
Amenities: Spacious suites and staterooms, 85% with private verandas, Coffee Cafes, Latin art collections, Cooking classes, Art & craft lessons, Access to boutique ports and seaside villages which otherwise is impossible for large ships to get to, Open seating in all restaurants, Enrichment programs, The Culinary Center (cooking classes) – onboard, Culinary Discovery Tours – allows you to accompany the chef instructor to purchase fresh ingredients at markets in select ports, English-trained butlers for guests in suites (trained by members of the Guild of Professional English Butlers, and Shore excursions
Whatever your cruising style or your age, I hope one of these cruise lines will be a good fit. Hopefully, we will be able to do some cruising soon, and see what everyone loves so much about the adventure. Maybe we will even take our dogs (some let you do that too). I look forward to sharing a post about our future cruising experiences. If you have cruised on any of these lines, please share your experience on your cruise, good or bad. I would love to hear what you think. It may help us make a decision on which cruise we take. I also would love to do some river cruising through Europe, so any thoughts or suggestions would also be appreciated. Happy travels.
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