Cruise Advice

Cruise passenger Q&A: Why we love cruise ship holidays

To highlight the benefits of cruising for younger people, I’ve put together a series of interviews with young couples and families who already choose this type of holiday. This month I speak to David Price and Estelle Chapman, who are supporters of this blog, as they are trying to convert their friends to go on a cruise holiday. Recently engaged, David and Estelle both originate from the Isle of Wight, but currently reside in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

David and Estelle in Kotor
David and Estelle in Kotor

How long have you been cruising and did you have any preconceptions beforehand?

David: I have been cruising since I was 12 years old and my first cruise holiday was with Fred Olsen. The food and service were excellent but we couldn’t get in to half of the ports. Between the ages of 12 and 18, I cruised 2 to 3 times a year with my parents, but mainly travel with P&O Cruises now. I didn’t really have any preconceptions at the time, but the general one seems to be that it’s a holiday for an older person.

Estelle: I went on my first cruise at the age of 22, with David and his parents. Initially I was worried about the rough seas over the Atlantic, but I was pleasantly surprised.

A P&O Cruises ship sailing out of Montenegro
A P&O Cruises ship sailing out of Montenegro

Which cruise lines have you travelled with and what facilities do they have for younger people?

Fred Olsen – The ships didn’t have many children’s facilities and seemed to be catered for an older cruiser in general.

P&O Cruises – These ships have great children’s facilities so are good for families. The brand does appeal to the 20-40 market, but this is limited to things like deck parties, loud music by the pools etc. That’s not enough to stop us going though.

Cunard – The ships are more upmarket than P&O Cruises and offer a more relaxing environment, which we relish with stressful jobs.

Swans made from towels in David and Estelle's cabin
Swans made from towels in David and Estelle’s cabin

As a twenty/thirty something, why do you continue to cruise regularly now?

You know what you are getting with a cruise holiday. Some cruises are excellent value for money and you can usually guarantee good weather/service/food.

What improvements could cruise lines make to appeal to a younger audience?

It would be great to include different themes and activities for younger people. These could be things like cocktail-making classes and more varied guest speakers. We wouldn’t be keen on seeing ships turn more towards the party boat genre though.

David and Estelle on board Azura

What do you view as the negative sides of cruising?

Additional charges everywhere (Cunard service especially, basically double tipping when paying service on all drinks). Forced entertainment can be irritating when you are trying to relax. We also tend to look at cruises outside of school holidays.

David: I know my brother can’t do a P&O cruise because a suite is too expensive and there aren’t any adjoining cabins.

Have you got some cruise holiday stories you’d like to share?

David: We were on a Caribbean cruise on Azura (P&O Cruises). We joined Mum and Dad who had been on the ship for a week already. They had already been to St. Lucia and arranged a boat tour (whale watching, didn’t see any whales) for us. Instead, a local took us out with a helper, a barrel of rum punch and we went snorkeling for fish by a deserted beach and had a fantastic time.

Also on our last cruise on Azura (May 2016, Canaries), there was a surprise trip to Reid’s Palace for afternoon tea.

And of course an evening in Epicurean and the Peninsular lunch with some new friends!

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