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The Best Cruise Ships for Young Adults: A 24-Year-Old’s Perspective!

You know the scene: Deck chairs, endless blue ocean, and a general ambiance of quiet. Sounds like a place only your grandparents would love? Think again! I once believed the same, until one day, I swapped my backpack for a cruise ticket, and boy, was I in for a surprise!

If you’ve ever rolled your eyes at the thought of cruising, thinking it’s an “oldie” affair, or if you’re just curious about what a floating holiday can offer, this guide is for you. 🌊🎉🛳️

So grab your free cruise planner and let’s dive into our tips, tricks, and the best cruise ships for young adults!

good cruises for young adults

Why Cruises are Amazing for Young Adults

Ahoy there, fellow millennial and Gen Z explorers! 🌍 If you think cruises are all about shuffleboard and afternoon naps, you’re in for a tidal wave of revelations. Let’s dive right into why cruises are becoming the hottest trend for young globetrotters like us!

The All-In-One Adventure Package

Imagine waking up in a new country every day, feasting on gourmet meals, dancing the night away, and indulging in some spa pampering – all without moving your luggage once.

An all-inclusive cruise is like a floating city, offering the best of everything – travel, accommodation, food, entertainment, and relaxation – in one neat package.

good cruises for young adults

A Social Paradise

If you’re a social butterfly or even if you’re looking to come out of your cocoon, cruises are the place to be. From pool parties to themed nights, there are countless opportunities to meet new pals.

Be it a salsa dance partner from Spain or a karaoke buddy from Kenya, friendships forged on cruises are often as deep as the ocean.

A Mélange of Cultures and Experiences

One day, you’re ziplining in the Caribbean rainforest; the next, you’re sipping wine at a French vineyard. Cruises offer a buffet of experiences, ensuring no two days are the same.

Plus, with onboard cultural shows, workshops, and cuisines, you’re getting a world tour while being surrounded by luxury.

best cruise lines for young adults

Budget-Friendly Options

Contrary to popular belief, cruising doesn’t have to break the bank. With all-inclusive deals, early bird discounts, and last-minute offers, young adventurers can find packages that won’t empty their wallets but will fill their Instagram feeds.

Limitless Entertainment and Activities

Rock climbing walls, laser tag, Broadway-esque shows, surfing simulators, silent discos, and even escape rooms – modern best cruise ships for young adults are like floating theme parks. There’s something happening every hour, and yes, sleeping is optional!

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Options

The cruise industry is sailing towards greener waters. Many new ships are prioritizing eco-friendly technologies and sustainable tourism practices. So, you can satiate your wanderlust without causing much harm to Mother Nature.

Next time someone drops the “cruises are for old folks” line, you’ve got your arsenal ready. But wait, there’s more! Up next, I’ll guide you through choosing the perfect ship and itinerary tailored for young hearts and spirits. Prepare to set your travel goals a notch higher! 🌟🛳️🌴

best cruise lines for young adults

Factors Young Adults Should Consider While Choosing a Cruise

Alright, wave riders! So, we’ve established that cruises aren’t just sunsets and slow dances. But how do you pick the right one for you, amid the vast ocean of choices? Here’s a sailor’s compass to help you navigate through the decision-making process.

Onboard Activities and Entertainment

  • The Activity Quotient: If you’re someone who can’t sit still, look for ships boasting adrenaline-pumping activities. Think zip lines, water slides, surf simulators, and even skydiving chambers.
  • Learn & Leisure: Interested in workshops? Some cruises offer photography classes, cooking demos, or even language lessons.
  • Wellness and Relaxation: For the yogis and spa enthusiasts, ensure your ship has serene spaces to relax and rejuvenate.

best cruise lines for young adults

Excursion Options and Adventure Activities

  • The Adventure Scale: Are the ports famous for diving, hiking, or other outdoor activities? Your adventurous heart might want a piece of that action!
  • Cultural Immersion: For those who travel to embrace new cultures, ensure your cruise offers local tours, workshops, or authentic experiences in their port stops.

Nightlife and Parties

  • The Party Pulse: A good DJ, themed nights, silent discos, or even onboard music festivals might be crucial if you’re all about the nightlife on fun cruises.
  • Chill Vibes: If you’re more about cozy lounges and acoustic sessions, look for cruises that offer a mellower evening scene.

best party cruises for young adults

Opportunities for Networking and Socializing

  • Connect & Cruise: Some cruises cater specifically to certain age groups, professions, or hobbies. From tech conferences at sea to singles’ cruises, there’s something for everyone.
  • Social Spaces: Open lounges, communal dining options, and group activities can make mingling easier and more fun.

Cost and Budget Considerations

  • Spend Smart: Early-bird deals, group discounts, off-season rates – there are several ways to sail without sinking your bank balance.
  • All-Inclusive vs. A la Carte: Some cruises might seem cheap but charge for every additional activity. Do your math!

Duration and Itinerary Flexibility

  • Quick Escapes vs. Long Voyages: Whether you want a weekend getaway or a month-long odyssey, there’s a ship for that.
  • Port-Heavy or Sea-Centric: Some people love spending more time exploring cruise ports, while others prefer the onboard experience. Choose according to your preference.

Alright, armed with this checklist, you’re all set to find a cruise that resonates with your spirit. But wait, how about some personal recommendations?

Dive in with me to explore some of the hottest ships that every young adult cruiser should consider for their next aquatic adventure. 🌊🚢🎉

cruise ship on ocean

Top 10 Best Cruise Ships for Young Adults

Ready to take a deep dive into the cruising world, but not sure where to drop anchor? Fear not!

After countless adventures, chitchats with fellow young cruisers, and (let’s be real) a few party-filled nights on deck, I’ve curated the ultimate list. Here are the best cruise ships for young adults that are not just floating hotels but legendary experiences for the young and restless.

Royal Caribbean cruise ship

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas

  • Why It’s Awesome: It’s not just a ship; it’s a floating city! With seven unique neighborhoods, the Symphony offers everything from a Boardwalk with real carousels to a Central Park with over 20,000 tropical plants.
  • Highlights: Surfing on the FlowRider, vertical plunge slides, laser tag, ice skating, and Broadway-style shows.
  • The Party Pulse: With its lively nightlife, including a Bionic Bar with robot bartenders and Club Twenty, you’re in for some wild nights.

Norwegian Epic

  • Why It’s Awesome: Freestyle cruising at its finest! The Norwegian Epic offers a more laid-back, choose-your-own-adventure type of vibe.
  • Highlights: The largest spa at sea, an epic Aqua Park, bowling alley, and a real ice bar where everything, including your glass, is made of ice.
  • The Party Pulse: Ever attended a party in a sizzling-hot cavern? The Epic’s ‘Bliss Ultra Lounge & Nightclub’ feels like partying inside a volcano.

Carnival cruise ship

Carnival Vista

  • Why It’s Awesome: Designed for fun lovers, the Carnival Vista brings on the thrill with its SkyRide – a pedal-powered ride with stunning ocean views.
  • Highlights: An IMAX theater, the first brewery at sea, a massive water park, and Havana Bar & Pool for that Cuban vibe.
  • The Party Pulse: Liquid Lounge transforms from a theatre during the day to a pulsating nightclub when the sun sets.

MSC Meraviglia

  • Why It’s Awesome: Think of it as Europe’s floating marvel. With a Mediterranean flair, the MSC Meraviglia ship is all about elegance and innovation.
  • Highlights: An LED dome ceiling, which is the longest at sea, authentic Cirque du Soleil shows, and a fantastic amusement park.
  • The Party Pulse: Horizon pool offers incredible sunset parties and turns into a dance space by night.

Celebrity cruise ship

Celebrity Edge

  • Why It’s Awesome: It’s all about modern luxury and futuristic designs. The Celebrity Edge ship feels like you’ve stepped into 2050.
  • Highlights: The Magic Carpet, a movable deck, and the Rooftop Garden for serene moments under the stars.
  • The Party Pulse: The Club on Edge offers a fusion of a casino, a dance floor, and surprising game nights.

Disney Dream

  • Why It’s Awesome: Think Disney’s only for kids? Think again! Disney Dream is a nostalgia trip combined with top-notch entertainment and activities suitable for all ages.
  • Highlights: From first-run movies in 3D to the Aquaduck water coaster and themed parties featuring your favorite Disney characters.
  • The Party Pulse: The District is an adults-only nightlife area with lounges, clubs, and entertainment to keep you grooving.

Holland America cruise ship for teens

Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady

  • Why It’s Awesome: It’s Richard Branson’s take on cruises – so expect luxury, innovation, and a lot of sass on the Scarlet Lady.
  • Highlights: A tattoo parlor on the sea, vegan eateries, and a focus on well-being with yoga and meditation spaces.
  • The Party Pulse: From drag brunches to Razzle Dazzle parties and DJs setting the deck on fire.

Holland America’s Nieuw Statendam

  • Why It’s Awesome: Perfect for young adults seeking a blend of tradition with modern touches. Think classic cruise vibes, but with a contemporary twist on the Nieuw Statendam.
  • Highlights: World-class dining experiences, BBC Earth Experiences for nature lovers, and a Music Walk with multiple genres to groove to.
  • The Party Pulse: B.B. King’s Blues Club offers soulful nights, while the Rolling Stone Rock Room brings out your wild side.

Princess cruises ship

Princess Cruises’ Sky Princess

  • Why It’s Awesome: It’s like floating on a tech-savvy cloud! With its OceanMedallion technology, get ready for a personalized cruising experience on the Sky Princess.
  • Highlights: Outdoor cinema under the stars, escape rooms, and The Enclave – the largest thermal suite at sea.
  • The Party Pulse: Takeover nights at the nightclub, silent discos, and jazz lounges for those mellow evenings.

Costa Smeralda

  • Why It’s Awesome: Embrace la dolce vita at sea! Costa Smeralda brings you the charm and elegance of Italian design and entertainment.
  • Highlights: An onboard museum, Solemio Spa for relaxation, and themed parties celebrating Italian culture.
  • The Party Pulse: Enjoy DJ nights at the pool deck and exclusive shows at the Colosseo theatre.

There you have it, fellow sea seekers – the ships that promise thrills, chills, and memories a’plenty! Remember, the best ship is always friendship, but these come in as close seconds. Wherever you decide to set sail, the world is your oyster, and the seas, your playground. 🌊🚢🎉

karaoke on cruise ship

Additional Tips for Young Cruisers

Alright, my maritime mates, booking that cruise is only half the battle. To ensure smooth sailing (literally and metaphorically), here are some nuggets of wisdom I’ve gathered on my voyages. Prepare to be the savviest sailor on the seven seas:

Research Your Ports

  • Local Laws and Customs: Every port is a new culture. Do a quick read-up on local customs, dressing norms, and laws. You’d be surprised how different things can be just a few nautical miles away.
  • Off-the-Beaten-Path: Cruise ports can sometimes be tourist traps. Dig deeper to find authentic experiences and hidden gems.

Pack Smart

  • Themed Nights: Some cruises have theme nights (80s, Masquerade, White Party). Bring along some versatile pieces to join in the fun.
  • Tech Essentials: Don’t forget converters or power strips. Cabins often have limited outlets.

fun cruise

Stay Connected, But Don’t Overdo It

  • Wi-Fi Packages: While many ships offer internet packages, they can be pricey. Decide beforehand if you’ll need one.
  • Digital Detox: Consider letting go of the digital leash for a bit. The ocean, after all, is the best kind of screen.

Plan Your Onboard Activities

  • Book in Advance: Popular activities or shows might get fully booked quickly. Reserve your spot early to avoid missing out.
  • Daily Itinerary: Most ships provide a daily newsletter with the day’s events. Use it to plan your day.

Budget for Extra Expenses

  • Hidden Costs: While cruises are often all-inclusive, there are extras like specialty dining, spa treatments, or excursions that come with a price tag.
  • Set a Daily Budget: This helps you keep track of your spending, ensuring you don’t disembark with a shocker of a bill.

fun things to bring on cruises

Engage in Onboard Networking

  • Join Group Activities: From trivia games to dance classes, these are perfect icebreakers.
  • Social Apps: Some cruises have their own apps that allow you to chat or meet other passengers. It’s like a mini social network at sea!

Respect the Ship and Fellow Passengers

  • Follow Rules: Whether it’s dress codes in dining rooms or rules around the pool, be respectful.
  • Be Mindful of Noise: Remember, cabin walls can be thin. Keep the volume down during late hours.

fun cruises on deck

Plan for Sea Sickness

  • Come Prepared: Even if you’ve never been sea-sick, pack some preventative medicine or remedies. Better safe than seasick!
  • Choose Your Cabin Wisely: Mid-ship cabins on lower decks tend to feel the least motion. Review our top cruise ship cabins to avoid.

Dive into Excursions but Exercise Caution

  • Safety First: Stick to recommended areas, especially if exploring on your own.
  • Time Management: Make sure you’re back well before the ship’s departure time. It won’t wait!

Most Importantly, Stay Open-minded

  • Embrace New Experiences: Whether it’s trying a new cuisine or dancing a foreign dance, dive in headfirst.
  • Meet New People: Everyone has a story. Make connections, share laughter, and build memories.

And there you have it! Equipped with these tips, you’re not just ready to cruise; you’re ready to conquer the cruise life. Remember, it’s not just about the destination but the journey and the memories you create along the way. Happy cruising, young explorer! 🚢🌅🌏🥂

cruise ship at sea

Demystifying Cruise Myths

If I had a nickel for every cruise myth I’ve heard, I could probably afford a personal yacht by now. But before we dismiss them as mere sailors’ tales, let’s dive deep and separate the fact from the fiction:

Myth: Cruises Are Just for the Elderly

  • Reality Check: One glance at the adrenaline-packed activities, from zip-lining to laser tag arenas, and it’s clear: ships are designed for all age groups. Plus, with themed cruises focusing on music festivals or even comic-cons, the age spectrum is broad and diverse.
  • Personal Take: I once partied till sunrise with a lively 70-year-old and a spirited 19-year-old, both grooving to the same beat!

Myth: You’ll Feel Claustrophobic on a Ship

  • Reality Check: Modern cruise ships are massive, often feeling like floating cities with vast open spaces, promenades, gardens, and expansive decks.
  • Personal Take: With endless ocean views and a different port to explore almost daily, I often forget I’m even on a ship.

Titanic vs. Modern cruise ships food

Myth: Cruises Are Overly Expensive

  • Reality Check: Cruises often offer all-inclusive packages covering accommodation, meals, entertainment, and transportation between destinations. When you break down the costs, they can be more cost-effective than traditional vacations.
  • Personal Take: Think about the value. Multiple destinations, no need for repeated packing/unpacking, endless entertainment – it’s worth every penny.

Myth: It’s Easy to Fall Overboard

  • Reality Check: The best cruise ships for young adults have high railings and barriers designed for safety. Accidents are extremely rare and often involve risky or inappropriate behavior.
  • Personal Take: Respect the rules, exercise common sense, and the ocean remains a beautiful view, not a threat.

NCL ship at dock

Myth: Norovirus is a Common Cruise Illness

  • Reality Check: While outbreaks make the news, they are relatively rare. Cruise lines are stringent about hygiene, cleanliness, and passenger health.
  • Personal Take: Regular hand-washing and using the sanitizers provided can keep most bugs at bay.

Myth: There’s Not Enough Time to Explore the Ports

  • Reality Check: While some ports may have shorter stops, many cruises offer extended stays or even overnight dockings, giving you ample time to explore.
  • Personal Take: Do your homework. Plan your activities at each port, and you can squeeze in the major highlights efficiently.

cruise ship wrap around deck

Myth: Cruise Food is Bland and Repetitive

  • Reality Check: With multiple restaurants, themed nights, and world-class chefs, the culinary scene on cruises is vast and varied.
  • Personal Take: I’ve traveled the world’s cuisines without leaving the ship, from sushi bars to Italian trattorias and French patisseries.

Myth: Cruises Are Bad for the Environment

  • Reality Check: While the industry has faced criticism, many cruise lines are now adopting eco-friendly technologies, reducing emissions, and participating in conservation efforts.
  • Personal Take: I always opt for cruise lines with strong environmental policies. It’s our ocean, after all. We need to protect it!

Navigating the ocean of misinformation can be as tricky as charting unknown waters. But with a bit of knowledge, we can steer clear of myths and misconceptions. So, next time someone regales you with a cruise tale, you’ll be well-armed with the truth. Sail on with confidence, fellow cruiser! 🌊🚢🌟🛳️🌏

cruise ship balcony

Cruising Through Youth & Waves

Cruising isn’t just a mode of travel; it’s an experience, a microcosm of the world floating on the endless horizon of possibilities. As we’ve journeyed together through this guide, we’ve not only charted the best ships but also debunked myths and offered insights to navigate the vast seas of cruising as a young adult.

Remember, youth isn’t just about age; it’s a mindset, a zest for adventure, an insatiable curiosity, and the courage to venture into the unknown. Every wave the ship cuts through mirrors the waves we ride in life: the highs, the lows, the calm, and the storms.

But isn’t that what makes life thrilling? The unpredictability, the spontaneity, the new horizons that each dawn brings aboard a ship?

To all my fellow young souls out there: don’t let myths or stereotypes anchor you down. Let the call of the ocean draw you in. Set sail on a journey of discovery, not just of exotic ports but also of yourself.

In every sunset you witness from the deck, in every dance move you break into at the onboard club, in every new friend you make from a different part of the world – you’ll find a piece of yourself you never knew existed.

So, here’s to the vast oceans, the starry skies, and to us – the young and the restless, forever seeking, forever cruising. Cast away your doubts, embrace the sea breeze, and let the world be your oyster.

Until our paths cross on a sunlit deck or under a moonlit night, keep cruising, keep exploring, and most importantly, keep living. Fair winds and following seas, fellow adventurers! 🚢🌍✨🌊🥂🌅

FAQs on Best Cruise Ships for Young Adults

Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned sailor looking for a fresh perspective, it’s natural to have some burning questions. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about cruising for young adults:

1. Are there age restrictions for booking a cruise?

  • Most cruise lines require at least one person in each cabin to be 21 years or older. However, some lines might lower the age to 18, especially on sailings outside of the U.S. Always check the specific cruise line’s policy when booking.

2. Is cruising safe for solo young travelers?

  • Absolutely! The best cruise ships for young adults are like floating communities with security protocols in place. Plus, many cruises offer meetups for solo travelers, making it easy to find a buddy or group to hang out with.

3. Can I find budget-friendly cruises suitable for young adults?

  • Definitely. While some cruises are luxury-oriented, many lines offer budget-friendly options, especially during off-peak seasons or with last-minute deals.

4. Are alcoholic beverages included in my cruise fare?

  • Typically, luxury cruises might offer inclusive drink packages, but most mainstream cruises charge for alcoholic beverages. However, many ships offer drink packages for purchase that can be cost-effective if you plan on indulging.

5. What kind of onboard entertainment can young adults expect?

  • Modern cruise ships are entertainment hubs! Expect live music, DJ nights, Broadway-style shows, movie screenings, dance classes, theme parties, and more. There’s always something happening on board.

6. I’m a young adult with dietary restrictions. Can cruise ships accommodate?

  • Most definitely. Cruise lines cater to a wide range of dietary needs – from vegan to gluten-free to halal and more. Just inform the cruise line in advance, and they’ll ensure you’re well taken care of.

7. Are there age-specific events or meetups onboard?

  • Many cruise lines host meet-and-greets or events for specific age groups, including young adults. These can be a fantastic way to meet fellow travelers in your age range.

8. Can I stay connected with the internet while cruising?

  • While most ships offer Wi-Fi, it might come at an additional cost, and the connection can vary. Some ships are equipped with the latest satellite tech, offering faster connections suitable for streaming or video calls.

9. Are there fitness facilities on board?

  • Absolutely! Most cruise ships come equipped with state-of-the-art gyms, and many offer fitness classes from yoga to pilates, ensuring you can stay active while at sea.

10. I’ve never cruised before. Will I feel out of place as a young adult?

  • Not at all. Cruises are melting pots of ages, cultures, and backgrounds. With a plethora of activities, events, and entertainment options tailored for all age groups, you’ll find your groove in no time.

11. Are there specific cruises or cruise lines designed exclusively for young adults?

  • While there isn’t a “young adults-only” cruise line, several lines cater heavily to a younger demographic with vibrant nightlife, adventurous excursions, and contemporary onboard activities. Researching each cruise’s offerings will help you find the perfect fit along with reviewing the best cruise ships for young adults.

12. What kind of excursions are available for young adults?

  • The world is your oyster! From adrenaline-packed activities like zip-lining and jet-skiing to cultural experiences like city tours and cooking classes, there’s a wide array of shore excursions tailored for the young and young-at-heart.

13. How do I handle gratuities on a cruise ship?

  • Most cruise lines automatically add a daily gratuity to your onboard account, which is shared among the crew. However, you can adjust this amount at the guest services desk. Always check the cruise line’s gratuity policy when booking.

14. Can I party late into the night onboard?

  • Most definitely! Many ships have clubs, bars, and lounges that stay open into the wee hours. Plus, there are often late-night parties on the deck or special events for night owls.

15. Are cruises LGBTQ+ friendly?

  • Absolutely! The cruise industry has made significant strides in being inclusive and welcoming to everyone. Many cruise lines host LGBTQ+ events, meetups, and even specific cruises dedicated to the community.

16. What about themed cruises? I’ve heard there are cruises dedicated to specific interests.

  • You’ve heard right! There are cruises dedicated to everything from music festivals, TV show fandoms, wellness and yoga retreats, to culinary adventures. It’s a fantastic way for young adults with specific interests to combine passion and travel.

17. What if I need medical attention on the ship?

  • Cruise ships are equipped with medical facilities and have trained medical staff onboard to handle emergencies. While they can address many medical situations, it’s always a good idea to have travel insurance for more serious conditions or if you need care at a port of call.

18. Are there laundry facilities onboard?

  • Yes, most cruise ships offer laundry services for an additional fee. Some even have self-service laundromats.

19. I’m a vegetarian/vegan. Will I have diverse dining options?

  • Absolutely! Cruise lines have expanded their menu offerings to cater to various dietary preferences, ensuring everyone has a delicious and diverse dining experience.

20. Can I customize my cruise experience, like choosing a specific type of room or package?

  • Yes, cruises offer a range of customization options from selecting room types (interior, ocean view, balcony) to purchasing drink packages, specialty dining, or even spa packages. You can tailor your cruise to be as laid-back or luxurious as you desire.

Cruising is as vast and varied as the oceans they sail on. If you’ve got more questions or need deeper insights into any aspect, reach out. Here’s to uncharted territories and new adventures on the horizon! 🌍🚢🌊🌟🛳️🌅