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Adult Oriented Cruise Lines

#1
OK first this is not a children bashing thread, so please no debate.

I took my first cruise on Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas. Was not happy as most of the ship activities were tailored for families with children. Heck there is a deck (14) that is for children specifically, and just about every other deck had children oriented attractions.

It was our first cruise and it left a really bad impression on my wife and myself. We were bored to tears because there was very little for us to do, and literally no place on board to have a quite private space on the ship except for the room, and even then we were intruded upon by staff.

Now with all that said I would like to give a cruise vacation another chance. I know there is no such thing as an adult only cruise ship, well at least in the USA, or high end luxury cruises.

So here is the question to all you cruisers with experience. What cruise line has the fewest children? Or put another way which ones have the fewest children activities?

Thanks

Dereck.
 

mrsrocster

Well-Known Member
#2
I'm sure others will chime in......but my opinion is Crystal (sorry, its a luxury line) is one of the ones that cater to adults only. I've not been on this line but know people who have. I'm not bashing kids either....heck, I have one and he's been on many cruises as a kid....not all of them Carnival either.......

That being said......honestly, if you are looking for more of an adult only line.......I think its going to be one that tends to cater itself to the higher income level and/or the "sedate" crowd during the longer than 10 day cruises (i.e. Holland America, Celebrity, Princess, Silver Seas.....) Please understand, I'm not bashing the "older than me crowd"....just stating an observation........as an additional FYI......my husband is 10 yrs older than I so really, am not trying to bash one group or another......

Many cruiselines sail world itineraries in which you can book smaller segments and they tend not to have kids on them.....but those cruises are very restricted as to when/where you go so you may have to give up on where you want to go if you want to take one of these that has few if any kids under 21 on them.


I'm glad that you aren't letting your one and only cruise experience on Allure derail your attempts at another cruise. They're really are so many, you just have to keep trying until you find the one you love.
 
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cruisindiva

Active Member
#3
I think smaller ships could be better for you. They may not have as many "family" oriented activities on board. I would try Princess and maybe even Celebrity. And try not to go during peak season or when the kids are out of school. I know Celebrity does wine tastings, cooking lessons ect so you may have more options of stuff to do. Royal Caribbean tends to target families with the characters, merry go round ect...the "mega" ship experience. Also Holland America? good luck next time!
 
#4
That being said......honestly, if you are looking for more of an adult only line.......I think its going to be one that tends to cater itself to the higher income level and/or the "sedate" crowd during the longer than 10 day cruises (i.e. Holland America, Celebrity, Princess, Silver Seas.....)
Well half that statement is true about me, I am a successful electrical engineer that owns his own design firm, and my wife is a doctor with her own private practice. Sedate we are not as we are 49 and 50 in good health and like to enjoy active lives. For example the AOS had 2 Flow Riders which I enjoyed, but wait time between rides was 20 to 40 minutes as kids mobbed them and when your turn cam only had a minute of so before they asked you to leave. Otherwise if you wanted more time on it, you had to pay an additional $60 per day for 1.5 hours in groups of 8 with an instructor.

With that said 10 day cruises is out of the question for us as would would jump overboard. I will find one that has very few days at sea. The trip we went on was 7 days with 4 of them at sea, never again. In addition if I take another cruise it will not be hit or miss by trial and error.

Thank you for your comments I appreciate it.
 
#5
Royal Caribbean tends to target families with the characters, merry go round ect...the "mega" ship experience.
I hear that, the AOS should be a Disney ship. Bigger in this case did not translate into quality. In fact I did not quite understand the design concept as so much space was wasted. I mean heck they have this one bar called the rising tide. It is basically an elevator that goes from the 5th deck promenade up to the 8th deck which is the specialty restaurant deck.

After to talking to other passengers who shared my feeling siad the AOS did not have things that are common on other ships like a golf simulator, bowling alley, and billiard tables which i would have liked very much to spend time with on sea days. Well that is if it isn't clogged up with kids waiting your turn. Heck the sip passenger count is so large, there is no way everyone on board could see every show unless you reserved 90 days ahead of time which is one lesson I learned the hard way. We did not get to see any of them except for Chicago, and the only way we got to see that was we were in front of the no-show line.

Thank you for your comments.
 

mrsrocster

Well-Known Member
#6
Trying to find your exact niche (sp?) is going to be difficult.....you seem to think a longer than 7 day cruise would still be filled with kids and its not.......again, neither of us are trying to bash the kid segment....but you seem to want an active adult only cruise.....and I'm thinking that a longer than 7 day cruise..on say Celebrity, Holland America, Silver Seas etc.....would fit the bill.....with the exception that none of those have rock climbing walls, zip lines or other "physcially active" activities. OR..........if you want to see Alaska.....that is an option for 7 days, but you MAY run into some kids as the lines that do that itinerary tend to be only when kids are out of school......so to me, its a 50/50 shot.

Bottom line, you have a tall order to fill with your expectations.......and I don't think its entirely out of the question.....but you may have to compromise on some areas. Stick to your guns because there will be a cruise for you and your wife.......its just going to take some time to find it.

In the meantime.......I'll take whatever cruise vacation comes my way......looking at several in late 2011 and mid 2012.

Michelle
 

Calgon1

Awaiting results of mental evaluation
#7
Hello again Dereck,

OK. Of the recommendations made above, I whould have to say that Holland America and Crystal would be your two best bets for having the fewest children. Another good choice would be Cunard. Reason being, they tend to be a bit more expensive and most parents, if they are going to spend good money to take the kidlets with them on a cruise, tend to go for the more bargan lines. One reason they are bargan lines is because they tend to "pack 'em in", as you've already experienced.

Also, give the longer itineraries a thought. Again, because they are more expensive, there are usually fewer children. And, the youngsters (usually) can't be out of school that long. On that note ... If you want to minimize children on your cruise - ABSOLUTELY DO NOT cruise when school is not in session (Christmas/New Year's Holidays, Easter/Spring Break, or the Summer).

One last piece of advice, get a good, CLIA certified Cruise Consultant (TA). This recommendation has been made to you in the past, and I can only say that it appears that you are (again) trying to do what a professional does for a living. Do you represent yourself in court? No. You hire an attorney. Do you operate on yourself? No. You hire a physician. Same for a plumber, banker, butcher, auto repariman, etc. You hire professionals for other aspects of your life (unless it is your personal area of expertise) ... so why in the heck are you trying to do this on your own?

Your last cruise should be a clue that, although you gave it your best shot, your inexperience resulted in your dissatisfaction with your cruise. Basically, you bought what "looked good", without really knowing the product.











Dereck, my first three wives "looked good" ... Hope you get my point.
 
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GloBug

Senior Flea Coller Tester
#8
John, you saying this wife doesn't look pretty good? I'm gonna tell Pat you said that....

Dereck, a CLIA travel agent would be the answer for you. They would assist you in finding the perfect cruise line based on your desires, and unlike a lawyer or a plumber, they don't charge you. And depending on the line you sail, you may well be surprised by the behavior of the kids on board. On Holland America last year, we sailed with John and his good looking wife to Alaska for 14 days. The young people on board were very well behaved, polite, quiet, and even smarter then us on a few occasions (trivia contests!) (don't say it John).

I suspect if you use an expert in planning your next cruise, you will be sharing an entirely different experience about your next vacation on the high seas.
 

George C

Well-Known Member
#9
I also wish there was a adult cruise line, one of the best cruises we ever tool was on Renassance which was adult only and non-smoking but they went under after 9/11. I would try HAL or Celeberity if I were you but as said in before do not do them while school is out. I think Celeberity once had some adults only sailing but have not heard of that in a long time.
 
#11
Also, give the longer itineraries a thought.
I have but the problem my wife and I have is the longer trips usually translate to more days at sea which is what we really disliked. Had this last cruise had only 1 or 2 days at sea would have been fine, but it was 4 of 7 days at sea and that was painful. Our real beginner mistake was not not knowing you had to book shows and restaurants well in advance., like 90 days as soon as they were opened for reservations. We heard from the cruise director everything was booked just one week after they started accepting reservations. None of the shows have enough seating capacity or run enough times to allow everyone a chance to see them. Snooze and you lose.

It is not so much action on board we are looking for. i could care less about zip lines and rock climbing walls, just not the whole ship set up for kid activities. If we could have had a port of call every day and evening show each night we would have been happy campers going out during the day, liezure around th epool in the afternoon followed by dinner and a show. Instead we got 3 ports and spent our time waiting to go home.

Now with all that said I have looked and see lots of cruises that leave out of the same port for 7 days (Princess), visit the same islands plus two more with only 1 day at sea. That sounds good to me.

One last piece of advice, get a good, CLIA certified Cruise Consultant (TA). This recommendation has been made to you in the past, and I can only say that it appears that you are (again) trying to do what a professional does for a living.
Well here is the sad part, we did use an agent. We went as a tour group of about 30 people and the wife and I were the youngest of the group (49 and 50). We really had no choice on this cruise as we went because of my M-I-L as she is wheel chair bound and likely her last cruise ever. Poor thing the only thing she did was sit in her room and balcony the whole time. Only time she left the room was for evening dinner in main dinning room. Otherwise she took breakfast and lunch in her room. Tried to convine her to rent or bring a motorized wheel chair, but she refused as she is too lazy to push a button. Not sure how my wife puts up with it as it drove me nuts. She is so lazy my wife has to cut up all her food for her in small bites. And then all she did was complain because the food was too hard to chew and she has all her teeth. I was ready to push her over board by the 4th day to put her out of my misery. :(
 
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Happy2cu

Well-Known Member
#12
We enjoy cruising in Feb. to get out of our arctic Wisconsin weather. One surprise we had last year was that we went on a Carnival cruise during President's Day. Apparently, there are many states that give the kids a week off of school during that time (they don't here). Out of 3,000 passengers, 1,000 were kids. I'll never cruise again during that time. But we have also been on the other end of the spectrum, cruised on a 10 day Princess cruise and everyone was in bed by 11:00 p.m. No nightlife unless you want to just sit at a bar. We are close to the same ages as you - like the night life at Carnival but not all the kids - liked the lack of kids on the 10 day Princess but no night life. Wish there was something in between.
 

GloBug

Senior Flea Coller Tester
#13
Derek, please use a different travel agent. Use one who is knowledgeable about cruises and interested in finding the best cruise for YOU and YOUR DESIRES.
 

Funnel

Sweden Unleased - Special Contributor
#14
To me it's a little strange to choose the biggest ship out there if you are wheel chair bound (your MIL). I would definately choose a smaller ship then. I think you should get a better TA for your next cruise, one that is specialized in cruises.

I thought Allure and Oasis only did 7 night cruises which means 3 days in port and 3 days at see, not 4? Maybe those 3 sea days felt like 4... :biggrin:

I would suggest to cruise in the Mediterranean instead. 7 night cruises there usually only have 1 sea day and the rest are in different ports. And the sites; Rome, Florence, Pisa, Nice, Barcelona... :doubleup:
I have cruised there a couple of times in October and even though I cruised on RCI's Voyager of the Seas I did not see any "problem" with too many kids (on the other hand I like to see kids in the pool area - it gives some "life" to the place).
There were no problems to sneak in to see the shows, plenty of free seats. You just had to to get a ticket to the ice show.

/Erik
 

Gayle V

Cruiser's Compass Editor
#15
After to talking to other passengers who shared my feeling siad the AOS did not have things that are common on other ships like a golf simulator, bowling alley, and billiard tables
HI Derreck, Just a few FYI's here:

In my experience, bowling alleys and billiards aren't common on most ships. Golf simulators are, though. (I've only seen one billiard table in 20 cruises on 17 different ships. Really research before you book, if you really want that on board.

Also, currently, having to book shows ahead of time, or even having to book them at all, IS very UNcommon. Only shows we've ever had to actually book were the ice shows on the Mariner of the Seas and on the Explorer of the Seas, and those were booked while onboard. All others, you just walk in. (Show up early for decent seats. Showrooms on ships tend to have support polls obstructing views.)

And while booking the specialty restaurants ahead, has become more commonplace, the few times we've gone to them, we booked last minute, on board, no problem.

If we could have had a port of call every day and evening show each night we would have been happy campers going out during the day, leisure around the pool in the afternoon followed by dinner and a show.
Seems like you would have been happier on almost any other ship out there, as there are
there are plenty of port intensive, seven day cruises with only one sea day. (We love sea days, so we actually use that as our first criteria for eliminating a cruise from consideration. Less than two sea days and we won't even consider it. Seems like lots of them fall by the wayside, when we look at that factor. So that should mean lots that would be worth looking at for you.)
 

Beryl

Trivia Specialist
#16
Derek...Something is going to have to give. When you speak of children what age group are you talking about? I've been on more than 20 cruises and have never felt that the activities were geared for children unless the activities were those that were designed for young people who signed up for the kids programs....or are you speaking of kids in their 20s? From my ancient point of view 20-40 year olds are still thought of as kids...and some of those older kids are actually more of a "nuisance" than the 3-18 set!

I cannot imagine how you were on a ship for a week and were bored...what kind of activities were you expecting and looking forward to that were not available? Was some of the boredom caused because you were looking after your MIL and she was not interested in doing anything? The daily ship's newspaper is generally filled with more activities than any one person could manage to do but many elderly cruisers are quite happy to while the hours away watching the ship's wake or reading a book. I suspect that caring for your MIL was more the cause of the boredom than the lack of activities.

I have never had to make a reservation to see a show on a cruise line. I'm thinking this must be a Royal Caribbean thing for specific events like their ice skating show (DH and I have not sailed on RCI)! On some ships it is a good idea to go to the theatre early to get the best choice of seating because the shows are popular and theater space is limited. Generally if you miss the show there is still music, dancing, comics etc. available as entertainment in the lounges.

My husband and I have always been able to find a quiet spot to enjoy a drink and converation without retreating to our cabin. That you were unable to find that on a ship the size of the Allure astounds me.

If you want super duper beach activities and things like zip lining and parasailing you will likely find yourself on a ship filled with younger people and families looking for fun in the sun. They are all very interested in doing those things too. Remember that the more people aboard a ship the longer the queues .... at the shore excursion desk, at the purser's desk, at the buffet, to buy photographs! Lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean (as well as most of the mass market lines) have designed activities to attract the family market and guess what....it works!! To avoid kids do as others have suggested...

1. Choose a different cruise line. Celebrity, Princess and HAL might be a better fit for you. Be sure to ask your agent what general age group the different cruise lines appeal to....choosing a cruise line is like buying a car...not everyone chooses the same make or model. Generally, very generally, speaking you will find an "older" (not necessarily ancient) crowd of well traveled cruisers on longer and or more expensive cruises. There will be families with children as well but many will be well occupied in the special kid's programs arranged by the cruise line. Luxury market lines like Oceania, Azamara, Crystal, Cunard, Windstar or Silversea you will likely find fewer children but you are going to have to be willing to pay more for your experience.

2. Choose a cruise of a longer duration. Itineraries that are in Asia or Europe are much more port intensive. Maybe look at South America.

3. Cruise when kids are in school....but remember not every school holiday falls on the same day in every state. Regular school schedules are quite different between USA and Canada too...beginning and start dates and Spring Break are a prime examples. Also remember that these days a lot of kids are home schooled and those families might pitch up on any sailing at all. Expect to see some children on every sailing.

4. Modify your expectations. Many of the things you have indicated that you are interested in also appeal to families.

5. Sit down and make a list of what is really the most important to you when you vacation and when you have done that try to be somewhat flexible. We rarely get everything we want!!!

6. Remember all Travel Agents are not Cruise Agents and all Cruise Agents are not created equal.

5. Remember that while those of us who regularly post on CruiseAddicts believe that cruising is one of the very best ways to vacation it is also true that cruising is not necessarily for everyone. Perhaps it really is not for you...but I hope you do give it another try before you make the decision to abandon the sea altogether. :biggrin:
 

Funnel

Sweden Unleased - Special Contributor
#17
From my ancient point of view 20-40 year olds are still thought of as kids...
Yippie, I'm not a kid anymore, I'm finally an adult! :biggrin:

I have never had to make a reservation to see a show on a cruise line. I'm thinking this must be a Royal Caribbean thing for specific events like their ice skating show (DH and I have not sailed on RCI)!
Beryl, this is for Oasis and Allure only. For the other RCI ships you don't need to reserve any show except the ice-show (that can be reserved onboard).

/Erik
 

Beryl

Trivia Specialist
#18
Erik...I'm so glad you made it to the vaulted status of adult...now you know what real fun is all about! :whistle: What you sail about the reservations on RCI is pretty much what I suspected.
 

iluvcruzin

Well-Known Member
#19
Honestly... Dereck.. I think you should look at cruises that are more about the means of transportation than the experience onboard. There are plenty overseas. I'm the same age (almost) as you and also a professional consultant. Celebrity and HAL on a 10 dayer will bore you to tears if you were bored on the Allure. Sure, there will be less kids but the flip side is the ones catered to adults tend to have more seniors and less choices of activites onboard. I've been on most of the major cruise line. If you want to try it again for a 7 day cruise.. choose Crystal like someone mentioned above. It costs more but it will be worth it. Or do a land vacation. Cruises aren't for everyone.
 
#20
Derek...Something is going to have to give. When you speak of children what age group are you talking about?
On this trip everything from infants to teens. Most were from say 10 to 18. Like I said the ship was fully booked with 5400 passengers with 1500 of them chioldren

I've been on more than 20 cruises and have never felt that the activities were geared for children unless the activities were those that were designed for young people who signed up for the kids programs....or are you speaking of kids in their 20s?
No adolescents although there wre quite a few couples in their 20's like Honeymooners. I do not have any yard stick to measure other ships by or compare too as it was my first cruise. But if you were to look at AOS layout you will see most of the decks with public access is children oriented, even entire deck of 14. Only dedicate adult areas was a small section of deck 15 aft with a solarium with 2 whirlpools and a bar. However kids roamed through them at will

I cannot imagine how you were on a ship for a week and were bored...what kind of activities were you expecting and looking forward to that were not available? Was some of the boredom caused because you were looking after your MIL and she was not interested in doing anything?
No MIL had little to do with it as she only left her room for evening dinner. Other than that we had all day to ourselves. We read the paper everyday. Yes there were things for adults like jewelry and scrap booking workshops, Bingo, water aerobics, wine tasting which we did one day and that lasted about 45 minutes, lectures.

I admit we made mistakes like not booking shows and restaurants well ahead of time. My idea of a perfect cruise would be 7 days with a port every day except maybe one day to return like I now see from other cruise lines. That way we get up and go to shore, return around 3 and take a short nap lounge around the pool, work on the golf swing, then have diner and go to a show or movie in the evening.

I have never had to make a reservation to see a show on a cruise line. I'm thinking this must be a Royal Caribbean thing for specific events like their ice skating show (DH and I have not sailed on RCI)! On some ships it is a good idea to go to the theatre early to get the best choice of seating because the shows are popular and theater space is limited.
I have no reason to lie. Every show was sold out months in advance according to the Cruise Director I spoke with personally. In this case AOS is too big with too many passengers. Like I said the Amber theater had 1400 seats, and the two shows held there was Chicago and Blue Planet. Each had 3 showings so there is no way for everyone to be able to see them as the math does not work.

However we did get to see two shows. On the first night was Chicago and it was sold out. Luckily it was at 8:00pm and we got out of the dining room at 7:15 so we were near the front of the waiting line to take No-Show passenger seats. But we had to sit separated from each other. The show was very good. The other show was on the 6th night and was the comedy show that lasted about 1 hour and was also very good. All others we sold out and started at 7:15 pm so we could not get in the No Show line before the show started, we tried.

My husband and I have always been able to find a quiet spot to enjoy a drink and converation without retreating to our cabin. That you were unable to find that on a ship the size of the Allure astounds me.
Well then you have not been on AOS as the only quite spot like that you will find is on your balcony

I hope you do give it another try before you make the decision to abandon the sea altogether. :biggrin:
I intend to next year taking what I learned from this trip and veterans advice I gain here.

Thanks for your comments.