My wife & I are seriously thinking about doing the Royal Princess world cruise leaving Ft Lauderdale on 2/11/02 but have a few apprehensions, as we are in our early 50's and know that the average age is aroung 80 or am I wrong? We also don't like the idea of formal nights so may just opt for the Lido on those nights......any thoughts or recommendations appreciated....Thanks
DO IT!!! It doesn't matter if the onboard age is older. I went around the world on a cruise when I was 21. I absolutely loved it. We had 3 people die of old age and another man disappeared, we think probably he was murdered. In the long run it didn't make a bit of difference. What I saw and what I did was unique, never will be anything like it in my life again nor would I want there to be. Cruising is a lot less formal than it used to be. I went to sea for 108 days with 2 steamer trunks! Formal night was every night we were at sea and they REALLY meant formal. There thould be theme formal nights however, and you won't want to miss those. Today if you don't want to wear a tux, just wear a suit. For whatever reason, the best food in the dining room is served on formal nights. By all means go and have a wonderful cruise.
I don't know very much about the average age, but I can tell you that my parents (very spirited 51 and 65 respectfully) will be on that cruise. If you do go, you'll more then likely find them taking over the piano bar until 2:00 a.m. every night.
I just came off MV Royal Princess (see <a href=http://www.cruise-forums.com/read.php?f=20&i=5576&t=5576> review </a> in separate post) so I can tell you from first-hand experience that she's a wonderful ship. That itinerary also attracted my attention because it sounds really wonderful, but unfortunately I will not have the vacation time to do it next year. Nonetheless, you can be sure that I would be on that cruise if it were possible -- and I won't be 45 until next May!
My recommendation is very simple. Don't let the age of the other passengers be a consideration. If you are blessed to be able to take this cruise next year, book it now while you are able to do it. None of us know what the future holds. Too many people spend their later years wishing that they had taken the time to do such things while they could. You will meet a lot of people who have a great sense of humor, a great zeal for life, keen minds, and unfulfilled curiosity about the world. They might be many years older than you, but they are far from old!
I forgot to mention that formal nights usually are not as frequent on the longer itineraries. On the World Cruise, for example, there probably won't be more than one formal night per week. They usually "fill in" with additional semiformal evenings, where a sportcoat and tie is perfectly adequate.
A lot of people are reluctant about formal nights at first, but there really is something wonderful about seeing everybody dressed for the occasion. It's one of those things that starts to grow on you after you do it a few times. Also, your tablemates -- and especially your waiter and assistant waiter -- really will miss you if you "skip out" of dinner in the dining room, especially on days at sea.
Also, as Carole noted, formal nights usually do have extra-special menus. How can you pass up a choice such as (1) Lobster Tails, (2) Roast Pheasant, or (3) Beef Wellington? (Yes, there's a fish option on that menu, too, but very few people order it!)
On the whole, it seems best to "go with the flow" and dress to the occasion on formal nights, even if "dressing to the nines" isn't quite your cup of tea.
Hey FatFish, come join Helen and I. We will be aboard the Royal and wish that you will join us. We are, not unfortunately, among the older set. We may be old in age but not in the Heart. We have sailed aboard the Royal on a 50 day cruise around South America and over to Africa and into the Med. That cruise was last year and it was wonderful. The longer cruises are adapted to people who love to socialize and many become lasting friends. We will have 42 days at sea. This is fine because we can thoroughly enjoy the activities on board. Your age will fit in perfectly with all the others. I agree with all the other messengers above and hope to see you aboard. You may communicate with me if you wish.
We did the World Cruise on the Island Princess in 1998 and the average age was 71, but they were the "Greatest Generation" and kept up with the younger crowd. Don't plan on seeing the Holy Land but the alternate port, cyprus, was wonderful. They have wonderful bargains right now. Go for it! By the way, Carole, the man that was probably murdered, it made a difference to him-giggle.