Best Time to Cruise
What is the best time to cruise when the ships have;
1. More adults and less younger children.
2. The least number of passengers.
3. More older teens.
Reason for asking - trying to determine when the best cruise time would be for our family. Our remaining home children are 16 & 21 (still in college). Our previous cruises are;
Eurodam - Dec. 2009 - Eastern C
Liberty of the Seas - Dec. 2011 - Eastern
Fantasy - April 2012 - Bahamas
Dream - Dec. 2012 - Eastern
Based on your requirements, the best times to cruise are the 2nd - 3rd week in September. This is pretty much true just about anywhere you wan to go. But kids are back to school, parents are back to work, and no one wants to cruise to the Caribbean because it's the height of hurricane season. But that's when we like to travel as we get the best rates and hardly any kids.
Also, the 1st - 2nd week in December is good. People like to cruise during Thanksgiving and Christmas, but they're not planning to cruise between the holidays because they're getting ready for Christmas and buying gifts. So they're not thinking about spending money on vacations.
As for when they are older teens and not younger teens, just doesn't happen because teens are teens when it comes to when they can cruise with their families.
Now, with that said, the later you go in August, the less there will be because is some States, school starts earlier than others.
Unfortunately, families with teens are very limited as to when they can cruise due to school. Cruise lines know when school is out because that's when the biggest demand is, so they're going to have higher prices at those times.
I strongly disagree with Pete.
Cruise when you want but choose the cruiseline/ship to match your expectations. I have taken a number of cruises over Christmas/New Years on Regent; a luxury cruise line. I have found a number of teenagers/early 20s on the ship traveling with their folks. In fact, I seek out these youngsters for my trivia team each time; they have a wealth of knowledge that I don't have.
There have been some kids but not many. It is definitely an adult atmosphere yet your kids will find lots to do. The max passengers on a Regent ship is 700; there are not that many cabins that can hold three or more so not many kids.
This allows you to choose the time of year convenient for you and your kids yet allows you the experience you want.
If you're interested in going on a cruise with more adults and less kids, then use this general guideline to help in planning;
1) Choose a more upscale cruise line. For the most part, families want a cheaper cruise with lots of amenities for the kids. Of the mass-market cruise lines, Celebrity and Holland America normally draw an older crowd and their costs aren't much higher. Any of the luxury cruise lines (Crystal, Regent, Seabourn, Silversea, etc.) will always have very few children at any time of the year because their costs are much higher and few families can afford these. This is why you'll see more families on Carnival, NCL, RCCL, and Princess than any of the other cruise lines and explains why their ships are designed accordingly. Any of the more upscale or luxury lines have very few, if any, amenities for children or teens.
2) Choose a longer cruise. Families like to stick with 7-nights or less because of their schedules and budgets.
3) Go to someplace different. For the most part, families like warm weather and nice beaches. Most kids don't necessarily like places like Alaska, Canada/New England, or Baltic cruises.
4) And the obvious one, don't choose a cruise when school is out.
There are always a few exceptions to every rule and you'll almost always find children on just about any cruise at any time of the year. (Home schooled families love to travel during the off-seasons.) But having been involved in travel for over 35 years, these guidelines apply to the majority of situations where people want to travel when families are not traveling.
Conversely, if you want to travel when there are plenty of kids and teens, then travel anytime school is out. You're almost guaranteed plenty on just about any ship, especially during the highest traveled times of the year; Christmas/New Year's, Spring Break, and the first couple of weeks during Summer are the most popular, but will also demand the highest prices.
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