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Top 10 Tips for Cruising with a Senior or Grandparent

It’s fun to travel with family, especially when the trip brings multiple generations together. Including grandparents in your vacation builds special bonds for everyone. In fact, a cruise is the perfect family vacation for seniors to partake in, because not only is the transportation part of the adventure, but there are plenty of activities for seniors to enjoy with the family as a group, or on their own should some family members choose to partake in other activities. Here are our top 10 tips to make your family cruise with a senior a new favorite memory for the whole family.

Choosing Your Cruise

1. Pick a Destination Everyone Will Enjoy

Have a well-traveled senior on your hands? You may want to look for a cruise that will take them to a location they haven’t already been. Or they may want a chance to revisit their favorite ports and share them with the next generation of family. Be sure to talk with everyone who’ll be traveling to make sure they’re excited about the itinerary. With cruises to the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, the Panama Canal and other great locations, it’s easy to find a great Carnival cruise everyone can look forward to.

2. Choose a Cruise Length Suitable for Everyone

Spending time with family on a cruise that is a reasonable length for everyone will be much more enjoyable, with plenty of time for relaxation, activities, and fun excursions. And if a short cruise, rather than a longer vacation is more feasible for everyone involved, not to worry–even just a few days on board offers a wealth of activities as well as shore excursions that will certainly deliver plenty of fun memories to last a lifetime.

3. Find Out How the Cruise Line Can Help Your Senior Travel

If you are traveling with seniors that need extra help with mobility, you’ll find that Carnival offers many forms of assistance for passengers with special needs. Carnival makes ships accessible with elevators and marked routes to help less mobile passengers get around. It’s also best if you let Carnival know ahead of time if you’ll need any extra help. There are accessible staterooms onboard, so book early to secure one of these rooms. You will need to fill out a mobility questionnaire to document your accessibility needs so Carnival can best provide for you.

senior couple walking on cruise deck

4. Look for Deals for Seniors Age 55 and Over

Seniors enjoy special deals and discounts on many cruises. Be sure to search for specials before booking your trip!

5. Buy Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is always a good idea, even when you aren’t traveling with a senior. Lost luggage and missed connections can take a lot of the fun out of traveling, and a good insurance policy will help you handle the problem. [The medical coverage included in travel insurance is even more important for senior travelers; traditional Medicare covers medical care outside the US only in special situations.] Plan to buy your travel insurance along with booking your trip to get the most comprehensive coverage. Carnival also offers a comprehensive Vacation Protection Plan that can be purchased when you book your cruise.

Enjoying Your Cruise

6. Plan Activities for the Whole Family

While some members of the family may occasionally want to do their own thing, you’ll also find it easy to plan a mix of activities that everyone in the family can enjoy together. Carnival Cruises offers a wide variety of activities and entertainment for all ages, such as variety shows, theatre, musical performances, and much more.

senior couple sliding down a water slide on a carnival cruise

7. Choose Excursions Everyone Can Enjoy

There are lots of adventurous shore excursions, and many of them provide transportation as well. If you are traveling with seniors who prefer excursions that are more relaxing, you can pick less strenuous excursions where less walking and standing is required. Your choices will differ depending on the port of call, but look for options like a day on a Caribbean beach, a deluxe sunset sail in Mexico or an island tour in The Bahamas.

senior couple walking on the beach

8. Leave Extra Time to Get Back to the Ship

Going with a Carnival excursion means there’s no worry about making it back to the ship before sailing, but sometimes you’ll want to go off by yourselves to explore. Just make sure you make plans to meet with seniors in time to make it back on the ship before departure.

9. Enjoy Activities At Your Own Pace

There’s so much to do on a cruise that it’s tempting to just go-go-go all the time. When you’re traveling with seniors, it’s a good idea to give them and everyone else in your party a break and a chance to relax. Fortunately, shipboard travel means it’s easy for your group to split up and do their own thing. The grandparents can enjoy lounging in a deck chair while the rest of the family goes ashore or takes advantage of the many onboard activities.

10. Be Prepared With Medications and Prescriptions

Cruise ships can handle minor medical issues, but they don’t have full pharmacies on board. Be sure to pack any needed medications, including extra doses just in case you’re delayed getting home, and bring prescriptions in case you need to get any refills.

Cruises are a great option for traveling with senior citizens because the ship makes it easy to reach exciting destinations while having lots of fun along the way. With a little planning, a cruise with a senior will be one of the best times you ever had!