Best Cruises for 20-Somethings

Not too long ago, cruise holidays were largely considered to be the vacations of choice for retired couples looking for a quiet and relaxing break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But today, many cruise liners have ditched their old fashioned, formal images in favour of high-octane nightlife and exciting activities – all at competitive prices, too.

Best Cruises for 20-Somethings: Open-air party on a Galapagos cruise with live DJ
Open-air party on a Galapagos cruise with live DJ: Photo by Alejandro Peinador via Flickr / CC 2.0

Cruise liners which prioritise sophistication and tranquillity above all else haven’t disappeared altogether – Holland America is a great example of a refined cruise liner for mature travellers – but more and more liners are starting to cater for the younger crowd in terms of both itineraries and on board facilities.

So if you’re a young family, couple, group or solo traveller looking for the perfect cruise where you’ll be surrounded by other young people up for a laugh, take a look at our selection of best cruises for 20-somethings.

Best Cruises for 20-Somethings: The Carnival Dream has a superb casino
The Carnival Dream has a superb casino: Photo by: Brook Ward via Flickr / CC 2.0

Best Cruises for 20-Somethings

Carnival Cruises

With late-closing bars, superb live music concerts and shorter, cheaper itineraries than many other cruise liners, Carnival Cruises is a top pick for party animals on tight budgets. These ships attract some of the youngest demographics in the industry and boast master mixologists, fun themed bars, pool parties and some of the coolest DJs you’ll ever see at sea. The activities at each port of call are also tailored to younger travellers and include everything from zip lining and kayaking to bobsledding and helicopter rides.

Best Cruises for 20-Somethings: Learn to surf with the FlowRider surf simulator
Learn to surf with the FlowRider surf simulator: Photo by Roderick Elme via Flickr / CC 2.0

Royal Caribbean

If you’re more of an early bird than a night owl, Royal Caribbean’s jam-packed activity schedule and fun-filled on board amenities might be more your style. This liner’s Oasis-class ships (Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas) provide you with everything you could need to have an amazing day without stepping foot off the boat. With the FlowRider surf simulation, rock climbing walls, indoor ice rinks, zip lines and PADI-certified diving courses, you’ll never be stuck for something to do. But if you do want to explore the ports of call, you’ll have a great selection of organised excursions to choose from, including jet skiing, horseback riding and quadbike tours.

Best Cruises for 20-Somethings: The adults-only Quiet Cove pool at night
The adults-only Quiet Cove pool at night: Photo by Ricky Brigante via Flickr / CC 2.0

Disney Cruises

Young families will have a superb time on any of the Disney cruise liners. Although this cruise line is best known for catering for little ones, there are plenty of things for young mums and dads to enjoy on board, too. Thanks to the baby sitting services and supervised kids’ clubs, you can leave your children in safe hands and enjoy the on board entertainment crafted with young adults in mind, ranging from TV game shows and dance parties and comedy shows and adults-only bars. Let’s not forget the exclusive adult pool areas on deck which come complete with poolside bars and Jacuzzis.

About Nicola Quinn


Nicola is a travel and food writer living in the Canary Islands who loves exploring far-off places, pushing herself to the limit and trying local eats wherever she goes.

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