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Last Sunday’s Observer newspaper contained this interesting article. I read this with initial enthusiasm which quickly gave way to bewilderment – there didn’t seem to be anything in the story which really justified the headline.

Cruise ships …. have finally “shaken off their old, staid image” and now many are “like floating theme parks, perfect for party animals”

Several of the examples quoted are purely american, e.g. Coachella and the reference to Carnival’s 23 ships (I’m assuming they are referring the Carnival Cruise Line itself, and not the wider Carnival Corporation). Then I read about cruises being perfect for party animals, what with having all-night parties, assault courses, and on-board surfing and for a minute I started to wonder if I’d been missing something. Then I decided that I hadn’t.

To be fair there was a night on a party cruise on Arcadia when we stayed up until about 2am and there were plenty of people still up and dancing then; and could scrambling around the mobility scooters on Oriana count as an assault course? – perhaps not. More significantly I was  unable to find any foundation for the figures from ABTA; they certainly didn’t leap out at me from the ABTA website. So it all reads like a piece of very speculative journalism – building a whole haystack from one or two straws in the wind. As for myself, I’m pretty pleased that so far I’ve missed all these exciting cruises. I like a quieter holiday experience. Give me a promenade deck to walk round, a bar that will sell me a couple of good glasses of wine afterwards and a sun bed to sleep it all off on afterwards, and I’m in heaven.

One Response to “'Cruises get Cool' for young people?”

  1. Malcolm Oliver says:

    Hi Tom,

    Yes, speculative journalism.

    I believe the average age of cruise passengers (especially in the US) has been slowly dropping over the past decade or two. Royal Caribbean, Carnival and NCL are certainly attracting lots of families and younger people. Mind you one does not have to be young to indulge in night-life, but there does seem to be a correlation in my observations..

    There is definitely plenty of night-life on offer on these lines, especially on their biggest/newer ships. The volume of passengers ensures that venue can be busy into the early hours.

    However, it’s not just an American trend – There was plenty of night-life on P&O’s Ventura, which I cruised on her in the summer of 2012.

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