Originally Posted by Paul Motter
Avoid any 10-day cruise on Holland America, and most other lines as well. They generally get almost all retirees.
Me? I'm at that age where retirees don't even look that old to me anymore. The only ones who look old are the ones using walkers or wearing cardigans by the pool.
... let me tell you something, Paul. I took a 35-day cruise on Holland America, and some of those retirees could give me a run for my money. Many of them were more energetic than me!
I don't think you can necessarily characterize Holland America as being the cruise line strictly for old people ... on that 35-dayer we had a lot of "younger" than the Holland America "norm" cruisers. The line does a lot of sailings that other lines don't get involved in ... exotic itineraries ... that while you won't necessarily get a lot of 20-somethings onboard, you will get some of the younger set ... 40's, 50's ... taking them.
We had a lot of pretty active shore excursions on this trip, and Holland America had no problem in booking them up, so I think that says something for the passenger mix, even on the longer cruises. I think HAL gets a bum rap on passenger age because of the fact that the ship doesn't normally rock and roll until the wee hours of the morning on these longer sailings. But I think that's more related to the fact that HAL's itineraries tend to be more interesting and the people who take those sailings are port-focused. They tend to be early risers and generally by midnight will be back in their cabins ... and even earlier on the eve of a port day. But, believe me, many of those HAL cruisers are out to have a good time too, and you will see them in the show lounges, the bars, up in the Crow's Nest for karoke or special galas too.
I spent 35 days on the Statendam and I can honestly say that I had no lack of options for an interesting nightlife ... it's just that often by 10:00 p.m. or so, that comfortable cabin seemed so much more attractive. But you can be sure there were plenty of others who were still in the bars and lounges having a grand old time, and those venues normally didn't close down before midnight ... some later if there were still people wanting to "party."
Interestingly enough, I was going to advise the OP to look into a Holland America cruise if he has to cruise during spring break and doesn't want to be with a bunch of kids on the boat. Holland America, a ten-day or longer sailing, might be just the ticket.
Blue skies ...