When I used to think of cruising, I imagined my grandmother and her friends shuffling on the ship in Tampa, getting ready for a big week of card playing and deck walking. Mix that with claustrophobic cabins and dial-up like speeds of internet, and it just wasn’t an attractive vacation option for me.
How things have changed!
Cruise lines have given themselves quite the facelift, especially over the last 5 years, dishing out sparkling new perks that attract a younger clientele.
The people have spoken and the cruise lines have listened!
Speeds are faster, rooms are bigger, ships are brighter and their offerings are better.
This evolution has been attracting Millennials like a magnet.
Millennials want experiences over things, spending more of their hard earned dollars on travel instead of consumer goods or the housing market. The new face of cruising is a perfect match for the kinds of rich experiences and life long memories millennials want to create.
I should know… I am a millennial and cruising has only become attractive to me once the industry made a shift to include our demographic. Things like non-existent internet and old fashioned attitudes had stopped me from cruising in the past, but now I can I am fully addicted to this amazing type of experience travel.
1. Visit Multiple Countries in One Trip
Flying to 4 different counties in one week can get pretty pricey, but millennials can scratch off multiple countries on their bucket list by cruising to them instead!
When we have a limited time to travel, we want to make the most of it.
A week long cruise itinerary can include up to 5 ports in multiple countries, making it a great way to see the world in a more efficient way!
Instead of staying in one hotel that’s locked into a fixed location, a cruise is a hotel that moves, easily taking us to different destinations.
2. Sail Instead Of Flying (jet lag sucks)
Who wants to be shoved into a tiny economy seat for 12 hours when you could slow travel in style?
While millennials will put up with jet-lag torture for the perfect vacay, they are quickly learning they don’t have to!
I recently took a cruise from Vancouver to Tokyo as an alternative mode of transportation to flying. The ticket was almost the same price as a flight, but came with the extra bonuses of giving me two weeks accommodation and food. No jet lag, no baggage restrictions.
Millennials are starting to search out cruises that end in a different country than where they started, instead of cramming on plane. These types of cruises are called ‘repositioning cruises’ and are hands down the best way for millennials to long haul travel.
3. On Board Enrichment
I don’t know about you, but I am so over tequila volley ball and water aerobics. My time spent in Mexico resorts has put me off of ‘included activities’ while I’m on vacation.
That was until I saw the kinds of activities available on cruise ships. Not only are they fun and entertaining, but many of them have an element of enrichment as well. As an entrepreneur, I am always looking for personal development and now my vacation can help with that.
Cruise lines like Celebrity and Cunard bring on experts for educational lectures on topics like art, space, science, and even fashion. They’re upping the ante with actives like dance lessons, art history presentations, wine tastings, digital photography courses…they even have live eyebrow workshops and a stretching class.
Millennials want more out of their vacations. We want to leave the experience richer and wiser than when we got there. It’s life hacking at it’s finest.
4. Two Words: Unlimited Wi-Fi
You’ll never meet a millennial that doesn’t need a great internet connection. It’s not that we’re desperately dependant on our phones, but we have a deep desire to share our journey with others. Plus, tons of young professionals still have to work while travelling. The side hustle never sleeps.
Even a few years ago, cruising wasn’t an option for millennials. Really, some ships didn’t even HAVE internet, or it was so slow and restrictive, it might have well been non-existent.
Recently, cruise lines like Celebrity and Royal Caribbean have launched TRULY unlimited internet packages. No time limits, no data limits, just a fast connection at sea. It’s a no brainer that once these packages came out, more millennials (including myself) started choosing cruising over other vacation options. I have to admit, it was a pretty cool moment when I got to stream Netflix in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
5. Suites Are So Instagramable
If you didn’t post it on the gram, were you really even there?
Cruise lines are dramatically changing the way they do luxury and are offering jaw dropping suites that rival the biggest 5 Star hotels in the world.
Over-water bungalow in the Maldives? Seen it a million times. Floor to ceiling glass windows on a ship sailing through the Mediterranean… now that’s a unique shot for Insta. Some cruise suites are so over the top luxurious they have a loft penthouse, their own butler and even a private hot tub.
But hey, not every millennial has a massive budget, so even the standard cabins have been modernized to give a super luxe vibe for less.
6. Modern Dress Codes
On cruises of the past, dressing up for dinner meant having full formal attire. Think tuxedos, jackets, gowns, the whole shebang. While it’s always fun to get glam, the average millennial travel isn’t going to pack 8 formal outfits for a vacation, nor we really own that much stuffy clothing.
Many cruise lines have changed ‘formal night’, to something a little more flexible, like Celebrity’s “Evening Chic”.
They allow you to do YOU. Want to wear some designer jeans with stilettos and a cute top? You can rock that instead of a full length gown and nobody bats an eyelash about it. Guys can ditch the jacket and tie and just keep the collared shirt instead. But hey, want to get all tux and tails? Knock yourself out.
The dress codes have been updated for personal style and preferences.
Some of us might have been intimidated by previous onboard dress codes, but now we are encouraged to bring our own personal flare to the table.
7. Super Attractive Cruise Deals
Millennials are getting picky on how they spend their pay checks, and are always hunting for the deal of a lifetime.
The cruise industry has some of the LOWEST priced vacations on the planet, especially for those that live near popular cruise ports.
This year, I've spotted cruises as low as $32 a DAY, which includes accomodation, food, and onboard activities. That is cheaper than a fleabag motel in the middle of nowhere.
It's no wonder millennials are choosing to jump aboard ships instead of road trips.
Here, you can check out our constantly updated list of the CHEAPEST cruises in the WORLD and find yourself a killer deal!
8. Craving Deeper and Unique Experienecs
I'm not sure if it's a strength or a weakness of our generation, but we do tire easily of repetition. There are only so many all-inclusive experiences we can endure before it starts to lose it's appeal.
Millennials are craving more personalized, unique and deeper travel experiences. Simply put, we want to try new and different things. Cruising is unchartered territory for many young travellers, making it a whole new frontier to explore.
9. More Options and Customization
On demand is a millennials jam. We know what we want, and how we want it.
The cruise industry has taken note of this and lets us customize our experience based on what we like.
Love that healthy eating lifestyle? There are specific restaurants and meals just for gluten free, vegan and vegetarians. Sober is sexy? You can opt out of boozy packages and get things like mineral waters, smoothies and premium coffees instead.
The entire cruising experience is completely customizable from start to finish. Active people can hit up the gym, go on extended hikes during port days and take onboard classes. The professional relaxer can lay poolside, borrow books from the library and have breakfast in bed at 11:00am.
Our generation is not one size fits all, and we don't want our vacations to be either.
10. Service Levels Are On Point
Sometime during the last decade (especially in North America) the levels of service have been sinking. Ever have a front desk person treat you like a mild annoyance or a waitress ignore you? Yeah, me too.
Luckily, that is NOT the case with cruising. They have revived service levels from the golden era of hospitality back to life.
Millennials expect good service for parting with their money and they are giving cruise lines raving reviews in that department.
Favorite Cruise Lines For Millennials
TOP OVERALL PICK - Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity has the perfect mix of luxury, class, modern amenities, technology and value to the #1 pick for travel savvy millennials.
They have a 2 to 1, guest to staff ratio, giving some of the best service in the industry. They sail to interesting and exotic ports all over the. world and offer tons of onboard enrichment.
We just took the Celebrity Millennium from Vancouver to Tokyo in September and we've already booked it's return voyage April 2019.
Plus, like I mentioned above, Celebrity is one of the few companies that have TRULY unlimited wifi and even an board Apple store.
Royal Caribbean is the choice for sports loving, margarita drinking, life of the party, type millennial. Their big ships are full of rock climbing walls, waterslides, bars with robot waiters, martini lounges and places to get social.
Being the parent company of Celebrity, they also offer unlimited internet and social media packages.
Not sure which one is best for you? Read our Celebrity -vs- Royal Caribbean comparison.
Millennials book on this brand because it's cheap! You can hop on a 2 week cruise from the Caribbean to Europe for under $800 total.
While amenities, service levels and internet won't be as attractive with the other top brands, bargain hunters will still have a blast.
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