The Wokingham Paper

Lorraine's Cruise Holidays: It’s that sentence I dread hearing: “Cruising is just for old people”…

Let me start by saying – No, no it isn’t!

Once upon a time, a cruise may have been for the elder and/or the rich, who enjoyed dressing up in cocktail dresses, or tuxedos for the men, flashing their about money in the casino, retiring to a glass of port after dinner (you get the idea).

Well, those days have well and truly disappeared!

What is attractive about a cruise? The absolute best thing is only unpacking once while your ship takes you from one gorgeous place to the next, visiting beautiful destinations, where you will spend your days exploring, touring, being active, going into town, just strolling, sitting on a beach, or sitting up on deck with a glass of something nice in your hand.

These days, you can wear what you wish, on any ship. Dress up, or don’t. Most cruise lines are smart casual, so wear what makes you comfortable. 

Some ships do still have traditional dining, but now also have the option of anytime dining; Sit where you like, and with whom you like for breakfast, lunch & dinner.

There are small ocean ships, and in between ocean ships, which I love, where the average age is 40 and over, and there is so much to do; there are swimming pools, World class spas, aerobics & gyms, theatre’s with West End shows & cinemas, there are restaurants serving sushi to steak and Italian to French, plus traditional dining & buffets, there are bars & nightclubs, Casinos where you can indulge in Blackjack, poker, Craps, Roulette & good old slot machines, and more. Some of the smaller luxury ships and expedition ships have water sports platforms where you can take out a kayak, paddle board, water skis, water trampolines, and go snorkelling.

Then there are the large ships. Now these ships have everything listed above, and some. Over the past 10 to 20 years, cruise companies have literally been falling over themselves competing for the family market at sea, with ships full of so many innovations and facilities that could rival any land hotel, anywhere in the world. They have ice-rinks, flow rider surfing simulators, bumper cars, race tracks, the highest waterslides, rock climbing walls, roller coasters, you name it, they’ve done it/are doing it.

I have been on the Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas on a ship tour, it is large, the ship is a holiday destination all on its own, but, it is so very well designed with its separate distinct neighbourhoods, that it does not feel large, or overcrowded, it’s just ingenious really.

Being bored on a ship? Sorry I can’t hear you, those words do not co-exist.

My specialist field is river cruise ships, where again the average age is 40 years and over. These are small ships, carrying about 150 passengers, but they still manage to squeeze in a swimming pool, often a cinema, bars, restaurants, gym, spa, wellness classes, bikes to hire, and more.

Not sure if a cruise is for you? Some ocean and river cruises now offer short itineraries as a taster. Once you have done 3, 4 or 5 nights, you will be back for more, I can guarantee it.

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