Cruise crossings—otherwise known as repositioning cruises—make an excellent adventure for baby boomer travelers. Alan and I have cruised on eight crossings, both in the Atlantic and Pacific. We especially enjoy a short road trip in Europe followed by riding a ship back to the U.S. However, if you ask Alan, he’ll tell you that crossing the Pacific Ocean is his favorite. So far, we’ve crossed the ocean with Silversea, Seabourn and Regent cruise lines and we’v never been disappointed with our experience.
Are you a baby boomer considering a crossing? Here are 9 reasons to call your travel agent and say, “Book us on the next ship to cross the Atlantic (or Pacific).”
1. Only one long plane ride. One of the best benefits of a repositioning cruise (if your repositioning back to your home country) is that only one end of the journey requires a long plane ride. Alan and I prefer to plan a cruise that requires the longest part of the air journey up front, allowing us to sail slowly back to the U.S. The best part? Very little jet lag once we return home.
2. Repositioning cruises offer good value. Crossings are usually deeply discounted with many cruise lines offering two for one pricing. Boomers have the choice of pocketing the savings, or do like us and add extra value to the trip. Spend the money that you’re saving to plan a land adventure that precedes the cruise. After all, your flying all that way, why not explore a bit before boarding the ship? Another option is to spend your new found savings on the preceding cruise segment, lengthening the cruise and adding ports in the process. If rest and relaxation is your goal, stick with the repositioning cruise, pocket the dollars you’ve saved and enjoy the days at sea.
3. No living out of a suitcase. Unpacking once and being done with it is one of my favorite parts of a crossing. Of course this applies to all cruises. And, boomer gals (and guys too) bring those dressy clothes that have been languishing in your closet. Here’s your chance to wear them one more time.
4. Luxury on the ocean. The small ship luxury lines that we choose are like a luxury resort at sea. And we always book a cabin with a balcony, which are available on most small luxury ships. With an all-inclusive policy that includes alcohol and tips, boomers can concentrate on socializing without worrying about the bill because it’s already been paid up front in the cost of the cruise.
5. Relax away the stress. Don’t let anyone tell you that our baby boomer lives aren’t stressful. Of course they are. And there’s no better way to relax than watching the ocean drift by from the balcony of your cabin. If that doesn’t do the trick, book a spa treatment or soak in the outdoor jacuzzi. Don’t forget to bring a book to read by the pool, if the weather cooperates.
6. Learn something new. Cruise lines work extra hard to entertain passengers on a crossing. The days are filled with expert lectures, bridge lessons, cooking demonstrations or ballroom dance classes. I’ll never forget when David Aguilar, Director of Public Affairs and Science Information at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, gave a series of lectures on the universe as Seven Seas Voyager sailed the South Pacific. Each lecture was packed with eager cruisers wanting to hear more.
7. Take time for romance. Gourmet cuisine, nights under the stars with nowhere to go—repositioning cruises offer boomer couples the chance to slow down and reconnect. Are you celebrating an anniversary (or other special occasion)? Let the ship know beforehand, then be prepared for pampering touches like champagne delivered to the cabin on your special day accompanied by a decadent treat.
8. Have Fun. Dance in the lounges, watch a comedian, listen to the smooth sounds of a jazz pianist, gamble in the casino—cruises are filled with entertainment opportunities. And, since you’re on a crossing, stay up late because there’s no early port call in the morning. When Alan and I sailed on Seven Seas Mariner from Auckland to Los Angeles, the cruise director ran a dancing with the stars competition with passengers auditioning to dance with professional dancers from the entertainment troupe. The entire ship became enthralled with the competition, which lasted most of the way across the Pacific.
9. Improve your health. If you’re a baby boomer with excellent will power, use the cruise as a way to shape up. Attend exercise classes, which are usually held several times a day. Schedule an appointment with a personal trainer. Swear off the elevator, opting for the stairs instead. Choose items from the healthy dinner portion of the menu, of course you’ll need to leave off the alcohol. Add in rest, relaxation and fresh sea air for a complete health renewal and you’ll be in great shape by the time the cruise ends.