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Cruise Advice

What it’s really like going on a cruise in your thirties

Going on a cruise in your thirties is becoming more and more popular, as cruise lines work hard to target younger audiences. But my experience of cruising in my thirties is very different to going on cruises in my twenties. I thought I’d share with you some of the good, and bad, things about cruising at my age.

“No I’m not a crew member, I’m a passenger”

On long winter cruises, passengers have asked me ‘what job do you do on board then?’ I suppose it’s an easy mistake to make, as the average age on World or long Caribbean cruises is generally older than at other times of the year.

Older passengers are often surprised to find younger people doing this kind of itinerary, but this perception is really being challenged. I’ve met many freelancers and self-employed people in their thirties and forties that can do these itineraries because of their flexible work environment. I even remember a couple in their twenties doing a full World Cruise.

This is great to see, but it’s up to cruise lines to burst the stigma that surrounds these ‘older passenger’ cruises. It’s time to embrace the younger generation of cruisers who want to experience these unique itineraries too.

“Will you be dining alone?”

When I’m on board with my husband, he works during the day, so I spend quite a bit of time on my own. There’s one thing I have noticed over and over again. People often treat you differently when you are solo. I’m not just talking about on board the ship, but it’s something I really notice ashore too.

Lunch in Mexico
A solo lunch ashore in Mexico

People aren’t rude, but there is definitely a shift in their attitude when they think you are travelling alone. I’m used to quizzical looks from other guests when I eat my breakfast on my own, or sunbathe without a friend to keep me company.

My one really negative experience happened when I was ashore in Estonia last year. A group from another cruise line ousted me off my table because I was sitting on my own and they wanted it!

“Do you have children?”

Umm no, I don’t. It’s very common for couples in their thirties to be travelling with children and I definitely feel in the minority at times. People mean well, but this question can be infuriating and it’s certainly not something anyone asked me in my twenties. I’d love to hear whether other couples in their thirties feel the same way as I do.

I see lots of couples with children making friends with other families, after meeting through kids club. This is great, but it would be nice to create a new way for people in their twenties and thirties to meet each other if they don’t have children.

Entertainment for a thirtysomething

Sampling a taster experience on board
Sampling a tasting experience on board

I know that entertainment differs depending on the cruise line, but I often struggle to find daytime activities that interest me. I’m not a keen sunbather, so I’d welcome a better variety of talks and crafts that appeal to my age group. I think this is a feeling echoed by many young people and I’d love to go on a ship that’s already doing this. I’m a big fan of tastings and experiences, so I’d love to see more of these.

Confidence is key

Blogging in Antigua
Blogging in Antigua

I definitely have more self-assurance travelling in my thirties, particularly when I meet new people. I have become more content in my own company as I’ve gotten older. I like meeting other passengers and crew, and I find that I’m more confident speaking to them nowadays. I’m also far more appreciative about my experiences and the places I’ve visited.

You can find more of my cruising advice here. You can keep up to date with all of my latest blog posts by subscribing for updates at the top of this page. I post content on my social media channels daily. To make sure you don’t miss out on exclusive photos and cruise news, you can follow me via the social links below.

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