What's your cruising style?
As an older woman, you'll want to be sure of getting certain basic amenities, such as having bothersome travel details worked out for you; traveling to several destinations while having to unpack just once; enjoying excellent service and food. And you'll also want good value for the money you spend.
You're ready to consider…
Itinerary choices: The more the better, especially if you've already been to many destinations.
Enrichment programs: There are cruises that feature lectures, or yoga, or folksinging, or art, or dance lessons, or Bible study, or almost anything else you may be interested in, including meeting singles.
Mobility or health issues: If you are, say, limited to a wheelchair, or have a serious heart condition, or travel with an oxygen tank, first-rate medical care and wheelchair accessibility on board the ship will be important.
Traveling solo: If you are traveling alone, you might be happier on a smaller ship where there is greater opportunity to get to know and enjoy your fellow passengers.
Multigenerational family group traveling: With decades separating the ages of the youngest and the oldest members, this trip needs to be taken on a ship with options for all kinds of travelers.
Is price an important consideration?
Here are some websites for the frugal traveler.
Just a beginner?
There's a wealth of useful tips and info at AARP:
- Picking top or unusual ports of call
- Staying safe and healthy at sea
- Choosing (and getting) the best cabin
- 5 money-saving cruise tips
- Choosing shore excursions
What do the experts think?
In our opinion, the best, most complete coverage on selecting a cruise is at Cruisecritic. Right on the home page, it explains in detail how to pick the best conventional or off-the-beaten-path cruises that meet your needs and your desires in every category. Each choice is covered in detail and includes information about prices, as well. Both regular and premium cruises are included.
The articles cover scenic cruising, expedition cruising, scenic river cruising, exotic cruising, nostalgia cruising, cruises that are best for enrichment opportunities, best ships for onboard activities, solo cruising, multigenerational cruising, and cruising for folks with accessibility issues.
At SmarterTravel you will also find an excellent, detailed review of what older women want and which are the best cruises that meet these needs, right on its home page. This article, however, was written in 2008. Links are suggested for those who want to see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on these topics.
Also at SmarterTravel you can find an excellent evaluation of five value cruise lines on the home page. But the story was published on 2005. A series of links takes you to more recent articles.
Cruising is a huge topic and we plan to publish periodic articles on its many aspects from time to time.