They say that cruises are for old folks who look like the passengers of Titanic, had it never hit that iceberg and been trundling around the oceans ever since. If you’re between the ages of 18-35, probably the only thing you know about these kinds of holidays are James’ Cameron’s blockbuster and your aunty Mavis’ holiday snaps your mum dragged you round to look at. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There really is a ship, destination and experience for everyone. You just have to realise what you want out of your trip. Here’s a list of some different types of young cruise-goers, each with their individual cruising scene, to get you thinking- which one are you?
1) The Chillaxer
Usually found sprawled out like a beached walrus in the heart of the Caribbean or Mediterranean. This cruiser is out all day to catch some rays. Throw in a few cocktails and a pool and they are as happy as a pig in muck. The destination doesn’t matter as long as there’s sun. Sure, they’ll go for a wander around the ports and get a few souvenirs for their family but they can’t wait to order room service and get back to that book by the pool before dinner.
2) The Culture Vulture
This cruiser always goes to the cultural talks on board and wants to pack in as many excursions as possible. They have a guide book in one hand and packet of local currency in the other. They’re all set for that tour of the castle and old town in Budapest or Greek island Ouzo tasting class they pre-booked for the big trip. These guys love hitting the restaurants on board as well and sampling some delicacies at Mexican night even though they’re sailing off Greenland at the time. Whether they’re in port exploring ancient ruins or going native and learning a Maori war dance, these guys throw themselves into it for some full-throttle sightseeing.
3) The Nature Lover
This is the person who booked after watching Blue Planet II and got all excited. They really should get a window or balcony room to really make the most of those breath-taking Norwegian fjords or birdwatching off the Galapagos. They love expedition style cruising and want the camel ride in Egypt or dog sled excursion in Alaska lead by local experts. While on board, you can usually spot them polishing their camera or practicing their snorkelling, ready for the next day’s activity spotting Nemo.
4) The Party Animal
Stags, hens and rugby tours out for a long weekend. These guys want the open bar and 24hr casino. They usually call the ship ‘the ferry’ which annoys the crew and use it as a floating club 18-30 or Las Vegas depending on budget. They want party games by the pool and on-board DJ club nights before hitting one of the infamous sin cities that just happens to have access for great big boats to rock up next to such as Prague, Budapest and Amsterdam. To be fair to them, these softies just want to let off some steam and get everyone on their feet at the disco. They sample a lot of culture too (pints of it) while on land, single-handedly keeping local breweries alive and fighting pollution by cycling round the city on a booze-bike.
5) The Big Kids
They want the Disney experience and still secretly want to be princesses or have a pic with Mickey. They love the film nights, rides and fun atmosphere but tell themselves they’re being grown-ups as they’re on a cruise. With most of the other adults having kids who get carted off from dusk till dawn to enjoy kids’ club, these guys can make friends and mingle with the other adults who are sure to take the opportunity to let loose a little. Then, when they wish, they can throw their dignity overboard and mess around like the little ones- after all, you won’t see anyone else again once you’re back in your home port!
6) The Honeymooners
Traditionally, the only people cruising who don’t own golf clubs or funeral insurance. They’re looking to get away from the bustle of the big day and put in some serious miles in their luxurious suite. They’ve got the champagne in a bucket upon arrival and hang out on the balcony watching the views slide by. They reappear to stop off in port for a stroll around one of Europe’s cities of love or haggling in the bazaar for last minute wedding gifts before hopping aboard hand in hand for their private couples massage session.
7) The Music Fans
A lot of cruise lines have special themed events for sailors who like a jig. Forget about that Fleetwood Mac tribute weekend at your local Butlin’s in the rain when you can be getting glammed up for a 90s themed weekend in the middle of the Med. Whether your musical taste is head-banging to Iron Maiden or some psychedelic Iggy Pop, there’s a scene for every mover and shaker. Some events are literally floating music festivals with Coachella having a sailing in the Caribbean and ‘Anchored’ building an infamous reputation. Why spend a week washing in a ditch and eating pot noodles at Glastonbury when you can have five star service and fluffy beds for practically the same price?
8) The All-inclusive Warrior.
This holiday-maker isn’t too fussed where they are and what’s on the itinerary. They just know that a week in Mallorca all included costs more than ten nights aboard this floating all-inclusive haven. They love that they can walk around the ship and everything is free. This means they don’t need to tuck any euros into their speedos or wear a chafing bum-bag. They’re the ones who comment loudly, like a bad Yorkshiremen sketch, about how amazing this is and to go back for seconds at dinner. The fact they’re eating quality meals prepared fresh on the ship rather than the turkey twizzlers at Hotel de Sol in Benidorm is lost on them but the price of the sunscreen they forgot to pack in the ship shop isn’t.
9) The Old-at-heart
These cruisers are the ones who actually want the old school cruise experience. They want photos in their ball gowns for their Instagram page and love getting out a different coloured bow tie for each dinner party. They’ve seen Titanic over 50 times and play that game in the pool to see if Rose really could have budged up a bit and let Leonardo DiCaprio on too with a lilo. They’re one of the few young ones on the oldies ship but love hearing about the good old days and playing poker with some vets. The destination could be New York to see the statue of liberty hove in to view like all those passengers of times gone by. If not that, then the British Isles for some olde worlde charm.
10) The Parent/Child Combo
Usually females, sharing a cabin and lying side by side sipping cocktails with a good book is the perfect environment for the mother and daughter bonding experience. Meanwhile, dad and the lad are possibly hitting the surf and skydiving simulators. Usually the result of a birthday present from their other half to mark a milestone year, but they themselves fancy a bit of peace back home. The parent and child dynamic duo are looking for quality time both on and off board with stop offs such as Costa Rica or the Greek islands. Usually heard giggling at the waiter ‘no, no we’re not sisters!’, they love a free cocktail and lobster because they’re fabulous and they’re glad to get away from that uncouth heathen back home.