So you’re going to take a cruise. Congrats! I bet you can picture it now: Just you, unlimited food and drinks, the open water, endless entertainment … and a bunch of loud kids running around everywhere?
That’s probably not what you have in mind for your vacation, but unfortunately, it’s a reality on some cruise ships. No matter how luxurious the cruise is supposed to be, sometimes you’re going to spot the kids hanging around in the stairwell, or someone splashing on the pool deck, or crying in the dining hall.
Personally, I would not want to sign on to be on a ship with a bunch of people under 18 wandering around the whole time. That’s why most ships — even Disney cruises — have adults-only areas. But according to Forbes, it’s becoming more and more common for cruise lines to offer entire trips that are adults-only.
Here’s why you should consider one.
Obviously, the main appeal of adults-only ships is that there aren’t any children. So if you don’t have children and definitely don’t see them as part of your perfect vacation, this is a good option so that you aren’t in for a rude awakening when you get onboard and realize just how many people have kids.
Alternately, if you do have kids, and you’re taking a little vacation away from them, an adults-only cruise may be the best way for you to really detox from the toys, soccer practice and chicken fingers that dominate your daily life.
Even ships that don’t cater specifically to children or families can feel like they do. The presence of kid-friendly fun like water slides and activities can dominate the experience and make you feel a little neglected.
But often, adults-only ships have classier vibes. They’ll have perks like high-class restaurants, excellent spas, longer ports to explore new cities and the cost of drinks and tips included in the price of the cruise. It can feel more like you’re at a high-class country club than you’re on someone else’s family vacation.
Have the Run of the Ship
On a most cruises, there are certain places and hours that are kids-free. You may find yourself taking solace in one part of a ship that can already feel a little small, or coming out mostly at nighttime. But on an adults-only cruise, you’ll have uninterrupted access to all the amenities, at all hours. And on your way there, you won’t pass any teenagers hanging out in the stairwell or children running in flip-flops on the pool deck.
Reconnect With Your SO
An adults-only cruise can be a lot more low-key, a lot more relaxed. There’s no push to fill every minute with entertainment. There’s time to relax alone, or with someone else. If you and your significant other are looking for some time to recharge and reconnect, this could be a good venue to do it. Book a couples massage, sign up for a cooking class or order a bottle of wine on the deck at sunset. It’ll feel like there’s no one else on board.
Not Ready to Pull the Trigger?
If all of these very good reasons don’t quite convince you, but you’re starting to see the appeal of fewer kids, there are a few ways to get a kid-light experience. Go for cruises that last longer than a week, which don’t tend to attract as many families. Choose dates during the school year, as not many people take their kids out of school for vacations. Go for exotic locations — parents are more likely to take their kid to the Bahamas than to South Africa, but no one is stopping you.
About the writer: Cassidy Alexander is a journalist based in Florida, who is on a mission to travel somewhere totally new twice a year.