As the “baby boomer” generation nears its golden years – and, in many cases, retirement age – cruise lines are scrambling to accommodate them in order to receive their highly coveted patronage. Without a doubt, any cruise line that manages to appeal to this massive demographic can rest assured that it will enjoy high ticket sales for many years to come. More than any generation before them, the baby boomers have enormous pull and clout; however, family-oriented trends in the cruise industry might given many boomers pause and make them wonder whether or not their needs will be met at all.

These days, baby boomers – people born between 1946 and 1964 – are largely done with their child-rearing years. Many are becoming grandparents, and a huge number are becoming retired. Thanks to these specific characteristics – and many others – this generation has its own unique blend of preferences when it comes to cruising. Although children’s activities receive a lot of attention from cruise lines nowadays, there are a handful of major lines that definitely cater to baby boomers more than others.

We’re going to take a look at the top three best cruise lines for baby boomers and find out how they earn that distinction.

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Carnival Cruise Line

Although Carnival Cruise Line boasts a huge array of things for younger generations to enjoy, every one of their ships also includes enough adults-only fun to keep baby boomers happy. Indeed, eight of the ships in their fleet include the “Serenity Adults Only Retreat,” a kids-free zone that is only open to passengers aged 21 and over. Phenomenal views of the ocean are on display here, allowing adults to kick back, relax and enjoy all of the benefits of cruise travel – without all of the shrieking and noise that go along with hoards of kids.

In addition to the Serenity retreat, most Carnival ships include a pleasant assortment of adult-oriented activities that routinely thrill even the most finicky baby boomers. Casinos – which are, naturally, kids-free zones – are one popular example. Adults-only nightclubs are also common fixtures on Carnival ships, where even grown ups who wouldn’t normally hit the club will find themselves dancing and having a wonderful time. Finally, a wonderful assortment of shows that appeal to older generations are frequently featured on board Carnival cruise ships.

Royal Caribbean

One of the things that tends to draw the baby boomer crowd over to Royal Caribbean cruises is its wide range of onshore excursions. On nearly every single one of Royal Caribbean’s itineraries, a broad swatch of onshore excursions are featured, helping to break up with sometimes-redundant nature of being on board a ship all day long. After all, the baby boomer generation can hardly be considered geriatric; they still yearn for physical activities that provide stimulation and excitement. With popular activities like horseback riding, mountain biking, parasailing – and even off-roading in 4 x 4s – baby boomers can truly get into the groove during a Royal Caribbean cruise.

In addition to the many creative and exciting activities and onshore excursions that Royal Caribbean has to offer, it also boasts an eclectic array of itineraries that allow baby boomers to broaden their horizons a bit more. After all, this generation is approaching a time in life when many seasoned travelers have already seen many of the more popular ports of call and other destinations. With itineraries featuring regions as diverse as Alaska, Australia, Canada and New England, Royal Caribbean takes care to offer its passengers enough variety to keep things from getting dull.

Celebrity Cruises

The programming offered on many Celebrity cruises makes it the perfect choice for baby boomers who prefer more in-depth and refined activities. For instance, wine tastings and other wine-oriented events are commonly held on board many Celebrity ships. Baby boomers are often at the stage in life where they can afford to enjoy the finer things, and wine definitely falls into that category. The recent upswing in the popularity of wine in general is largely attributable to this upwardly mobile generation, and Celebrity was quick to respond with the appropriate programs.

Wine isn’t the only thing that’s going to appeal to baby boomers on board a Celebrity cruise. Many ships boast jazz evenings, where adults can gather in a lounge on the ship and enjoy the soothing sounds of this mellow and delightful genre of music. Special buffets – including truly decadent chocolate buffets – help take passengers on unbelievable culinary journeys, which is especially appealing to baby boomers who might find tracking down interesting new tastes to be a bit of a challenge. Celebrity understands that with age comes refinement, and the line constantly strives to provide the types of activities and programs that allow baby boomers to experience it for themselves.

More Baby Boomer Accommodations On The Horizon

As the baby boomer generation ages, look for many other cruise lines to get in on the trend of accommodating them. As time goes by, more and more options will be added to the already-impressive array that is currently out there. Baby boomers have a lot of pull, and they can rest assured that cruise lines will continue to cater to their whims and demands as much as possible.