Nothing against our friends getting married and popping out babies -- respect -- but we feel like we have to take care of some unfinished business. We're not talking about going on a booze cruise and unabashedly "Tindering" our way through the ship. We just want to set sail with our closest wingwoman or wingman, expand our dating horizons and toast to our perishable freedom. OK, maybe we're not opposed to an innocent fling.
If your idea of commitment is getting your flirt on abroad (while knocking some fun adventures off your list), here are the best cruises for singles in their 20s.
Photo: Sebastian Siebert/Shutterstock.com
Idea of fun: Drinking by the pool all day, and dancing the night away
One of the beauties of being in your 20s is you can still get away with partying like you're on spring break -- even if your college days are long gone. Short cruises on Carnival and Norwegian ships make it easy to let loose with other young singles thanks to the ships' carefree vibes and affordable prices (especially on Caribbean and Mexican Riviera itineraries). It only takes one pina colada to get the guts to ask that cute guy or girl at the pool bar if he/she wants to go dancing that night. Three to five days not long enough? Weeklong cruises on Carnival and Norwegian, as well as MSC Divina, are just as much fun -- and still budget-friendly.
Photo: Carnival Cruise Line
Idea of fun: Having fun in the sun, and staying active around the clock
Budget: $ - $$$
Soulmate: Royal Caribbean cruises in the Caribbean
Royal Caribbean cruises to the Caribbean are playgrounds for active singles who get their fair share of exercise during the day, then rejuvenate over casual drinks by night. Nothing breaks the ice more than seeing that cutie you made eye contact with earlier face-plant on the FlowRider surf simulator. Or impress him or her with your prowess on the rock climbing wall, the basketball court, the treadmill or in a yoga class. Royal Caribbean's widest variety of nightlife can be found on Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas or Harmony of the Seas. Although Royal Caribbean isn't big on nightclubs, these three ships up the ante with a sexy, South Beach-style "pop up" venue that takes over the Solarium once per cruise.
Photo: Cruise Critic
Idea of fun: Mixology classes or a wine tasting, followed by dinner and a movie
Budget: $$ - $$$
Soulmate: Celebrity cruises
If you consider your taste to be sophisticated, yet you don't want to sacrifice all the fun and activities that come with a big ship, consider a Caribbean cruise with Celebrity. The line touts itself as "modern luxury," and with that comes top-notch restaurants and bars, fun activities like cooking and martini-making classes, and chic features that range from a backyard-style sun deck for picnics and live music to a cozy outdoor movie theater. Talk about a recipe for romance. While you're bound to strike up conversations over activities, we suggest bringing your best pickup lines to the dance parties held at night on the pool deck.
Photo: Celebrity Cruises
Idea of fun: Relishing your inner fan-child with like-minded people
Budget: $$ - $$$
Soulmate: Theme cruises
Are you a die-hard fan of "The Walking Dead" or country music? Theme cruises are a perfect opportunity to meet and mingle with like-minded people. Some themed sailings might offer up a chance to schmooze with your favorite TV or movie stars, while others are merely concerts at sea. If your biological clock is ticking up a storm, consider a dedicated singles cruise. Basically Match.com on a cruise ship, these special interest sailings cater to people who are serious about dating and looking for love.
Photo: Brittany Chrusciel, Associate Editor
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You've decided you want a vacation, but there's a problem -- you don't have a passport. Maybe you've never had the time, money or desire to travel abroad previously, or perhaps your old passport has expired. Whatever the reason, you still have choices. One option is to take a closed-loop cruise -- a round-trip sailing that leaves from and returns to the same U.S. port. For that, you need only a birth certificate and a driver's license (or other acceptable, government-issued photo ID). You can't cruise just anywhere on a closed-loop sailing, but the choices are more interesting than you might expect. Below, we've compiled a list of seven places to visit without a passport, from scenic Alaska to the beachy Caribbean.
Getting a deal on a cruise sailing that's not selling well requires some effort -- and usually a lot of flexibility. To take advantage of the opportunity empty cruise cabins present, you must understand how cruise lines go about filling them.
A message from Cruise Critic: During this unprecedented time throughout the world and across the cruise industry, it is important to note that article information might be impacted by cruise line hiatuses and port closures due to COVID-19. For the latest information, please visit our regularly updated article on what cruisers need to know about coronavirus. It's a new year -- in a new decade -- with vacation time to use and cruises to plan. To uncover the best ways to land a cruise bargain in 2020, we spoke to travel agent experts to learn what's hot and where the price is right. What we found is that cheap cruise deals are plentiful, even in the most popular destinations, but getting on the right ship to the right destination might mean taking quick action. We've narrowed down the who, what, where and when of finding the best cruise deals in 2020 so you can spend more time enjoying the seas for less money.
If you're like us -- hesitant to miss out on even a minute of precious cruise vacation fun -- you've inevitably breezed past your cruise ship's onboard sales office, ignoring the colorful brochures and promises of booking incentives. The thing is, if you're going to go on another cruise someday -- and, face it, we all know you are! -- you really do want to check in at the sales desk to see the kinds of deals featured. That's because your cruise line is likely to be offering onboard credit, reduced deposits or an attractive discount when you book a future cruise onboard your current sailing. Many also let you change your cruise dates or ship or even cancel by a certain date with no penalty or fees. In most cases, you have nothing to lose if your travel plans change and everything to gain if you're going to take another cruise with that line. Here's a look at some of the key benefits the major lines offer when you book a future cruise while aboard a sailing on their ships.