Singles Cruises for Seniors? Too Much Fun, or Too Much Hassle?
It’s no secret – many seniors love cruise vacations. The convenience, onboard activities, shore excursions and personalized service make cruises particularly popular with mature travelers.
Single seniors enjoy cruising, too. In my work as a travel writer, I get more questions from single senior women than from any other group of readers, and those questions generally involve cruises and related topics, such as finding roommates and coping with single supplements.
Taking a singles cruise for seniors combines the advantages of a cruise vacation with the opportunity to meet people who also happen to be single.
What Are Singles Cruises for Seniors?
Singles cruises for seniors are organized travel opportunities for unmarried mature travelers. Typically, a travel agency organizes a singles cruise for seniors, obtaining a block of staterooms from a cruise line and working with the ship’s cruise director to plan activities for the group. Some travel agencies hire an onboard tour manager/singles host who looks after the needs of the senior singles group.
Prices for singles cruises for seniors vary by cruise line, length of cruise, stateroom choice, itinerary and activities offered. If your senior singles cruise includes special activities, meals or excursions for the group, you may pay more for your ticket than you would if you simply booked your cruise and sailed solo.
You will also pay more, as you would on any cruise, if you reserve a stateroom for a solo traveler, like those onboard the Norwegian Epic, or choose to occupy a double occupancy stateroom alone. To avoid paying a single supplement, consider asking a friend to go on the cruise with you or look for cruises that offer roommate matching.
Here are a few advantages of singles cruises for seniors:
Leave All the Work to Someone Else
If you love to travel and meet new people, but dislike researching and organizing itineraries, a senior singles cruise might be a great option for you. Once you’ve chosen a cruise itinerary and stateroom, you’re done; someone else will take care of all the details.
During your cruise, your cabin steward and wait staff will look after your room and serve your meals with a smile. All you need to do is show up at the special senior singles events and introduce yourself.
Meet New People
You might not meet Mr. or Ms. Right on a singles cruise for seniors, but the possibility certainly exists. On the other hand, you just might meet a few like-minded people who are interested in future travel opportunities. Wouldn’t it be nice to find a travel roommate and save some money on your next cruise?
Take a Class
If you’ve always wanted to learn to play bridge, make your own pizza or explore the world of art history, your cruise vacation could give you that opportunity. Many cruise lines offer onboard classes and lectures. What better way to meet new friends who share your interests?
Some cruise lines hire gentleman hosts, whose job it is to dance with and talk to single women. This might sound artificial at first, but it’s actually a great way to hit the dance floor and have a pleasant conversation without the worry of obligations or expectations. Once you’ve met some of the people in your single seniors cruise group, you might want to suggest a night of dancing to them, too.
Here are some disadvantages of singles cruises for seniors.
You Must Book Far in Advance
Senior singles cruises are popular and sell out quickly. You’ll need to plan far ahead, sometimes as much as a year or more before your departure date.
Since life circumstances can change drastically in a year, consider purchasing travel insurance that includes trip cancellation, trip delay, pre-existing condition medical coverage and cancel for any reason coverage.
Single Supplement vs. Roommate
The single supplement is alive and well in the cruise industry. You will pay extra if you want a room to yourself on almost every cruise line. If you want to be part of a singles cruise for seniors, you won’t be able to take advantage of last-minute discounts for solo travelers. This means you’ll either have to save up for the single supplement or find a roommate.
As mentioned above, some cruises for single seniors cost a bit more because of the planned group activities.
More Women than Men
Many more women than men choose to go on singles cruises for seniors. If you’re hoping to find romance on a senior singles cruise, you should keep this fact in mind. On the other hand, if you participate in a senior singles cruise because you love to travel and want to meet people who are in life situations similar to yours, a singles cruise for seniors might be a great option for you.
Have you been on a singles cruise for seniors? Did you enjoy it? Share your tips with the community in the comments section below.
What is the single supplement and how can we avoid it? Those are the questions that senior travel expert Nancy Parode sets out to answer in this Sixty and Me interview.