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Senior Citizen Cruises: Everything You Need to Know

Last updated: February 6th, 2024

Couple relaxing on a couch

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Whether you’re young or young at heart, cruising at any age is one of the most exciting and enlightening ways to see the world. For older adults, aka those over 55 or “senior citizens,” cruises are a particularly carefree way to travel.

Whether you’re a first-time or seasoned cruiser, you may be a bit more discerning when it comes to what you’re looking for in a cruise vacation. Luckily, Celebrity Cruises checks all the boxes for senior cruises. We offer over 300 exciting cruise destinations and itineraries worldwide, a wide variety of luxury staterooms and cruise amenities, world-class dining venues, thrilling entertainment, and easy-to-navigate cruise ships.

Are there cruises for seniors?

senior cruises - Lawn Club

While we don’t offer specific senior citizen cruises, older guests can be assured they’ll have an unforgettable cruise experience on any Celebrity ship wherever they choose to cruise around the world.

Cruising is an easy way to experience multiple destinations in one vacation while enjoying the amenities and activities offered on a luxury cruise ship.

Read: Multi-Country Cruises Around the World

Family talking over drinks on a cruise

It’s also an excellent opportunity to spend time with multiple family members, reconnecting and enjoying a shared experience. Celebrity makes it easy to plan family reunion cruises , as well as anniversaries and vow renewals, for small groups or large.

Celebrity Cruise ships offer a variety of staterooms, including accessible options for those who may have mobility, sight, or hearing needs, and on some ships, single occupancy staterooms for those cruising solo .

Onboard dining includes 24-hour room service, flexible reservation times for dinner, options for a variety of diets, and lighter fare at venues throughout the ship.

Pool area on Celebrity

Whether you want to sit back and relax on a pool deck lounger or be on the go from early morning until late night, senior citizen cruises accommodate every level of interest and activity.

Take a leisurely or brisk walk or jog on deck, check out the variety of classes offered at the fitness center, or pamper yourself with spa appointments for everything from massages to facials and body wraps.

Read: 15 Ways to Stay Fit On a Cruise

senior cruise excursion

At every one of our port destinations, you can book shore excursions to satisfy a variety of interests tailored to your preferred level of activity, such as private journeys arranged exclusively for you, small-group discovery tours, and destination highlights that take you to the must-see landmarks and iconic sights in each port.

Are there things to consider when booking senior citizen cruises?

There are a few things that will make cruising as a senior a safe, hassle-free, and enjoyable experience.

Senior citizen cruise - veranda stateroom

Start by looking at a ship’s accommodations and see if they fit your specific needs, desires, and interests.

Elegant interior of Aquaclass stateroom on Celebrity

The Retreat® is our all-inclusive luxury vacation experience perfect for guests looking for the best accommodations, amenities, and service.

For spa lovers, AquaClass staterooms feature spa-inspired amenities and are located close to our onboard spa. AquaClass guests receive unlimited access to the Sea Thermal Suite or the Persian Garden, depending on the ship.

Receive an extra personal touch with our Concierge Class staterooms , which include extra perks like personalized concierge service and an exclusive destination seminar.

Review the ship’s deck plans, which will show you stateroom categories, locations, and configurations, dining venues, amenities such as pools, sundecks, and hot tubs, designated adult-only areas, social gathering spaces, spa and fitness facilities, and more.

Reviewing the deck plan will allow you to choose the best stateroom that’s close to an elevator for less walking, or a stateroom in an area that’s closest to where you’ll spend the most time aboard, such as the pool deck, the spa and fitness area, or dining venues.

Are Celebrity ships good for seniors?

senior cruises on Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises was voted best premium cruise line for 11 years in a row for a reason. The luxurious accommodations, stylish design, innovative spaces, and world-class dining you’ll find onboard Celebrity Cruises is perfect for people of all ages—seniors included.

Celebrity’s excellent and well-rounded crew ensures that every guest, from the youngest to the oldest, is given the utmost consideration. Throughout your journey, you’ll receive personalized attention from our crew, from the time you board the ship up until the moment you bid farewell to your favorite bartender, dining room staff, and room attendant.

Butler serving food to guests on a stateroom

Are there accessible staterooms and venues on cruise ships?

Celebrity Cruises is committed to safe, comfortable, stress-free, and enjoyable travel for all our guests. To that end, we offer accessible staterooms on each of our ships.

Read: Accessible Travel Guide

accessible staterooms on Celebrity Cruises

Accessible staterooms are specially designed for cruisers with disabilities. Our accessible staterooms have carefully considered features such as wider doors with removed door sills for convenient wheelchair access.

Read: Cruises for Seniors With Disabilities

Select staterooms have a five-foot turning radius for ease in navigating and accessible verandas with wheelchair-accommodating balconies so you can enjoy the view.

Additional features like lowered clothes bars in the closet, roll-in showers with handheld showerheads, grab bars, and fold-down shower benches are standard in accessible rooms, as are lower sinks and vanities, higher toilets, and ramped thresholds in the bathroom.

Modern interior of Celebrity Suite with massive windows overlooking the sea

An accessible stateroom can also be customized for guests with hearing or sight special needs. We offer teletypewriters (TTY), which are portable room kits with a visual-tactile alert system for door knocking, telephone ringing, alarm clock, and smoke detector, plus closed captioning in every television in our staterooms.

Accessible rooms are held for cruise travelers with disabilities until all other non-accessible staterooms in that category are fully booked. Since there are only a limited number of these rooms, it’s best to book early and fill out the required Special Needs Form.

View of Celebrity roofdeck

Celebrity ships are also accessible with wide corridors, conveniently located elevators, and open and inviting public spaces.

You’ll also find lifts for one pool and one whirlpool on each ship, lowered slot machines and playing tables in the casino, and accessible public bathrooms. Gradual inclines lead into public rooms, and automatic doors are available on Solstice-class and Edge-series ships.

Celebrity’s commitment to accessibility extends to assistance with an airport to pier transfer when arranged in advance; assistance in boarding and departing the ship; and assistance in reaching areas of the ship that may not be accessible.

When it comes to shore excursions, there are a number of accessible tours in destinations across the globe.

On accessible tours, vans with wheelchair lifts are provided. Make sure to book in advance to ensure the availability of equipped vans.

What can seniors do on the ship?

senior cruises on Celebrity Flora

One of the most exciting aspects of a senior citizen cruise experience is the infinite variety of activities for guests of every age.

From early morning to the late evening, there are engaging, educational, and entertaining things to do throughout the ship. Of course, there’s also the option to do nothing at all.

Start Your Day

Enjoy a leisurely morning coffee on your veranda by ordering from our 24-hour room service menu. Check out the day’s activities and offerings in Celebrity Today, the daily newsletter delivered to your room each evening during turndown service.

If you love the idea of a full-service breakfast to start off the day, head to the Main Restaurant. If you’re on the go, stop at one of the cafes for a cappuccino and freshly baked pastry, or grab a juice or smoothie at the Spa Cafe after a leisurely deck walk.

People eating at Oceanview Cafe

Like the variety of a breakfast buffet? Head to the Ocean View Cafe and have a breakfast feast, complete with a fabulous ocean view from the floor-to-ceiling windows.

Tour the Ship

Elegant interior of Rendezvous Lounge on Celebrity

During a leisurely day at sea, get acquainted with your ship and discover its magnificent public spaces, lounges, and bars.

On one of our insider access ship tours, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at areas of the ship typically reserved for our crew. Explore the engine control room, see the main galley where meals are prepared, and visit the bridge where the captain charts the way to your destination.

Explore Eden

Lush interior of Eden on Celebrity

On Celebrity Edge or Apex, visit Eden, an immersive and interactive venue where you can indulge your senses from morning until night. This three-level transformational space is a cool, calming place to relax early in the day and breathe in the aroma of fresh herbs in the garden.

Take a Class

Guests taking cooking class with chef on a cruise

Brush up on your culinary skills at a hands-on cooking class, or become even more wine-savvy at a wine-and-food-pairing seminar hosted by our onboard master sommeliers.

Appreciate Art

Interactive art wall on Celebrity

Each Celebrity ship has its own amazing collection of contemporary art. Enjoy browsing the ship’s permanent art collection, attend an art lecture, or bid on works of art for sale at an onboard auction.

Spend Time Outdoors

At the adults-only* Solarium, unwind on a sundeck lounger with that book you’ve been meaning to read, or take a refreshing dip in the pool.

Couple drinking at the Lawn Club on Celebrity

On our Solstice-class ships, head up to The Lawn Club for a game of bocce or croquet on real grass. Practice your putting, have a picnic lunch, or listen to a live concert.

On Edge or Apex, order a salad, flatbread pizza, or classic burger at the casual Rooftop Garden Grill, then stroll the greenery and natural art spaces of the Rooftop Garden. On select ships, you can also enjoy a game of pickleball on the sports court.

*Solarium kid’s hours available from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm on select itineraries – Antarctica, Alaska, and the Baltics.  

Read: Things to Do Outdoors on a Cruise Ship

Book Shore Excursions and Destination Lectures

People signing up at the shore excursion counter

Attend scheduled lectures on your port destinations, which will give you a deeper appreciation for local culture, customs, and history. Stop by the Shore Excursions Desk to book activities in port.

Visit The Spa

Woman on a cruise spa

Get pampered with one of the rejuvenating treatments available at our luxurious onboard spa. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi and hairstyling just because or in preparation for the ship’s Evening Chic night.

Schedule a facial and get skincare tips from The Spa’s professional aestheticians. Unwind with a soothing stone massage or body wrap.

Elegant and modern interior of SEA Thermal Suite spa

Try aqua therapy treatments like herbal steam baths and Finnish saunas at the soothing Persian Gardens (complimentary for AquaClass guests).

On Edge or Apex ships, the SEA Thermal Suite (also complimentary for AquaClass guests), offers Hammam, a modern take on the Turkish Bath, a state-of-the-art collection of deep table massages, a Salt Room, and over 120 spa therapies and treatments. You can even schedule acupuncture or advanced treatments at MedSpa.

Indulge in Retail Therapy

Ladies on a shopping spree

Stroll the marble walkways of the European-inspired shopping arcade on board. Shop in luxury boutiques and find the perfect outfit for upcoming shore excursions, something “wow” for Evening Chic nights, a lovely piece of jewelry as a memento of your trip, or leather goods and other cruise gifts for your loved ones back home.

Get Connected

At the iLounge, Celebrity’s 24/7 computer lounge, use Apple computers, take technology classes, and learn tips and tricks from the Certified Apple Experts who staff the lounge.

Pose at the Photo Studio

Are you cruising with family or for a special occasion such as an anniversary, special birthday, or holiday? This is a great time to gather everyone and head to the ship’s photo studio for a family portrait taken by a professional photographer.

Our professional roving photographers also take plenty of candid photos of you and your family throughout your cruise, so make sure to check out the Photo Gallery to see snapshots of your favorite moments on board.

Dine in Style

People hanging out at the Sunset Bar on a cruise

Celebrity Cruises is renowned for its world-class cuisine, and our expert culinary teams make sure that each meal at every dining venue is sublime.

Read: How to Eat Healthy on a Cruise

The Main Restaurant serves a large menu of classic and modern specialties in a two-story setting that manages to be inviting and intimate at the same time.

Beautiful interior of Metropolitan Restaurant on Celebrity

In specialty restaurants, you’ll find a truly unique culinary experience that will delight your taste buds.

In Tuscan Grille , traditional Southern Italian dishes including fresh handmade pasta, USDA Prime steaks, and a regional Italian wine list are highlights of the menu.

French interior of Murano restaurant on Celebrity

Murano is our French-inspired dining venue with a number of signature dishes prepared tableside. For a true gastronomic treat, try the Five Senses food and wine pairing menu.

Le Petit Chef is a one-of-a-kind dining experience that combines great food and great fun. This 3-D experience is perfect for a festive multigenerational family dinner. Enjoy watching animated tiny chefs prepare your meal right on your plate, just as your server delivers the real food to your table.

Modern interior of Le Petit Chef on Celebrity

Blu , the exclusive restaurant for AquaClass guests, serves a menu of fresh, bold flavors and a wine list of sustainable and biodynamic wines in a beautifully modern setting.

Modern interior of Luminae on Celebrity

For guests of The Retreat, Luminae offers exclusive menu items not available at any other dining venue on the ship, and special dishes created by our Global Culinary Brand Ambassador, Chef Daniel Boulud.

Be Entertained

Evenings aboard Celebrity ships are lively and exciting, with Broadway-worthy shows in the theater, bands, jazz, and folk concerts at The Lawn Club, impromptu performances by our entertainers that can pop up anywhere, plus concerts, DJ music, cabaret entertainment, and silent disco.

What are the best cruise destinations for seniors?

When choosing the perfect itinerary for a senior citizen cruise vacation, consider the climates, destinations, and things to do that you’re most interested in.

senior citizen cruise destinations - Key West

Do you want to unwind on stunning Caribbean beaches? Experience the historic landmarks and ancient sites of the Old World? Looking to explore far-flung destinations like South America or Australia and New Zealand?

No matter where you sail, you’ll find shore excursions that cater to guests of all ages, activity levels, and interests.

Senior Citizen Cruises to Alaska

senior citizen cruises to Alaska

Alaska cruises are popular for travelers of all ages, especially senior cruisers and multigenerational families.

People on a boat in Alaska

For smaller crowds, cruise during shoulder season months in April or May. Summer cruises to Alaska are great for a memory-making multigenerational vacation when the kids are out of school and parents can use up their vacation days.

Caribbean Cruises for Seniors

Swaying palms, enticing blue waters, and exquisite beaches are hallmarks of the Caribbean islands. Caribbean cruises sail year-round, so you’ll have a range of itineraries, departure ports, and itinerary lengths to choose from.

Picturesque landscape of St Maarten

On an Ultimate Caribbean cruise itinerary, explore the beautiful islands of Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Maarten. Enjoy beach excursions, duty-free shopping, swimming and snorkeling, wonderfully fresh seafood, and the inviting local culture.

Cruise the Western Caribbean on a five-night itinerary sailing to the Florida Keys and Cozumel, Mexico, with two nights at sea to relax and luxuriate in all the excitement and activities your ship has to offer.

Historical Old San Juan in Puerto Rico

On an Eastern Caribbean and Bahamas cruise, explore the Old Fort at San Juan, Puerto Rico, shop for luxury goods in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, savor the French-influenced food in St. Maarten, and bask on the white sand beaches of Tortola and the Bahamas.

Norwegian Fjords

Beautiful landscape of Norwegian fjords

Always wanted to see the fjords of Norway? On a Norway cruise , sail to the stunning ports of Bergen, Alesund, Geiranger, and Stavanger.

In this beautiful country, you’ll see the old wharf, walk the cobblestoned town of Bryggen, sample traditional Norwegian food , visit the Geiranger Fjord with its dramatic waterfalls and towering mountainsides, and take an easy hike on Pulpit Rock in Stavanger, which rises over 1,800 feet above the sea.

Scandinavia

Travel to Scandinavia on a cruise with overnight stay in Copenhagen, where you can spend time at Tivoli Gardens, see the city from the waterside, and experience “hygge,” the concept of coziness, warmth, and comfort.

Other ports of call include Stockholm, Sweden and Tallinn, Estonia.

Read: Things to Do in Tallinn

The Galapagos

senior citizen cruises to the Galapagos

Senior cruisers looking for an eco-adventure are sure to find it on a seven-night all-inclusive cruise to the Galapagos Islands .

On Celebrity Flora, enjoy unparalleled luxury while exploring the incredible marine and land wildlife of the volcanic islands that make up the Galapagos.

People on an excursion in Bartolome Island, Galapagos

Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Hawaii

Beautiful landscape of Oahu, Hawaii

If you have the pleasure of extended time to travel at your leisure, a perfect senior cruise is our 17-night cruise to Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Hawaii that embarks from Honolulu and disembarks in Sydney.

Cruise to Maui, then on to Bora Bora and French Polynesia—some of the best Pacific islands to visit . Cross the International Dateline, then sail on to Auckland, Bay of Islands, and finally to Sydney, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Southern Hemisphere.

Read: Best Things to Do in Bora Bora

Back-to-Back Cruises

Skyline of Sydney, Australia

One of the best ways to celebrate being a senior citizen is to book an extended vacation on a back-to-back cruise. Consider a back-to-back with an 11-day cruise from Vancouver , British Columbia to the Hawaiian Islands, then embark on the 17-night Honolulu and Tahiti cruise that disembarks in Sydney.

Use Flights by Celebrity to book all of your airline reservations to get to your embarkation point. With Flights by Celebrity, you can be assured by our Lowest Price Guarantee, use the airline points you’ve accrued, enjoy 24/7 assistance so you’ll never miss a cruise due to delayed or canceled flights, and have the option to book now and pay later.

Which shore excursions can seniors take?

Aerial view of Brazil including Christ the Redeemer

One of the joys of senior citizen cruises is being able to explore all of the destinations you visit at your own pace. Learning about the culture, customs, history, and geography of those destinations is an easy way to enrich your vacation.

Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Wonders of the World during multigenerational trips and make memories that will stay with your family for a lifetime.

Once you’ve booked your cruise, you can browse shore excursions on our website and sort by interest, activity level, and accessibility.

Tourists in Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius as backdrop

See the ruins of Pompeii or go on a wine-tasting excursion in Tuscany.

Swim with gentle stingrays or experience the wonders under the sea without getting wet on a fascinating glass-bottom boat tour in the Caribbean.

Man bathing in Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Take a restorative dip in the hot spring baths at Castries, St. Lucia; Kagoshima, Japan; or Reykjavik, Iceland.

See exceptional wildlife in their natural habitat and the spectacular wilderness of Alaska during a gentle hike or boat tour of the Last Frontier.

senior citizen cruise excursions in Alaska

Book Your Senior Citizen Cruise

If you’re ready to explore the world as a senior traveler, browse our cruise itineraries and book online, or call one of our vacation specialists today.

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9 bucket list cruises for seniors and retirees.

These cruise lines appeal to older travelers with adults-only sailings, accessible staterooms and more.

Cruises for Seniors and Retirees

Two senior cruisers lounge on a sundeck.

Courtesy of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

Make the memories of a lifetime on a cruise for seniors and retirees.

Cruises are an often dreamt-about retirement goal, especially for long-time cruise lovers who have always been short on time. Retirement can be the ideal season of life to sail off into the sunset for several weeks, whether to far-off lands like Antarctica or a peaceful journey down the Danube. In some cases, seniors embrace their golden years by booking epic, monthslong voyages around the world.

Many small- and medium-sized ships cater to the over-60 crowd, but that doesn't mean guests will be relegated to shuffleboard and bingo games. Today's seniors still have plenty of adventures to experience and memories to make, both on board and on shore. The following cruise lines offer the top bucket list sailings for seniors and retirees.

Windstar Cruises

Uniworld boutique river cruises, oceania cruises, holland america line, cunard line, aurora expeditions.

A Windstar Cruises ship sails along the water in Moorea.

Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

Anyone who has ever fancied a near-private yacht-style cruise experience will love the vibe of Windstar Cruises. Each of its yachts holds between 148 and 342 guests, with a 1-to-1.5 crew-to-guest ratio. This makes for more intimate sailings – not only because there's simply less ship to maneuver on foot, but also because Windstar ships have access to ports that megaships aren't permitted to enter. The end result is the unique ability to explore lesser-known destinations and smaller cities. While Windstar is not a strictly adults-only cruise line , you won't see any little ones on board, either. Children must be at least 8 years old to sail on the line, which further adds to the high-end ambiance.

In 2021 and 2022, Windstar's Star Breeze, Star Pride and Star Legend ships received a refresh. The three all-suite yachts were cut in half and enhanced with new suites and amenities, bringing the capacity to 312 passengers on each vessel. These Star Plus Class ships also boast new restaurants, a reimagined spa and fitness center, and more efficient engines, among other improvements. Elevators help make the Star Plus Class ships more accessible for anyone with limited mobility (note that Wind Class ships Wind Star and Wind Spirit do not have elevators). Additionally, Star Breeze, Star Pride and Star Legend each have four wheelchair-accessible suites, which feature a smaller queen bed and reduced "wheel around" space.

On board, passengers can drop by the Open Bridge anytime for an impromptu lesson in chart reading, listen to live music in the Lounge or jump directly into the water from the Watersports Platform. Culinary highlights include restaurant Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso, which serves a twist on modern Spanish cuisine by the 10-time Michelin-starred chef, as well as culinary shore excursions with hands-on cooking classes and chef-led market tours to explore fresh local ingredients.

The cruise industry is abuzz with interest in one of Windstar's newest itineraries, which introduces passengers to the Middle East. The Inaugural Sparkling Sands & Cities itinerary sets sail in November 2023, visiting Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates; Doha, Qatar; and Muscat, Oman, among others. Foodies will be especially interested in the James Beard Foundation's Sparkling Sands & Cities of the Persian Gulf itinerary, scheduled to embark in February 2024. Windstar's other destinations include Asia, Canada and New England, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the South Pacific and more.

Read: How to Get Airport Wheelchair Assistance

A Penthouse Junior Suite on the Viking Mississippi river cruise ship.

Adam Hillier | Courtesy of Viking

Spanning seven continents via river, ocean and expedition vessels, Viking is considered a quintessential high-end cruise experience. For more than 25 years, it has provided destination-focused sailings designed to allow its guests to explore the world in supreme comfort. Its voyages particularly appeal to travelers older than 50 who are interested in science, history, culture and cuisine.

Every Viking cruise fare includes a complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, onboard meals, beer and wine (with lunch and dinner service), Wi-Fi access, and all port charges and government taxes. On Viking's ocean and expedition vessels, guests also enjoy complimentary self-service laundry, access to the Thermal Suite in The Spa, high tea service, alternative restaurant dining and 24-hour room service. But the best part for older cruisers may be what's not included on Viking sailings: kids. This adults-only cruise line is dedicated to guests 18 and older.

Viking's fleet – with capacities ranging from 80 to 998 passengers (on river and ocean cruises, respectively) – feature elegant Scandinavian-style decor. The small ship cruises get closer to their destinations, spend more time in port and include more overnight stays, too.

One of Viking's newest ocean vessels, the all-veranda Viking Saturn, debuted in 2023 and focuses on European sailings. Its 10-day Empires of the Mediterranean route from Venice to Athens is particular popular, with stops in Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Greece. Another in-demand route is the Danube Christmas Delights itinerary on the Viking Longships, which visits enchanting villages, cultural capitals and iconic Christmas markets for a festive holiday cruise .

To suit their needs, guests can choose between different activity levels for walking tour-focused shore excursions. For bibliophiles, The Library on each ship is curated by acclaimed London bookshop Heywood Hill, as well as Cambridge University's Scott Polar Research Institute on the expedition vessels. Viking also holds exclusive partnerships with prestigious scientific institutions, which makes it possible for at least 36 experts – including field research scientists, mountain guides, submarine pilots and other specialists – to accompany passengers on each expedition journey.

Book a  Viking cruise on GoToSea, a service of U.S. News.

A pavlova dessert served on board Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

Billed as one of the world's most luxurious all-inclusive river cruise lines , Uniworld Boutique River Cruises features small ships with an average capacity of 120 guests and one of the highest crew-to-guest ratios on the rivers of 1-to-2.4. Part of the allure of the small ship size is a more personalized travel experience that delivers passengers to destinations ocean liners aren't able to visit (such as the Venetian Lagoon, where large ships have been banned from entry).

Uniworld ships are akin to floating boutique hotels, designed to reflect the destinations in which they sail – a vast list that includes ports in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Guests will appreciate the exquisite details on board, including unique artwork from some of the most famous artists in the world (think: Pablo Picasso and David Hockney), handmade fabrics from local artisans and handcarved furnishings.

Additionally, Uniworld's all-inclusive cruise experience includes all onboard meals, which are made with fresh farm-to-table ingredients, as well as unlimited premium spirits and fine wines. In the base fare, voyages also include a selection of shore excursions, daily entertainment, fitness centers, wellness classes, airport transfers, onboard gratuities, high-speed Wi-Fi access and more.

Uniworld makes it particularly easy to visit many of Europe's most enchanting Christmas towns on a single cruise, where passengers can visit the festive holiday markets and get all their seasonal shopping done. For seniors with more time to spare, the Rivers of the World Cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime journey. This 55-day itinerary departs from Lima, Peru , in October 2024 and takes 40 guests across three continents via four ships to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Find  Uniworld Boutique River Cruises  on GoToSea.

This upscale brand recently relaunched under A&K Travel Group with a reimagined vision. Crystal Serenity (which holds up to 740 guests) and Crystal Symphony (carrying up to 606 passengers) underwent a combined $150 million dollar refurbishment that includes updated suites and new wellness offerings at the Aurōra spa. While sailing the high seas with Crystal, passengers' needs are met at every step of the way – a perk made possible by the nearly 1-to-1 staff-to-guest ratio. A dedicated butler in every stateroom and suite will help with packing and unpacking, stocking your fridge, making restaurant reservations, booking excursions and more.

Crystal offers impressive enrichment programming, hosting high-profile lecturers with backgrounds in sports, entertainment and science. Spend some time refining your technology skills at Computer University@Sea and perfecting your ballroom dance moves, photography abilities, golf swing or bridge game. There's also a well-stocked library containing books on a range of subjects, along with board games and a pickleball court.

Dining options on board include Umi Uma, a Japanese-Peruvian dining venue developed by Michelin-starred chef Nobuyuki (Nobu) Matsuhisa. Unlike some other cruise lines that charge a fee for each specialty dining reservation, Crystal allows guests to enjoy one complimentary reservation per person for sailings of 11 days or less. After dinner, nightly entertainment can be found in several venues, such as live music in the Galaxy Lounge.

Crystal sails on itineraries of varying length to the Mediterranean, the Baltic, Alaska, the Caribbean, Canada, Africa and the Indian Ocean, the South Pacific, and Asia. If you're planning a bucket list trip, consider the line's 123-night 2025 World Cruise, which travels to 62 destinations across 31 countries between Fort Lauderdale, Florida , and Barcelona, Spain .

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The Aquamar Spa on Oceania Cruises

Courtesy of Oceania Cruises

Seniors with a penchant for epicurean delights tend to gravitate toward Oceania Cruises for their cruise vacations – it's known for having one of the finest culinary programs at sea. This cruise line focuses on small ship luxury, with seven ships currently in service carrying between 670 and 1,250 passengers each. An eighth ship, Allura, is set to debut in 2025.

Newer ships like the Vista – the first of the Allura class vessels, which joined the fleet in May 2023 – have wheelchair-accessible rooms and a plethora of onboard culinary venues. A few highlights include Aquamar Kitchen, offering an array of wellness-inspired dishes; The Bakery at Baristas, serving freshly baked pastries; and new signature restaurant Ember, an upscale American eatery. Don't miss the Cellar Master's Wine Luncheon: a two-hour, hand-selected tasting led by the head sommelier that features a five-course menu paired with premium wines for each dish.

Senior cruisers will enjoy the Aquamar Spa's signature massage therapies, which use natural ingredients and modern techniques to release stress and tension. The Vitality Center offers a steam room, a thalassotherapy pool and heated lounge beds for extra relief. Onboard entertainment on Oceania, meanwhile, includes musical performances and immersive shows with dance numbers led by "Dancing With the Stars" choreographer Britt Stewart. The Culinary Center is a fan favorite for seniors, offering the opportunity to practice cooking techniques and learn about the unique flavor profiles of regional dishes.

You'll be hard-pressed to find a location Oceania doesn't sail to, with cruises to Africa, Asia, South America, the Middle East, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, Antarctica and more, as well as transoceanic voyages and 180-day world cruises. Oceania also provides a good overall value, thanks to its included specialty restaurants, Wi-Fi access, shore excursions, round-trip airfare and transfers, and in-port shuttle service.

Explore  Oceania Cruises  deals on GoToSea.

Holland America Line's Westerdam ship sails through Yakutat Bay in Alaska

Courtesy of Holland America Line

As a premium, midsize cruise line, Holland America Line offers plenty of destinations, excursions and activities aligned to an older audience. The smaller ship size, which averages around 2,000 passengers per sailing, allows for many of the ships to dock in ports that are inaccessible to larger ships, getting passengers even closer to the destinations they're visiting. For older passengers who may have limited mobility, the option to simply disembark the ship without waiting for a tender or other means of transportation can make or break a trip.

Holland America Line, though family-friendly, offers myriad excursions that are primarily adult-oriented and open to all types of adventurers. Shore excursions are clearly marked with an activity level ranging from easy to strenuous, from leisurely wine tastings and relaxing strolls through ancient towns to ATV rides through the jungle and dog-sledding on a glacier only accessible via helicopter.

Onboard entertainment and activities are plentiful; guests often enjoy the multiple music lounges and venues on each ship, along with hosted programs such as bingo and trivia. For seniors who can't get enough of the pickleball trend, Holland America Line has partnered with the Professional Pickleball Association to bring branded courts and equipment on board. After all that action on the court, unwind in the Greenhouse Spa & Salon with a rejuvenating treatment. (Pro tip: Add on the Thermal Suite for access to the healing hydrotherapy circuit and heated, tiled loungers that will melt all your cares away.)

The numerous onboard dining options bring together cuisines and flavors from all over the world, with specialty restaurants featuring menus developed by a team of master chefs known as Holland America's Culinary Council. In addition to casual dining in the Lido Market and multicourse affairs in The Dining Room, each ship also features the Pinnacle Grill, an onboard steakhouse offering high-end meats and seafood. Other specialty restaurants vary by ship and may include Italian eatery Canaletto and the French-inspired Rudi's Sel de Mer.

Holland America Line sails all over the world. It does an especially nice job with its Greek island cruises and Adriatic Sea adventures. One of the line's newest ships, Rotterdam , is a crowd-pleaser with its sleek design details and an onboard art collection valued at more than $4.1 million. Still, longtime favorites like the refurbished Oosterdam and Eurodam host plenty of happy guests.

Compare  Holland America Line  cruises on GoToSea.

A White Night party in Monte Carlo on Azamara Onward

Courtesy of Azamara

Another all-inclusive, senior-friendly brand is Azamara, which boasts a long list of perks covered in the base fare. Your one-time payment covers meals and beverages, including standard spirits, international beers and a limited amount of wine by the glass; you can upgrade to a beverage package if you'd like access to premium brands. Other included amenities range from self-service laundry to gratuities to special cultural evenings featuring onboard or onshore performances by locals.

There are four ships in Azamara's fleet. Each carries up to 702 passengers, so they still fit comfortably into the small ship category and can access less-visited ports than larger vessels. Destinations on Azamara include ports throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, the Americas, and the Caribbean; there are also transoceanic itineraries. If spending roughly half a year on a cruise ship sounds like your ideal retirement plan, consider the Azamara World Voyage in 2025. Over 155 nights, you'll visit 37 countries.

Each of the line's ships has staterooms designed to accommodate guests with mobility limitations, and Azamara has created customized shore excursion tours for guests with disabilities as well. Accessible tours are designed for full-time wheelchair users or guests unable to navigate motor-coach steps.

There are plenty of entertainment options on board, including Club Crooner's hits from current and classic songbirds, as well as ship-specific venues with various song and dance performances. Plus, every cruise hosts a White Night signature dinner and entertainment event on the pool deck (so be sure to pack your favorite white attire). Unwind with darts, arts and crafts, pingpong, shuffleboard, trivia contests, bingo and dance lessons. Don't miss opportunities to attend lectures through the enrichment program.

Find an  Azamara  cruise on GoToSea.

A refreshment platter served by a lounge chair at Cunard Grills

Christopher Ison | Courtesy of Cunard Line

Cunard Line's ocean liners have sailed between the U.K. and New York since 1840 – and the brand's relationship with the British monarchy is integral to its heritage. As such, each ship is named after a British queen. The newest ship, Queen Anne, joins the fleet in 2024.

In keeping with its history, Cunard Line has several signature experiences that help set the brand apart. Afternoon tea is a Cunard tradition observed daily in the Queen's Room; expect white-gloved waiters serving scones and finger sandwiches alongside infused teas in silver teapots (add Champagne for an additional fee). During gala evenings, guests don tuxedos and ballgowns for a sophisticated celebration you won't soon forget. Themes range from Masquerade to Roaring 20s; you'll get a heads-up before you pack your cruise attire .

Each of the four stateroom grades has its own dedicated fine dining restaurant with excellent service and indulgent menus, though there are several casual dining options as well – not to mention specialty dining venues for an additional fee. A host of activities will keep you busy day and night, including a library, open-air pools, fitness facilities, live music, theater performances, guest speaker events, board games, film screenings, art classes, planetarium shows (on Queen Mary 2) and group dance classes.

Accessible shore experiences are available in many ports, ranging from lower activity-level tours to adaptations for wheelchair users. Accessible staterooms are available on Queen Victoria , Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 ; these come with modifications like wider entryways, nonslip bathroom floors and shower seats.

Explore  Cunard Line  deals on GoToSea.

A Zodiac cruise in Antarctica with Aurora Expeditions ship Greg Mortimer

Scott Portelli | Courtesy of Aurora Expeditions

Nothing says "once-in-a-lifetime" quite like embarking on an expedition to the world's most remote destinations – and, specifically, to Antarctica. For cruisers looking to explore this far-off land, Aurora Expeditions is one of the most trusted names in the industry. Founded by legendary adventurer Greg Mortimer, the brand sends an education-focused expedition team on each voyage, with a ratio of about one team member per every eight passengers. With an average of just 132 cruisers on these sailings, you'll get more one-on-one time with your expedition team.

Seniors can climb aboard Aurora Expeditions' Greg Mortimer or Sylvia Earle ship for innovative itineraries to the Great White Continent. When the ship isn't pausing to watch breaching whales, passengers can kayak between icebergs, visit penguin colonies or take guided hikes across the tundra. Aurora describes its cruises as "100% climate neutral," with a commitment to reducing its environmental impact.

All of Aurora Expeditions' voyages let travelers explore at their own pace, making it a great option for all ages. There are many included activities on each expedition, such as bird-watching, photography, lectures on wildlife, Zodiac cruises and near-shore excursions. The line will even outfit you with Muck boots and waterproof polar jackets. The entire voyage is laid-back, with an informal dress code.

On board, all cabins have a view of the ocean, and most have their own balcony. Tips are included in the cost of your cruise, and guests can enjoy a complimentary house wine or beer with dinner. Look forward to hearty dishes to help fuel your activities, with some buffet-style meals, a la carte options and a reservations-required restaurant on each ship.

Read: The Top Antarctica Cruises

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Jill Schildhouse has been an avid cruiser since the mid-'90s and has since visited dozens of destinations around the globe. Whether she's on the newest megaship, an older small ship or a luxury yacht, she loves life at sea. She used extensive research and her decades of experience as a cruiser to write this article (she has taken two cruises with her 70-year-old dad just this year). Schildhouse covers the travel industry for myriad top-tier outlets, including U.S. News & World Report, Travel + Leisure, AARP, Fodor's, Reader's Digest and Insider.

You might also be interested in:

  • The Top Solo Cruises (No Supplement Fare)
  • The Top Transatlantic Cruises
  • First-Time Cruise Tips: Mistakes to Avoid
  • How Much Does a Cruise Cost?
  • The Best Travel Insurance for Seniors and Retirees

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Should Be Cruising

Best Cruise Ship Games to Pack for Adults and Kids in 2024

By: Author Carrie Ann Karstunen

Posted on Published: December 3, 2019  - Last updated: January 16, 2023

Best Cruise Ship Games to Pack for Adults and Kids in 2024

Can you take your own games on a cruise ship? You can, and you should! Here are 40+ cruise ship games to pack for adults and kids.

If you’re planning a cruise with a lot of sea days , you’re probably wondering what to do for fun during all of that downtime. Cruise ship games like Bingo, trivia contests, and game shows are offered by most cruise lines, but they’re often only scheduled a few times per week.

Although cruise lines offer lots of activities, taking your own games on a cruise ship can be a great idea. I always do! Cruise ships usually have a small library of games for passengers to borrow, but there’s no guarantee which games will be available.

This guide reviews over 40 of the best games to take on a cruise ship for all ages. Some are travel games and some are full-size. Cruise lines don’t have luggage restrictions like airlines do, so if you’re driving to the port, you can take full-size games without worrying that they’re too heavy. Plus, you can take an extra bag (or three!) without any fees.

If you’re flying to the cruise port, you’ll definitely encounter luggage restrictions. I’ve included plenty of smaller travel games for you. I’ve also included the dimensions of each game along with its weight.

Any of these games would also make a great gift for someone going on a cruise !

Disclaimer: I may receive a small commission when you make a purchase from a link on this site, at no added charge to you. For more info, please read my  Disclosure Policy .

Dice games to take on a cruise

cruise ship games for seniors

Left Center Right

Suitable for age 5+, 3 or more players. 3″ x 5.5″ x 1″, 3.2 ounces

What it’s all about

Left Center Right is a fast-paced dice game where players roll to determine which way to pass their chips—to the left, center, or right.

How to play

Each player starts with three chips.

One player starts by rolling three specially-marked dice, with either L, C, R, or a dot on each side.

When a player rolls L, they pass a chip to the left. R means they pass a chip to the right, and C means they put a chip in the center pot. If a player rolls a dot, they keep a chip.

Once the first player completes the actions indicated on the dice, play continues to the left.

If a player has fewer than three chips when it’s their turn to roll, they only roll the number of dice equal to the number of remaining chips.

If a player runs out of chips, they’re not completely out of the game—the players next to them might pass chips to them as the game progresses. However, they can’t roll any dice unless they have at least one chip.

The game continues until only one player has any chips. They are the winner, and take everything in the center pot.

LCR® Left Center Right™ Dice Game - Blue Tin

Why you’ll love this game on a cruise

We play Left Center Right at all of our holiday get-togethers, and it’s great for all ages. There’s no strategy—it’s all luck, so even younger kids can join in the fun with a little help. You can play with the included chips, or switch it up and play with coins or dollar bills.

There’s no reading or math involved, so younger kids who know their letters and left from right (or are trying to learn left and right!) can easily play along with the family.

Pass the Pigs

Suitable for age 7+, 2-4 players. 1.8″ x 4″ x 8.5 , 4.8 ounces

Pass the Pigs may look like it’s just for kids, but it’s actually a dice game —the pigs are the dice!

One player is chosen to be the “swineherd” and is in charge of recording scores on the scorepad.

One player starts by tossing both pigs into the air over the table.

The pigs are weighted, and each has a different value depending on how they land (each pig has a dot on one side), and points are won or lost based on the way the pigs land.

At the end of your turn, the swineherd records your score and you pass the pigs to the next player.

A turn lasts until the player either wipes out their current score, loses their entire game score, or decides to stop their turn. If a player chooses to stop, they add that turn’s score to their total score and pass the pigs to the next player. The winner is the first player to reach 100 points.

Pass The Pigs by Winning Moves Games USA, a Hilarious Pig Dice Game, Family Favorite for Over 40 Years, for 2 or more Players, Ages 7+ (1046)

In addition to being super cute, Pass the Pigs is seriously addictive. Each game lasts only about 15 minutes, and you’ll have so much fun calling out the different positions the pigs land in—like a “double trotter” or “pig out”.

Advanced players can use strategy to decide whether to roll again or pass the pigs to the next player, or you can simply play it as a game of chance.

Suitable for age 7+, 2-4 players. 10.5″ x 1.5″ x 1.5″, 9 ounces

TENZI is an incredibly fast and unique dice game that you can play even with very limited time.

The rules for this game are super simple. Each TENZI player gets 10 dice. Everyone then rolls all of their own dice as quickly as possible.

Players can then choose to re-roll any or all of their dice.

The first player to have all their dice showing the same number (and yell “TENZI!”) is the winner.

TENZI Dice Party Game - A Fun, Fast Frenzy for The Whole Family - 4 Sets of 10 Colored Dice with Storage Tube - Colors May Vary

Each game of TENZI only takes about a minute, so it’s great to have on hand when boredom strikes and you don’t want a long, involved game. There are also tons of variations to the game to mix things up a bit.

Yahtzee to Go

Suitable for age 8+, 2 or more players. 5.4″ x 5.2″ x 3.1″, 7.2 ounces

If you’re familiar with Yahtzee, Yahtzee to Go is just a travel-sized version with the same rules. The game is similar to traditional dice games like Poker Dice, Generala, and Kniffel.

Yahtzee is played with scorecards that contain specific combinations, much like poker, that players are aiming to roll with the dice.

To choose the first player, each player rolls all five dice from the dice cup. Whoever has the highest total goes first.

Players roll the five dice up to three times per turn, choosing which dice to reroll after the first roll.

A score must be entered in the appropriate box on the scorecard after the final roll of each turn, or a zero is entered in a box of the player’s choice.

Once all the scorecard boxes are filled in, the final tally is added up, and the winner is the player with the most points.

Hasbro Yahtzee to Go Travel Game 2014 Gaming

Yahtzee is easy to learn—the rolls you’re aiming for are right on the scorecard, so there’s no confusion (or arguing over rules!). It’s simple enough to play with elementary-age kids, but adults and teens can enjoy the strategic aspects of the game.

Don’t You Forget It

Suitable for age 8+, 2-6 players. 4.5″ x 1.8″ x 7.8″, 0.8 ounces

Don’t You Forget It is an exciting dice rolling game where players have the opportunity to match dice to double, triple, or even quadruple their scores. But watch out! Rolling the wrong combination of words can cause a player to lose their turn.

Players take turns rolling the nine dice, each of which has the numbers 1-5 and one side marked “FOR”, “GET”, or “IT”. Try to get as many dice as possible to match before rolling FOR-GET-IT.

On each turn, certain dice must be set aside on each roll. Word dice must always be set aside. If a player rolls two or more number dice of a kind, they will set aside that number only.

During a turn, a player can choose to keep rolling the remaining dice to try to match the number that was set aside. Or, they can choose to stop at any time and record their score.

At the end of a turn, the face value of the number dice is added up to determine the score. Four of a kind will double the score, five of a kind will triple it, and six will quadruple the score.

Play continues until a player reaches 500 points. The other players then have one last turn to try to beat that total before the player is determined to be the winner.

Pressman Don't You Forget It - Will You Know When to Stop, Blue, 5'

Anyone who enjoys Yahtzee and other dice games will love Don’t You Forget It . The twist is the FOR-GET-IT that will suddenly end your turn! There’s a bit of math involved in this game, so it’s a good one for kids (or adults!) who need to practice their mental multiplication.

Suitable for age 8+, 2 or more players. 7.6″ x 3.6″ x 3.5″, 9.6 ounces

Farkle is a classic dice game where players try their luck to earn as many points as possible in a turn without rolling a Farkle: failing to roll any scoring dice.

Players’ names are written on the scorecard, which describes point values for various combinations of dice.

Each player takes turns rolling the dice. Players roll all six dice at the beginning of a turn.

Any dice that score on the scorecard can be set aside (a 1 or a 5, three of a kind, or a straight of six dice). Any of the dice (except for at least one scoring die) can be re-rolled.

You can pass and bank your points, or risk the points earned so far in the turn and roll the remaining dice.

Your turn continues until either you either decide to stop and tally your score, or you fail to roll any scoring dice on a throw—this is the dreaded Farkle. If you get a Farkle, you can re-roll any dice you haven’t set aside, but all your other points are lost.

The first player to score 10,000 points wins, as long as no other players with a remaining turn can exceed that score.

Farkle: The Family Dice Game | Fun Dice Game for Game Nights | 1 Cup & Dice | 1 Player Game & 75 Scorecard Bundle

Farkle is a fun game for just two people to play, but it’s even more exciting to play with a larger group. Do you keep rolling and try to hit that higher score, or do you fear the dreaded Farkle?

Suitable for age 8+, One or more players. 2″ x 4.3″ x 4.3″, 7.2 ounces

Boggle challenges players to find as many words as possible from a grid of letters before time runs out.

One player shakes the grid to mix up the letter cubes. Then they lift the lid and flip the timer.

All players have 90 seconds to write down as many 3+ letter words as they can find on the grid before time is up.

Words must be created by using adjoining letters in the order in which they appear on the grid horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Words can be spelled backward.

Any word that can be found in a standard dictionary may be used, except for proper nouns.

At the end of the round, each word is scored based on its total number of letters. Longer words earn a higher score.

If two or more players find the same word, that word doesn’t count! The player with the highest score wins.

Hasbro Gaming Boggle Classic Game Brown/a, standart

Boggle is a fast-paced dice game, but with letters instead of numbers. It’s perfect for people who love words and anagrams. Scrabble and Words With Friends players will enjoy this one! You can also play it solo and keep trying to beat your own best score.

Suitable for age 8+, 2-5 players. 5.2″ x 3.8″ x 1.2″, 3.84 ounces

Qwixx is a fast-paced game played with six colorful dice and matching numbered rows that need to be crossed off to score points.

The first player rolls all six dice, and all players can (but don’t have to) cross out that number from any one of the colored rows on their scoresheet.

The first player then adds the sum of one white die and any one of the colored dice. Only that player can cross out that number on the corresponding color row on their score sheet.

Rows on the scoresheet can be locked by any player who has at least five numbers in that row and has a sum that matches the number on the right. That color die is removed from the game.

If the first player hasn’t crossed out at least one number, they mark an “X” in the penalty box. The next player then rolls.

The game ends when one player crosses off the fourth penalty box on their scoresheet OR two of the dice are removed from the game.

Each player subtracts five points per penalty from their total score. The player with the highest score wins.

Gamewright Qwixx - A Fast Family Dice Game Multi-colored, 5'

At first glance, the rules of Qwixx sound complicated, but you’ll get the hang of it quickly. Or should I say Qwickly? (Sorry.) Qwixx is great for anyone who loves dice games but is looking for something a little different than the old favorites.

Card games to take on a cruise

cruise ship games for seniors

Mahjong Cards

Suitable for age 6+, 1 or 4 players. 2.9″ x 2.5″ x 2″, 4.8 ounces.

Mahjong cards is played just like traditional mahjong with tiles. The deck has 156 cards: three suites of 36 circles, characters, and bamboo, plus 16 winds, 12 dragons, 8 flowers and seasons, and 12 jokers. (Remove the jokers for traditional Chinese rules.)

Cards are shuffled, and the players arrange them in the center of the table, 17 cards long and two cards high. After rolling the dice, the dealer deals cards in order to each player.

The goal of the game is to get a mahjong: that’s getting all of your tiles into four sets and one pair of two identical tiles. Sets can be made up of a “pung,” three identical tiles, or a “chow,” three consecutive numbers in the same suit. Play stops after sixteen rounds, or after a pre-determined number of points are scored, or until all the players agree that they are done.

American Mahjong Card Game | Classic Chinese Tile Game in Playing Card Form | 156-Card Deck for Chinese and Western Game Play

The classic game of Mahjong, which has roots dating back to 500 BC, is still a favorite pastime today. If you’re packing light, you might not want to take a full set of tiles and racks on your cruise. Plus, a small deck of Mahjong cards will fit on most tables, so you can play just about anywhere around the ship.

Haven’t played before? The game comes with a set of western rules, covering everything from set up to seating to how to play—no previous knowledge is required. You can play with three friends, or even play solitaire.

Suitable for age 7+, 2-6 players. 3.6″ x 0.8″ x 5.8″, 4.5 ounces.

Phase 10 is a rummy-style game where players race to be the first to complete ten phases.

One player is chosen to be the dealer. They shuffle the deck and deal ten cards, face down, to each player.

The remaining cards become the draw pile. The top card of the draw pile is flipped over to make the discard pile.

During the first hand, players try to complete Phase 1. A phase is a combination of cards, usually composed of sets, runs, cards of the same color, or a combination.

In addition to traditional cards, the deck also contains “Wild” and “Skip” cards. A Wild card can be used in place of a number card, or can be substituted for any color to complete any phase. A Skip card makes your opponent lose a turn.

As the game continues, each player tries to complete the ten phases. You can only advance to the next phase after a phase is complete.

The first person to complete all ten phases wins the game.

No products found.

If you enjoy rummy-type card games, Phase 10 is just that, but with a challenging twist. Each phase you need to complete is specific for each hand dealt. Aiming for a different objective for each phase keeps the game interesting.

Suitable for age 7+, 2-10 players. 6.2″ x 1.3″ x 5.2″, 6.4 ounces.

Uno is a number and color matching card game where players try to play all of their own cards and earn points from the other players’ remaining cards.

The dealer shuffles and deals seven Uno cards to each player. The rest of the cards are placed face-down as the draw pile. The top card on the draw pile is flipped over to make the discard pile.

Players take turns trying to match one of their cards with the card that’s on top of the discard pile. You can match by either color or number.

The deck also includes wild cards and action cards like “skip”, “reverse” and “draw two”. The command on an action card is completed by the next player.

If a player doesn’t have a match or they choose not to play any of their cards, they must draw a card from the draw pile. That card can be played or kept, and the game moves to the next player.

The first player to get rid of all of their cards wins the round. Don’t forget to shout UNO! when you’re down to one card!

The winner of a round receives all the other players’ cards and points are added up. The game ends when the first person scores 500 points. 

Mattel Games UNO Card Game for Family Night, Travel Game & Gift for Kids in a Collectible Storage Tin for 2-10 Players (Amazon Exclusive)

Like a lot of people, UNO was the first card game I learned to play. And I still enjoy it! The official rules say age 7 or up, but younger kids who are learning their numbers can definitely have fun playing it with older kids and adults. Uno’s a great choice to play when you want to involve the whole family.

Suitable for age 7+, 2-6 players. 3.8″ x 8″ x 0.8″, 8 ounces.

Skip-Bo is a sequencing card game where players try to create stacks of sequentially numbered cards (from low to high) until they have no cards left.

The dealer shuffles and deals cards face down to the players (30 cards each for 2-4 players, and 20 cards each for five or more players).

These cards create a player’s stock pile. Each player turns over the top card from their own stock pile. The top card of the stock pile is always turned face-up.

The rest of the cards are placed face-down to form the draw pile.

The first player begins their turn by taking cards from the draw pile until they have five cards in their hand.

During their turn, a player can choose to play cards from their hand, from the top card of their stock pile, or from one of the top cards of their own discard piles.

Up to four build piles can be created in the middle of the table at the same time. To create a build pile, a player has to start it with a ”1” card.

Players can only play the next highest card on top of any of their build piles. The goal is to get rid of cards by building piles from 1-12 in sequential order. Skip-Bo cards are wild.

When any of the build piles reaches twelve, the pile is set aside.

If a player plays all five cards in their hand, they can continue their turn by taking five new cards from the draw pile.

When a player has played all of the cards they want to play, they discard one of the cards from their hand into one of their four discard piles. Any card can be placed face-up and in any order into these piles.

Play moves to the next player, who draws from the draw pile if they are holding fewer than five cards.

When the draw pile runs out of cards, all of the completed building piles are reshuffled to replenish the draw pile.

The first player to empty all cards from their stock pile is the winner!

Mattel Games A Timeless Card Game, a Family Favorite!, 52370

Skip-Bo is a fun sequencing card game for young and old alike. The wild cards can really help you win, so use them wisely. If your family likes Uno but is looking for something just a little more challenging, this is the next game you should try!

Exploding Kittens

Suitable for age 7+, 2-5 players. 11.2″ x 16.2″ x 3.8″, 6.4 ounces.

Don’t let the name fool you—no kittens are actually harmed during the game! Exploding Kittens is a highly-strategic, Russian roulette-style game.

Players draw cards until someone draws an exploding kitten, at which point the player explodes. (Not really, we’re pretending, just like the kittens.) A dead player is out of the game, unless they have a defuse card. That card can defuse the kitten using laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches.

All the other cards in the deck are used to move or avoid the exploding kittens.

Sounds crazy? Exploding Kittens is the highest-funded game in the history of Kickstarter! It’s actually the most-backed crowd-funded project ever. Plus, it has over 10,000 stellar Amazon reviews.

Exploding Kittens Original Edition - Hilarious Games for Family Game Night - Funny Card Games for Ages 7 and Up - 56 Cards

Exploding Kittens is a fun and quirky card game for people who are looking for something a little different. The rules are easy to learn, and the whole family will love to play. Plus, the offbeat illustrations on the cards are seriously funny.

There are lots of expansion packs available, so you might want to pick up a compatible hard travel case for up to 400 cards .

Sequence (Travel Edition)

Suitable for age 8+, 2-4 players. 9.5″ x 5.8″ x 2″, 9.6 ounces.

Sequence is a strategic card game where players try to line up a sequence of colored pegs on the playing board.

Players take turns choosing a card from their hand and discarding it face-up. They can then place a peg in the corresponding slot in the board and draw another card.

Jacks make the game exciting—two-eyed Jacks are wild, and one-eyed Jacks can be used to remove a competitor’s peg from the board. But playing a one-eyed Jack will end your turn, so use them wisely!

The winner is the first to get the required number of sequences on the board.

Travel Classics: Sequence - The Exciting Game of Strategy in A Compact Travel Version by Goliath, White

Travel Sequence is a mini-sized version of the game, so it’s great for packing light. It has much of the fun of the original game, with a couple of key changes. Travel Sequence is for 2-4 players, but the regular game can be played by up to 12 players .

The travel version’s gameplay is also much faster. It’s played with one deck of cards (not two), and you only need four pegs of the same color in a row instead of five to make a sequence.

Mille Bornes

Suitable for age 7+, 2, 3, 4 or 6 players. 10″ x 8″ x 8″, 8 ounces.

Mille Bornes, pronounced “meel born” is French for  a thousand milestones,  a reference to the cement distance markers on French roads. It’s a classic auto-racing card game , invented in France in the 1950s.

The players are in an auto race that’s 1000 miles (or kilometers) long, hence the name. For two- or three-player games the goal is 700 miles.

Mille Bornes is played with a special deck of 110 cards. Included are hazard, remedy, safety, and distance cards. Hazards are corrected with a corresponding remedy card. Hazards can also be prevented by using a safety card. The target can be reached by playing the distance cards.

The game begins with the dealer dealing six cards to each player. Play begins to the dealer’s left. Each player draws one card at the beginning of their turn and either plays or discards one card to end their turn.

After drawing a card, a player can play one of four types of cards in their hand:

  • Distance Cards:  These cards get you closer to the finish line. You must have a roll card in your pile to place a distance card, unless you have the “right of way” safety card in your pile.
  • Hazard Cards:  These cards disrupt an opponent’s movement. Hazards include out of gas, flat tire, stop, and accident.
  • Speed Limit Cards:  These cards can be placed onto your opponent’s speed pile to restrict the distance cards that player can use.
  • Safety Cards:  There are four safety cards that grant immunity to a hazard. They can be played during a turn or used as a Coup Fourré, which ends your opponent’s turn.

The game continues until the first player reaches 1,000 miles exactly or the final card is played after the draw pile is empty.

Mille Bornes Classic Racing Card Game - Fast-Paced Family Strategy Game for Ages 7+, 2-6 Players, 20 Minute Playtime - By Zygomatic

Mille Bornes is a great family game that can be played by elementary-aged kids through adults. Be aware that you can play with two, three, four, or six players, but five players won’t work. An average game takes about 25 minutes.

The race is exciting—you can trip up your opponents with accidents, flat tires, slowdowns, and other hazards. But just like in real life, a little bit of safety can prevent catastrophe!

Cover Your Assets

Suitable for age 7+, 2-8 players. 2.2″ x 1.6″ x 0.4″, 9.6 ounces.

Cover Your Assets is a classic strategy card game where you try to make a fortune by collecting matching pairs of asset cards in a stack. But, the set of assets on the top of your stack can be stolen by the other players!

The dealer shuffles and deals four cards face-down to each player (in a two-player game each player gets five cards).

The rest of the cards are placed face-down to form the draw pile, and the top card is flipped over to make the discard pile.

The player to the left of the dealer starts, and play continues clockwise.

During a turn, players can do one of the four things: play a pair of cards, match the top card from the discard pile, steal cards from another player, or discard a card.

Two cards of the same type can be played as a pair. Only one pair can be played during a turn. One silver or gold wild card can be used per pair.

Each pair of cards played is placed in a player’s asset pile, on top of any previous pairs.

If a card matches the top of the discard pile, that pair is added to a player’s assets.

When stealing the top pair of assets from an opponent, A player must already have at least one pair of assets, plus a card that matches the cards they are trying to steal. If the opponent doesn’t have at least two pairs in the pile, their assets can’t be stolen.

Each time a set is stolen its value increases, so other players will be more likely to try to steal it. As the game’s name warns you, the best way to protect a high-value set is to cover those assets with a new set of assets. 

At the end of each player’s turn, they draw cards to return their hand to its original number of cards.

The round ends when the draw pile is empty and the players have played or discarded the cards in their hands. Assets are totaled for the round, and another round begins as long as no player has reached a million dollars total in all rounds.

The first player to reach a million dollars in assets is the winner.

Grandpa Beck's Games Cover Your Assets | from The Creators of Skull King | Easy to Learn and Outrageously Fun for Kids, Teens, & Adults Alike | 2-6 Players Ages 7+

Cover Your Assets is fast-paced and competitive. You can make a fortune, or lose it, in just a few turns. You’ll never really be sure who’s going to win until the last card is played.

If you enjoy the ruthless competition of a good game of Monopoly, this is a much faster game that may just satisfy your need to amass a fortune and take all you can from your family and friends!

Loaded Questions on the Go

Suitable for age 8+, 4-6 players. 3.6″ x 0.8″ x 5.5″, 3.2 ounces.

Loaded Questions poses various questions, challenging rotating players to guess which other player is responsible for each answer.

The question cards are placed face-down in the middle of the table, and each player writes their name at the top of their score sheet. Players take turns picking a card and reading their favorite question aloud. The other players write down their answers on their sheets.

The Reader then collects the sheets, shuffles them, and reads them aloud. The player who read the question then tries to guess which answer belongs to which player.

For each correct guess, that player can fill in one bubble on their score sheet. The first player to fill eight bubbles (for a four-player game) or ten bubbles (when playing with five or six) is the winner.

All Things Equal, Inc. Loaded Questions On The Go, Card Game, Fun Questions, Personal Answers, Instant Laughter, 4 to 6 Players, For Ages 8 and up

Loaded Questions on the Go has a mix of serious and silly questions. There are definitely some conversation starters here!

If you already have the original game, you’ll be happy to know that this version has different questions than the original.

Loaded Questions is perfect for cruising with a multi-generation family. It’s a great way to get everyone involved. Plus, you might just learn something new about your family members that you never expected!

Five Crowns Mini Round

Suitable for ages 8+, 2-4 players. 2.1″ x 2.1″ x 1.1″, 0.32 ounces.

Another rummy-style game, Five Crowns Mini Round is a shorter, faster version of the original game.

Five Crowns has a unique double deck with 5 suits: spades, clubs, hearts, diamonds, and stars. This makes it easier to arrange your entire hand into books and runs. Plus, a rotating wild card keeps the game interesting.

Play begins with three cards and threes are wild. The next round has four cards and fours are wild, continuing until the sevens are wild. The first player to go out wins: whoever is able to arrange all their cards into books or runs with only one card remaining.

Five Crowns Mini Round Card Game

This miniature version of Five Crowns still has the fun features of the original game. Play lasts just five rounds (the full game has 11), so each game takes 15 minutes or less. It fits in a 2” tin, perfect if you’re packing light for your cruise.

Monopoly Deal

Suitable for age 8+, 2-5 players. 0.8″ x 3.6″ x 5.6″, 0.32 ounces.

Monopoly Deal is a simplified, quick-playing version of the classic property building Monopoly game.

On each turn, players pick up cards and play action cards to steal other players’ cards, charge them rent, or demand money for their birthday.

The dealer gives each player a quick start reference card, shuffles the rest of the cards and deals five to each player.

The remaining cards go face-down in the center of the table for the draw pile.

The first player takes two cards from the draw pile and plays up to three cards in front of them. They can put money or bank cards into their own bank, place property cards into their collection, and/or play an action card into the center.

At the end of each turn, players discard any extra cards in their hand to the bottom of the draw pile to bring them to the maximum of seven cards.

Play moves to the next player. If a player has run out of cards at the start of a turn, they draw five before beginning their turn.

The first player to collect three full property sets of different colors wins the game.

Hasbro Gaming Monopoly Deal Card Game, Quick-Playing Card Game for 2-5 Players, Game for Families and Kids, Ages 8 and Up (Amazon Exclusive)

If you love the competitiveness of Monopoly, but don’t want to start a three-hour (or longer!) game, you’ll love Monopoly Deal . Game play lasts just 15-30 minutes!

Plus, the game is super-small. You won’t need to worry about a game board with lots of little pieces, plus piles of cards and paper money filling up a large table—that’s not very practical on a crowded cruise ship.

This game is just as competitive as the original Monopoly, but faster and easier to play on the go.

Suitable for age 8+, 2-6 players. 0.8″ x 3.6″ x 5.6″, 3.2 ounces.

Rook is similar to bridge, with tricks and trumps. But Rook is played with a special 57-card deck containing four suits: red, green, black, and yellow. Cards are numbered from 1 to 14. The Rook card is a high-value card that you can use as an extra trump.

The game comes with both beginner and advanced rules, but basically you and your partner (the game is usually played in pairs, but there are variations for two or three player games) try to score as many points as possible with the cards in your hand.

During each hand, players bid for trump. The team that wins the bid must make at least the amount of points they bid in the hand.

The card that’s led must be followed by a card of the same color. A player may play a trump color if they have none of the right color. The highest card played wins the trick—unless the trick is trumped, and then the highest trump wins. The Rook card can be played at any time, and always wins the trick.

The first team to reach 300 points (or another amount that you choose) is the winner.

Hasbro Gaming Rook Card Game

If you like whist games like Bridge, you’ll enjoy Rook —the play of each trick is similar. But there’s a twist. The amount of tricks isn’t important, but certain cards (fives, tens, fourteens, and the Rook card) in tricks are worth points, which is how the game is scored.

Rook is a fun game to bring along if you’re traveling with couples, or an even number of card-loving friends!

Suitable for age 8+, 2-5 players. 4.2″ x 5.8″ x 1.5″, 8.5 ounces.

In Sushi GO! the goal is to pick the best combination of sushi dishes. Players can score points for making the most maki rolls or for collecting a full set of sashimi. You can even triple a score by dipping your sushi in wasabi!

The dealer deals a certain number of cards to each player, depending on how many people are playing. The rest of the cards go in a pile face-down in the middle of the table.

At the beginning of each round, all players choose one card from their own hand to keep, and place it face down. Everyone then reveals their chosen cards.

Then the remaining hands are passed to the left for the next turn, where another card is chosen. Play continues until each player is handed a single card, which is kept with the other chosen cards.

When scoring, each type of food item is worth a different amount of points. Some are worth more if a player has collected multiples. The score from each of the three rounds is added together at the end of the game.

After the third round is scored, it’s time for dessert, and the scoring of the pudding cards. The player with the most pudding receives six points, and whoever has the fewest pudding cards loses six points. The player with the most total points wins.

Sushi Go! - The Pick and Pass Card Game

Sushi Go! is a fast-playing card game. Each game only takes about fifteen minutes! The concept and the cards are really cute, but it also helps teach younger players strategic thinking and probability.

If you have a larger group, the larger Sushi Go Party! version of the game can be played by up to eight players.

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza

Suitable for age 8+, 3-8 players. 3.5″ x 2.5″ x 1″, 3.2 ounces.

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is another quirky game that first blew up on Kickstarter. But this game is as unique (much like its name). The game is played with a single deck of 64 cute illustrated cards including a cute taco, cat, goat, piece of cheese and slice of pizza (the smiling narwhal is my fave).

The dealer distributes the cards evenly among the players. The player to the dealer’s left puts a card into the community pile face-up, and says “taco”. The next player to the left then puts their card face-up on top of the pile, then says “cat”.

This continues in order until a player puts down a card that matches the word they call out. Then all players slap a hand on top of the pile as quickly as possible. The last player to slap their hand has to take all of the cards in the pile.

The action cards (gorilla, narwhal, and groundhog) each require players to make a specific funny gesture before slapping the deck.

The winner is the first player to slap the deck after getting rid of all their cards.

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is fun for all ages. It’s a super-competitive party game for families or even a group of adults. Its rules are simple, so it’s easy to learn. But it’s harder than it looks to win!

As simple as it is, the game requires concentration to take the right action at the right time. Your mind will play tricks on you, and you WILL make silly mistakes, so be prepared to laugh a lot!

Suitable for age 9+, 2-3 players. 4.8″ x 3.5″ x 1.5″, 7 ounces.

Cribbage is played with a deck of cards as well as a pegboard and pegs. It’s a two-phase game, with the opportunity to score points during both parts. Cribbage begins with card play, and then players score the points in their hand.

You collect points by combining cards together to make runs, or by scoring combinations.

The object of the game is to advance your pegs around the two tracks, completing the circuits before your opponent. With each point you score, you advance one space. A player needs 121 points to finish and win the game.

WE Games Wooden Travel Cribbage Board Set, Travel Crib Board with Swivel Top Opening and for Card Storage, 2 Track Cribbage Board Game Set with Cards and Pegs, Mini Board Games for Adults

For those who aren’t math whizzes, the math in a game of cribbage is simple, but your tactics and strategy are key to winning. Every game is a little different—sometimes you’re focusing on scoring points, but suddenly you’ll be working harder to stop your opponent from scoring.

Texas Hold’Em

Suitable for age 10+, 2-10 players. 11.5″ x 7.4″ x 4.8″, 3.75 pounds.

Texas Hold’Em is a variation of poker, but is very different from the traditional game, with different strategies and methods of winning.

The most obvious difference is the number of cards that are dealt to each player at the beginning of the game. In Texas Hold’Em, each player gets two cards instead of the traditional four. You can then choose whether to use one or both of those cards in combination with the community cards.

After the cards are dealt, you check to see if you have a playable hand. Then each player can either call the blind, raise it, or fold if their cards aren’t playable.

After the first round of betting, three community cards are dealt face up. Another round of betting, then the turn card is dealt.  After the next round of betting, the final community card is dealt face up. Three out of the five community cards can be used by all players to make their poker hand. Then the final round of betting happens, and the player with the best five-card hand wins the pot.

Gamie Texas Holdem Poker Game Set - Includes Hold’em Mat, 2 Card Decks, Chips, Chip Holder and Tin Storage Box - Fun Game Night Supplies - Cool Casino Gift for Kids & Adults

Ships’ casinos sometimes have Texas Hold’Em tournaments, but if you want to play wherever and whenever you want, this portable set is for you. Plus, you can play with friends, and not have to worry about the casino taking their cut!

On a few of my recent cruises, the casino canceled Texas Hold’Em because not enough players had signed up. So if you know you want to play, it’s a good idea to pack your own set.

Suitable for age 10+, 2-8 players. 2.8″ x 6.3″ x 9″, 1.25 pounds.

Codenames is a word game, but with spies! There are two rival spymasters, and only they know the secret identities of 25 agents. Teammates only know the agents’ codenames. Each team competes to be the first to make contact with all of their agents.

Spymasters give their teammates one-word clues, trying to get them to guess words on the table. Players try to guess words of their own team’s color while not guessing the opposing team’s words.

There are other cards in the mix as well: a double agent card, seven innocent bystander cards, and the dreaded assassin card. Avoid the assassin!

CGE Czech Games Edition Codenames Boardgame

Codenames can be played with just two players, essentially two people playing together against the game itself. ( Codenames Duet , a variation on the original, is much more fun for two). A group of four players also works—the non-spymasters will guess words without help from a teammate.

But, Codenames is best played with a group of six or more. So if you’re cruising with a group of family or friends, this is a lively and exciting game of spies vs. spies!

Apples to Apples

Suitable for age 12+, 4-8 players. 6.8″ x 2.8″ x 4.1″, 1 pound.

Apples to Apples is a party game where players try to make the most appropriate, humorous, or even bizarre match between an adjective and several nouns.

Apples to Apples has two types of cards: things and descriptions. Players are dealt seven red things cards, and everyone takes turns being the judge and reading the next green description card. Everyone else tries to pick the thing that best matches the description from the cards in their hand.

If the judge likes your choice the best, you keep the description card. The first player to collect the total amount of description cards specified in the instructions for the size of the group wins.

Mattel Games Apples to Apples Card Game, Family Game for Game Night with Family-Friendly Words to Make Crazy Combinations

Apples to Apples is a family-friendly card game that will have everyone laughing. If you like Cards Against Humanity but you want a less-risqué game to play with younger players (or your parents!), then this is the game for you.

Is the judge a bit kooky, or are they literal-minded? The better you know each player, the more likely you are to guess how they’ll pick their favorite combinations. But watch out! Some people will surprise you!

Unstable Unicorns

Suitable for age 14+, 2-8 players. 5.8″ x 4″ x 2″, 12.2 ounces.

Unstable Unicorns is a strategy game where players try to complete a stable of seven unicorns while trying to destroy their opponents’ unicorns. Magic, Instant, Upgrade, and Downgrade cards make sure that the game is exciting and unpredictable.

After setting up a nursery and draw pile, each player gets one baby unicorn card for their stable. The dealer deals five cards to each player. The player wearing the most colorful clothes goes first. Each turn is made up of four phases:

  • Beginning of your turn : If any card has an effect that happens “at the beginning of your turn”, use that effect now.
  • Draw Phase : Draw one card from the draw pile.
  • Action Phase : Play one card from your hand or draw one more card.
  • End of your turn : Discard any cards you’re holding over the seven-card limit.

The first player to complete their unicorn army is the winner.

Unstable Games - Unstable Unicorns Base Game - Competitive Award-Winning Card Game For Kids, Teens, Adults - 2-8 Players, Easy, Quick

Unstable Unicorns won the 2019 People’s Choice Award for Toy of the Year , and is one of the top 100 most-backed Kickstarter projects of all time.

The game takes only 30-45 minutes to play, and is competitive fun for teens and adults. Slightly younger kids can play as well, if they can handle having their stables destroyed!

Make it even more travel-friendly with a colorful rainbow travel case to continue the unicorn theme.

Cards Against Humanity

Suitable for 17+, 4-20+ players. 7″ x 3.5″ x 4.5″, 2.25 pounds.

Much like Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity challenges players to make the best match, but with questions and answers.

As the makers of the game say, Cards Against Humanity is “a party game for horrible people”. That pretty much sums it up, but it’s lots of fun to play.

The rules of Cards Against Humanity are super-simple. The game comes with 100 black question cards and 500 white answer cards.

At the beginning of the game, each player draws ten white cards. One player is chosen as the Card Czar (this job rotates each round) and reads a question out loud from a black card. Everyone else chooses the funniest answer from one of their white cards.

Players answer the question by passing their chosen white card, face down, to the Card Czar.

The Card Czar shuffles all of the answer cards and reads the question with each answer to the group. The Card Czar then picks the funniest result, and whoever submitted it gets one “Awesome Point”.

The rules don’t say how to win the game. Just have fun until you don’t feel like playing anymore, or make up your own rules on how to win!

Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity can be played with small or large groups, and it’s easy to learn. There’s no game board or complicated scoring system to worry about.

However, his game can be pretty vulgar. There are swears. There are “inappropriate” topics. Lots of them. Don’t expect to be able to play this game with kids or anyone who is easily offended. I recommend that if you play this on a cruise, find a spot away from where any children are gathered.

If you already have the game and some expansion packs, bring them along in a compatible travel case.

These Cards Will Get You Drunk

Suitable for adults, 2-8 players. 3.6″ x 2.6″ x 1.2″, 3.2 ounces.

Unsurprisingly, These Cards Will Get You Drunk is a drinking game. It doesn’t have any points or scoring (which is good after a few drinks).

Essentially, players take turns reading the instructions on a card, and following the directions.

Some examples of card instructions are, “Tell a joke. If no one else chuckles or laughs, you drink.” Or, “Everyone wearing a shirt with buttons drinks”.

You can play with whatever drink you choose—alcoholic or not. Keep playing until you run out of cards, or whenever you want to stop.

These Cards Will Get You Drunk, Fun Adult Drinking Game for Parties

This game’s easy rules   and fun challenges will have everyone laughing hysterically. It’s great for a cruise with an open bar or when you have an unlimited drink package .

Make some new friends and use the game as an icebreaker! It’s best played with a bunch of people.

Domino and Tile Games

cruise ship games for seniors

Qwirkle Travel Size

Suitable for age 6+, 2-4 players. 5.5″ x 6″ x 2″, 5.3 ounces.

Qwirkle is a tile game that’s similar to Scrabble and Rummikub, but with shapes and colors instead of letters or numbers.

The travel size version of Qwirkle is played with 108 wooden tiles. The top side of each tile has one of six shapes in one of six colors.

The game is easy to learn: players build lines by matching tiles by color or by shape. A played tile must share the same color or shape as the adjacent tile, and must be placed in the same vertical or horizontal line.

Players each draw six tiles from the bag, and the rest of the tiles remain in the bag.

During each player’s turn, they can do one of two things:

  • Add one or more tiles to the grid and take that many tiles from the bag (to again be holding six tiles)
  • Trade some or all of their tiles with tiles from the bag.

Players score one point for each tile in a line when creating or adding to that line. If a tile is part of two lines, it will score two points.

When a player completes a line of six tiles, it’s a Qwirkle! Six bonus points are scored.

The first player to use all of their tiles gets a six-point bonus and the game ends. The player with the highest score is the winner.

MindWare Travel Qwirkle Board Game

Even young kids can play Qwirkle , as long as they can recognize shapes and colors (or they’re learning!) It’s still lots of fun for older kids and adults.

The travel version of Qwirkle comes in a zippered bag that’s used to hold tiles during the game. It’s easy to set up and pack up again after each game.

Rummikub on the Go

Suitable for age 8+, 2-4 players. 14″ x 1.8″ x 5.2″, 1.61 pounds.

Rummikub is a rummy-style game played with 106 numbered tiles. The goal of the game is to place all of your tiles on the table as part of a set.

Players begin by scrambling all of the tiles on the table, face-down.

Each player draws fourteen tiles from the table and places them on their rack. On everyone’s first turn, the goal is to make a set of one or more groups or runs that add up to 30 or more points.

Groups are formed when three or four tiles of the same number are played together. Runs are formed when three or more numbers of the same color are put together. Playing a group or a run makes a set.

If a player can’t make at least 30 points on the first turn, they can take a tile from the pool. That tile can’t be played until the next turn, but then they’ll have another chance to get in the game.

In subsequent turns, players try to add tiles to a run or a group.

The first player to get rid of all the tiles on their rack shouts, “Rummikub!” All the other players add up the value of the tiles on their racks, and their scores are written as negative numbers. The winner’s score is the total number of the other players’ tile values.

Rummikub - The Complete Original Game With Full-Size Racks and Tiles in a Durable Canvas Storage/Travel Case by Pressman - Amazon Exclusive

If you like the original Rummikub game, Rummikub on the Go includes the same full-size racks and tiles, but in a canvas travel bag instead of a bulky box.

Rummikub is a fast-moving game that’s easy to learn. With a combination of luck and strategy needed to win, you never know who will achieve victory until the very end.

Tile Lock Scrabble

Suitable for age 8+, 2-4 players. 10.8″ x 2″ x 11″, 15.5 ounces.

Scrabble is the classic crossword-style game, played with a game board, 100 letter tiles, and a rack for each player that hides their tiles from the other contestants.

The object of the game is to fit high-scoring words onto the grid, connecting with or adding to the other words on the board.

All words played must appear in a dictionary that the players agree on beforehand (make sure you download a Scrabble word checker app that works offline to avoid any arguments!) Words that are never allowed include words that are always capitalized, abbreviations, prefixes and suffixes, and words that contain a hyphen or apostrophe.

Players draw seven letters from the included pouch and arrange them on their rack. The first player’s word can be made horizontally or vertically on the board, just as long as it passes through the center square.

Turns continue, with each player using the tiles from their rack to fit words on the board. Each new word must connect to at least one letter in a word that was already played.

Words are scored based on the value of each letter, plus any bonus points earned from placing a letter on a premium square in the grid.

After each turn, players draw new tiles from the bag, (as long as the bag still contains tiles) to again have seven tiles on their rack.

The game ends when a player uses their last letter, or when no more possible words can be made. The player with the highest score wins.

Tile Lock Scrabble,2 to 4 players

Scrabble can be played by elementary-age kids through adults, and it’s great for reinforcing spelling and building vocabulary (I like to add to the rules when playing with kids: each player has to define words aloud as they play them).

Tile Lock Scrabble comes with a 10.5” square board, slightly smaller tiles than the original game, and four tile racks.

The tiles don’t actually lock into the board, but each tile sits inside raised nubs that surround each square. If the board gets bumped, the tiles will stay in place.

If you’re a Scrabble nut like me and tiles that aren’t arranged neatly drive you crazy, you’ll love this feature!

Mexican Train

Suitable for age 8+, 2-8 players. 5.5″ x 6.5″ x 2″, 1.75 pounds.

The object of Mexican Train is to be the first player to get rid of all your dominoes. When the first player goes out, the tiles left in the other players’ hands count against them. So be strategic and play your high-numbered tiles.

The game starts by placing the double-12 tile in the center of the hub to make the “engine”. The rest of the dominoes are shuffled face-down on the table to make the “boneyard”.

Players then take the appropriate number of dominoes from the boneyard (as few as eight, but up to twelve depending on how many players) and stand them up so the others can’t see their values.

The first player begins to build a single row of dominoes (a “train”), starting from the center domino and moving toward themself. The end of the domino placed near the engine must match the engine’s number.

When any player can’t start a train on their first turn, they can draw from the boneyard. If they choose the right domino, they can play it immediately. If they don’t pick the domino they need, they place a marker where a domino would have gone. Any player can play a domino on a marker in a future turn.

The round continues until a player has one last domino, which is announced by shouting, “Uno!”. The round finishes when one player has no more tiles to play or no more tiles can be played at all.

To determine the scores, any player with an empty hand scores zero points. The other players add up the total number of dots on the dominoes remaining in their hand. Whoever has the lowest number of points wins the round.

After all rounds are completed, the player with the fewest total points is the game winner.

Double 12 Mexican Train Number Dominoes to Go Travel Size with Zip Up Case, Hub & 8 Domino Trains

At just under two pounds, this travel Mexican Train set is not the lightest game on the list. But if you’re not flying (or you’re otherwise a light packer), it’s a fun game to take along on your cruise.

Mexican Train is great for families as well as adults. The cute train markers and colorful dominoes make it more appealing than traditional dominoes for younger players.

This game can become addictive, so you’ll want to play multiple times during your cruise!

Lexicon-Go!

Suitable for age 8+, 2-4 players. 1″ x 1″ x 3.1″, 14.2 ounces.

Lexicon-Go! is a super-fast word game where players race to get rid of their tiles by creating words, swapping letters, and attacking opponents’ words.

To start the game, players shuffle the letter tiles face-down on the table to make the draw pile. Each player draws ten tiles and places them face down in front of them. One player shouts “Lex-Go!” and all players then flip over their tiles. The race is on to get rid of all your letter tiles.

Players can get rid of tiles in several ways:

  • Make a word: Place letter tiles on the table face-up in rows.
  • Build on another player’s word: Add a letter or letters to another player’s word, changing the word. New letters can be added to the beginning, middle, or end of a word.
  • Replace a letter: You can replace a letter from another player’s word, but you must then take the replaced letter tile.
  • Swap a tile: You can replace one of your letter tiles for one in the draw pile, but you need to shout “Swap!”. You can only make another swap after another player has swapped out a tile.

When a player has used all of their letter tiles, they shout, “Lexicon!”. If all of their words are valid, they win the round. If any of their words are invalid, they don’t win the round, and play continues.

Players repeat playing rounds until the first player takes five rounds to win the game.

Lexicon-GO! Word Game

If you love Scrabble but want to try something new (or you don’t have room to pack even a travel-sized game board), Lexicon-Go! is the cruise game for you.

For those familiar with the card game Lexicon, this is a speed version with tiles. The biggest differences are that this game isn’t turn-based, and the letters don’t have specific values. But, you could play the original game with the tiles as well. Just be sure to bring your instructions along.

This game won’t take up much room in your luggage—the cute L-shaped travel bag is small and light for a tile game, weighing in at less than a pound.

Carcassonne Travel Edition

Suitable for age 8+, 2-5 players. 7.9″ x 1.6″ x 7.9″, 14.2 ounces.

Carcassonne is a medieval-themed civilization game that’s played by building a game board with square land tiles that depict various types of terrain and landmarks.

To begin, the start tile is placed in the center of the table, and the scoring track is placed near the edge of the table. All of the other tiles are shuffled and placed face-down in a stack.

Each player takes eight ”follower” pieces of the same color and places one of them on the number zero on the scoreboard.

One player goes first, and turns pass clockwise around the table.

During a turn, players complete the following steps in order:

  • Draw one land tile and place it adjacent to an existing tile.
  • Place one follower on that tile, if desired.
  • Score any completed roads, cities, or cloisters (farms continue to grow, so they are scored at the end of the game).
  • Return followers from completed elements in step 3 to the player.

When placing land tiles, players must do so according to some basic rules:

  • The new tile must be placed with at least one side joined to the side of an existing tile.
  • The side of the new tile that’s joining to an existing tile must match in terrain type (road, field, or city)
  • If it’s impossible for a tile to be placed, the player returns the tile and draws another.

When placing followers, players must follow these rules:

  • Only place one follower per turn.
  • A follower can only be placed on the tile that player just placed.
  • The follower must be clearly placed on all or a portion of a road, city, cloister, or field.
  • Followers can’t be placed on a terrain feature that’s already claimed by another follower.

When a player has deployed all his followers, he continues to play tiles each turn.

A player is never allowed to retake one of his followers from a tile, although they are returned when roads, cities, or cloisters are finished.

Play continues until all land tiles have been placed. Scoring then is done for all of the farms, as well as for any incomplete terrain types.

The player with the highest score is the winner.

Rio Grande Carcassonne Travel Edition

If you like map-based games like Risk or Civilization, you’ll enjoy this one. Game play is only about 30-45 minutes, so you won’t be sucked into a complicated hours-long game on your vacation.

This travel version of Carcassonne plays just like the original, but the components are slightly smaller to make it more travel-friendly.

The cloth carrying sack stores all of the tiles and followers, and has the scoring track printed right on it. The land tiles create the game board, so there’s no extra board to bring along.

If you’re interested in learning to play Carcassonne, I highly recommend this two-part YouTube video that demonstrates how to play for beginners.

Bananagrams Party Edition

Suitable for age 10+, 2-8 players. 22.5″ x 8.5″ x 8.5″, 14.1 ounces.

Bananagrams is a crossword-style word game where players race to make words in their own grids and use up all of their letters.

Players shuffle all the letter tiles face-down on the table to create the ”bunch”. Each player draws the appropriate number of tiles from the bunch, depending on the number of people playing.

After each player draws, the party tiles are added to the bunch. Party tiles have a symbol on them that corresponds to an action.

To start the game, one player yells, “Split!”. All players then turn over their tiles and arrange them to form words in their grid.

A player can discard an unusable letter, but they must then take three tiles in exchange.

If you draw a party tile from the bunch, you have to use it immediately. Some tiles require a single action, but others continue until the end of the hand. When the action has been completed, the party tile is taken out of play.

When someone uses the last of their letters, they shout, “Peel!” and everyone takes another tile from the bunch. If there aren’t enough tiles in the bunch for each player to take one, the player instead shouts, “Bananas!”.

After bananas is called, the other players have the chance to inspect that player’s grid. If it contains any invalid words, like a misspelling or a proper noun, the players shout, “Rotten banana!”. The rotten banana is out of the game and their tiles are added to the bunch.

Play continues until someone else calls “Bananas!” If all of their words are acceptable, they become the ”Top Banana” and win the game.

Bananagrams Party Edition

Bananagrams Party Edition is an exciting alternative to traditional crossword games. With its 14 party tiles including The Re-Gifter, The Thief, Switcheroo, and Pouch Head, you never know what’s going to happen!

Bad spellers beware, though. One misspelled word and you’re out of the game. This is a fun game for word fanatics, from late-elementary age to adult.

Its cute banana-shaped travel pouch makes Bananagrams easy to throw in your luggage, and it weighs less than a pound.

Other types of games to take on a cruise

cruise ship games for seniors

Connect 4 Grab & Go

Suitable for age 6+, 2 players. 1.9″ x 6.3″ x 9.2″, 7.2 ounces.

Connect 4 is a classic match-four strategy game that’s played on a vertical grid. Players drop colored checkers Into the grid to try to be the first to match four in a row of their color.

Players begin by assembling the board, which has a round base with slots that the grid fits in, so the grid stands upright. Place the grid between the two players.

One player then takes all of the black checkers, and the other takes the red checkers.

Players alternate turns, dropping checkers through any of the seven slots at the top of the grid.

The first player to make a line of four checkers in their color, horizontally, diagonally, or vertically is the winner.

Connect 4 Grab and Go Game (‎Original version)

If you like no-frills strategy games like tic-tac-toe, Connect Four is a slightly longer-playing version. It’s an easy game to teach younger kids, and they can develop strategy with practice.

This travel version plays just like the full size, but it’s more compact to easily fit in a bag.

Packing and storing the game is convenient, as all of the checkers can be stored in the grid, and the checker trays fold for portability.

Suitable for age 6+, 1 or more players. 5″ x 11.3″ x 7.6″, 2.15 pounds.

Jenga is a block-stacking game where players try not to be the one who makes the tower topple over.

Players begin by building the Jenga tower. Three blocks are placed side-by-side on the table. Three more blocks are placed on top, with the ends of the blocks facing the opposing direction.

Continue stacking until you’ve used up all of the blocks and you have a rectangular tower.

Players take turns trying to remove a block from the tower without touching any other block. This can be done by carefully pushing or tapping a block from one side, and pulling it out from the stack.

Once a block is removed, it’s placed on top of the tower, using the same pattern used to build the tower. The game continues until the tower falls, or a block falls from the tower that wasn’t removed.

If you’re playing with three or more people, there’s no clear winner, but the loser is the last person to touch the tower before it falls.

Hasbro Gaming Jenga Wooden Blocks Stacking Tumbling Tower Kids Game Ages 6 and Up (Amazon Exclusive)

Jenga is such a simple game—it’s just wooden blocks! But being really good at it requires a very steady hand, patience and concentration, and a bit of strategy.

Jenga can be played as a solitaire game (just keep trying to build higher towers), one-on-one, or with a group.

Be prepared to have lots of cheering onlookers if you’re building a teetering tower on the Lido deck!

This is the full-sized Jenga game, although Mini Jenga does exist. The mini version is much harder to play because the blocks are smaller and lighter.

Battleship (Travel Size)

Suitable for age 7+, 2 players. 1.9″ x 6.3″ x 9.2″, 6.2 ounces.

Battleship is a two-player naval-themed game where each player tries to guess the location of their opponent’s warships to sink them.

Both players get an upright game board with both horizontal and vertical grids to record shots fired and to hide their own ships.

Along with the game boards, each player takes an assortment of red and white marker pegs and one each of the five ship types (Carrier, Battleship, Cruiser, Submarine, and Destroyer).

Players sit facing one another at a table and position the game boards so players can’t see one another’s grids.

The two players should be positioned so they face each other across a game table. Their target grids back up to one another vertically so that neither player can see his opponent’s ocean grid and ship locations.

Each player starts by positioning their own ships by slotting them into the holes on the lower grid. Ships must be placed horizontally or vertically on the grid. Once the game begins, the ships’ positions can’t be changed.

The players take turns firing shots by calling out coordinates (a letter and number that corresponds with rows and columns on the grid), trying to hit their opponent’s ships.

After a shot is fired, the other player checks their lower grid to see if the coordinates match a spot that is occupied by a ship. They respond “hit” if there is a ship in that location, and “miss” if there isn’t.

When a player’s ship is hit, they place a red peg in the top of that ship. If all of the holes on the top of a ship are filled with a red peg, the ship is sunk, and the player who lost a ship must announce that.

When a player fires a shot, they mark the coordinates they called out on their own upper grid with a white peg for a miss and a red peg for a hit. As the game progresses, each player will have a better idea of the location and size of the other player’s ships.

The first player to sink all of their opponent’s ships is the winner.

Battleship Grab and Go Game (Travel Size)

The Grab & Go version of Battleship plays just like the original, just with smaller components. The game units hinge closed, and all of the pieces store neatly inside.

It’s a good game to teach younger players strategy, logic, and how to identify coordinates on a grid.

More seasoned players will enjoy playing the game using the Salvo variation ‘s alternative rules where multiple shots are fired in each turn.

Suitable for age 8+, 2 or more players. 7.4″ x 0.8″ x 10.4″, 14.9 ounces.

I couldn’t possibly make a list of games to take on a cruise without including Mad Libs, the quintessential travel game!

If you’ve never played, a Mad Libs book has mini-stories with some of the key words left out. The missing words are replaced by a line, as well as an indication of which part of speech (noun, adjective, etc.) is missing.

The players fill in the words without seeing the text, and create completely hilarious (and often absurd) stories.

Players take turns being the reader, who is the only one to see the story before it’s filled in. The reader calls out the missing parts of speech.

The other players pick any word that comes to mind for the reader to write down, as long as it’s the correct part of speech. The reader then writes the chosen word on the appropriate line.

When the story is filled out, one of the players (it doesn’t have to be the reader) reads the completed story back to the group.

There are no winners or losers in Mad Libs, but I guarantee there will be plenty of laughter!

Best of Mad Libs: World's Greatest Word Game

Although Mad Libs was originally a kids’ game, there are now versions for all ages and reading levels.

It’s a great tool for helping kids learn their parts of speech while having fun. Adults will enjoy how funny an innocuous story can become when random words that they chose are inserted!

Plus, Mad Libs is super-portable, part of the reason why it’s been a favorite travel game for decades.

More posts you’ll love:

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  • Cruising with Kids: 19 Essential Tips

Have you enjoyed any of these games while traveling? Do you have any other favorites that you like to pack for a cruise? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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Best Cruise Ship Games to Pack for Adults and Kids

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Medha Verma

Monday 16th of December 2019

Wow, you've really put some thought into this! And I like how you've described every game in detail. These games sound like a lot of fun on a cruise but also in a house party, which I have very often. So maybe I can take inspiration from here and organise it in the next house party I host! Uno is a common fav but sometimes we need to get creative and play something different. I like Boggle, I love word games, not so sure if my friends will though, haha.

Thanks, Medha! I agree, these games would also be great to play at a house party. I like to bring out a game when I have guests that don't know anyone else - it gets everyone laughing and really breaks the ice.

Sunday 15th of December 2019

What a great idea! I always had a pack of cards packed and scrabble! Scrabble was our favourite.

I love Scrabble, too! We tend to get very competitive with it :D Thanks for reading!

Friday 13th of December 2019

I have never heard about a lot of these games before. It is completely awesome, thanks for the tip, I think they are good to play not only on a cruise but in multiple occasions.

We play a lot of these games at home, too. Lots of the games I listed are great to take along on car or plane trips, or when you're camping - lack of electricity always makes me want to play a game! :D

Thursday 12th of December 2019

What a cool idea for a post! I love playing board games and can’t wait to try a few on this list :)

Thanks, Claire! Hope you enjoy the games!

Derek Hartman

Wow, such a great round-up of awesome games! Travel size games are so important for any trip. I tend to take L-C-R with me almost everywhere I go. I'm also obsessed with The Bean Game right now but this list is astounding.

I love L-C-R too! Except that my daughter ALWAYS wins (not quite sure how, since it's almost a pure chance game). I'm going to have to try the Bean Game. Glad you liked the list!

cruise ship games for seniors

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Why Cruising Is Perfect for Seniors

By Carnival Cruise Line

Cruising isn’t just for kids, families and singles. If you’re over 55, it’s your time to get out there, enjoy the adventure of the high seas and experience shore excursions you’ve only dreamed about. Today’s cruises include crowds that are diverse in interests, ages and activity levels. Carnival has itineraries for some of the best cruises, not to mention Carnival’s senior cruise discounts and deals , designed to ignite everyone’s passions and pursuits.

carnival cruise ship coming into port

To narrow down your cruise options, consider your preferences when it comes to ship size and ambiance, ideal destination, onboard activities and stateroom configurations.

It’s Your Time: Choose How You Want to Cruise

Do you prefer a smaller, more relaxed and intimate ship or a larger one where there’s non-stop action for all ages? You may appreciate a smaller ship because there’s less square-footage to navigate. You may also love the lively and diverse fun of Carnival’s family-friendly cruises, too, especially if you’re part of a multi-generational family vacation. The size of the ship you choose is an important part of an enjoyable cruise.

For example, if you’re planning a longer voyage, you might prefer a larger ship, like Carnival’s new Mardi Gras™ . Larger ships have more adults-only spaces and places to find time alone. You’ll also find more dining, entertainment and activities options on larger ships.

If you prefer a shorter sail to a destination such as Mexico , you’ll enjoy one of Carnival’s smaller ships. A smaller ship offers a more intimate sailing experience and also means you’ll likely see many of the same passengers during your trip.

senior couple standing in front of the carnival funnel

It’s Your Time: Choose Your Destination

It’s finally the right time to dust off your bucket list and check off places you’ve dreamed of seeing up close and personal. Close your eyes and imagine the following:

  • Embrace the luxury of taking a longer cruise than you might if vacationing with kids or grandkids. That’s what Carnival Journeys cruises are all about. Journeys are extended cruises to more exotic, less traveled locations, such as Eastern Caribbean destinations , the Panama Canal , Hawaii or Alaska’s Glacier Bay .
  • You’ve never seen Europe this way before. Take a Mediterranean cruise to coastal towns in Italy, Spain, Croatia and France. Or choose an itinerary across Northern Europe where you’ll encounter the beauty of Norway, Scotland and Ireland.
  • If you’ve harbored visions of visiting the exotic lands across the Pacific, you’re in for a Transpacific  treat. Depart from Los Angeles and choose destinations including Maui , Honolulu , Vietnam , Singapore or East Malaysia’s Kota Kinabalu .

senior couple enjoying the ocean view with a drink

It’s Your Time: Choose Your Own Itinerary

Ah, the freedom of planning an excursion that’s all about what you want to do. If you prefer shore excursions , such as fishing, shopping, horseback riding, golfing or simply relaxing on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, you’re in luck when you take a cruise that offers all that and more. But seniors are in for an additional treat. The array of fun and fascinating shore excursions available, many of which are wheelchair accessible, is one of the best reasons why seniors should take a cruise:

  • Cruise to Alaska and experience the Saxman Native Village Tour , witness the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show or go all out and discover glaciers by helicopter .
  • Cruise to The Bahamas and tour the beauty of Nassau Island aboard an ADA accessible van or go horseback riding in Half Moon Cay.
  • Sail to the Eastern Caribbean and drive through St. Kitts’ historic capital, Basseterre , in an accessible vehicle, or relax on a luxury catamaran while sailing in unspoiled waters.
  • Cruise to Cozumel, Mexico and experience a Mayan Ball Game and lunch or fulfill your dream of swimming with dolphins .
  • Travel to the Cayman Islands and tour Grand Cayman in an air-conditioned accessible van or do the unthinkable and stroll underwater on the unique Sea Trek
  • Cruise to Spain and tour the majestic scenery of Mallorca’s mountains and coastline by accessible coaches or take a Vintage Train Ride through Sóller Village.

a senior man snorkeling

It’s Your Time: Choose Your Onboard Passion

There’s more to do on board Carnival ships that’ll make you feel like a kid again. Or you can simply rest and relax the whole way through. Here’s a sampling of what you can do:

  • Play the slots till you drop in Carnival’s onboard casinos .
  • Enrich yourself by learning new recipes from Carnival’s chefs during cooking demonstrations and going to that art seminar you’ve always wanted to take.
  • Let out your biggest laughs at The Punchliner Comedy Club .
  • Watch Broadway-worthy stage shows and musicals , or sing your heart out during Lip Sync Battle ™ : Carnival or at the Piano Bar on all ships.
  • Rest up in the blissfully quiet Serenity Adult-Only Retreat ™ .
  • Indulge in dozens of new or favorite cuisines on board, including celebrity eateries brought to you by Guy Fieri widely available on many ships, and creole chef Emeril Lagasse’s Emeril’s Bistro 1396™ on Mardi Gras ™ . Dine in traditional elegance in your ship’s Main Dining Room or at the Steakhouse . Or create delicious, healthy salads with nearly a dozen greens and plenty of toppings at Fresh Creations .

people dining at chefs table on carnival horizon

It’s Your Time: Choose How You Celebrate the Holidays

It’s your turn to cruise through the holidays this year. Celebrate with an extra-special serving of holiday spirit by planning an October, November or December cruise:

  • October: Thinking of a memorable way to plan a multigenerational trip? Every age will love the way Carnival celebrates Halloween throughout the month of October, complete with costume parties, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving and, for you, adult-only events.
  • November: A Funtastic Thanksgiving cruise means you’ll spend more time enjoying the holiday rather than prepping, cooking and cleaning for Turkey Day. Sit down to a traditional turkey dinner in a not-so-traditional setting.
  • December: A Funtastic Christmas cruise is an unforgettable holiday on the high seas for seniors. Sail on a ship decked out from bow to stern with Christmas lights, wreaths, and trees and Hanukkah menorahs — and you don’t have to lift a finger to decorate. Or ring in the New Year at one of the best parties of all time during a Funtastic New Year’s Eve cruise .

senior couple laying on a floaty in the ocean

It’s Your Time: Choose Your Luxury Stateroom

Decide what type of stateroom best suits your personality. If you’re traveling with family, consider connecting cabins and family suites. Here are two options (there are plenty more , though) on Carnival ships that are tailor-made for seniors:

  • Relax to the max with a Cloud 9 Spa ™ stateroom . Your floating spa experience starts with your room that’s decked out with amenities, priority spa reservations, free fitness classes and unlimited access to the popular thermal suites as well as the hydrotherapy pool on certain ships.
  • Carnival welcomes seniors with physical challenges and mobility limitations. Choose from four types of specially accessible staterooms that offer designs and amenities for various needs.

A vacation aboard a Carnival ship is designed to give seniors an experience of a lifetime. Treat yourself to the vacation you’ve earned with a Carnival cruise.

Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by  ship  and destination.

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Best Cruises for Seniors

The best cruises for seniors are the ones that allow you to see every whimsical wonder of the world in the utmost comfort. All Princess ships – along with most destinations and excursions – are wheelchair accessible, allowing you to take part in the unforgettable experiences that each itinerary offers. As you embark on your best years yet, start crossing iconic items off your bucket list with relaxing cruises from Princess.

Alaska Cruises for Seniors

Thanks to the personalized service and ability to connect with other passengers during activities, every cruise with Princess can feel like your own senior cruise – especially in Alaska where you can experience all the excitement of exploration without the hassle of having to coordinate a jam-packed itinerary. From the comfort of your stateroom balcony or the upper deck, witness acrobatic humpback whales break the water’s surface and listen to the thunder of calving glaciers around you. If you wish to venture out into the Great Land, ride through cascading waterfalls and around snow-capped mountains on a relaxing railway tour . These fully restored locomotive trains can bring you back in time as you journey past the original Klondike Trail of 1898. With convenient departures from Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C., the best Alaska cruises for seniors are just a short flight – or drive – away.

World Cruises for Seniors

Nothing feels as rewarding as a well-deserved retirement. With more time to do the things you’ve always dreamed of, kiss your ordinary life goodbye and settle into the luxuries of a World Cruise . Departing both domestically and internationally, our global routes take you to emerald-colored volcanoes in Iceland and elephant orphanages in Sri Lanka – all over the span of several months. Every day invites you to cross new experiences off your travel wish list. Raise your wine-filled glass to the crimson sky and toast to adventure while surrounded by panoramic sunset views of Cape Town. Or, sit counter-side in a cozy Sicilian cottage-style home and learn secrets to famous Italian recipes while tasting the savory flavors of homemade tomato sauce and fresh-baked bread. Besides our roundtrip itinerary from Fort Lauderdale, our World Cruises were crafted as one-way journeys to help you maximize your time touring the decorated streets of Morocco by motorcoach or testing your luck at the glamorous Monte Carlo Casino.

Local Cruises for Seniors

Some of the greatest wonders of the world are right in your backyard. Embark on a seven-day roundtrip journey down the California Coast and visit scenic ports of call – like Monterey and Ensenada – without a long car ride. Sip your way through the Guadalupe Valley while savoring creamy, rich cheeses that perfectly accompany the fruitful flavors of your wine. Or, observe majestic penguins marching across the pebbled terrains and polar bears in their cotton-colored coats at the world-famous San Diego Zoo. After a day of leisurely exploration, unwind on board in a private cabana in The Sanctuary – a haven just for adults – where sounds of children are muted and you can peacefully reflect on your days’ activities.

Cruises for Single Seniors

Ignite your sense of wonder and romance on any of our world-class itineraries. From the sparkling evening lights of the Eiffel Tower to the charming gondolas of the Venice Canals, there are countless fairy-tale moments to find a suitor. Opportunities to meet like-minded individuals exist both on and off the ship. With daily cocktail parties and singles-only nights , dress to the nines and enjoy an evening full of hand-crafted drinks and inspiring dialogues. Whether floating through the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea or sampling dazzling dishes in a culinary demonstration, you’ll feel like you’re on a senior citizen cruise as you meet an abundance of fellow retirees.

With Princess, it’s never too late to embark on an unforgettable journey . Whether you prefer domestic adventures or international expeditions, turn any of our cruise itineraries into the senior citizen cruise you've always dreamed of.

Senior Cruise Planning and Tips

6 Senior Cruise Packing Tips: Pack Smart -Your Essential Guide for Stress-Free Travel

  • Post published: September 26, 2023

In this comprehensive Senior Cruise Packing Tips guide, I’ll share essential tips and insights to help you pack efficiently for your senior cruise vacation, making it a stress-free and memorable experience.

One of the first steps in packing smart for your senior cruise adventure is thoughtful planning. Begin by creating a detailed checklist that takes into account the specific needs and preferences of senior travelers. Consider factors like the climate of your cruise destination , the duration of your trip, and any activities or excursions you plan to take part in. Packing for a cruise involves a careful balance between being well-prepared and traveling light. By planning ahead and having a clear checklist, you’ll not only reduce the chances of forgetting important items but also minimize the stress associated with last-minute packing. That’s where Senior Cruise Packing Tips come into play – the key to unlocking a seamless and enjoyable journey.

Table of Contents

senior cruise packing tips

Senior Cruise Packing Tips

When it comes to cruise travel, preparation is key, and for seniors, thoughtful preparation can significantly enhance the overall experience. Senior cruise packing tips go beyond the conventional packing lists; they cater to the specific needs and comfort of mature travelers. One of the great joys of cruising is the convenience of having everything you need on board, from gourmet dining to entertainment options. However, ensuring you have the essentials and a few personal touches in your suitcase is vital to fully embrace the cruise experience.

In this guide, we’ll explore not just what to pack, but also how to pack efficiently. Seniors, who often have more wisdom than physical strength, will find value in practical advice on maximizing luggage space and minimizing unnecessary items. From versatile clothing choices that transition seamlessly from day to night to smart organization techniques that keep your stateroom tidy, these senior cruise packing tips are designed to make your journey more enjoyable.

Traveling as a senior may come with unique mobility considerations, and packing wisely can make a world of difference. Whether you require mobility aids or wish to ensure easy access to medications, our senior cruise packing tips will address these specific needs. After all, your cruise adventure should be defined by the beautiful destinations you visit, the fascinating people you meet, and the incredible experiences you create – not by the stress of packing or logistics. In the following sections, we’ll delve into the nitty-gritty details of what to include in your suitcase, how to organize your belongings, and how to avoid common packing pitfalls, all with the goal of making your cruise as seamless and enjoyable as possible.

Senior Cruise Packing Tips: Packing Checklist for Seniors

Before you start packing, create a checklist tailored to your cruise destination and duration. This checklist should include items such as clothing, toiletries, medications, travel accessories, and entertainment.

The right checklist is your guiding compass, helping you navigate the seas of packing with ease and confidence. Remember, it’s not just about what you pack; it’s also about what you choose to leave behind. Here, we’ll break down the essentials that every senior traveler should consider when preparing for a cruise so, let’s dive into the world of Senior Cruise Packing Tips.

1. Medications and Prescriptions : Your health is paramount, so ensure you have an ample supply of your medications. Don’t forget to carry a copy of your prescriptions for emergencies. Keep these in your carry-on bag for easy access during travel days.

2. Travel Documents : Gather your passports, cruise tickets, travel insurance information, and any necessary visas. Make photocopies and store digital copies in case of loss or theft. It’s wise to keep these documents in a waterproof pouch.

3. Comfortable Clothing : Cruise ships are known for their relaxed atmosphere, so prioritize comfortable clothing. Think breathable fabrics, elastic waistbands, and easy-to-layer pieces. Consider the weather at your cruise destinations and pack accordingly.

4. Adapters and Chargers : Different cruise lines may have varying power outlets, so bring adapters if needed. Don’t forget to pack chargers for your devices. Staying connected and capturing precious memories is part of the modern cruise experience.

5. Toiletries and Personal Care : While most cruise cabins provide basic toiletries, it’s always a good idea to bring your favorites. Think travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, soap, and any specific skincare items you can’t do without.

6. First Aid Kit : Pack a small first aid kit with band-aids, pain relievers, motion sickness medication (if needed), and any personal medical supplies. It’s better to be prepared for minor mishaps.

7. Entertainment and Reading Material : For moments of relaxation, bring along your favorite books, e-reader, or audiobooks. Additionally, consider some travel-sized board games or puzzles for leisurely evenings. By following these senior cruise packing tips, you’ll be well-prepared for a comfortable and sterss-free travel.

Senior Cruise Packing Tips for Elderly Passengers

  • Plan Your Outfits: Choose versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched. Opt for wrinkle-resistant fabrics to minimize the need for ironing. Choose clothing that is breathable, lightweight, and easy to wash and dry. Avoid fabrics that are too tight, too heavy, or too wrinkly. Opt for colors that are neutral or bright to match the mood of the cruise.
  • Comfortable Footwear: Pack comfortable shoes for walking and shore excursions. Don’t forget a pair of sandals for the pool deck. Choose footwear that is supportive, cushioned, and slip resistant. Avoid shoes that are too high, too narrow, or too open. Opt for shoes that are versatile and can be worn for different occasions and terrains.
  • Senior-Friendly Travel Accessories: Invest in travel accessories like a neck pillow, compression socks, and a lightweight, foldable backpack. Choose accessories that are functional and fashionable. Avoid accessories that are too bulky, too flashy, or too fragile. Opt for accessories that are simple and elegant to complement your outfits.
  • Efficient Packing: If you are looking for some advice on how to pack light for your cruise, this “Senior Cruise Packing Tips” guide will give you the essential information you need. Packing light is one of the most important tips for seniors who are going on a cruise. Packing light can help you avoid excess baggage fees, reduce the risk of losing your luggage, and make it easier to move around the ship and the ports. According to the AARP, airlines charge an average of $30 for the first checked bag and $40 for the second one. Cruise lines also have their own luggage policies and limits, which vary depending on the cruise duration, destination, and cabin category. If you pack too much, you may end up paying extra fees or having to leave some items behind.

     To pack light, you should follow these steps:

  • Choose a small and lightweight suitcase that fits the airline and cruise line’s size and weight limits. You can use a luggage scale to measure your suitcase before you leave home.
  • Plan your outfits ahead of time and pack only what you need. Mix and match pieces that can be worn for different occasions and weather conditions. You can use a packing list to make sure you don’t forget anything essential.
  • Roll your clothes instead of folding them to save space and prevent wrinkles. You can also use packing cubes, ziplock bags, or compression bags to organize your items and compress them.
  • Leave some room in your suitcase for souvenirs and gifts that you may buy during your trip. You can also bring a foldable tote bag or backpack to carry your extra items on your way back.

Packing light is not only practical, but also beneficial for your health and well-being. According to the Mayo Clinic, lifting heavy luggage can cause back pain, muscle strain, or injury, especially for seniors who may have weaker bones or joints. Packing light can also reduce stress and anxiety, as you don’t have to worry about losing your luggage or finding space for it on the ship or in your cabin. Packing light can also make your trip more enjoyable, as you can focus on the experience rather than on the things you brought with you.

  • Adaptive Packing Strategies: If you have mobility challenges, consider collapsible walking aids or mobility scooters, if necessary.
  • Pack your prescription medications in their original containers with labels that show your name, dosage, and expiration date. Bring enough for the duration of your trip plus some extra in case of delays or emergencies.
  • Pack your over-the-counter medications, such as painkillers, antihistamines, antacids, or anti-diarrhea pills. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medications or combining them with your prescription drugs.
  • Pack your medical supplies, such as glasses, hearing aids, blood pressure monitor, glucose meter, or oxygen tank. Make sure they are in good working condition and have enough batteries or chargers.
  • Pack a copy of your medical records, insurance cards, emergency contacts, and travel documents in a waterproof pouch or folder. Keep them with you at all times or store them in a safe place on the ship.
  • Toiletry Essentials: Pack travel-sized toiletries to save space. Most cruise cabins provide basic toiletries, so check with your cruise line beforehand. By following these senior cruise packing tips , you’ll be well-prepared for comfortable and safe voyage.

Senior Cruise Packing Tips: Cruise Wardrobe Essentials for Older Travelers

Choosing the right clothing for your senior cruise is not just about looking good; it’s about feeling comfortable and confident throughout your journey.

  • Swimsuits and Cover-Ups : Many cruises feature inviting pools and sun decks. Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit that makes you feel fabulous and a cover-up for when you’re not in the water. This ensures you’re ready for those relaxing days by the pool or on the beach.
  • Casual Wear : For daytime activities and exploring ports of call, casual wear is essential. Consider lightweight shorts, breathable t-shirts, and comfortable sundresses. Look for fabrics that are both comfortable and easy to care for, allowing you to enjoy your cruise without worrying about wrinkles or stains.
  • Formal Attire : Most cruises have formal or semi-formal evenings where dressing up is part of the experience. For women, a stylish cocktail dress or a pantsuit is a great choice. Men can opt for a suit or dress shirt and slacks. Investing in a versatile formal outfit ensures you’re ready for elegant dinners and special events on board.
  • Outerwear : Depending on your cruise destination, weather conditions may vary. Be prepared with a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings or unexpected changes in weather. Having a versatile outer layer ensures your comfort as you explore different ports of call.
  • Hats and Sunglasses : Protecting yourself from the sun is crucial, especially for senior travelers. Pack a wide-brimmed hat to shield your face, and don’t forget sunglasses with UV protection to keep your eyes safe and comfortable.
  • Appropriate Attire : Different dining venues on the cruise may have specific dress codes. Research your cruise line’s guidelines and pack accordingly to ensure you can enjoy fine dining without any surprises.

By considering these cruise wardrobe essentials, you’ll be well-prepared for any situation that arises during your voyage. Remember, “Senior Cruise Packing Tips” aren’t just about what you bring; they’re about enhancing your overall cruise experience, making it enjoyable, stylish, and hassle-free.

Senior Cruise Packing Tips: How many outfits should I pack for a 7-day cruise?

When it comes to senior cruise packing tips, one common question that arises is, “How many outfits should I pack for a 7-day cruise?” It’s essential to strike a balance between having enough clothing options and not overpacking. For a week-long cruise, packing around 10-12 outfits should be sufficient. This allows for a variety of choices throughout the trip, considering different activities and occasions. Remember to pack versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched, maximizing your outfit options while minimizing the amount of clothing you bring.

In addition to outfits, don’t forget to pack essential accessories such as hats, scarves, and jewelry to add flair to your ensembles. It’s also wise to include a few layers like cardigans or light jackets, as cruise ship temperatures can vary. To save space and ensure wrinkle-free clothing, consider rolling your garments instead of folding them. Lastly, keep in mind the specific dress codes and activities offered on your cruise to pack accordingly, whether it’s formal nights, casual dinners, or active excursions.

By following these senior cruise packing tips, you’ll be well-prepared for a stylish and comfortable voyage. Aim for a versatile wardrobe with around 10-12 outfits, including mix-and-match items that can be easily layered. Don’t forget to pack essential accessories and consider the specific dress codes and activities on your cruise. With smart choices and careful planning, you can enjoy your trip with confidence and style.

Senior Cruise Packing Tips: Maximizing Space in Your Cruise Luggage for Seniors

Packing efficiently is an art, and for senior cruise travelers, it’s the key to a more comfortable and enjoyable voyage. When it comes to maximizing space in your cruise luggage, seniors have the added challenge of needing essentials while avoiding over-packing. Here are some practical Senior Cruise Packing Tips to help you make the most of your available space and ensure that you’re fully prepared for your journey.

  • Prioritize Versatile Clothing: One of the most effective ways to save space in your luggage is to pack versatile clothing. Choose items that can be mixed and matched easily, creating multiple outfit combinations from a few key pieces. Neutral colors and classic styles work well for this purpose.
  • Roll Your Clothes: Rolling your clothes instead of folding them not only saves space but also minimizes wrinkles. This technique allows you to fit more items into your suitcase and makes unpacking a breeze when you reach your cruise cabin.
  • Limit Your Shoes: Footwear can be bulky and heavy. Consider the types of activities you’ll be doing during your cruise and pack only the shoes you’ll truly need. Comfortable walking shoes, a pair of sandals, and perhaps one dressier option for formal nights should suffice.
  • Compact Accessories: When it comes to accessories, think compact. Jewelry organizers that keep necklaces from tangling, collapsible sun hats, and small, foldable bags are great space-saving options.
  • Leave Room for Souvenirs: If you plan on picking up souvenirs during your cruise, be mindful of how much space you’ll need for them in your luggage. Leaving some room for these mementos ensures you won’t be struggling to zip up your suitcase on the journey home.

By implementing these “Senior Cruise Packing Tips,” you’ll not only maximize space but also reduce the physical strain of lugging around heavy luggage. Remember that packing light isn’t about sacrificing comfort; it’s about ensuring you have everything you need without the added burden of excess baggage. As you embark on your cruise, you’ll appreciate the convenience and freedom that comes with a well-organized and efficiently packed suitcase.

Senior Cruise Packing Tips: Mistakes to Avoid

Packing for a senior cruise requires careful consideration, and avoiding common mistakes can make your journey smoother and more enjoyable. Let’s explore some pitfalls and the corresponding senior cruise packing tips to help you sidestep them.

  • Overpacking: One of the most prevalent mistakes seniors make is overpacking. It’s tempting to bring your entire wardrobe and every accessory you own, but this can lead to a cumbersome and unwieldy suitcase. Instead, focus on versatility. Choose clothing items that can be mixed and matched and remember that many cruises have laundry facilities available. Packing light not only makes it easier to navigate your luggage but also leaves room for souvenirs you might collect during your travels.
  • Senior Cruise Packing Tip: Create a detailed packing list and stick to it. Lay out everything you think you’ll need and then reconsider. Aim to reduce your initial selection by at least a third. Prioritize comfort and practicality over fashion trends.
  • Neglecting Medications: Forgetting or mishandling medications can lead to unnecessary stress and health concerns during your cruise. Ensure you have an adequate supply of all your medications and supplements. Additionally, it’s wise to carry copies of your prescriptions, just in case you need to replace any lost or stolen medications while abroad.
  • Senior Cruise Packing Tip: Use a pill organizer or a medication management app to keep your doses organized. Split your medications into multiple containers and keep some in your carry-on bag in case your checked luggage is delayed.
  • Ignoring Weather Forecasts: Cruises can take you to various climates, so it’s essential to check the weather at your destinations before packing. Failing to do so might result in being unprepared for unexpected rain or chilly evenings.
  • Senior Cruise Packing Tip: Research the weather for each port of call and pack clothing layers that can be easily added or removed. A lightweight, packable rain jacket can be a lifesaver.

By avoiding these common packing mistakes and following these senior cruise packing tips, you’ll be well on your way to a hassle-free and enjoyable cruise adventure. Packing smartly not only enhances your comfort and convenience but also allows you to fully savor the pleasures of cruising and exploring new destinations.

In conclusion, mastering the art of packing efficiently is the first step toward ensuring that your senior cruise adventure is a resounding success. The journey of a thousand nautical miles begins with a well-organized suitcase, and “Senior Cruise Packing Tips” have been your guiding light in achieving this. By carefully curating your wardrobe, prioritizing comfort, and taking heed of important considerations like medications and travel accessories , you’ve set yourself up for a worry-free voyage.

Remember, the goal of packing smartly as a senior cruise traveler is not only to make your life onboard more convenient but also to enhance your overall enjoyment. By adhering to the tips and strategies discussed in this guide, you’ve laid the groundwork for a vacation filled with relaxation, exploration, and cherished moments with loved ones.

As you set sail and embrace the incredible experiences that await, rest assured that your well-thought-out packing choices will serve as the foundation for a seamless journey. “Senior Cruise Packing Tips” are your trusted companions, ensuring that every item in your suitcase has a purpose, and that you can focus on creating unforgettable memories as you navigate the open waters. Bon voyage!

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9 Best Cruises for Seniors to Take As Soon As You Retire

From relaxing in the Caribbean to exploring the rivers of Europe, these are the best cruises for travelers over 60.

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Cruises offer advantages for travelers of all ages, but for seniors , conveniences like being able to visit many destinations without packing and unpacking, arranging flights, transfers, checking in and out of hotels, finding restaurants, and booking excursions are especially important. And, for seniors with limited mobility, those cruise features just might mean the difference between taking a wonderful trip or staying home.

Generalizing about individuals of any age, especially seniors, just doesn't work. Physically, many are as active and capable as 25 year-olds, while others may have limitations that prevent long walks or managing heavy luggage. Some are curious and want to see every detail on an itinerary; others are content to relax and watch the scenery go by. Many are entertained by learning new things or hearing from expert lecturers, while others enjoy nightlife and live shows. Limited budgets are not unusual among seniors with fixed incomes, while others can afford to choose more luxurious options .

There are cruises that meet every need. In fact, most large ships have so much to offer that couples or groups of friends cruising together can choose the activities they enjoy most and then join for dinner or cocktails at the end of the day. Solo travelers have opportunities to meet others during meals, excursions, or onboard activities. Many cruise companies and ships pay particular attention to amenities that make travel easier and more appealing for seniors , especially those with special needs. Travelers as young as 50 may be eligible for special discounts on cruises, so it's never too early to start planning a cruise for the next phase of your life.

That said, here are the 9 best cruises for seniors, from the rivers to the seas.

River Cruises for Seniors

Increasing in popularity with new ships added each year, river cruising is ideal for seniors.

Ports are usually close to cities, sailing is smooth, ships are small (with usually no more than 200 passengers), and most shore excursions offer several levels of walking intensity. For those who prefer to stay onboard, comfortable lounges, outdoor seating, and stateroom balconies provide the perfect views.

European rivers are among the most traveled, especially the Rhine and Danube, with lovely towns to see and visit. Others are the Douro, Seine, and Rhone as well as the Mekong in Vietnam, the Nile in Egypt, and the Volga in Russia. Cruises range from a week to as long as three weeks when several rivers are combined. Specialty river cruises might focus on food, wine, or Christmas markets. These are the top river cruise lines for seniors.

River Cruise Lines

Viking River Cruises are adults-only and on several rivers. Hit the Danube to get from Vienna to Bucharest, sail the Nile with Egyptologists, or pass through Holland during tulip season. Catering to retirees, with most passengers over the age of 60, Viking is for the well-traveled cruiser looking for their next adventure. It considers itself “the thinking person’s cruise,” with excursions and onboard programming designed with educational and cultural impact in mind. Their "Longships" offer larger suites and outdoor dining. Musical performances, lectures, cooking demonstrations, and destination insights provide plenty to do onboard.  

AmaWaterways focuses on European cruises, but offers a few sailings through Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, as well. Their ship, AmaMagna, sails the Danube and offers twice the width of traditional river cruise ships, allowing for more lounge space on the Sun Deck as you glide to gorgeous locales, more intimate activities and excursions, and additional dining options. A range of shore excursions ensures there's something for everyone's interests and abilities at each port, from guided hikes and bike rides to cooking demonstrations. Everything is as convenient as possible with ports steps from points of interest, and concierge services that help travelers reserve their flights, airport transfers, and hotel reservations for before or after the cruise.  

Avalon Waterways offers river cruises as short as four or five days for those who want to "test the waters" before a longer commitment. They sail across Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, with special interest journeys like the Storyteller Series, which hosts authors like Candace Bushnell and Gillian Flynn onboard. With larger suites and fewer passengers, these cruises are perfect for passengers who want to stretch out and enjoy a quiet respite. Travelers can choose which off-boat activities they want to participate in (like picnics, kayaking, or painting) based on their abilities and what kind of trip they want. The plushly-appointed Panorama Suites with floor to ceiling windows and open-air balconies make your cabin one of the most comfortable places to watch the world pass by.

American Cruise Lines sails the rivers of the United States — including the Mississippi, the Ohio, the Hudson, and the Columbia and Snake Rivers — so you can go on an adventure without having to board a flight. Accommodations like large staterooms with interior entrances, elevators to all decks, and spacious public spaces will be appreciated by older passengers. Dine whenever you like on local fare (like gumbo on the Mississippi or a boiled seafood dinner in the Northeast) and enjoy the daily cocktail hour. Local experts join your trip and share knowledge and history about the area you're traveling through making your trip as educational as it is relaxing. 

Ocean Cruises for Seniors

For ocean cruises, ships are usually larger and trips are longer, although it depends on the destination. Megaships have capacities of around 2,000 to 6,000 passengers; mid-size ships carry about 1,000-2,500; small ships can hold around 1,200 or less. Naturally, more dining options, entertainment, pools, and public areas are available on larger vessels. For seniors who are more comfortable remaining on the ship, there are many opportunities to keep busy, and the ship is a destination in itself. Travelers with limited mobility may choose shore visits carefully or decide to enjoy the view from afar as they take advantage of the ship's amenities and social scene.

Many oceangoing ships have accessible cabins and elevators, wheelchair-width doorways, and even special equipment to aid in boarding a smaller boat for shore excursions. Several have medical care and physicians aboard — a benefit for all passengers, not just seniors — for emergencies or illness. Most cruise companies request that they be advised of their passengers' special needs at least 45 days before departure to ensure that proper accommodations are arranged.

Oceangoing Cruise Lines

Holland America Line travels to South America, Antarctica, Alaska, Canada, New England, the Caribbean, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. A line preferred by many seniors, it offers staterooms with mobility assistive features such as space for wheelchairs and scooters, roll-in showers, grab bars, and lift systems to make tenders (smaller ships that go ashore in some ports) wheelchair accessible. Provisions are made on most ships for deaf or hearing-impaired passengers, as well.

Seabourn Cruise Line cruises the world from Australia and New Zealand, Asia, India, Africa, Antarctica, Alaska, and the Caribbean, to the Arctic, Northern Europe, and more. Staterooms specially designed for guests who require mobility assistance are available. Service animals are permitted (but not pets or therapy companions) as long as proper paperwork and vaccinations are current. Provisions are available for passengers who have limited eyesight or hearing, including large print or Braille menus and visual emergency alarms.

Azamara 's mid-sized ships sail to the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific. Their “Destination Immersion” experiences mean longer trips with more time in port and overnights onshore, as well as onboard programming designed around your specific destination. Azamara takes an extra step even before the cruise begins by offering assistance getting on and off the ship for boarding and shore excursions. With advance notice, Azamara will even make arrangements for transportation from the airport to the pier.

Silversea's small luxury ships range in size from 50 to 304 suites for travelers who prefer more intimate surroundings and atmosphere. Also, smaller ships can generally anchor closer to port cities, so disembarking is more convenient, and views are more interesting for those who stay on the ship. Your dedicated butler will help you with minutiae like unpacking and reservations, so you can just focus on relaxing. There's a low single supplement and "gentleman hosts" so you're never without a dance partner even if you're traveling solo. With gourmet meals, beverages (including premium spirits), gratuities, and activities all covered in the price, Silversea's cruises are not likely to attract children, which may be a plus for some seniors (as much as they might love their grandkids!).

Princess Cruises, considered by many to be one of the best cruise lines for seniors, offers many options: Various departure cities (including Florida for any local retirees), one-way or round-trip cruises, and Cruisetours that include extended land excursions. Rest assured that ships, destinations, and excursions are designed with accessibility in mind. Princess' crown jewel is their Alaskan cruises , during which passengers can meet sled dog puppies and handlers, hear from mountain climbers, fishermen, and loggers, and learn from experts about Alaskan wildlife without even leaving the ship. Most importantly, passengers can enjoy spectacular views from the comfort of the ship and marvel at sights unique to the 49th State.

Whether you pick an ocean sojourn or a river ride, cruises are some of the best ways to see the world. From the rivers of Europe to the blue-green waters of the Caribbean to U.S. trips you can board without ever getting on a plane, cruises take the convenience of a resort on the road. And as many cruise lines pay special mind to accessibility and inclusivity, they make traveling at any age (or solo) all the easier. 

If you’re a senior looking for some post-retirement fun or are a well-seasoned traveler in need of your next adventure, book a cruise today. 

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A Guide to Planning the Perfect Caribbean Cruise for Seniors

Are you a senior looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating vacation? Look no further than a Caribbean cruise. With its warm weather, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture, the Caribbean is an ideal destination for seniors looking to unwind and explore. In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know to plan the perfect Caribbean cruise for seniors.

Choosing the Right Cruise Line

When it comes to planning a Caribbean cruise for seniors, choosing the right cruise line is crucial. Look for cruise lines that offer amenities and activities tailored to older adults. Some popular options include Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and Celebrity Cruises. These cruise lines often offer spacious cabins with easy accessibility, onboard medical facilities, and entertainment options that cater to all ages.

Selecting the Itinerary

The next step in planning your perfect Caribbean cruise is selecting the right itinerary. The Caribbean offers a plethora of stunning destinations, each with its own unique charm. Consider choosing an itinerary that includes ports of call with accessible shore excursions suitable for seniors. Destinations like Aruba, Grand Cayman, and St. Maarten are known for their beautiful beaches and wheelchair-friendly attractions.

Onboard Activities and Amenities

One of the highlights of any cruise vacation is the onboard activities and amenities. When planning a Caribbean cruise for seniors, it’s important to choose a ship that offers plenty of options tailored to older adults. Look for ships with spa facilities offering specialized treatments such as massages or hydrotherapy designed to relax both body and mind.

Additionally, consider ships that offer enrichment programs such as lectures on local culture or history. These can be great opportunities for seniors to learn something new while enjoying their vacation.

Safety Considerations

While planning your perfect Caribbean cruise for seniors, safety should be a top priority. Ensure that the cruise line you choose has proper safety measures in place, including accessible cabins and public areas, emergency medical services, and trained staff who can assist seniors with mobility or health issues.

Before embarking on your cruise, it’s also important to consult with your doctor and ensure you have all necessary medications and documents. Consider purchasing travel insurance to provide additional peace of mind.

In conclusion, a Caribbean cruise can be the perfect vacation for seniors looking for relaxation and adventure. Remember to choose a cruise line that caters to older adults, select an itinerary with accessible shore excursions, take advantage of onboard activities tailored to seniors, and prioritize safety throughout your planning process. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to planning the perfect Caribbean cruise for seniors. Bon voyage.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.

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Which Cruise Line Is Best For Seniors

Published: December 13, 2023

Modified: December 28, 2023

by Jacqui Uhl

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Introduction

Welcome aboard! Cruising is not just for the young and adventurous – it’s also a fantastic vacation option for seniors. With a variety of cruise lines catering to the needs and preferences of older travelers, seniors can embark on memorable journeys to explore beautiful destinations while enjoying a range of amenities and activities.

When it comes to choosing the best cruise line for seniors, there are several factors to consider. Seniors often value comfort, accessibility, and a relaxing atmosphere, making it essential to find a cruise line that offers senior-friendly amenities and activities tailored to their needs. Additionally, health and safety considerations, as well as options for solo travelers and those with limited mobility, play a crucial role in selecting the perfect cruise line.

In this article, we will explore the top cruise lines that go the extra mile to cater to the needs and preferences of seniors. From luxurious ocean liners to intimate river cruises, there is a perfect sailing for every senior adventurer. So let’s dive in and discover which cruise line is best suited for seniors seeking a memorable vacation on the high seas!

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Cruise Line for Seniors

Choosing the right cruise line for seniors involves considering several factors that contribute to a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are some key aspects to take into account:

  • Accessibility: Seniors may have specific mobility needs, so it’s crucial to ensure that the cruise line offers accessible amenities and facilities, including wheelchair accessibility, elevators, and easy-to-navigate layouts.
  • Medical Facilities and Services: Look for cruise lines that have well-equipped medical facilities and professional staff on board. This can provide peace of mind in case of medical emergencies or if you require regular health monitoring.
  • Dining Options: Many seniors prefer flexible dining options, such as open-seating or anytime dining, which allows them to choose when and where they want to eat. Some cruise lines also offer specialty restaurants with a variety of cuisines to cater to different dietary preferences.
  • Entertainment and Activities: Consider the variety of activities and entertainment options available on board. Look for cruise lines that offer enrichment programs, live shows, music performances, and educational activities suitable for seniors.
  • Itinerary and Destination: Evaluate the cruise line’s itineraries and destinations. Some seniors prefer shorter cruises or cruises that visit ports with easy access to attractions and historical sites. Pay attention to the ports of call and the activities available at each destination.
  • Cruise Size and Atmosphere: Determine whether you prefer a larger ship with more amenities or a smaller ship with a more intimate atmosphere. Larger ships often offer a wider range of onboard activities and entertainment, while smaller ships provide a quieter and more relaxed ambiance.
  • Cost and Value: Consider your budget and what you are getting for your money. Look for cruise lines that offer senior discounts, inclusive amenities, and package deals that provide value for money.

By taking these factors into account, you can narrow down your options and find a cruise line that aligns with your preferences and needs as a senior traveler. Now, let’s explore the top cruise lines that offer senior-friendly amenities and activities to ensure an unforgettable experience.

Cruise Lines with Senior-Friendly Amenities

There are several cruise lines that excel in providing senior-friendly amenities, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for older travelers. Let’s explore some of the top cruise lines that cater to the needs of seniors:

  • Princess Cruises: Known for their exceptional service and attention to detail, Princess Cruises offers a range of amenities to make senior travelers feel right at home. Their ships are equipped with accessible staterooms, wheelchair-friendly facilities, and trained staff to assist with any requirements. They also provide a variety of enrichment programs, including educational lectures and art classes, to keep seniors engaged and entertained.
  • Holland America Line: Holland America Line is renowned for its elegant and sophisticated atmosphere, making it an excellent choice for seniors seeking a more relaxed and refined experience. Their ships feature accessible accommodations, wide corridors, and ramps, ensuring easy movement throughout the ship. Holland America also offers cooking demonstrations, live music performances, and cultural activities to cater to the interests of older guests.
  • Crystal Cruises: Crystal Cruises is synonymous with luxury and impeccable service. Their ships are equipped with wheelchair-accessible cabins, spacious public areas, and attentive staff to assist seniors with any needs. Crystal Cruises also offers a range of senior-friendly activities, such as ballroom dancing classes, enrichment lectures, and wine tastings.
  • Disney Cruise Line: Don’t be fooled by the name – Disney Cruise Line is not just for kids! Seniors can also enjoy a magical experience with access to senior-friendly amenities. Disney ships feature accessible staterooms, wheelchair-friendly spaces, and well-trained staff to cater to the needs of older guests. Plus, there are adult-exclusive areas, such as lounges, pools, and restaurants, where seniors can relax and unwind.
  • Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Cruises combines modern luxury with a welcoming atmosphere, making it a popular choice among seniors. Their ships offer accessible staterooms, wheelchair-friendly facilities, and trained staff to assist seniors with mobility needs. Celebrity Cruises also provide a range of activities, including art classes, wine tastings, and live music performances, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

These cruise lines go above and beyond to accommodate the needs and preferences of senior travelers. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious experience, an enriching journey, or a fun-filled adventure, these cruise lines offer the amenities and services necessary for a memorable vacation. Next, we’ll explore the best cruise line for seniors with limited mobility, ensuring that everyone can embark on a fantastic cruise adventure.

The Best Cruise Line for Seniors with Limited Mobility

Sailing the high seas is an incredible experience for seniors with limited mobility, and there are cruise lines that are committed to providing accessible options for these travelers. Let’s explore the best cruise line for seniors with limited mobility:

  • Royal Caribbean: Known for its innovation and accessibility, Royal Caribbean is an excellent choice for seniors with limited mobility. Their ships feature accessible cabins, ramps, and elevators, making it easy for wheelchair users to navigate around the ship. Royal Caribbean also offers shore excursions with wheelchair-accessible transportation and facilities, ensuring that seniors can explore ports of call comfortably.
  • MSC Cruises: MSC Cruises is dedicated to providing an inclusive and accessible experience for all passengers, including seniors with limited mobility. Their ships are equipped with spacious corridors, ramps, and designated wheelchair-accessible cabins. MSC Cruises also offers shore excursions with accessible transportation and facilities, allowing seniors to fully enjoy onshore activities.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has made great strides in ensuring accessibility for seniors with limited mobility. Their ships feature wheelchair-accessible cabins, public areas, and access to dining venues. NCL also offers assistance to seniors with embarkation and disembarkation, as well as accessible transportation for shore excursions.
  • Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line is committed to making cruising accessible and enjoyable for all passengers. Their ships have accessible cabins, wheelchair-accessible public areas, and designated seating in theaters and dining venues. Carnival Cruise Line also offers shore excursions specifically designed for seniors with limited mobility.
  • Azamara: Azamara is a smaller cruise line that provides a more intimate and accessible experience for seniors with limited mobility. Their ships feature accessible cabins, ramps, and elevators, ensuring easy movement throughout the ship. Azamara also offers shore excursions with accessible transportation and facilities, allowing seniors to explore ports of call comfortably.

These cruise lines prioritize accessibility and inclusivity, ensuring that seniors with limited mobility can enjoy every aspect of their cruise adventure. From wheelchair-friendly cabins and public areas to accessible transportation for shore excursions, these cruise lines go the extra mile to accommodate the needs of seniors with limited mobility. Next, let’s explore cruise lines that offer activities and entertainment geared towards seniors, enhancing their onboard experience.

Cruise Lines with Activities Geared Towards Seniors

For seniors looking for a cruise experience that caters to their interests and provides engaging activities, there are cruise lines that offer a wide range of options. Let’s take a look at some cruise lines that provide activities geared towards seniors:

  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers a luxurious experience with a focus on enrichment programs for senior passengers. They provide guest lectures on a variety of topics, ranging from history and art to science and culture. Additionally, Regent offers wine tastings, cooking classes, and book clubs, ensuring there’s something for every intellectually curious senior.
  • Cunard Line: Cunard Line is an iconic cruise line that offers classic and refined experiences perfect for seniors. They provide a wide range of activities, including guest speakers, theater performances, dance classes, and arts and crafts sessions. Cunard also offers a traditional afternoon tea service, providing seniors with an opportunity to relax and socialize in a sophisticated setting.
  • Viking Ocean Cruises: Viking Ocean Cruises caters to the interests of older passengers with their enrichment programs and cultural activities. They offer lectures on history, art, and destinations, as well as cooking demonstrations and wine tastings. Viking also provides onboard performances, including classical music concerts and theatrical shows, ensuring a refined and engaging experience for senior cruisers.
  • Oceania Cruises: Oceania Cruises is known for its focus on culinary experiences, making it an excellent choice for food enthusiasts among senior travelers. They offer cooking classes, culinary tours, and wine tastings led by renowned chefs and sommeliers. Oceania also provides painting classes, arts and crafts workshops, and live music performances, ensuring a diverse range of activities for seniors to enjoy.
  • Seabourn: Seabourn is a luxury cruise line that provides a personalized and intimate experience for senior passengers. They offer a variety of activities, from guest lectures and dance classes to spa treatments and fitness sessions. Seabourn also organizes exclusive events, such as wine tastings and culinary demonstrations, ensuring a high-quality and enjoyable experience for seniors.

These cruise lines understand the interests and preferences of senior passengers, providing a wide range of activities and enrichment programs tailored to their needs. From educational lectures and cultural experiences to culinary delights and artistic pursuits, these cruise lines ensure that seniors have a truly immersive and engaging onboard experience. Next, let’s discuss cruising options for solo seniors, as many older travelers embark on journeys alone.

Cruising Options for Solo Seniors

For seniors who enjoy the freedom and independence of solo travel, there are cruise lines that cater to solo passengers by offering dedicated programs and accommodations. Let’s explore some of the cruising options for solo seniors:

  • Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line offers a dedicated solo traveler program, “Studio Staterooms,” on their ships. These staterooms are designed specifically for solo travelers and include access to a private lounge and socializing area exclusively for solo passengers. This provides an opportunity for solo seniors to meet fellow travelers and engage in social activities while enjoying their privacy.
  • Cunard Line: Cunard Line also offers solo traveler accommodations on select ships, providing a range of stateroom options designed for singles. These cabins offer all the comforts and amenities necessary for solo travelers, including access to private lounges and dining areas. Cunard Line’s formal atmosphere and engaging activities make it an excellent choice for solo seniors looking for a refined and enjoyable experience.
  • River Cruises: River cruises are another fantastic option for solo seniors seeking a more intimate and immersive experience. Many river cruise lines, such as AmaWaterways and Viking River Cruises, offer solo traveler-friendly policies, including reduced single supplements and dedicated events for solo passengers. These cruises allow solo seniors to explore picturesque riverside destinations while enjoying the camaraderie of like-minded fellow travelers.
  • Hurtigruten: Hurtigruten, known for its expedition-style cruises, offers several cabins specifically designed for solo travelers. These cabins provide all the necessary amenities and allow solo seniors to experience unique itineraries, including breathtaking journeys to remote destinations like Antarctica and the Arctic. Hurtigruten’s small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere create an ideal setting for solo travelers to connect with fellow adventurers.
  • Saga Cruises: Saga Cruises is a cruise line exclusively for passengers aged 50 and above, making it an ideal choice for solo seniors. They offer a variety of cruises designed for solo travelers, with single cabins available across their fleet. Saga Cruises also organizes solo traveler meet-ups and social events, providing opportunities for solo seniors to connect with like-minded individuals.

These cruise lines understand the unique needs and preferences of solo seniors, providing dedicated programs and accommodations to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Whether you choose a mainstream cruise line that caters to solo travelers or opt for a river cruise or specialized expedition cruise, embarking on a solo journey can be a fulfilling and enriching experience for senior travelers.

Next, let’s discuss health and safety considerations that are crucial for senior cruisers to ensure a worry-free vacation at sea.

Health and Safety Considerations for Senior Cruisers

Health and safety are paramount considerations for senior cruisers to ensure a smooth and enjoyable sailing experience. Here are some essential health and safety considerations for seniors planning a cruise:

  • Medical Facilities and Insurance: Before embarking on a cruise, it’s important for seniors to review the onboard medical facilities and services available. Most cruise lines have medical facilities staffed with trained medical professionals, but it’s advisable to carry travel insurance that covers any potential medical expenses during the cruise.
  • Medication Management: Seniors should ensure they have an ample supply of their required medications for the duration of the cruise. It’s also advisable to keep medications in their original containers and carry a copy of the prescription, in case of any unforeseen circumstances or emergencies.
  • Mobility Assistance: If seniors have limited mobility or require special assistance, it’s important to inform the cruise line in advance to make necessary arrangements. Cruise lines offer amenities such as accessible cabins, wheelchair ramps, and priority boarding to ensure a comfortable experience for seniors with mobility challenges.
  • Sanitary Practices: Following good hygiene practices is crucial for maintaining health and safety on a cruise. Seniors should frequently wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizers available throughout the ship. It’s also important to avoid touching the face, especially before cleaning hands, to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Dietary Considerations: Informing the cruise line about any specific dietary needs, allergies, or restrictions is essential for seniors to ensure that their dining experience is safe and enjoyable. Cruise lines are well-equipped to accommodate various dietary preferences and restrictions, including gluten-free, vegetarian, or low-sodium options.
  • Staying Hydrated: It’s important for seniors to stay hydrated while on a cruise since spending time in the sun and being in air-conditioned environments can lead to dehydration. Drinking ample fluids, particularly water, is vital to prevent heat-related illnesses and maintain overall well-being.
  • Travel Vaccinations: Depending on the cruise itinerary, it’s advisable for seniors to consult with their healthcare provider to ensure they are up-to-date with necessary vaccinations for the destinations they will visit. Some countries may require specific vaccinations as a condition of entry, so it’s essential to take necessary precautions.

By considering these health and safety guidelines, senior cruisers can ensure a worry-free and enjoyable journey. It’s always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider before embarking on a cruise to assess your overall health and any specific considerations based on your medical history.

Choosing the best cruise line for seniors involves considering various factors such as accessibility, amenities, activities, and health and safety considerations. Fortunately, there are cruise lines that excel in providing senior-friendly experiences, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable journey for older travelers.

Cruise lines like Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, and Celebrity Cruises offer senior-friendly amenities, including accessible accommodations, wheelchair-friendly facilities, and a range of enriching activities. These cruise lines go above and beyond to cater to the needs and preferences of seniors, ensuring a memorable vacation experience.

For seniors with limited mobility, cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line provide accessible facilities and accommodations to ensure easy movement throughout the ship. These cruise lines also offer shore excursions with accessible transportation and facilities, allowing seniors to explore ports of call comfortably.

Cruise lines such as Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Cunard Line, Viking Ocean Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and Seabourn provide activities and entertainment geared towards seniors, offering enrichment programs, cultural experiences, and culinary delights to engage and entertain older passengers.

For seniors traveling solo, cruise lines like Norwegian Cruise Line, Cunard Line, and river cruises provide dedicated solo traveler accommodations and programs. These options allow solo seniors to enjoy their privacy while offering opportunities to meet and socialize with fellow travelers.

Health and safety considerations are paramount for senior cruisers. Checking medical facilities and carrying travel insurance, managing medications, practicing good hygiene, and informing the cruise line about dietary needs are vital for a safe and healthy cruise experience.

In conclusion, senior travelers have a plethora of options when it comes to choosing the best cruise line. By considering factors like accessibility, amenities, activities, and health and safety precautions, seniors can embark on a memorable cruise adventure that caters to their unique preferences and needs. So set sail and enjoy the incredible experiences awaiting you on the high seas!

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5 Best Cruises for Seniors

cruise ship

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 enjoy cruises for seniors?

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.

You should understand cruise secrets that relate to every cruise before your choice. They are good to know but will not affect your desire to cruise. They will enhance your trip.

Table of Contents

Things you need to consider:

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

5-best-cruises-answers

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

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 the 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.

And of course, there is always the problem of what to wear on 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.

Information from other travelers on cruise message boards can give you the “inside information” before booking.

The following are some great cruises for seniors to consider.

Our Top 5 Picks for Best Cruises for Seniors:

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 included 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 .

Their cruises are also limited to passengers who are aged 18 and older.

The Fleet – Viking

3 viking ships

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 its complimentary onshore excursions as well as its fantastic food experience. Known for large ship amenities on a small ship, most ships can accommodate 686 guests.

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 – Viking

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.  

world-globe-5-best-cruises

Why You’ll Love It – Viking

  • 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

cruises for seniors-Stateroom

  Other Unique Offerings – Viking

  • 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 – Viking

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

Upcoming cruises – Viking:

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, onboard Viking Star Where: Price: Starting at $3,349.00

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, and complimentary dining. There should be no complaints concerning the dining.

cruises for seniors -deck pool

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 – Celebrity

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 – Celebrity

Cruises for seniors ship in the Mediterranean

Why You’ll Love It – Celebrity

  • 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 – Celebrity

  • World Cruise itineraries – extensive, varied, and length of 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… World-class. 

3. Royal Caribbean International

Now if you’re looking for 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 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 and there is always something to do for everyone.

You can eat at the Windjammer buffet or in the main dining room. There are many choices in addition to these two for food choices. You can choose a large ship like Allure of the Seas or travel on a smaller ship.

The Fleet -RC

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

cruises for seniors - cruise ship

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 – RC

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, and 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, to relax or participate. Hey, just do both! 

The Destinations – RC

Why you’ll love it – rc.

  • 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
  • A lounge that offers a panoramic ocean view
  • Large, indoor gym
  • Basketball court
  • Bumper Cars and Roller Skating Arena
  • Circus school
  • Casino and Music Hall

chocolate dessert

Other Unique Offerings – RC

Quantum of the Seas offers a Dynamic Dining experience as the ship does not have a main dining room; instead, the ship has several complimentary main restaurants along with 6 additional smaller complimentary dining venues, not to mention room service. It is one of the perfect cruises for seniors.

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 experiences at sea.

The Fleet – Oceania

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 that can accommodate 684 guests include Insignia, Nautica, Regatta, and Siren.

cruise ship for cruises for seniors

The Experience – Oceania

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 its impeccable service as well as its internationally acclaimed restaurants.

The Destinations – Oceania

Why you will love it – oceania.

  • Spacious suites and staterooms, 70% with private verandas
  • Coffee Cafes
  • Afternoon Tea
  • 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

Pool Deck

Other Unique Offerings – Oceania

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

Upcoming Cruises – Oceania

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 its eleven ships sailing to over 900 ports across seven continents, the Silversea cruise line is unique. Their fare is all-inclusive, including shore excursions.

The Fleet  – Silversea

cruise ship at sea

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 – Silversea

  • 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
  • Spa and fitness center
  • Medical center onboard (doctor and nurse)
  • Luxury Cruise on a smaller intimate ship

stateroom

Other Unique Offerings – Silversea

pool area on crises for seniors

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

The Cost – Silversea

The prices 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 – Silversea

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. 

Cruises for seniors are a great way to travel. 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.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have chosen your cruise, you still have some more work to do: planning , packing, passports, and more. There is more to do but the hard part is done. You are going on a cruise. Enjoy, but what is there not to enjoy?

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Man Jumps To Death From World's Largest Cruise Ship

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas boasts a length of 1,200 feet and accommodates over 10,000 people.

Man Jumps To Death From World's Largest Cruise Ship

The incident occurred roughly 300 miles out of PortMiami

Tragedy struck the maiden voyage of the world's largest cruise ship, the Icon of the Seas. A passenger died after jumping overboard on Sunday morning, shortly after the ship departed Florida for its week-long Caribbean adventure. The man's identity remains unknown, the New York Post reported. 

"The cruise ship deployed one of their rescue boats, located the man and brought him back aboard," the Coast Guard said.

"He was pronounced deceased. Beyond assisting in the search, the US Coast Guard did not have much involvement in this incident," the agency added.

On Icon of the Seas right now. Someone jumped/fell overboard and now a Search & Rescue is taking place. Low chance they'll be found. Hold your loved ones close, guys. pic.twitter.com/xYZbDV5Sza — GenAI Chad (@GenAIChad) May 26, 2024

The incident occurred roughly 300 miles out of PortMiami, according to CruiseHive. 

The Icon of the Seas paused its journey for two hours while the crew assisted the Coast Guard in their search and rescue efforts. 

Tragically, the passenger, who had jumped overboard, was retrieved but succumbed to his injuries despite initial signs of life, as reported by CruiseHive. 

Guests onboard shared videos of the rescue mission on social media, expressing a mix of shock and concern.

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Meanwhile, Icon of the Seas offers a resort getaway, a beach escape, a theme park, and over "40 ways to dine, drink, and be entertained," according to the company.

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Carnival Firenze cruise ship review: A guide to Carnival's second 'Italian Style' vessel

Ashley Kosciolek

Editor's note: TPG's Ashley Kosciolek accepted a free trip to sail on Carnival Firenze for the ship's naming ceremony and inaugural cruise. The views expressed below are entirely hers and were not subject to review by the cruise line.

When Carnival Cruise Line first announced it was adopting ships from sister cruise line Costa Cruises for a product it now calls " Fun Italian Style ," I wondered, given Carnival's usual vibe, if it was possible for the ships to feel even a little bit authentic. Would they be fun or refined? Luxurious or tacky? Carnival Firenze is all of those things — and that's exactly how Carnival passengers like it.

When you step on board, you're welcomed into what feels like an Italian theme park. It's an alternate universe's version of Italy, where you're likely to hear "That's Amore" in some form daily, take part in a street festival that features a gelato-eating contest and watch as waiters in ruffle-sleeved costumes perform in the dining room to Justin Bieber songs while a giant fig leaf-clad version of Michelangelo's David holds court over the whole scene, awash in colored strobe lights.

cruise ship games for seniors

It's chaotic and a lot to take in, but somehow it works. Passengers can have their photos taken with a Vespa-style scooter and grab Italian-themed burgers and meatball sandwiches at new iterations of some of Carnival's most popular eateries. A giant replica of Donatello's Marzocco towers above the Piazza del Duomo atrium that serves as the location of Carnival Firenze's massive welcome party. During the event, officers and crew scatter around the atrium's three-deck balcony and wave signs that say "Ciao" and "Benvenuti." The high-energy party starts a sailing off on the right foot.

For more cruise guides, news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

Juxtapose the over-the-top Italian elements with elegant design choices — such as a pool deck that features charming bar facades designed to evoke Italian architecture, well-designed cabins and service that's off-the-charts friendly — and you've got Carnival Firenze.

Want to learn more about what to expect during a sailing on this new-to-Carnival ship? Here's my review of Carnival Firenze with everything you need to know.

Carnival Firenze overview

cruise ship games for seniors

Carnival Firenze debuted as Costa Firenze, the second ship in Costa Cruises' Venezia Class (similar to Carnival's Vista Class) , in 2021. The 4,126-passenger, 135,156-ton ship was originally designed for the Chinese cruise market, meaning it houses more casino and retail space than the average North American cruise ship. Plus, its pools are smaller than most, with tons of shaded areas around them — a nice touch for anyone who doesn't want to bake in the sun.

In early 2024, the ship transferred to the Carnival fleet and underwent a two-month refurbishment to tweak some of the public spaces and add Carnival's trademark blue wave paint scheme on the hull. Notably, the ship is keeping its yellow Costa smokestack, which is emblazoned with a giant letter "C," and won't be outfitted with Carnival's signature red, white and blue whale tail funnel.

On board, a large number of your fellow passengers will be West Coasters who often drive to the departure port in Long Beach, California. You'll also find Carnival stalwarts who don't mind making the trip from farther afield to sail on the new ship.

Unfortunately, the vessel often seemed crowded, with 4,200 passengers on my sailing — about 1,000 people fewer than maximum capacity. I can't imagine how it would have felt if my sailing were full.

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As is the case on other Carnival vessels, the food provides excellent value for money, with the number of included options far exceeding the number of specialty restaurants that charge extra. Cuisines run the gamut from Italian and Asian to seafood and steak, and despite some longer-than-average wait times in the dining room, the service is friendly and generally efficient.

Cabins are furnished in neutral colors and laid out in ways that make sense, with comfortable convertible beds; closets that feature several layouts with drawers, hanging bars and collapsible shelving; bathrooms with plenty of storage space; and a plethora of electrical outlets for charging.

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Carnival Firenze is full of activities, including trivia, movies and games. The spa, salon and fitness center offer ways to care for your mind and body, and top-deck waterslides and a ropes course provide opportunities for adventuresome travelers to find their adrenaline fix.

The Italian vibe carries through everything you do on board. It will either make you smile or roll your eyes. Regardless, it's a lot of fun.

What I love about Carnival Firenze

The design elements.

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I wasn't sure what to expect on Carnival Firenze, but what I found immediately upon boarding was a grand three-deck atrium, Piazza del Duomo, that's both over the top and beautiful. In the center is a bar, from the middle of which rises a faux marble pillar with a replica of Donatello's Marzocco golden lion statue on the top. Your eyes can't help but follow it up toward the ceiling, which is painted to look like a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.

As you move between decks, you'll spy Italian-style art in the stairwells and elevator banks. Walls in the cabin hallways are printed with snippets from photos of famous Italian statues; photos of Florentine landmarks like the Duomo serve as headboards in non-suite cabins.

But the most impressive element of the ship's design is the Lido Pool area, which is set up to resemble a courtyard with the pool in the center and several Italian building facades overlooking it. Those facades, which are equipped with wrought-iron balconies, house everything from bars and board game areas to a deli, Guy's Burger Joint (with an Italian twist) and a combination Mexican-Italian burrito and taco bar, as well as the ship's JavaBlue Cafe . It's the first time I've ever visited a cruise pool area and not felt like I was on a ship.

The artwork

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During my first night on Carnival Firenze, as I was walking from my cabin down to dinner, I stopped in my tracks and burst out laughing. The aft stairwells on the ship are bedecked with floor-to-ceiling prints that seem innocuous at first, but as you look more closely, you can pick out some exceptionally odd characters. In this particular case, it was two young women who clearly tested the limits of their drink package.

Throughout the rest of my sailing, I made sure to study each print carefully, turning up a creepy crone who needs dental work and some pasties, a woman pulling a centaur's hair, another woman choking on plants and a sad dog standing on top of the table in a chaotic version of "The Last Supper" as Jesus nonchalantly looks on.

Similarly amusing art was positioned on several walls in the ship's two main dining rooms. At Rococo, the bar that serves the Lido Pool, you'll find the walls plastered with late Baroque-style art featuring subjects that have been embellished with modern twists like sunglasses and pithy text. Women in frilly dresses are overlaid with exclamations like "Don't rush me," "Dogs before dudes" and "Swag."

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I wasn't a fan of some of the cheesiness on board (see below), but it's clear that both passengers and crew were excited to be there. From the second we were welcomed aboard with a raucous atrium party, the crew was smiling and friendly, and my fellow cruisers were always ready to strike up a conversation.

Every waiter asked how my day was, and my room steward greeted me by name whenever he saw me in the hall. The crew at JavaBlue went out of their way to make sure my coffee order was right each morning, and the genuine cheerfulness didn't go unnoticed.

What I don't love about Carnival Firenze

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Flow can be a problem on Carnival Firenze, with galley placement cutting off access from one end of Deck 3 to the other. Passengers traversing the lower decks often have to walk up a deck, over and back down to get where they're going.

The Lido Marketplace buffet is also a problem at peak dining times. The main walkways through the venue feel narrow, making it difficult for two-way traffic to flow through the space, especially for people using wheelchairs, scooters or walkers.

In some spots, the layout was simply confusing. For example, the Tuscan Lounge has two entrances — a primary one that allows traffic to naturally flow from one venue to the next and a hidden secondary one that most people only find by accident, usually after taking a wrong turn.

The fig leaf

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Although I'm a fan of much of the art on Carnival Firenze, one piece in particular disappoints me. In the Michelangelo Restaurant, one of the two main dining rooms on board, a giant copy of Michelangelo's David stands on the landing of the grand staircase that connects the restaurant's two decks.

Previously housed on Carnival Pride, the statue was relocated to Carnival Firenze. It still dons a carefully fashioned fig leaf that was made and attached to cover its groin area after a bunch of pearl-clutching Karens complained about having to see — gasp! — a piece of art that's been around for more than five centuries.

Festa Italiana

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Festa Italiana is a big, loud, cheesy Italian-themed street festival-type celebration that's held one night during each Carnival Firenze voyage. The Lido Pool area is strung with red, white and green flags, and the event, which lasts more than two hours, kicks off with a talented violin trio.

Following that, the cruise director moves into what the line calls a "traditional" opening ceremony, involving members of the Playlist Productions cast in cartoonish-looking versions of Italian dress parading around the deck. They perform several times throughout the night, alternating with activities like gelato-eating contests, Italian lessons (where the audience learns a couple of phrases that they scream back and forth at one another) and competitions where participants have to maneuver, blindfolded, around terra cotta pots.

The night ends with a DJ, who plays music (think: interesting mashups like "Funiculi Funicula" and Lady Gaga's "Rain on Me") while servers walk around with trays of Italian sausage sandwiches and bites of salami and cheese pastry.

Parts of it are fun, but overall, it feels like an amalgamation of stereotypes instead of an ode to one of the world's most beautiful countries.

Carnival Firenze cabins and suites

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Carnival Firenze cabins range from insides with no natural light and outsides with a window to balcony accommodations and suites, including those in La Terrazza, a special zone that offers private cabana, bar and sun deck access.

One odd cabin type to note is the ship's inside cabins with windows and portholes. Normally, they'd be considered outside cabins, but because the views are partially obstructed, the line sells them as insides. Book one of these cabins, and you can snag a room with natural light for less money.

The ship offers no solo cabins, but it does have 44 accessible accommodations sprinkled throughout all basic categories. The rooms are a mix of fully accessible (access to both sides of the bed), fully accessible single-side approach (access to one side of the bed) and ambulatory accessible (for people who can walk with assistive devices like walkers or canes).

Fully accessible rooms are stair-free, flat-threshold cabins, which offer wider (32-inch) doorways, turning space and bathrooms equipped with grab bars and shower seats.

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Even the most basic of cabins offers a queen bed that converts to two twins and two nightstands with cabinet storage and reading lamps. Some also sleep up to four people with either a sofa bed or a mix of a sofa bed and a pull-down bunk.

Each room offers a vanity with a mirror, a desk, a stool or chair, a phone, a minifridge, a hair dryer and plenty of outlets. Rooms also come with ample closet space that includes shelving, drawers and bars for hanging clothes of various lengths. Inside each closet is a code-operated safe for which you can program a four-digit pin. (On the first couple of days of my voyage, I had trouble with my in-room safe. After a quick phone call to my room steward, someone arrived at my cabin within minutes to fix it.)

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Bathrooms at the basic level are shower only, and they're made of cheap-looking white plastic. Each shower has a fiberglass door instead of a curtain and a single dispenser for all-in-one shower gel and shampoo. They're also equipped with a toilet, a sink, fluffy white towels and plenty of shelving for storing personal grooming items.

As cabins increase in category, they also increase in size and amenities.

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Suites come with additional perks, such as priority check-in, boarding and disembarkation; preferred dinner times in the main dining room; pillow-top mattresses; two large bottles of water and bathrobes; upgraded bathroom toiletries; and extra square footage, some of which is dedicated to larger balconies and even walk-in closets.

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Some bathrooms at the suite level include bathtubs in addition to shower facilities. Additionally, passengers booked in Ocean suites and La Terrazza cabins (Carnival Firenze's version of Havana Cabana cabins) have access to the exclusive Terrazza Moda sun deck with loungers, hot tubs and a bar, as well as private waiter-served breakfast each morning in the adjoining, indoor Moda Bar and Lounge.

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When I sailed on Carnival Firenze, I sailed alone and stayed in a balcony cabin outfitted with a double sleeper sofa and a balcony with two metal and mesh chairs and a small drinks table. Its size was more than enough for me and another person, but it would have been tight quarters sailing with the room's maximum occupancy of four passengers.

I was particularly impressed by how comfortable the bed was and the number of outlets available for charging devices. (The only minor issue is that only one side of the bed has USB ports for phone charging at night.) One thoughtful touch was the motion-activated nightlight that turns on when it senses movement in a dark room. It's a lifesaver if you find yourself needing to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

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I also enjoyed the decor, which is less over the top than on some of the older, more colorful ships in Carnival's fleet but less bland than some of its newest ships. It's a happy medium of neutral whites, light browns and beiges with soothing blue hues and floor-to-ceiling prints of some of Italy's famed landmarks.

Dislikes for me included a shower door that leaked, soaking the floor each time I turned on the water, plus "Snoozin'" door hangers that often got caught in my door when I closed it. For the latter, I would've preferred a "Do not disturb" button like many other new ships have.

Carnival Firenze's cabins require you to put something in the slot near the door in order to turn on the lights. (I used my room steward's business card.)

Speaking of room stewards, mine was fantastic, and he came once a day to clean my room between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. He always did a wonderful job, and he was quick to help when I had clothing to send out for pressing.

Carnival Firenze restaurants and bars

Carnival firenze food.

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The food on Carnival Firenze is largely tasty, with lots of options, including no-fee dishes and fancy choices that cost extra.

In keeping with the ship's Italian theming, Carnival has added a twist to other vessels' favorite eateries, such as Guy's Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina, which appears as Mexican-Italian hybrid Tomodoro. The standard Carnival deli outpost has also been given an Italian spin.

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Additionally, Cucina del Capitano, the added-fee Italian restaurant on several other Carnival ships, has been replaced on Carnival Firenze with Il Viaggio, an absolutely phenomenal take on modern, upscale Italian food.

Overall, the food offerings on the ship are a great blend of old favorites — like the Lido Marketplace buffet, Pizzeria del Capitano, the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Bonsai Sushi and Bonsai Teppanyaki — and these new takes on existing restaurants.

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Plus, the ship has so many places to sit outside for an alfresco bite. Check out Deck 5, near Bonsai Sushi and Bonsai Teppanyaki, for example. You can enjoy a meal with sea views to boot.

Note: Hours for most restaurants vary based on whether it's a sea day or a port day. Check the daily schedule or Carnival's Hub app for details.

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Carnival Firenze has two main dining rooms: Medici Restaurant (Deck 3, mid) and Michelangelo Restaurant (decks 3 and 4, aft).

Michelangelo Restaurant is dedicated to passengers who select Your Time Dining, which lets you eat anytime between 5 and 9 p.m. (The dedicated YTD restaurant can vary by sailing, depending on how many people choose that option.) Medici Restaurant is used for set seating, with two dining times: one at 5:30 p.m. and one at 7:45 p.m.

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Both serve the same menu for dinner, but only the larger Michelangelo Restaurant is open for Sea Day Brunch on sea days and breakfast (but not lunch) on port days. It also serves afternoon tea on sea days. Meanwhile, the Medici Restaurant serves a pasta bar for lunch on select sea days.

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I had YTD, and I dined three times in the Michelangelo Restaurant. The first time was for brunch, where I had a vegetable omelet with a side of chef Emeril Lagasse's signature beignets. The second time was for a dinner of a simple but lovely Caprese salad and an Indian vegetarian sampler, which included spiced paneer dumplings, chana madra, peas pulao and rice. (Indian dishes are a little-known Carnival specialty.) The final time was disembarkation morning, when I enjoyed delectable vanilla French toast with maple butter and caramelized bananas.

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The service was friendly but slow; I had to wait longer than expected between courses at dinner. Both breakfast and brunch were served at a perfect pace, though, with items appearing quickly and looking and tasting fresh.

Lido Marketplace is the ship's complimentary Deck 10 midship buffet that is open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night snacks like cookies and other finger foods. For breakfast, you can expect cereal, an omelet station, eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, cold cuts and cheeses. Lunch offers a salad bar, various hot entrees and sides, plus a selection of desserts. Dinner is similar, with salads, a carving station and hot items that might include things like Cornish game hen, rice, roasted potatoes, green beans, egg rolls, fried shrimp and Asian noodles.

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Although the buffet is fine for a meal on the go, I largely avoided it due to crowds. It's a shame, too, because it's one of the prettiest buffets I've ever seen, adorned with faux vegetation lining the walkways and tables set up indoors with umbrellas and lanterns hanging over them, mimicking the feel of an outdoor bistro.

I did pop in once in a while to enjoy a cone of soft serve ice cream from the two Swirls locations, which are small alcoves with machines that also serve frozen yogurt. At one point, both sets of Swirls machines were broken, and it was a comical scene as several officers and engineers stood around them looking confused.

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Elsewhere on Deck 10, near the Lido Pool, you'll find two complimentary venues, Tomodoro and Guy's Burger Joint, both with an Italian spin. Tomodoro serves as the Mexican-Italian stand-in for Carnival's popular BlueIguana Cantina. Both walk-up counters are open for lunch and dinner.

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I tried both of the Italian burger options from Guy's — one with mozzarella, balsamic, tomatoes, basil and Donkey Sauce and another with pepperoni, marinara sauce, Donkey Sauce, mozzarella, provolone and Parmesan cheeses. Both were just OK, and I was sad to see that my favorite burger, the Pig Patty, was absent from the menu on this ship.

At Tomodoro, the menu lists tacos and burritos, as well as Italian meatball heroes, Sicilian chicken wraps and tortas de Milanese. The burritos were fantastic, as always, but my hot take on the changes made to both BlueIguana Cantina and Guy's Burger Joint is if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Venture aft and you'll run into Pizzeria del Capitano , which is open 19 hours a day and makes some of the best pies at sea . (Seriously.) I often waited 20 minutes on sea days, but it was well worth it. (If you don't want to stand in line, you can order pizza to be delivered to your cabin via room service for a $6 fee.) You can choose from Margherita, pepperoni, four cheese, mushroom and prosciutto. You can also order a couple of extra-fee specialty pies, such as teriyaki chicken and Korean steak barbecue.

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I was pleasantly surprised by Il Mercato, Carnival's take on an Italian deli that is open from lunchtime until late. Usually, the deli is located inside Lido Marketplace, but it was moved to a quieter and less crowded area on Deck 11, just above the Lido Pool, to make room in the buffet for an added-fee chicken wing stand.

Il Mercato looks like a bit of an afterthought, given its portable-looking booth area, but the alfresco atmosphere and the food are great. The menu consists of meatball sandwiches, hot dogs and Italian sausage sandwiches. Eight options for both hot and cold sandwiches include grilled ham and cheese, a Reuben, cheese steak, tomato and mozzarella with arugula on focaccia, chicken salad, and turkey and Swiss. I tried the cheese steak with peppers and onions; despite its rather sad appearance, it was delicious and could rival just about anything found in Philadelphia.

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Carnival has also done something interesting with Seafood Shack on this ship. Instead of only serving seafood, this Deck 10 venue starts as the Breakfast Shack in the morning and then turns into the Chicken Shack for lunch. Both are complimentary and serve up a variety of chicken sandwiches with fries, pasta salads and other sides. (Carnival Firenze doesn't have Shaq's Big Chicken like some of the other vessels in the fleet, so this was a nice way to utilize the space and offer a similar dining experience to passengers.)

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Although I wasn't staying in a suite, I was able to try the private breakfast for La Terrazza and Ocean Suite passengers offered daily in Deck 5's Moda Bar and Lounge. If you're staying in one of those cabins and have access, trust me when I say you won't want to miss the quiche or avocado toast.

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Other free food options include La Strada Grill (Deck 5 midship), Fresh Creations salad bar (Deck 15 forward on the adults-only Serenity sun deck) and room service (free continental breakfast). I didn't try any of these because La Strada is only open from noon to 2:30 p.m. on sea days, Fresh Creations was way too crowded when I stopped by and I didn't eat in my room for breakfast.

Of these three options, the most compelling menu is La Strada's. It lists a Sicilian chicken hero, roast beef on a roll, Italian sausage, smoked pulled pork and macaroni and cheese, with a choice of salads and sides.

Extra-cost food

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On many of its ships, Carnival already has an Italian restaurant, Cucina del Capitano , which offers a homey ambience and family-favorite recipes from the Italian captains across the line's fleet. Oddly, the restaurant appears on neither Carnival Firenze nor sister ship Carnival Venezia (another vessel that offers the "Fun Italian Style" experience).

Instead, it has been replaced by one of my new favorites: Il Viaggio, an upscale Italian eatery with a $42 per-person cover charge, nearly double what most ships with Cucina del Capitano charge passengers to dine. Il Viaggio's decor is elegant but understated, and it opens for dinner only. It doesn't drip with red, white and green or stereotypical Italian adornments, offering a refreshing escape from other areas of the vessel where the theming is intense.

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The menu, which is billed as "a culinary voyage through Italy's diverse regions — one plate at a time," includes some of the best food I've ever had on a ship. I thoroughly enjoyed the house-made burrata; the pollo parmigiana pizza, which has a crust made of chicken; the gnocchi with goat cheese and truffle oil; and the mile-high gelato pie.

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For anyone looking for a decent steak dinner that won't break the bank, Fahrenheit 555 on Deck 5 is it. Not only is it one of the most consistently superb oceangoing steakhouses from ship to ship, but its cover charge of $49 per person is nominal compared to what you'd pay at a steakhouse ashore.

I ate an incredible filet mignon with onion rings, broccoli and chimichurri sauce, and it was absolutely worth the price.

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Interestingly, the steakhouse was added after the ship left China. It's in what used to be a hot pot restaurant, so the vibe is decidedly Asian, featuring black counters and tables with deep red carpeting and chairs. Black latticework in part of the space adds to the ambience.

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Bonsai Sushi and Bonsai Teppanyaki, positioned near one another midship on Deck 5, are both open for lunch (on sea days only) and dinner.

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I had a light dinner of sushi during one night of my voyage, and it set me back just $11 ($3 for an order of edamame and $8 for a California roll).

On a different night, I opted for the teppanyaki experience, which involved a chef cracking jokes, singing songs and making flaming onion volcanoes and snakes out of rice as he cooked. Thankfully, we didn't have to try to catch flying food in our mouths. For the $42 flat-fee cover charge, each passenger receives white shrimp, pork belly yakitori, spicy tuna and a choice of either miso soup or kabuki salad to start.

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From there, you choose from entrees like lobster tail, shrimp, spiced grilled chicken, grilled tofu, black cod and filet mignon or a combination of them. I chose the filet and was pleased with my decision. The meat and accompanying rice and vegetables were exceptionally flavorful.

Bonsai Teppanyaki is also open for lunch with a similar menu for $38 per person.

JavaBlue Cafe on Deck 10, just off of the Lido Pool courtyard, is one of my favorite places on any Carnival ship. In the warm Mexican weather, I wasn't always a fan of its alfresco location on Carnival Firenze — most JavaBlue locations are indoors — but I was able to grab my daily pick-me-up just the way I like it.

Although coffees at JavaBlue come with an extra charge, the price is nominal compared to Starbucks. Plus, if you ask for a punch card, you'll earn yourself a free coffee after you buy six, which isn't hard to do on a weeklong sailing.

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JavaBlue also sells cupcakes, cookies, doughnuts and other pastries for a fee.

Room service is offered for a per-item fee (except for continental breakfast, which is free each morning). Door hangers are no longer offered, so you'll have to order via your cabin phone or the Hub app. The menu on the app for Carnival Firenze seemed smaller than it does on other ships, listing items like pizza and sandwiches. On a particularly busy sea day when I didn't want to wait in line at Pizzeria del Capitano, I ordered a pie to my cabin. For $6, it arrived hot, fresh and fast, and it tasted wonderful.

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The places I didn't try were All Things Wings and Seafood Shack. Carnival Firenze has a new walk-up counter in the Lido Marketplace buffet that sells wings, with prices ranging from six pieces for $5 to 24 pieces for $18. You can choose from several flavors like barbecue, Parmesan garlic, chipotle honey, hot barbecue and buffalo, which increase in heat respectively. All orders come with bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks.

Seafood Shack, found on Deck 10 aft, opens at 3:30 p.m. and stays open late at the same walk-up counter where Breakfast Shack and Chicken Shack are located earlier in the day. It sells for-fee seafood bites, such as lobster rolls and crabcakes, for a la carte prices.

A small empanada counter is hidden away in the back of the Tuscan Lounge. I never saw it open, but several passengers told me it only operated at night, selling added-fee options that include shrimp sofrito, chipotle chicken with cheese, beef picadillo, and spinach and mushroom with cheese. Sweet empanadas are also available, including chocolate, banana and coconut; dulce de leche cheesecake; guava and cream cheese; and Nutella and hazelnut varieties.

Carnival Firenze bars

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Unlike the version of the Heroes Tribute Bar that's tucked away in a corner on Carnival's Excel Class ships, the version on Carnival Firenze is much brighter and more centrally located on the main promenade area along Deck 5 mid. Designed to honor service men and women who sail, it has a relaxed vibe and a sports bar ambience. The seating at the bar counter is the perfect spot to watch the big games on multiple TVs.

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I was a regular at the Tuscan Lounge, also centrally located on Deck 5 aft, mainly because it's where the ship's daily trivia games take place. The space features a lounge area with tables, a dance floor and a projection screen. Across the walkway that runs through the space is a bar set up with stools and nearby tables with black and white striped umbrellas.

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Frizzante is one of my absolute favorite bars. There, you'll find various spritz-style drinks. I enjoyed a Frizzante Spritz (made with dry vermouth, moscato wine, triple sec and club soda) on my second night on board and kept heading back to the bar to try more cocktails. It's a terrific place to grab a pre-dinner drink if you have a reservation at neighboring Il Viaggio.

I admit that I misjudged the Amari Bar at first. Found smack in the middle of Deck 5's main thoroughfare, it serves cocktails made with, as the name suggests, amari — herbal Italian liqueurs.

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For days, I didn't see it crowded, but perhaps I was merely passing by at the wrong times. By day four or five of my seven-night sailing, it was packed. I was also initially upset to learn that Amari replaced the Alchemy Bar on Carnival Firenze, but I found out later that you can still order some of the most popular Alchemy drinks, such as The Remedy and the Cucumber Sunrise, there.

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I was fortunate to sit in on a mixology class at the Amari Bar and was fascinated to learn some of the finer points of mixing drinks with an eye — or a tastebud — toward balancing the flavors of each ingredient. For $30 per person, the head bartender, Drazen, will impart some of that knowledge as you belly up to the bar to try samples of what he concocts.

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Rococo is a fun, partially enclosed pool bar area by the courtyard around the Lido Pool on Deck 10. In addition to the fun art mentioned previously, it also has palate-pleasing beverage selections, including fruity libations with an Italian bent like bellinis, as well as pistachio and limoncello cocktails.

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Other onboard bars include the centrally located one on Deck 3 in the Piazza del Duomo. The Moda Bar and Lounge on Deck 5 evokes a high-fashion mood with an entryway that feels like a model's catwalk as stylish seating areas flank the sides; it's often the home base for karaoke. Meanwhile, the shockingly red, white and black Piano Bar 88, also on Deck 5, plays host to live piano music daily.

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Heading up a few decks, the Versilia Pool Bar serves fruity, beachy drinks near the aft Versilia Pool on Deck 10. Finally, the Pergola Bar, found adjacent to Il Mercato and overlooking the opposite side of the Lido Pool, feels like a complete afterthought. It's so sterile and nondescript it's almost not worth mentioning, but I'm putting it in here because the seating area around it is lovely, featuring fake topiary-style pillars and lots of seating that makes for a great place to read.

Carnival Firenze entertainment

Carnival firenze activities.

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Carnival Firenze offers a large number of daily activities on each voyage.

Passengers might choose to head to the casino (or the smoke-free casino, both on Deck 5), enjoy an alcohol tasting, participate in a sports tournament, mingle at a deck party, play miniature golf, take a dance class or attend a spa, jewelry or shopping seminar.

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The Cloud 9 Spa on Deck 12 forward is equipped to perform a menu of services, including massages and facials. The connected fitness center is on the small side but features for-fee personal training and organized fitness classes, as well as equipment that's free for passengers to use. Carnival Firenze does not have a thermal suite.

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The Cloud 9 Salon, found in a different area of the ship on Deck 5 mid, offers manicures, pedicures and hairstyling, haircuts and color. Be warned that you'll pay huge markups for services on board versus on land.

Looking to find a group of like-minded travelers on your sailing? Check out meetups for solo travelers, singles, people in recovery, veterans and members of the LGBTQ+ community listed in the daily program.

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If you're interested in spending time outdoors working on your tan, you can do so at one of two onboard pools: the Lido Pool on Deck 10 midship and the Versilia Pool on Deck 10 aft. Both are ridiculously small for the number of people on board but have more shade than most cruise ship pools.

If you're looking for loungers in the sun and don't mind being a bit farther from the pools themselves, head up two decks to 12, where loungers are so plentiful they block part of the jogging track. (Four laps equal 1 mile.)

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Oddly, the Lido Pool has no hot tubs. If you want to soak, you'll have to go to the Versilia Pool, which has two of them. The adults-only (21 and older) Solarium area on Deck 15 forward also has two hot tubs, and the La Terrazza exclusive outdoor area also has two. Neither Serenity nor La Terrazza has a pool.

Pool lifts accommodating up to 300 pounds are available for passengers with limited mobility. Lifeguards are on duty, and children's life vests are available near the Lido Pool.

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If you're looking for some wholesome fun, head to Deck 11 mid, where a portable cabinet serves as both the book and board game library. The open-air space offers plenty of tables where you can set up that chess or Scrabble board. In nearby alcoves, you'll also find pingpong and foosball tables. Or, simply grab a snack or drink from the Pergola Bar or Il Mercato and take in a movie on the poolside screen.

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If you're a water baby who loves thrills, head to WaterWorks, which offers waterslides and a splash area for kids on Deck 12 (the slide entrance is on Deck 15). Kids and adults who aren't afraid of heights will also enjoy the top-deck ropes course on Deck 15 mid. Just beneath it is the ship's miniature golf course.

Additional activities for youngsters take place on Deck 11 in Camp Ocean, Carnival's kids club . The kids club splits children into four groups: Turtles (up to 2 years old), Penguins (2 to 5), Stingrays (6 to 8) and Sharks (9 to 11). The camp facility connects to an enclosed outdoor playground area that's used on days when the weather is nice.

cruise ship games for seniors

Fun pursuits on the daily schedule might include arts and crafts, themed parties, science experiments, games and story time, depending on the age group. Group babysitting is available as part of Camp Ocean's Night Owls program, which runs until 1 a.m. at a cost of $9 per child, per hour. (Daytime Camp Ocean activities are free.)

The ship also has Carnival's Dr. Seuss tie-in, featuring Bookville — a reading room inside Camp Ocean that hosts story time — and the Thing 1 and Thing 2 Birthday Brunch, which is offered at least once per voyage for an extra fee.

Tweens and teens have their own dedicated hangout spaces, too: Circle C and Club O2, both found on Deck 3 forward. Activities there are less structured, and participants can come and go as they please. An onboard arcade offers video games for a fee.

Carnival Firenze shows

cruise ship games for seniors

The entertainment on Carnival Firenze is squarely OK. I was hoping for something new, but instead, I found shows like "Color My World" and "Dear Future Husband," both of which are already on other vessels in the fleet. Cruise ship standards, such as the "Love and Marriage Show" and adult scavenger hunt "The Quest," are fun the first time you experience them, but I was hoping for something new for Carnival's loyal and repeat guests. The titles on Firenze's proverbial marquee felt tired to me, despite the abilities of the immensely talented entertainment staff.

cruise ship games for seniors

"Dear Future Husband" is at least relatively new. It debuted on Carnival Jubilee in late 2023 and is rolling out to more vessels. It's based on a couple who decides to have their wedding on a cruise ship, and they bring along several of their friends. They sing and dance to pop songs as they board, dress for the festivities and go through the ceremony. Afterward, a "reception" with the cast is held in an onboard lounge. (On my sailing, it was in the Tuscan Lounge.)

cruise ship games for seniors

An out-of-this-world violin trio performed one night in the theater, but otherwise, shows were limited to a lot of comedy, usually held in the perpetually freezing Limelight Lounge. Everything, including the walls, is decked out in crushed blue velvet, and you're greeted by a creepy clown statue that still gives me nightmares.

On a positive note, I found plenty of terrific live music throughout the ship each night. Carnival has also stepped up its game lately in the magic department. On my last two Carnival sailings, a roving magician wandered from table to table during dinner to impress us with tricks that had me questioning reality.

Carnival Firenze itineraries and pricing

cruise ship games for seniors

Carnival Firenze is offering three- to seven-night voyages from Long Beach, near Los Angeles, along the Mexican Riviera. Itineraries include such ports as Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

At the time of publication, the least expensive price for a sailing was $214 per person ($54 per person, per night) for a four-night cruise departing in November 2025.

Note: Prices are subject to change without notice and do not include crew gratuities, taxes or port fees.

What to know before you sail on Carnival Firenze

Required documents.

cruise ship games for seniors

If you're a citizen of the U.S. on a cruise that starts and ends in the same U.S. port, you'll need a current passport, a driver's license or other government-issued photo identification along with a birth certificate to sail. Some other forms of identification, such as a passport card, are also acceptable. However, other cruises, including ones that begin in the U.S. and end in a different U.S. port, require a passport or passport card.

Passports must be valid for at least six months from the day your sailing ends. For cruises from international ports, you'll need a passport. Note: It's crucial that the name on your booking is exactly as printed on your passport or other proof of nationality. We suggest visiting Carnival's website before sailing to view the latest requirements.

Related: Which documents do you need for a cruise? From passports to printouts, here's what to take

Carnival Firenze passengers will automatically have $16 per person, per day added to their onboard accounts as service charges. Cruisers staying in suites will pay $18 per person, per day. (Children younger than 2 are exempt from gratuities.) An 18% gratuity is also added to bar and cafe purchases, spa services and the Chef's Table.

Related: Tipping on a cruise: What to know about cruise ship gratuities

cruise ship games for seniors

Carnival Wi-Fi is generally fast and reliable. However, don't be surprised if you find yourself repeatedly and automatically disconnected, which is annoying.

Packages have increased significantly in price in recent years, and each plan is only for one device. (You can log out of one and into another with the same account, but you can't connect more than one at the same time unless you buy additional plans.)

Three package tiers are available:

  • Social : Access to most social media, airline websites and apps for $18 per day ($126 for a weeklong cruise)
  • Value : Same as Social, plus access to financial and news websites and apps for $23 per day ($161 for a week)
  • Premium : Everything from the Social and Value packages, plus Skype access and video calling for $25 per day ($175 for a week)

Passengers can also choose 24 hours of Premium access for $35.

Carnival claims that its packages don't allow FaceTime, iMessage or streaming from popular apps like Netflix and Hulu. However, TPG writers have had success using all of those services with the Premium package.

Related: Wi-Fi on cruise ships: 5 things to know about internet use on board

Carry-on drinks policy

Passengers can carry on one bottle of wine or Champagne per person (21 years and older), which will incur a $15 corkage fee for consumption in public areas. Each person can also bring up to 12 standard cans or cartons of nonalcoholic beverages like juice or soda. Alcohol-free drinks in plastic and glass bottles aren't allowed.

Related: Can I bring alcohol on a cruise ship? A line-by-line guide

Smoking policy

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Smoking (including e-cigarettes and vapes) is allowed but only in designated outdoor areas on Deck 11 on the starboard side. Smoking is also allowed in the main casino, but it's for cigarettes only. (For passengers who don't light up, a separate nonsmoking casino is available but is much smaller.) All types of smoking are forbidden in cabins and on cabin balconies. A $500 fine will be assessed for cruisers who break the rules of the smoking policy.

Related: Is smoking allowed on cruise ships? A line-by-line guide

Carnival Firenze does not have self-service laundry rooms or pressing rooms. Instead, passengers can send out their clothing for washing, pressing and dry cleaning for a per-item fee.

Related: Everything you need to know about cruise ship laundry services

Electrical outlets

cruise ship games for seniors

Carnival Firenze has a mix of 110-volt North American outlets, 220-volt European outlets and 220-volt Chinese/Australian outlets in its cabins, as well as plenty of USB ports. In my balcony room, I had two North American outlets, one European outlet, one Chinese/Australian outlet and two USB ports at the vanity, plus two additional USB ports under one of the bedside reading lamps. If you bring a couple of universal adapters, you'll have more than enough spots to charge all your electronics.

The currency on Carnival Firenze is the dollar. The ship also operates without cash. Passengers link credit cards to their onboard accounts or put up a set amount of cash to charge against, using their keycards as a means of making purchases. However, you might want to have some bills handy to tip your bartender, room steward, shore excursion guide, luggage porters or room service delivery folks.

Drinking age

You must be at least 21 years old to drink alcohol on Carnival Firenze.

cruise ship games for seniors

Carnival Firenze does not have a specific daytime dress code, and people dress casually. Mexico is largely a warm-weather destination, so looking like you're going to the beach is perfectly acceptable. Pack T-shirts, shorts and bathing suits (with a cover-up to go inside on sea days or back on board on port days).

During the evenings, the official dress code is only loosely enforced. Most nights are "cruise casual," which generally involves khakis or jeans, polo shirts, sundresses and the like. Ultra casual items like cutoff jeans, men's sleeveless shirts, T-shirts and gym shorts are supposedly not permitted, but I saw plenty of them in the dining rooms during dinnertime on Carnival Firenze.

A weeklong cruise will generally schedule two formal nights — known as "elegant nights." If you're bound for the dining rooms or specialty restaurants, men should turn up in dress slacks and a dress shirt; Carnival recommends a sports coat, and a suit would not be out of place. The suggested attire for women on such nights is cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts and blouses. If you want to avoid dressing up, seek out the casual eateries, including the Lido Marketplace, or order room service to your cabin.

Related: What to wear on a cruise: Cruise attire and cruise line dress codes

Bottom line

cruise ship games for seniors

Despite some overly stereotypical moments that made the ship feel like a floating caricature of Italy, I had an amazing time on board this new-to-Carnival ship.

The food was excellent, the decor was gorgeous and the crew worked hard to make sure passengers had the best vacations possible.

Is Carnival Firenze gaudy and, at times, maybe even a little cringey? Yes, but I found myself taking limoncello shots and stuffing my face with pizza alongside everyone else. Embrace "Fun Italian Style" for what it is, and you're sure to have a great time on board.

Planning a Carnival cruise? Start with these stories:

  • The ultimate guide to Carnival Cruise Line ships and itineraries
  • 43 Carnival Cruise Line tips, tricks and hacks to enhance your vacation at sea
  • Best Carnival cruise ships: Here's which ship you should sail, based on your travel style
  • Carnival cruise packing list: What to pack for a cruise, Fun Ship style
  • The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly

cruise ship games for seniors

Can you Retire on a Cruise?

C an you retire on a cruise? The thought might have crossed your mind. It makes sense because after all, isn’t living on a cruise similar to living in a senior home? Below we will compare what it’s like to retire on a cruise versus a senior home. 

I’ve Been on over 25 Cruises, Here are 17 Things I’ll Never Do on a Cruise

Pros of Retiring on a Cruise

You get to travel.

One of the best things about retiring on a cruise is that you get to travel. You get to see the world and go from port to port which is better than staying put at home or in a retirement home.

Retiring on a cruise ship has its perks, one of which is the convenience of having all your meals included. You don’t have to worry about grocery shopping or meal planning like you would at a retirement home. 

At some retirement homes, food might not even be included or only breakfast and dinner are, leaving you to prepare your lunch. A cruise ship is definitely the way to go for a hassle-free experience.

The quality of food also differs between a retirement home and a cruise ship. On a cruise, you’re spoiled for choice with a diverse range of cuisines such as Asian, Indian and Italian. Whether you’re feeling like a sit-down meal at the Main Dining Room or a quick bite at the buffet or poolside grill, there’s bound to be something to satisfy your craving. 

Retirement homes, on the other hand, typically serve cafeteria-level food that cannot compare to the fancier options on a cruise ship. You won’t find shrimp cocktails or Baked Alaska on the menu at a retirement home!

There’s no denying that a cruise ship is a hub of entertainment. There’s an endless list of activities to do, from Bingo, Art Auctions, Learn to Dance, Trivia, to Karaoke.

While if you compare that with the activities at a senior home, they are not on the same level as those on a cruise ship. You might only come across a few activities a day, such as Bingo, arts and crafts, and free transportation to the local Walmart. 

The difference between the caliber of activities on a cruise ship versus a senior home is like night and day.

10 Food I’ll Never Eat at a Cruise Buffet

Level of Service

On a cruise ship, you can expect a higher level of service compared to a retirement home. For one thing, you get daily housekeeping service, which may not always be the case in a retirement home. 

Additionally, mealtimes on a cruise ship are a fancier affair. You get to enjoy a sit-down meal that includes all the works – a white tablecloth, a dedicated server with an assistant, a sommelier, and the maitre’d. In contrast, meals in a retirement home are not as fancy.

One nice thing about cruising is that you get to watch Broadway shows or at least Broadway-quality musicals. It’s amazing the type of shows and the caliber of performances on the ship. 

For example, some Royal Caribbean cruise ships even have Aqua Theaters where you will watch Cirque de Soleil-type shows with high divers, synchronized swimmers and acrobats! 

And if you ever feel like breaking the monotony of watching the same shows every week, you can always hit up the lobby or piano bar for some live music. 

While in your retirement home, you have to make do with watching TV. If you’re lucky, your retirement home may organize an occasional field trip to watch a show at a local theater.  

Meet New People

One good thing about cruising is that you get to meet new people every week! If you’re going on back-to-back cruises, a new set of cruise passengers will join you every week. It makes cruising interesting while if you’re in a retirement home, you’re seeing the same people every day, again and again.

10 Cheapest and Safest Places to Retire in Florida

Cons of Retiring on a Cruise Ship

You’ll be far from family.

The one main disadvantage of retiring on a cruise ship is that you won’t get to see family and your grandkids very often. They will either have to come to join you on your cruise ship or you have to get off the ship and go visit them. 

While if you’re living in a retirement home, it’s easier for your family and you will get to spend more time with your grandkids.

Health Care

A major hesitation that I have for retiring on a cruise ship is the lack of medical facilities on board. If there is a medical emergency, the ship may not have the personnel or equipment necessary to handle it. 

Even for routine checkups, you will need to leave the ship to see your doctor for a checkup. This means you won’t have access to prescription medication on the ship either. 

If you have a serious medical issue, the cruise ship may ask you to disembark, leaving you stranded without a place to stay. It can be quite unsettling to be uprooted like that.

10 Ridiculous Time Wasters to Avoid on a Cruise

Health Insurance

When you retire on a cruise, you will have to pay for international health insurance. This is because Medicare does not cover you when you’re outside the country. 

You also need to make sure that your insurance policy includes emergency evacuation coverage since this can be exorbitantly expensive. It can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 to be transported to a US facility in an emergency situation!

Most cruise ships don’t allow pets onboard. If you have a cat or dog, you can’t bring it with you on the ship. You will have to make do living without your furry friend.

Small Cabin

Living on a cruise ship may seem appealing at first, but as time goes by, the small cabins with limited storage space might start to feel cramped. Even if you choose a balcony room or a suite, you’ll eventually find yourself wishing for more space. 

You might start yearning for a larger bathroom with a tub, a more spacious balcony, and additional storage space, not to mention a more sizable cabin overall. The novelty of retiring on a cruise ship is bound to wear off, leaving you longing for the comforts of a larger living space.

Seasickness

Retiring on a cruise ship may sound like a dream come true, but it does come with its own set of challenges. One of the downsides is the possibility of seasickness. 

Even if you’re not usually affected by it, choppy waters could trigger nausea. Even if you select a cruise itinerary that avoids rough seas, you never know when a storm could unexpectedly hit.

Not Connected

One of the drawbacks of living on a cruise ship is the limited connectivity. You might not always have reliable wifi on board, and phone calls can cost a lot. You also have fewer options for entertainment, such as TV shows and channels. Even streaming Netflix can be tricky, because of the slow speed or the data limit. It’s not easy to stay in touch with the world when you’re cruising.

The 12 Best Cities to Retire in America

How Much Does it Cost to Retire on a Cruise?

Let’s compare how much it costs to go on a cruise versus living in a senior home. For example, if you go on Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas and do back-to-back cruises from the Mediterranean to Transatlantic to the Caribbean, you are looking at approximately $195 per person per day for an inside stateroom with a view of the promenade. That comes out to just under $6000 a month. This will be less if you choose an older ship. 

Compare that to living in a senior home where the median cost of senior independent living is approximately $3000. But it can be a lot more expensive than that. I know where I am in Connecticut, for example, I’m looking at closer to $7000 a month!

It really depends on where you live and the type of cruise you find. Don’t forget to add extra health insurance to your total plus other expenses like shore excursion, airfare and hotel. Living on a cruise is going to come out more expensive than living in a senior home. 

Is retiring on a cruise doable? Yes, for sure it’s doable. I think it could be a lot of fun. But it’s definitely not a long term retirement solution due to the lack of medical staff and facilities onboard the ship.

I do suggest giving it a try by doing a few back to back cruises for a month. Be on the lookout for Cruise Deals – you never know what you find.  

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Check out these cruise packing lists with free printables

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Can you retire on a cruise? The thought might have crossed your mind. It makes sense because after all, isn’t living on a cruise similar to living in a senior home? Below we will compare what it’s like to retire on a cruise versus a senior home.  I’ve Been on over 25 Cruises, Here are […]

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Woman half way into world's longest cruise shares the worst thing onboard the ship

Woman half way into world's longest cruise shares the worst thing onboard the ship

Life on a cruise ship for nine months is unique, at the very least.

Tom Earnshaw

Tom Earnshaw

A passenger on the world's longest cruise holiday has revealed the things that she dislikes the most about the excursion.

The average cruise ship holiday is going to take up a week or two of your year, with thousands every year taking to the open seas across the planet as a form of rest and recreation.

A particular crowd even opt for what are known as 'spicy' cruises , where they share partners with other passengers .

Well, as unique as a swingers' cruise might be , there's another kind of cruise that might take the biscuit.

We're on about Royal Caribbean's Ultimate World Cruise, which sails consistently around the world for nine months .

Lasting for 274 days, it takes thousands of passengers to the likes of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt and Sydney Harbour in Australia .

Royal Caribbean's 22-year-old ship, the Serenade of the Seas, is the vessel that is sailing around the globe almost consistently, with it having a capacity of 2,490 paying customers.

Now, one passenger half way through the current tour of the Ultimate World Cruise has revealed the things she thinks are the worst thing about the nine month venture.

Leah Bott is on the RC ship with her husband Steve, having set sail at the start of the year.

Leah Bott and her husband Steve (Royal Caribbean Blog)

Having a '10 out of 10' time on board Serenade, Leah said it was '100% worth it', and they have been able to do everything they wanted to.

That's included Royal Caribbean coming up with alternative plans when the weather has meant the original excursion plans have had to be scrapped.

"Missing out on Machu Picchu was a big disappointment. But the cultural locations we were able to explore in Cusco and the shows they set up for us in Lima were amazing last-minute substitutes," the American wrote over on royalcaribbeanblog.com.

Royal Caribbean's cruise ship Serenade of the Seas (Feature China/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

"For me, the Ultimate World Cruise has been life changing. And I expect this will continue over the next four and a half months."

But there's been one main gripe with the ship itself, despite the good times that have been had. And I suppose after four and a half months at sea, your opinion gains a bit more credibility than those who only cruise for up to a fortnight or so.

Leah said: "If you are following any of the content creators on this ship, you have probably heard this complaint.

"The noise. Everywhere. All the time.

"I do love the layout of the Serenade. I only have one other ship to compare it to – the Adventure of the Seas.

Serenade of the Seas (Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

"But in my opinion, the design of the Serenade is much better. It’s too bad it doesn’t have a Flowrider [surf simulator], but that’s another issue.

"The one bad part about the Serenade design is the openness of the Centrum [the open middle point of the ship where everything comes together].

"The noise that reaches this area flows up from Deck 4 to 12. It is annoying and problematic."

Topics:  Cruise Ship , Holiday , Travel , World News , US News

Tom joined LADbible in 2024, specialising in SEO and trending content. He moved to the company from Reach plc where he enjoyed spells as a content editor and senior reporter for one of the country's most-read local news brands, LancsLive. When he's not in work, Tom spends his adult life as a suffering Manchester United supporter after a childhood filled with trebles and Premier League titles. You can't have it all forever, I suppose.

@ TREarnshaw

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COMMENTS

  1. Senior Citizen Cruises: Everything You Need to Know

    On select ships, you can also enjoy a game of pickleball on the sports court. *Solarium kid's hours available from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm on select itineraries - Antarctica, Alaska, and the Baltics. Read: Things to Do Outdoors on a Cruise Ship. Book Shore Excursions and Destination Lectures

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    Travel Sequence is a mini-sized version of the game, so it's great for packing light. It has much of the fun of the original game, with a couple of key changes. Travel Sequence is for 2-4 players, but the regular game can be played by up to 12 players. The travel version's gameplay is also much faster.

  5. The Best Cruises for Seniors

    American Queen Voyages. American Cruise Lines. 9 AmaWaterways. 1. Viking Cruises. Ship Exterior on Viking Orion. Viking Cruises offers river, ocean and expedition sailings. The line targets well ...

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    The specific activities and events may vary depending on the cruise line, ship, and itinerary, but here are some examples: Live music performances. Theater shows and musicals. Comedy acts. Dance classes. Fitness classes and workouts. Sports tournaments (e.g. basketball, volleyball, mini-golf) Trivia and game shows.

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    5. Play Ping-Pong. Ping pong is a classic game that has been enjoyed by people of all ages for generations. While it may not be the first activity that comes to mind when you think of a cruise, playing ping pong on a ship can be a fun and exciting way to pass the time while taking in stunning ocean views.

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    But seniors are in for an additional treat. The array of fun and fascinating shore excursions available, many of which are wheelchair accessible, is one of the best reasons why seniors should take a cruise: Cruise to Alaska and experience the Saxman Native Village Tour, witness the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show or go all out and discover ...

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    These fully restored locomotive trains can bring you back in time as you journey past the original Klondike Trail of 1898. With convenient departures from Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C., the best Alaska cruises for seniors are just a short flight - or drive - away. World Cruises for Seniors.

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    But seniors who travel solo can save money by booking on a ship with single-occupancy rooms. For example, on P&O Cruises' Azura, 130-square-foot single cabins feature an oversized single bed and ...

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    8. Bingo. Bingo is a popular activity on many cruise ships, and it's a fun way to pass the time while at sea. Bingo games are typically held in a dedicated bingo hall or another large venue on the ship, and they're usually organized by the ship's entertainment staff. Everyone can play bingo.

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    On-Board Activities for Seniors. Cruise ships offer a variety of activities and amenities for all ages, including senior travelers. Some popular options include: ... Casinos - For those feeling lucky, most cruise ships have casinos offering a variety of games. Craft classes - A great way to learn a new skill or hobby while on vacation ...

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    Step #6: Set Sail. Help residents set sail on your fun cruise by supplying them with passports that they can record their travels. In fact, create a fun "Activity" agenda to pass out to residents that includes the fun cruise activities for the day. Find more ideas from Notjustbingo on the S&S blog here. About Not Just Bingo:

  18. 7 best cruises for seniors who love to travel by sea

    With four nearly identical ships holding fewer than 700 passengers each, Azamara has carved out a niche catering to well-traveled seniors looking to cruise in clubby surroundings. The line's cruises are best for seniors who don't want to splurge on a fancier luxury product but still want an upscale level of ambiance, service and amenities.

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  20. Which Cruise Line Is Best For Seniors

    Cunard Line: Cunard Line is an iconic cruise line that offers classic and refined experiences perfect for seniors. They provide a wide range of activities, including guest speakers, theater performances, dance classes, and arts and crafts sessions. Cunard also offers a traditional afternoon tea service, providing seniors with an opportunity to ...

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    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. Their cruises are also limited to passengers who are aged 18 and older.

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  25. Can you Retire on a Cruise?

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  27. Woman half way into world's longest cruise shares the worst thing

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