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Guest Post: Best Cruises for TwentySomethings

6 Sep

Summer is over.  Sure, there is still some warm weather left, but the wild weekends at beach bars and summer hotspots are basically over, as college is back in session and your bosses are actually back in the office expecting you to do things.  Of course fall is a great season of its own, with football (and tailgates) and great drinking holidays like halloween.  There’s also cruises, which hit up the Caribbean all year round.  Of course, it’s important that you don’t end up on an old person’s cruise or something out of the movie Boat Trip, so a list of the best cruises for twentysomethings is key.  Luckily, an avid NSD reader decided to write in with a guest post, and we thank him for that.  -Don’tTazeMeBro

So you want to go on a cruise. You crave the open sea, the gentle rocking of the ship as it traverses the oceans to satisfy your wanderlust. The majesty of a gargantuan floating city and the mystery of faraway lands combine to form this, the vacation of your dreams. The only problem is that you’re about half a century younger than everybody else on that wavelength.

Yep, it’s true what they say about cruises. They are filled with old people. They’re relatively expensive so they suit the wealthy retired sorts, and they provide a practical and effective way of seeing the world without too much physical movement. In fact they’re ideally set up for the elderly because the bars and restaurants are linked by elevators and long, wide, perfectly flat corridors. The sedate pace probably reminds them of growing up in New England, too.

But cruising more than just a practical way to holiday with a zimmer frame. It’s about exploring the world in comfort, socialising with like-minded people and being pampered by a crew of hundreds, often more. It’s also about the staggering engineering feat that is the cruise ship. Take the MS Independence of the Seas, for example, operated by Royal Caribbean. It’s not the largest cruise ship in the world (the 1,181’ MS Allure of the Sea has that title) but at 1,112’ it can accommodate 4,370 passengers and 1,360 crew over its fifteen floors. It sails from Southampton, England on a fairly regular basis and caters for primarily European itineraries.

And as a twentysomething, the boat and the cruise line you choose will be more important than the destinations you pick. Controversial, perhaps, but you just won’t have a great time if you’re cooped up in a floating old people’s home. Likewise, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy an adult vacation if you’re on a Disney party ship, where romance by the poolside would probably get you put on some sort of list. You can afford to be pretty specific when it comes to cruise ships, surprisingly. Some are better equipped than others in terms of night life and adult-specific areas. If you’re a gambling man then you can find ships with several casinos on board. If you’re a balls-out foodie, pick a vessel with twenty dining options.

The whole cruise “thing” is fun as well. All the quirky names for things might sound stuffy and old-fashioned, but after a couple of days you’ll find yourself saying “port” and “starboard”, “fore” and “aft” and actually quite enjoying it.

Carnival

These are party boats, as the name would suggest. You’ll have a good time on a Carnival ship if you like to dance, eat, get merry and generally have a good time. These would be our first recommendation for those seeking floating nightlife.

Linblad Expeditions and National Geographic

This is perfect if you’re wanting more from your holiday than just relaxation. These cruises are actually expeditions, headed up by talented and experienced individuals who’ll show you the kinds of places you’d never get to without a guide. Antarctica? Yeah, these guys will take you there in comfort and style.

Disney

These cruises are obviously geared towards kids. There are provisions on board for very young children and annoyingly they’re normally pretty strict on not letting grown-ups into the kids’ areas. We all know we’re looking for some “ironic” coloring in on our thousand-dollar holiday.

P&O

These stalwarts operate some of the most young-person-friendly cruises around. They aren’t specifically for twenty-somethings like some of the Carnival cruises seem to be, but the P&O staff are casually competent and will configure your holiday to suit your needs. Few of their cruises are designed with any age group in mind anyway, which is probably where the inclusive atmosphere comes from.

Don’t take our word for it though. Al, a twenty seven year old cruise fan, has this to say about his first ever cruise:

“It was England, so obviously it was raining slightly. They say the English have more words for rain than the Eskimos have for snow. Whether that’s true or not, this was probably something along the lines of “mizzle”. Half way between mist and drizzle. Anyway it certainly wasn’t raining hard enough to detract from the surreal spectacle I had been pressured into by my girlfriend Betty.

A full brass band was playing the kind of music which is impressive and hilarious at the same time. Hundreds of people – mostly relatives and friends of the passengers, but some clearly passers-by – were waving at us as our enormous ship honked its way out of Southampton harbour. We were being guided by a handful of smaller vessels and we were going pretty slowly. I’m sure it had been done a thousand times before but everybody involved seemed to be giving in a sense of occasion.”

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