Spend The Extra Money To Cruise With A Luxury Line
The final strategy for avoiding kids on a cruise is to book a line where families arent catered to. In fact, some luxury lines dont even allow kids on board). The biggest barrier to this is price, a 7-night luxury cruise will often cost upwards of $2,000 per person. But if you can afford the hefty price tag, these lines are your best option for truly adults-only cruises:
Serenity Now: These Are The Cruise Lines Going Totally Kid
Courtesy of Viking River Cruises
After making its river cruises adults only last month, Viking no longer allows kids on any of its vessels.
A growing number of adults-only cruises are catering to travelers who prefer to vacation minus the munchkins.
As cruise lines create increasingly sophisticated options for families , several new and existing lines are going in the completely opposite direction. Theyre instead focusing their efforts on adult passengers by instituting 18-and-over policies.
When Virgin Voyages launches the first of its three cruise ships in 2020the 2,860-passenger Scarlet Ladyit will require that the kiddos stay ashore by instilling an adults-only policy onboard.
Lets face it, even parents could use a holiday from their little ones sometimes to relax, order a glass of wine and dedicate all of their attention to the voyage at hand . . . sans the unpredictability of kids, Virgin Voyages wrote in a statement on its site.
Last month, Viking Cruises took a similar stand against kids when its river cruise division introduced a new adults-only policy requiring all passengers booked on river cruises after August 1, 2018, to be at least 18 years of age at the time of sailing, making the entire line, including both river and ocean cruises, bona fide adults only. Previously, Vikings minimum age on its river cruises had been 12, and Vikings ocean cruises have had an adults-only policy since launching in 2015.
What Viking Is Not
Viking Cruises gears their trips towards adult cruisers, typically older adults who prefer a slower pace. Nevertheless, some excitement and some ashore adventures are better for people with a fuller range of mobility and higher activity levels. However, as Viking doesnt accommodate kids, its entertainment offerings are limited.
But, it can be more appealing for larger groups or family cruises because its more affordable than alternatives. Viking also promotes casual wear and doesnt require formal nights. The atmosphere might be more comforting, especially for a broader range of ages and experiences. For example, there are no casinos and no smoking.
For travelers wanting an enjoyable time aboard with the benefit of longer time spent ashore, Viking spends more time in port. However, for adult kids, the excursions can be the best part, especially for anyone whos immersing in a unique culture for the first time.
Joining a cruise can be a safer way to explore foreign soil. Joining an excursion means meeting with knowledgeable guides and reliable transport. It can be frustrating for spry group members partnered with slower movers. Still, youll have the opportunity to see everything just the same.
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Adventures By Disney River Cruise
Typical starting price: $4,599 for 7 days
Where they sail: Danube, Rhine, Seine
Duration: 8 days
Specialty cruises: Danube Christmas markets, Oktoberfest, Rhine food and wine, Seine National Geographic photography
Amenities : High-speed Wi-Fi, gym, sun-deck, walking track, bikes for shore use, pool or whirlpool, fitness classes, salon, massage
Inclusions: All meals, unlimited beverages , daily excursions, all gratuities onboard and at restaurants, daily cocktail hour, select meals off the ship during excursions, onboard entertainment
Pros: Adventures by Disney guides add a wonderful touch to each journey with storytelling, educational information, and goes above and beyond to ensure every guest has a great time.
Cons: The ships aren’t “Imagineered.” In other words, if you are used to the added magic that occurs on a Disney Cruise Line, you won’t find that here.
Adventures by Disney, the guided, family vacation arm of the Walt Disney Company, offers unique journeys sprinkled with signature Disney magic. Each day, you’ll receive an enamel pin reflecting the day’s adventure such as Mickey dressed as Mozart or Donald cooking goulash.
The Adventures by Disney river cruises are designed for families, and their itineraries, both onboard and onshore, have something for every age group. Kids love the Junior Adventurer dinners or Disney movie nights, and there is also a Just Teens program with dinners and separate tour groups at various destinations.
Children 015 Years Old On Helsinki Tallinn Route
Note that children between the ages of 015 are not allowed to travel alone on the HelsinkiTallinn route and must be accompanied by a traveling companion over 18 years. The passengers must arrive at check-in together and also board the ship together. A written consent form from the child’s parent or legal guardian is to be presented in check-in.
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Children Under The Age Of 16
Children under the age of 16 are allowed to travel alone on regular route traffic departures only when a parent or guardian has given their written consent stating that the reason for travelling is studies, work, sports contest or to visit relatives. Viking Line must be able to check the legitimacy of the consent, for example by telephone.
You Will Need To Take A Test Every Day
Our room attendant, Juan Carlo, would drop off the individually labeled plastic tubes along with the next day’s itinerary and any other cruise correspondence in the evening. In the morning, we’d unscrew the caps before brushing our teeth, then spit into the tube. Unless you have a really dry mouth, or like to sleep in on vacation, this was nothing more than a minor inconvenience prior to breakfast. Viking doesn’t share your COVID-19 results no news is good news until the day before departure where you’ll receive the previous day’s results to present at the airport. My husband generously tipped our attendant Juan Carlo at the end of the trip because he was often tasked with waking our sons to retrieve the samples by 9:30 a.m.
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American Queen Steamboat Company
Typical starting price: $2,199 for 7 nights
Where they sail: Mississippi, Ohio/Tennessee/Cumberland, Columbia/Snake Rivers
Duration: 7 to 15 nights
Specialty Cruises: Music festivals, music of the ’50s and ’60s, bourbon, Cajun/Creole, wine, Kentucky Derby
Amenities : Wi-Fi, bicycles for shore, library, fitness center, smoothie and juice bar, pool, sun deck, spa, fitness, hiking sticks
Inclusions: All meals, unlimited beverages , in-room dining, one-night pre-cruise hotel stay, hop on hop off buses onshore, ground transfers, Wi-Fi, daily entertainment
Pro: You’ll save money as you won’t have to pay to fly overseas.
Cons: Excursions cost extra, starting at around $79. The least expensive cabins are interior and have no windows.
As the name implies, the American Queen Steamboat Company uses old-school-style riverboats for their journey. These state-of-the-art, authentic paddle wheelers can accommodate from 150 to 400 guests, depending on the ship.
Choose from a wide variety of accommodations from well-appointed suites to small no-frills single staterooms that are a mere 80 square feet. Some sailings have Loft Suites, which are two stories with floor-to-ceiling windows and have two full bathrooms, a dining area, a lounge with a Queen sofa-bed, a balcony, and an upstairs bedroom.
Notable Excursions :
COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all guests and crew. COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Fact: You Must Prove Youre Fully Vaccinated To Cruise In 2021
Maxwell says he was stunned that the cruise line could kick them off the cruise and abandon them. But regular readers of our site know that he shouldnt have been surprised. Over the years, weve covered many cases where cruise lines have summarily removed passengers from their ships, with no follow-up.
Maxwell called Celebrity immediately and demanded an explanation and a guarantee of a refund. Then his shock turned to rage when the representative explained that there would be no refund.
The agent pointed out that all guests over age 12 must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before sailing. Partial vaccinations do not qualify for cruising on Celebrity.
Convinced that the cruise agent was wrong about the vaccination requirements and his refund eligibility, Maxwell next submitted his request for help to the Elliott Advocacy team.
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Showing Up For A Cruise Partially Vaccinated
Earlier this summer, Maxwell and his fiancee booked the Caribbean cruise. They would board the Equinox in Ft. Lauderdale on Aug. 1.
The itinerary of the cruise the couple would eventually miss because they arent fully vaccinated.
On the day of departure, the pair made their way to the port. They were especially excited as this cruise was more than a vacation the couple planned to marry during the trip.
We arrived at the port early as Celebrity instructed. Before the trip, we both took an RT-PCR test and received negative results. At check-in, we provided those results. We received the first round of the Moderna COVID vaccine, and we shared that information as well. Then, we went through four security checkpoints. At each station, the employees photographed our identification, our vaccination cards, and our negative coronavirus test results.
After that, we boarded the ship, went to our cabin, and unpacked for the eight-day cruise.
After unpacking, the two began exploring the Equinox. It was still several hours before the ships scheduled departure.
First, we had dinner, Maxwell recalled. We were happy to finally be on board, and we were ready to set sail!
But as the couple settled back into their cabin, the evening suddenly took a shocking turn.
Its All About The Destination
Of course, the cruise ship is incredible, comfortable and beautiful. But make sure you get off the boat at every port and as often as possible. When you dock at each port, Viking includes an activity each day. This is what sets Viking apart from other ships. They want you to get off the ship and explore.
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What Is A Family River Cruise Like
River cruise ships are pretty small at least compared to ocean ships, anyway. Whilst an ocean ship might have anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 passengers on board, river cruise ships tend to accommodate about 200 people.
The relatively small size of river cruise ships means that theres obviously no room for things like water slides, rock climbing walls or any of the activities your kids would go crazy for on an ocean cruise.
However, there are some things theyll like, such as small swimming pools, Jacuzzis, cinemas, games consoles and giant noughts and crosses.
Each day youll stop at a different port of call. Your ship will often dock right in the heart of the city, so you can get off and explore on foot, on a coach or maybe on bikes if your ship has those to borrow.
Viking River Cruises Ban Kids On Board
Viking River Cruises announced a ban on passengers below the age of 18 sailing on their ships on bookings made from August 1, 2018.
Line’s update on the policy says that as of August 1, 2018, for all new bookings, all Viking passengers will have to be 18 years old to sail “on either the river or ocean product.”
Passengers booked on Viking River Cruise prior to August 1, 2018 who are 12 years old or above will be allowed to sail on the currently booked trip.
The operator wrote it would continue to support the program until 2020 when all previously booked guests would have sailed. For all cruises booked after August 1, 2018 , passengers must be 18 years old on/before the day they are scheduled to embark on the cruise.
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Youll Need To Use Your Phone
Courtesy of Viking Cruises
Part of the fun of a cruise is getting away from the stresses of your everyday life, and for many of us, that means turning off the smartphone for a while. However, Viking offers a few apps to make your cruise more enjoyable, and if you dont install them, youll miss out.
The Viking Art Guide offers a self-guided audio tour of the artwork throughout the public spaces of the ships, with insightful commentary from your host, Vikings Senior Vice President Karine Hagen, as well as a variety of curators and experts, our source says.
Another essential download is the Viking Voyager app, which lets you see daily events, plan your cruise program, and book shore excursions, spa appointments, and dinner reservations. Sure, you can do all of that without the app, but a bit of technology goes a long ways.
As one of the apps reviewers puts it: This app is an essential tool for getting the most out of your cruise.
You Will Feel Safe From Covid
Prior to sailing, I kept envisioning a substantial COVID-19 outbreak on the ship it wasn’t hard considering what we witnessed with cruise ships early on in the pandemic. But the truth was, from the moment we stepped on board, my husband and I felt safer on the ship than we did at a hotel we stayed at in April for our anniversary. There’s a full-scale PCR laboratory on this ship and guests and crew are required to submit saliva samples upon embarkation and every morning thereafter to isolate any cases of COVID-19 and to prevent a potential chain of transmission. We had independent air handlers in our rooms and high-density filters and UV-C lights had been placed in all the public air handlers. At night, two Roomba-like robots roamed the ship sterilizing all the public spaces using the UV-C light technology. Plus, everywhere you turned, there were crew members sanitizing with rags and spray bottles of Oxivir Plus, a broad-spectrum disinfectant. From the deck chairs to the dining tables, from the door handles to the rails in the hallways, it was non-stop cleaning. Our family worked out at the gym together, and oftentimes, as we finished with a piece of equipment, an attendant would appear to wipe it down. In our rooms, we found sanitizer sprays and wipes, along with a generous number of complimentary masks.
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The 5 Best European River Cruises For Families
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Years ago, cruising had a bit of a reputation as being just for old people. But boy, how times have changed! Virtual reality trampoline anyone? .
But what about river cruising? Are river cruises good forfamilies? The answer is a resounding YES! But, with some caveats. As with anycruise holiday, you need to pick your river cruise carefully to find one thatsuits your family.
First, lets make sure were all on the same page when it comes to knowing what to expect from family river cruises in Europe.
Viking River Cruises And Viking Ocean Cruises
Vikings ocean ships debuted as kid-free ships, and the line recently changed their river cruise ships to reflect the same you wont find anyone under 18 when sailing with Viking.
Best Ship: In Europe, go with one of the line’s modern, 180-passenger longships, which have balcony cabins and outdoor dining options. The Viking Longship Forseti takes passengers to the vineyards and chateaux of Bordeaux, France, from March through December.
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Unlike Ocean Liners River Cruises
Do not have family cabins. Riverboats are much smaller than cruise ships that ply oceans. Riverboats navigate lower depths and narrow passageways so they have to be somewhat small. They also have predominantly been for the older set, so cabins offered on river cruises, even suites, usually lack pull-down berths, sofa beds and bunks in which kids can share a room with their family. On river cruises, families often have to book multiple rooms to accommodate everyone, which increases the cost of the cruise.
Do not have kids clubs. As river cruises do not cater to families year-round, the smaller ships save all of its space for adult lounges and dining rooms. Even when offering a family voyage, the boat often houses kids programs in spaces originally intended for adults. You wont find video games, movie nights, craft making or fun character interactions even on an Adventures by Disney river cruise. Not only are there no kids clubs, but save for the upper deck, there simply isnt a lot of space for kids to run around.
Do not have swimming pools. Only a rare few river ships have a pool. Thats in quotations because the pools are often so small they arent bigger than a large hot tub. Kids will not have a place to splash and play during the day intentional on river cruises, where passengers are expected to spend the day exploring quaint villages.
Who Has The Right Itinerary And Shore Program For Me
Celebrity has more ships and therefore offers a greater number of itineraries than Viking. If you are seeking a longer voyage Viking offers Grand Voyages and Worldwide Cruises.
With two Expedition ships, Celebrity offers expedition cruises of the Galapagos on Celebrity Flora and Celebrity Xpedition while Viking will commence expedition cruising in the polar regions on two new expedition ships in 2022.
While its not the case for all their voyages, Celebrity Cruises offers more round trip journeys, starting and finishing in the same port whereas Viking itineraries tend to start and finish in different ports, except on a handful of voyages. For example, an itinerary with Celebrity to the Norwegian Fjords will generally start and finish in the same port, be that London or Amsterdam. Viking itineraries will, in all but a handful of cases, start in one port and finish in another, such as starting in London and finishing in Bergen, Norway. This is noteworthy for travel plans or tours you might take to complement your cruise experience.
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