Everyone knows that a cruise is a great family vacation, but what if you prefer to travel without the company of children? Whether you’re a parent looking for a grown-up getaway, or a childfree person who prefers to travel with as few kids around as possible, there are lots of ways that you can make a cruise your perfect vacation option! I have been on several cruises, including four on Carnival, one of the most kid-friendly cruise lines around. No matter what cruise line or itinerary you choose, here are some tips to help you have a simply wonderful time and escape from all those reminders of the real world, including kids!
• The best advice for traveling when there are less children is to travel outside of common school vacation periods. The times to avoid are summer months, Thanksgiving break, the Christmas/New Year holiday period, and Spring breaks, which typically occur during the months of March and April.
• The more “upscale” the line, the less likely there are to be kids. While many cruiselines market themselves as family friendly, others are not as concerned with capturing that particular demographic. Celebrity, Holland American and Cunard, for example are known for an older clientele, with less children aboard.
Of course, this can also mean the average age for all passengers is higher, so if you happen to be a younger cruiser, you could find there aren’t many people your age and not much going on as far as nightlife (if that’s something important to you). Also, the longer the cruise, the less likely there will be kids.
• Find out if there are any “adults only” areas on the ship and use those, such as the Serenity Deck on some Carnival ships. If sitting outside is important to you, get a balcony room, so even if the upper decks are full of kids, you can have your own private area. And one advantage to the family-friendly lines is that they usually have a well-structured kids/teen programs with special activities, their own staffing and dedicated space, which gives the kids their own place to hang out.
• If you have a choice of “early seating” dinner and “late seating,” take the late dinner. Most people with kids choose the early seating. Another option is to find a cruise that has open (non-assigned) seating, such as NCL’s Freestyle Cruising so you don’t have to worry about being matched with tablemates with a baby.
• Partake in the adult-oriented onboard activities such as the over-18 comedy shows, bar crawls, etc. If you are doing ship-sponsored excursions, choose ones that look like they will be less attractive to kids/people with kids, such as a rum factory tour. Some excursions even have minimum age requirements. Or try booking independently for a private tour or off-the-beaten path adventure that might be less appealing to families. Above all, relax and enjoy yourself. Unless you are on an all-adult full-chartered ship, there will be children on board. A few kids running around on the Lido deck won’t ruin your trip unless you let it. Have a great cruise!