Cruising is a great vacation option for young adults. Modern cruise ships are active and fun, where nightlife and adventure readily converge — and at palatable pricing, to boot. Younger travelers just need to know which cruise lines and itineraries will draw like-minded (and -aged) passengers
There are a few key search parameters 20- and 30-somethings consider. Shorter cruises of seven nights or less typically attract young couples and singles short on vacation time and budget. Look, too, for itineraries that are heavy on lively ports of call or incorporate overnight stays so that you can hit up the local nightlife. Expedition cruises, though pricy, can also be appealing for travelers looking for nonstop action — hiking, snorkeling, kayaking and more — in off-the-beaten-path wilderness regions like the Amazon or Galapagos.
Look, too, for theme sailings, where a one-off niche itinerary might considerably skew the onboard demographic toward a younger cruiser. River cruise line AmaWaterways’ wine-themed itineraries draw a good number of under-40s. Concert cruises and dance festivals like the Groove Cruise feature dozens of musicians on multiple stages and beach and pool parties to ensure young adult cruisers a pumping dance party all-sailing long.
Here are our top six picks for the all-around best cruises for 20- and 30-something young adults, listed by special interest:
Royal Caribbean International
The Ships: Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships — Symphony of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas — are particularly well suited to younger adults who demand a little more out of their vacation time than a simple poolside beach read. Test out your surfing skills on the FlowRider surf simulator, scale the 43-foot-high rock climbing wall, have a whirl skating on the indoor ice rink, sign up to get PADI certified for scuba diving, or zip along the zipline — all onboard the ship. Plus, once you’ve burned off some steam, there’s ample opportunity come nighttime for bar-hopping, catching Broadway shows (like “Grease,” “Mamma Mia!” or “Cats”) and busting out your dance moves in the late-night clubs.
Other options include Anthem of the Seas, which touts exciting features like the Ripcord by iFly skydiving simulator and the robot bartender-helmed Bionic Bar.
The Itineraries: Symphony of the Seas will sail the Western Mediterranean through October 2018, then reposition to the Caribbean where it will sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. Harmony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas sail Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Port Canaveral.