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Adult Oriented Cruise Lines

BruinSteve

Well-Known Member
#21
Dereck.
Perhaps I can shed a little more light here and make a couple of recommendations...
We are in your same approximate age group...and, of late, typically cruise by ourselves--since our children are grown...
We have cruised on seven different lines, most multiple times...

We actually loved the Allure of the Seas--but we also knew exactly what we were getting and knew what to reserve in advance...even though we didn't surf, rock climb or ice skate, we enjoyed the specialty restaurants and entertainment...

But, we also prefer a couple of lines that are more adult oriented...and I'll discuss them here after some of the logic that goes into it...

First, realize that all of the big ship "mass-market" lines provide childrens and teens programs--which, of course, encourage people with families to cruise on them...and a portion of the ship will be devoted to children...

For your wants and needs, I would, first, stay away from Carnival and Disney...and, based on your statements, Royal Caribbean...and NCL...Carnival is a party ship of sorts...and, due to pricing, advertising, etc., draws a lot of kids...and adults who act like kids...Disney is obvious...and RCCL, as you have noted, is more family-oriented...NCL is not far behind in this regard...

I would keep clear of Princess as well, as, though a bit more adult oriented, they do market to families...

Of the big ship lines, HAL and Celebrity would be the most "adult"...though both DO offer Childrens' and Teens programs...HAL has a reputation of attracting an "older" crowd...Personally, I find Celebrity to be about perfect for our age group...and it's a great cruise line...food and service are top-notch...and the ships are very spacious and uncrowded...and the space is devoted to more adult amenities--bars, lounges, open relaxation areas...

Beyond that, there are a couple of small ship quasi-luxury lines--Azamara and Oceania...followed by the luxury lines--Crystal, Regent, Seabourne, Silverseas, et al...None of these have childrens or Teens programs...and, due to pricing, really aren't very attractive to families...of course, the higher the prices, the older the crowd...

For those of us who work for a living and still have other expenses and are trying to still put away funds for retirement, it's often hard to justify the high cost of the luxury lines...

We have, therefore, kept away from the luxury lines as of yet...
But we have cruised a couple of times on Oceania...and will be cruising with them again in August...
Oceania and Azamara are a bit pricier than, say, Celebrity...but they are also smaller ships with some interesting itineraries...And the ships are uncrowded, service and food is great...of course, they have fewer activities of any sort, the crowd is older and most everyone seems to be asleep by 10...So, there are always trade-offs...

But, if ANY kids on board bother you, those two lines would be the next steps...Of course, they also have mostly longer and more exotic itineraries...So, if that's an issue...

I guess, to sum up, from what I could tell from your posts, based on your age group, budget, timing, etc., I would strongly recommend CELEBRITY...
You may want to stay away from prime school vacation times...but, even with those...and even with kids onboard, you will find far more of the ship catering to you, not to the kids...and you will find lots of quieter, open areas onboard...

Consider this:
The Allure of the Seas is a 225,000 gross ton ship (gross tonnage refers to volume or space, not to weight) and carries 5,400 at double capacity, almost 6,300 at full capacity (our cruise had 6,014)...
A typical Celebrity M-Class ship (Constellation, Millennium, Summit, Infinity) is 91,000 gross tons and carries 1,950...and seldom sails with more than about 2,000 passengers (fewer families using 3rd and 4th berths)...

6,000 in 225,000 gross tons is a space-per-passenger ratio of 37.5 gross tons per person...2,000 in 91,000 gross tons is better than 45 gross tons per person...IOW, there is better than 20% more space per passenger...and that space is dedicated to lounges, open decks, etc. rather than those RCCL amenities you didn't like...

Good luck...
 
#22
We actually loved the Allure of the Seas--but we also knew exactly what we were getting and knew what to reserve in advance...even though we didn't surf, rock climb or ice skate, we enjoyed the specialty restaurants and entertainment...
Thanks Steve for your comments. If 2 things would have been different I would have been happy with AOS:

1. The one thing I could have controlled was dinner and show reservations. If you sailed AOS you know I am telling the truth waiting either a few weeks before sailing or waiting until on board to make reservations you are SOL and stuck in hurry up, wait in No-Show line, and pray.

2. Port of Calls which i had no control was very painful coupled with dinner and show restrictions.

I do not mind having children on board, just not 1/4 to 1/3 of the passenger count. Nor do I want to sail Geritol or Lawrence Welk of the Seas. After my first experience I think I know what to look for: An Itinerary of about 7 days with intense Port of Calls with only 1 day at sea on a mid sized ship with few children activities and a little on the higher price scale.

  • For me and my wife a port a day to spend morning and early afternoons off ship.
  • A short nap in the room or pool side in the afternoon.
  • Nice elegant diner followed up with a show, movie and a nice bar for a night cap with Jazz or some kind of live music.
  • One sea night a nice night club with either Country or Rock with a Casino with BJ tables.
  • To kill time a golf simulator, TV with real channels to take a nap in room, and a pool side bar without children running through it possible with bar food.
 

BruinSteve

Well-Known Member
#23
Thanks Steve for your comments. If 2 things would have been different I would have been happy with AOS:

1. The one thing I could have controlled was dinner and show reservations. If you sailed AOS you know I am telling the truth waiting either a few weeks before sailing or waiting until on board to make reservations you are SOL and stuck in hurry up, wait in No-Show line, and pray.

2. Port of Calls which i had no control was very painful coupled with dinner and show restrictions.

I do not mind having children on board, just not 1/4 to 1/3 of the passenger count. Nor do I want to sail Geritol or Lawrence Welk of the Seas. After my first experience I think I know what to look for: An Itinerary of about 7 days with intense Port of Calls with only 1 day at sea on a mid sized ship with few children activities and a little on the higher price scale.

  • For me and my wife a port a day to spend morning and early afternoons off ship.
  • A short nap in the room or pool side in the afternoon.
  • Nice elegant diner followed up with a show, movie and a nice bar for a night cap with Jazz or some kind of live music.
  • One sea night a nice night club with either Country or Rock with a Casino with BJ tables.
  • To kill time a golf simulator, TV with real channels to take a nap in room, and a pool side bar without children running through it possible with bar food.
The Allure (and its sister, the Oasis) is a sort of a different animal...only ships at sea with that complicated reservations system...
I wasn't very happy when I first learned about it...I don't like to be that scheduled...and certainly not in advance...And, I did quickly find out that only one set of shows really worked with our dining time and port schedule...and it did force us to book a specialty restaurant on Lobster night!

But, for us, it all worked out well...We were able to see every show (and sit together) and we got to see a couple of shows twice by showing up as an unreserved walk-in...But I can see how it could easily not work out...

Judging from what you are saying, I really think you should go with Celebrity...
Their ships, for the most part are all either 91,000 gross tons or 122,000 gross tons (1950 or 2750 passengers respectively)...So the ships are spacious and uncrowded...
They are fairly traditional--dinners are elegant and service outstanding...
They have a number of venues around the ship with dancing, piano bar, music, etc. and a nice schedule of adult-oriented activities...

You didn't say to where or when you would like to cruise, but, for a 7-night port intensive itinerary that sounds like what you are describing, look at some of the itineraries out of San Juan, Puerto Rico...Because of the close proximity of other islands, they do a lot of 7-nighters with but one at sea day from there...We've done a couple of those over the years...

For example, here's one in March and April on the Summit:

Day 1 San Juan, Puerto Rico Depart 8:30 PM
Day 2 St. Croix, U.S.V.I. Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 5:30 PM
Day 3 Basseterre, St. Kitts Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 5:00 PM
Day 4 Roseau, Dominica Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 5:00 PM
Day 5 St. George's, Grenada Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 5:00 PM
Day 6 Scarborough, Tobago Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 5:00 PM
Day 7 At Sea
Day 8 San Juan, Puerto Rico Arrive 6:00 AM

Here's another:

Day 1 San Juan, Puerto Rico Depart 8:30 PM
Day 2 Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 6:00 PM
Day 3 Philipsburg, St. Maarten Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 5:30 PM
Day 4 St. Johns, Antigua Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 5:00 PM
Day 5 Castries, St. Lucia Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 5:00 PM
Day 6 Bridgetown, Barbados Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 5:00 PM
Day 7 At Sea
Day 8 San Juan, Puerto Rico Arrive 6:00 AM

This one's in November:

Day 1 San Juan, Puerto Rico Depart 8:30 PM
Day 2 St. Croix, U.S.V.I. Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 5:30 PM
Day 3 Basseterre, St. Kitts Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 5:00 PM
Day 4 Roseau, Dominica Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 5:00 PM
Day 5 St. George's, Grenada Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 5:00 PM
Day 6 At Sea
Day 7 Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas Docked Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 5:00 PM
Day 8 San Juan, Puerto Rico Arrive 6:00 AM

The prices on all of these right now are shockingly reasonable...starting at around $399 pp for an inside, $749 pp for a balcony!!
 

NiteStar

Well-Known Member
#24
My suggestion would be the Holland America ships. I too like to cruise before school is out and definitely NOT on spring break. I love kids (have 4 grandchildren), but when I cruise....it's for my relaxation and the fewer the kids the better. I've cruised on Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Norwegian and Celebrity. Out of all of those, Holland America had by far the least amount of children.
 

mrsrocster

Well-Known Member
#25
Not to disagree with Nitestar......I like her suggestion too .....but I think that BruinSteve's suggestions might be a better fit....really port intensive, elegant dinner and nightlife activities with few kids....but really only during school in session times.......not during 2 months or so of "spring break" (March/April, Easter), summer, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Years, Presidents Day in Feb.........

So.....Derek......when is your next cruise and what is the initerary?
 
#26
So.....Derek......when is your next cruise and what is the initerary?
This one looks promising, only 1 full day at sea.

I also like the one Steve pointed out with the exception it leaves out of San Juan but that is no deal breaker. Living in Dallas means I can get to about any USA lower 48 port on a direct flight. Not sure about San Juan.

But to be perfectly honest I am seriously looking at just taking a direct flight to Montego Bay in and just stay a week there in a resort as it is really a perfect fit. Golf in the morning, short nap on the beach in the afternoon, nice elegant dinner, and a large selection of shows, bands, moon light walks, and heaven forbid sex on the beach (drink that is) :biggrin:
 
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BruinSteve

Well-Known Member
#27
This one looks promising, only 1 full day at sea.

I also like the one Steve pointed out with the exception it leaves out of San Juan but that is no deal breaker. Living in Dallas means I can get to about any USA lower 48 port on a direct flight. Not sure about San Juan.
Dereck,
First of all, I'd go with Celebrity over Princess ANYTIME...just a better cruise experience...

The itinerary you noted:

1 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 5:00 PM
2 At Sea
3 San Juan, Puerto Rico 4:00 PM 10:00 PM
4 St. Maarten 9:00 AM 6:00 PM
5 St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
6 At Sea
7 Princess Cays, Bahamas 9:00 AM 4:00 PM
8 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 7:00 AM

...is not all that exciting...
You have two at sea days, another that's basically at sea since you don't pull into San Juan until almost dinner time (and January, it will get dark early)...plus one "Private Island" (Princess Cays...This is where Princess brings you to an Island they own and control)...

Those Celebrity itineraries I recommended to you are far more interesting...and give yopu more time on more places with more choices...

As to flying to San Juan from DFW, American Airlines has two direct nonstop flights a day...at 12:45 pm and at 4:40 pm...
And two returning nonstops--at 9:30 am and at 12:50 pm...

Fairly painless...
We've done it...fly in a day early and stay in San Juan overnight...relax, see the town, walk around Old San Juan, have some dinner and taxi to the pier in the morning...
The Celebrity itineraries give you a variety of ports and an "at sea" day near the end of the cruise to sit around and relax...

the ports are all fairly easy to see...either on your own or with an excursion or tour...
IMHO, much better than just hanging out on one island for a week...
And the total price--Air, cruise fare, tips, drinks, etc. is actually fairly reasonable...
And I've yet to see an all-inclusive that comes close to the experience you'd get on a Celebrity cruise...

JMHO...
 
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George C

Well-Known Member
#28
We also like all-inclusives in Jamaica, but entertainment is better on the ship also no black jack, but also no bar bill, no tips and can get adult only, we do about 4 cruises then do a all-inclusive we think you still get more for your money on a cruise. Also wine list is preety poor at most of the resorts even the better ones.
 
#29
Dereck,
First of all, I'd go with Celebrity over Princess ANYTIME...
Steve I just want to take a moment to say:

THANK YOU


You have been very helpful over the last 2 months since I joined. Even though we do not share the same opinion about AOS, I do respect your POV and appreciate your help as you seem to understand what I am trying to convey.

My reference to Princess is just an example of what I think I would like better than the AOS cruise. I like your suggestions better and appreciate you taking time to point out other options.

THANK YOU.

FWIW BOOMER SOONER you BRUIN :biggrin: