It’s no secret that cruises are designed to appeal to all age groups. With water parks and youth centres onboard, this includes families with kids as young as tots and as old as teens.
You might be cringing at the idea of bumping into them while exploring the ship or having to wait behind them while trying to get on that water slide. It’s okay. We feel you.
While many ships have adults-only areas where you can catch some respite, if you’re the kind of voyager who’d rather not have to deal with screaming kids on your relaxing cruise holiday, there are lines more geared towards adults.
Intrigued? Then read on.
Best cruises lines for adults
1. Princess Cruises When you need to escape from it all, the place to be is the adults-only pool at The Sanctuary. Cocktail in hand, naturally.
Compared with some of the other cruise lines, Princess tends to draw a much older crowd. If you’re really looking to avoid the young ones, choose an older ship in the fleet; they tend to have fewer kids’ facilities.
Adult activities: Culinary demonstrations, wine tastings, art gallery and auctions, Broadway productions, disco deck parties, casino, spa, fitness centre, zumba and yoga classes.
2. P&O Cruises There’s no end to the luxuries that can be found for adults on a P&O cruise. The adults-only Oasis area included.
While they’re not currently available on Australian sailings, P&O does offer a few adults-only cruises. These ships feature a generous amount of adults-only activities and spaces, including laser tag and a comedy club.
Adult activities: Exclusive chef’s table dinner, cellar door wine tastings, adults-only sit-down comedy club, bars, nightclubs, casino, deck games, laser tag and karaoke.
With a fleet of two ships geared toward adult cruising, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single child onboard when you sail with Azamara. Although it’s not an adults-only liner, it doesn’t offer dedicated services or activities for children.
Adult activities: Spa, fitness centre, bars, cabaret lounge, casino, culinary demonstrations and wine tastings.
4. Celebrity Cruises Offering modern, luxury ships Celebrity Cruises is often less frequented by families on a budget holiday.
In line with its dominantly adult clientele, the activities and entertainment on Celebrity Cruises is geared toward an older crowd. Think spa treatments, wine tastings, lawn games and West End- and Broadway-style theatre productions.
Adult activities: Wine crystal workshop, mixology classes, star chefs cooking competition, art tours, ballroom dancing lessons, language lessons, casino, yoga classes, trivia, nightclubs, theatre and a glass blowing show.
5. MSC Cruises via CruiseAway On this Mediterranean-style ship, activities run around the clock – so if you want to dance until dawn, you can.
MSC prides itself on being a cruise line for all and offers various itineraries and activities for young and old. From disco dancing to art classes or just hardcore sunbathing, MSC isn't short on recreational options.
Adult activities: Broadway- and Las Vegas-style productions and performances, dance clubs, spa, fitness centres, personal trainers, bars and lounges.
6. Norwegian Cruise Line From music-themed cruises to singles cruises, Norwegian has a scheduled sailing to suit all adult tastes.
Although heralded for providing some of the best entertainment on the seas, the real gamechanger is Norwegian’s accommodation. Featuring the largest suites at sea, its rooms are an elaborate display of luxury. The biggest can accommodate eight.
Adult activities: Casino, spa, bars, nightclubs, live music, Broadway productions, deck parties, Svedka and Inniskillin ice bar and comedy club.
7. Holland America Elegant and sophisticated, Holland America traditionally catered for older cruisers.
Being a luxury liner, it’s less likely you’ll encounter families on budget breaks on your Holland cruise ship. It also tends to draw a slightly older and more specific crowd with its onboard BBC Earth Natural History content and Blues Club.
Adult activities: Spa, salon, fitness centre, casino, movies onboard, theatre and culinary arts centre.
8. Cunard via CruiseAway Cunard has a modest fleet of just three ships, each exuding an elegance and charm that tends to draw an older crowd.
The well-seasoned Cunard brand has been helping holidaymakers travel by sea for 175 years. With culture and art event-themed sailings, plush onboard libraries and ballroom dinners, you’re unlikely to find a young, rowdy crowd here.
Adult activities: Games deck, spa, Royal Nights-themed balls, planetarium, martini mixology classes and cookery demonstrations.
Don’t let the name of this cruise fool you! While it’s almost impossible to board this liner without bumping into a child – or at least a child-at-heart – there are more than enough adult sanctuaries and adults-only activities to keep you calm.
Adult activities: Adults-only port excursions, nightclubs, lounges, Quiet Cove pool, fitness centre, spa and adults-only dining at Italian restaurant Palo and French restaurant Remy (Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy only).
10. Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival has a sound reputation for being a fun and vibrant cruise experience for all. Adults included.
From cool bars and live entertainment to adventurous and active shore excursions, Carnival Cruises knows how to please the masses and leave a smile on their faces. When you need to get away from the crowd, hightail it to Serenity, the adults-only retreat.
Adult activities: Comedy club, fitness centre, dance clubs, spa, bar and nightclub.
Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.
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