If your idea of getting away from it all includes a vacation without the kids, consider booking an adults-only or adults-oriented cruise. While some lines provide a fully adults-only experience (i.e., children are not allowed on board), others offer adult-focused venues and activities on the ship to keep you separate from younger patrons.
When you’re ready to plan your adventure on the high seas, the following cruise lines provide upscale amenities, immersive excursions, sophisticated dining options, lively nighttime entertainment and time for relaxation among like-minded – and similarly aged – travelers.
(Note: Some of the following activities, programs and amenities may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. New policies may be in place, including capacity restrictions, reservation requirements or mask mandates. Check with your chosen cruise line, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of State before traveling.)
Top Adults-Only Cruises
(Courtesy of Viking)
Travelers 18 and older are welcome aboard Viking’s adults-only ships, which feature destination-focused itineraries around the world. The line’s nine ocean-going 930-passenger ships offer luxurious, Scandinavian-style accommodations and comfortable spaces to relax with a book or gaze out at the ocean. Viking’s exploration program boasts special access to behind-the-scenes experiences curated for travelers interested in history, food or science. Immerse yourself in local culture with a visit to a traditional farm near Bergen, Norway, or spend an evening dining on Caribbean Creole cuisine prepared by renowned chefs in a mansion in Cartagena, Colombia.
In addition to these off-the-beaten-path excursions, guests can visit iconic sites like the ancient city of Ephesus (Kuşadasi) in Turkey and the Parthenon and Acropolis Hill in Athens, Greece. Viking also hosts onboard enrichment programs like destination-themed performances, cooking classes and lectures by historians. Cruise fares include stateroom accommodations with a private veranda, all meals (including specialty dining venues), wine and beer at lunch and dinner, one free excursion per port, complimentary Wi-Fi and access to onboard amenities such as the Nordic Spa.
In addition to its ocean vessels, Viking offers river cruises in destinations around the world – including the U.S. – on the new Viking Mississippi, a ship purpose-built for Mississippi River cruises. The line also has two Polar Class 6 expedition ships, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, which traverse waterways from Canada and the Caribbean to remote destinations in Antarctica.
(Courtesy of Virgin Voyages)
Virgin Voyages offers an adults-only retreat for guests ages 18 and older. The line currently has two sister ships: Scarlet Lady – the first in the fleet – and Valiant Lady, which had its inaugural voyage in March 2022. Both ships in this adults-only cruise line feature 1,330 cabins (most with balconies) and 78 RockStar Quarters suites, where guests have access to Richard’s Rooftop, an exclusive outdoor deck space. The superyacht-inspired vessels boast 20-plus eateries, including restaurants by Michelin-starred chefs, and a variety of onboard fitness and wellness spaces. At Redemption Spa, relax or recharge in the mud room or salt therapy chamber. You can even order a bottle of Champagne for yourself or friends anywhere on the ship via the Virgin Voyages Sailor app’s secret “Shake for Champagne” feature.
Itineraries span destinations in the Caribbean and Europe, as well as trans-Atlantic crossings. Cruise fares cover meals at all the dining venues; basic beverages such as water, tea and coffee; gratuities for the crew; Wi-Fi; and unlimited fitness classes. While on board, be sure to indulge in a swanky dinner at The Wake and an immersive show at The Red Room, the first multiform theater at sea. Two more ships – Resilient Lady and Brilliant Lady – are slated to launch in 2023.
(Courtesy of Saga Cruises)
Hop across the pond to sail on U.K.-based Saga Cruises, which specifically caters to guests 50 and older (though travelers may bring a companion as young as 40). Saga’s boutique luxury ocean cruise ships carry a maximum of 987 passengers each. The line’s two ships, Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure, feature all-balcony cabins and depart from either the Dover or Southampton cruise ports in the U.K.
The British-inspired sailings are all-inclusive; fares cover meals at all onboard restaurants as well as access to entertainment venues, Wi-Fi, and unlimited alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. Prices also include excursions in some ports of call, gratuities and chauffeur service from locations in the U.K. to the embarkation port. Guests can enjoy wellness-focused activities on the ship, such as yoga classes, spa treatments and customized fitness programs.
The company offers itineraries in Europe, the Caribbean, the U.S. and Canada, and also Greenland and Iceland. On Spirit of Adventure, Saga’s newest ship, passengers can spend evenings indulging in Italian cuisine at Amalfi, sampling Nepalese dishes at Khukuri House, or settling in for drinks and dinner at the Supper Club, which features jazz music and cabaret-style entertainment.
(Courtesy of P&O Cruises)
Two ships in P&O Cruises’ U.K.-based fleet – Arcadia and Aurora – are exclusively for adults 18 and older. Arcadia, the newer of the two ships, carries 2,094 guests and 866 crew. The ship departs from Southampton in the U.K. and sails to the Canary Islands, Spain and Portugal; the British Isles; Norway and Iceland; and the U.S., Caribbean and Canada.
Arcadia’s five restaurants and 10 bars and cafes include Indian offerings with a British twist at Sindhu as well as steaks and seafood by renowned British chef Marco Pierre White at Ocean Grill. Passengers can sip Champagne at Intermezzo, the ship’s cocktail and Champagne venue, or enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif at the yacht-inspired Spinnaker Bar. After exploring exciting ports of call, head back on board to enjoy Arcadia’s elegant interiors and top-notch service. You can splurge on a stone therapy treatment at the Oasis spa for some extra pampering, followed by a live show at the three-tiered theater, The Palladium. Then, finish off the evening dancing the night away at The Globe.
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Aurora is a slightly more intimate ship, carrying 1,874 passengers and 850 crew members. A four-level atrium gallery sits at the heart of the ship. Itineraries include destinations in the Mediterranean, the Baltic region, Spain and Portugal, and the U.S. and Canada, plus a world cruise. There are seven dining venues and 11 bars and cafes on the ship. Dine at the same time every evening at club-style restaurant Alexandria, or opt for a more flexible schedule at The Beach House or Medina. Cruisers can also sit down for a tasty meal at The Glass House, which serves casual bites paired with wines from around the world. After dinner, enjoy live entertainment or dancing at the show lounge Carmen’s, or watch larger productions at the ritzy 652-seat Curzon Theatre.
Top Cruises Designed for Adults
While many all-inclusive – or mostly all-inclusive – boutique and luxury cruise lines are family-friendly, many of the onboard venues and activities are adult-by-design. Since there are few (or no) activities geared toward younger cruisers and no babysitting services, you typically won’t find parents with young children on these ships.
(Courtesy of Azamara)
Azamara’s four upscale boutique ships feature the line’s signature Destination Immersion experiences geared toward adults. These smaller ships – accommodating a maximum of 702 guests – sail waterways and rivers larger ships can’t access, where they can dock in city centers and unique ports of call around the globe. Many Azamara voyages also offer longer stays and overnights in ports not found on many other itineraries (including wine and culture itineraries) and feature special events such as the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool during a British Isles cruise. In addition, the line is extending its offerings on Country Intensive voyages in 2023 with itineraries in destinations like South Africa, Australia, the Canary Islands, Japan and Israel.
On board you’ll find a wide selection of casual and formal dining options ranging from Windows Café to the main dining room, Discoveries Restaurant. Specialty restaurants offer top-notch steak and seafood at Prime C or, if you prefer, Italian fare at Aqualina. On the line’s newest ship, the 684-passenger Azamara Onward, adults can grab a pre-dinner drink at Atlas Bar, which serves innovative craft cocktails like the London Fog Martini or Tuscan Delight. The Discoveries Bar is another favorite of guests where you can mingle with fellow cruisers at the end of the day. Wine aficionados will enjoy pairing limited-production and rare vintages from the Wine Cellar with dinner – and joining wine tastings held in the Mosaic Café.
Cruise fares include stateroom accommodations; select spirits, wine and beer; gratuities, nonalcoholic beverages like bottled water, specialty coffees and tea; and complimentary “AzAmazing Evenings” ashore or “Destination Celebrations” aboard the ship. Additional amenities like complimentary internet access, specialty dining, butler service and other perks come with Veranda Plus rooms or suite accommodations.
(Courtesy of Scenic)
Scenic Eclipse, touted as “The World’s First Discovery Yacht,” offers an all-inclusive, ultra-luxurious experience for just 228 guests – and with 172 crew. The ship also has a Polar Class 6 rating, enabling it to sail to destinations like Antarctica. On these expedition-style voyages, the ship will carry only 200 guests and a total of 192 crew. All suite accommodations include a private veranda or terrace; butler service; state-of-the-art amenities; Egyptian cotton linens; and an in-suite minibar stocked with Champagne, wine and other personally selected beverages. You’ll also find indulgences like onboard helicopters for intimate excursions and Scenic Neptune, an underwater submarine.
Guests can enjoy up to 10 dining experiences on the ship, including fine dining at Lumière. This elegant French restaurant seats just 35 guests and features a multi-course degustation menu and Champagne bar. For a less formal option, check out the Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern specialties – and the intimate teppanayaki grill experience – at Night Market @Koko’s. And when it’s time for an after-dinner drink, sample one (or several) of more than100 whiskeys available at Scenic Lounge Bar. Other onboard activities include culinary classes at Scenic Épicure, invigorating spa treatments at Senses Spa, or just sitting back and relaxing with spectacular sea views while sipping Champagne on deck 10. Look for the debut of the line’s second luxury yacht, Scenic Eclipse II, in 2023.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
(Courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises)
Regent Seven Seas has five luxury vessels in its fleet – with the sixth ship, Seven Seas Grandeur, set to launch in 2023. The line’s all-inclusive fares include perks like round-trip business class or coach airfare (depending on the destination), complimentary pre-cruise hotel stays, two- or three-night land packages, all meals and beverages, free shore excursions, and more. Seven Seas Splendor, christened in February 2020, is the line’s newest vessel at sea. This elegant ship boasts 366 luxurious all-balcony suites and an impressive ratio of 567 crew members to just 732 guests.
In the evenings, diners can choose between French cuisine at Chartreuse; creative Asian fare at Pacific Rim; aged steaks at Prime 7; Italian cuisine at Sette Mari at La Veranda; or seafood, steaks and vegetarian options at Compass Rose. For a casual evening, plan to dine alfresco at the Pool Grill. Adults can also enjoy pre-dinner cocktails in one of the lounges and nightly entertainment in the Constellation Theater; for a nightcap, sip a fine cognac in one of the ship’s favorite hideaways, the Connoisseur Club. There are also plenty of options for exercise, fitness and relaxation at Serene Spa & Wellness.
If you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime adventure on the high seas, consider booking the Regent Suite. Situated on deck 14 – and boasting more than 4,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space – this luxurious accommodation features one of the largest balconies at sea with a Treesse mini-pool, two bedrooms and a private in-suite spa. Cruise fare for the suite also includes a long list of high-end amenities such as access to a private dining room called The Study, a personal car and driver in port, free in-suite spa services, a private butler, and more.
(Courtesy of Silversea Cruises)
Silversea’s all-inclusive luxury ocean and expedition cruises offer voyages to more than 900 destinations around the world. Its six ultra-luxury ships and five expedition vessels range in size from 51 to 364 suites and feature spacious ocean-view accommodations – most with private verandas. Cruise fares cover door-to-door transfers from home to the ship, including airfare (business class in some destinations) and pre- and post-cruise hotel stays. On board, guests will have butler service, a nearly one-to-one ratio of guests to staff, 24-hour gourmet dining, premium alcoholic beverages, one complimentary shore excursion in each port, gratuities and more.
The newest ship in the fleet, Silver Endeavour, is touted by the line as the most luxurious expedition ship at sea. With its Polar Class 6 rating, the ship will visit far ends of the earth in remote polar regions like Antarctica, where it will be for its inaugural season beginning in November 2022. Endeavour’s features include state-of-the-art technology for navigation and exploration – and an industry-leading Zodiac-to-guest and expert-to-guest ratios. Passengers will also enjoy luxurious amenities while on board the ship with eight public decks; multiple restaurants, bars and lounges; a two-story solarium with a swimming pool and whirlpool tub; indoor and outdoor observation areas; and a spa. You’ll also receive Silversea’s high level of service with just 200 guests and 200 crew, for an immersive and personalized experience aboard.
(Courtesy of Seabourn)
Seabourn also features an all-inclusive adult-focused experience on its five luxury ocean vessels. The newest cruise ship, Seabourn Ovation, accommodates up to 600 guests and offers amenities found on most of Seabourn’s ships such as well-appointed oceanfront suites, living areas with dining tables, verandas, a nearly one-to-one staff-to-guest ratio and a Personal Suite Host to cater to your every need.
World-class dining options are in partnership with renowned chef Thomas Keller, such as The Grill, Seabourn’s signature restaurant. You’ll also find health and wellness programs curated by Dr. Andrew Weil. The “Seabourn Conversations” program is another highlight, where accomplished experts host adventures ashore and participate in meals and chats with guests on board the ship. For a special treat during your cruise, don’t miss “Caviar in the Surf.” This special event takes place in select destinations and includes chilled Champagne, caviar, live music and a barbecue set against the backdrop of white sand beaches and turquoise waters in beautiful locales around the world.
If you’re interested in small-ship luxury expeditions, check out Seabourn Venture – the line’s first expedition ship, which set sail in July 2022. The line will welcome Venture’s sister ship, Seabourn Pursuit, in 2023. These two vessels feature 132 oceanfront suites, a 26-person expedition team and two six-person submarines; and they visit five continents around the globe.
Other Top Adults-Only Cruise Options
While these larger ships are kid-friendly – and offer activities for families and children of all ages – adults can also find hidden retreats and dining and bar venues just for grown-ups. These spaces are also typically quieter and away from the crowds. If you’re traveling with (or without) children on one of these lines, you’ll want to know the adults-only venues to plan your afternoon or evening out – sans kids.
Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Beyond: Le Voyage and The Solarium
The newest ship in the Celebrity Cruises fleet – Celebrity Beyond – provides a unique adults-only dining experience at Le Voyage by Daniel Boulud. The world-renowned Global Culinary Ambassador for the line, Daniel Boulud, created the menu at this elegant venue, incorporating dishes inspired by his travels. You’ll also find an impressive wine list to accompany your dining experience at the restaurant.
When it’s time to relax, The Solarium is a popular adults-only area that’s found on the Resort Deck of all of Celebrity’s ships, including Celebrity Beyond. This light-filled covered pool area encased by a glass dome is the perfect quiet space for reading a book or taking a nap. While there, you can also grab a light breakfast or lunch at The Spa Café and Juice Bar – or order your favorite adult beverage while lounging in the hot tub.
Other adult-focused venues to check out on Celebrity Beyond are the new elevated bar spaces. The first Edge series World Class Bar – a popular spot on other Celebrity ships – features craft cocktails in a beautiful setting. And don’t miss the new two-story Sunset Bar, reimagined by interior designer and TV personality Nate Berkus. The aft location of the bar offers almost twice the space as previous iterations – and beautiful wake views.
Princess Cruises: The Sanctuary and Sanctuary Bungalow
(Courtesy of Princess Cruises)
The Sanctuary, an adults-only retreat (for ages 18 and older), offers cruisers an escape from the bustling public spaces on the ship. The relaxing top-deck venue is available on all Princess Cruises ships and features plush lounge chairs; a spa-like setting; and Serenity Stewards who serve light bites, spa cuisine and other refreshments. To fully unwind, consider reserving a private cabana, where you can book an open-air massage. The child-free venue varies from ship to ship. On six ships – Sky Princess, Majestic Princess, Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Enchanted Princess and Discovery Princess – adults can also enjoy an exclusive Retreat pool, cabanas and bar area. On the newer vessels – Discovery Princess, Enchanted Princess and Sky Princess – The Sanctuary also offers an expanded space with more cabanas.
If you’re heading off the ship for an excursion to Princess Cays (the cruise line’s private island in the Bahamas), plan to chill out for the day in an adults-only Sanctuary Bungalow. Located just minutes from the ocean and beach, the rentals accommodate four people, and the price includes two complimentary float rentals. You can also order a gourmet picnic to enjoy while lounging on shore.
Carnival Cruise Line: Serenity Adult-Only Retreat
Located on all of Carnival Cruise Line’s cruise ships, this adults-only outdoor hideaway is a tranquil oasis hidden away from bustling venues and family-friendly areas. Access to the space is complimentary for passengers 21 and older; while there, guests can enjoy relaxing loungers, daybeds and whirlpools. Take in the warm sun and ocean breeze with a signature sangria in hand, or stop for a healthy meal at Fresh Creations Salad outlet (available on select ships) for an alfresco lunch. Passengers can make the most of some alone time with a quick nap and a good book, or simply kick back and relax before heading back into the high-energy environment elsewhere on the ship.
Disney Cruise Line: Quiet Cove Pool, Serenity Bay and more
(Courtesy of Disney Cruise Line)
Though Disney Cruise Line tends to attract families and younger travelers, it also offers multiple spaces and activities for adults 18 and older. Disney’s newest ship, Disney Wish, boasts several adults-only luxurious venues featuring characters and scenes from “Beauty and the Beast.” For top-notch steaks, contemporary Italian cuisine and panoramic ocean views, make a reservation at the Cogsworth-inspired Palo Steakhouse. If you prefer French-style fare and world-class wines served in an elegant and shimmering setting (think Lumiere), Enchanté by three-Michelin-starred chef Arnaud Lallement is the perfect place for a romantic dinner for two. Before dinner at either venue, enjoy a signature cocktail just outside Palo at The Rose. After dinner, you won’t want to miss the galactic libations and ever-changing views of faraway galaxies at the adults-only Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge bar.
Depending on the ship, adult travelers can also dance the night away in a trendy club, watch live entertainment or a cabaret show, catch a sports game on satellite TV, or sit back and relax with an after-dinner cocktail at a bar or lounge. Outdoors, Quiet Cove Pool is a tranquil place to relax on Disney’s Magic, Wonder, Dream, Fantasy and Wish ships. For even more pampering, Senses Spa & Salon boasts treatment rooms with ocean views, luxurious spa villas and other amenities. On Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line’s private island, adults can head to Serenity Bay, a scenic, adults-only stretch of the beach.
Norwegian Cruise Line: Vibe Beach Club, Posh Beach Club and Spice H2O
(Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)
Norwegian Cruise Line has three adults-only outdoor venues for guests 18 and older (though specific spaces vary by ship). The venues feature ocean views, bars, plush seating and other amenities. On Norwegian’s Bliss, Joy, Escape, Getaway and Breakaway ships, the Vibe Beach Club sun deck invites guests to relax in oversized hot tubs and enjoy perks like a full-service bar and chilled towels. Norwegian Encore, one of the line’s newest ships, boasts an impressive two-level beach club. And on the recently launched Norwegian Prima, an elevated beach club experience includes the line’s first infinity hot tubs. You can purchase a multiday pass in advance for Vibe Beach Club, and cabana rentals are available for more privacy.
At Norwegian Epic’s Posh Beach Club, complimentary perks include fruit skewers, cold water spritzers and a snack menu. Single-day or multiday passes are available to all adult cruisers, while travelers who book a Haven suite can access Posh Beach Club for free. Spice H2O is another adults-only venue on the Norwegian Bliss, Joy, Escape, Getaway, Breakaway, Epic, Star and Spirit vessels; access is complimentary. At night, the space becomes an open-air dance club where you can spend the evening partying under the stars.
Royal Caribbean International: Solarium
(Michel Verdure/Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)
Solarium is Royal Caribbean International’s complimentary, child-free space open to guests 16 and older. Located at the front of every ship in the fleet, this indoor-outdoor oasis (indoors only on Quantum Class ships) offers impressive vistas and endless views of the sea. Thanks to a full glass canopy over the interior space, adult passengers can enjoy quiet lounging areas, swimming pools and whirlpool tubs with a view, no matter the weather. On top of that, select ships feature a cascading lagoon for further relaxation. Be sure to grab a tropical cocktail or zero-proof drink at Solarium Bar (or Sunshine Bar, on Quantum ships) to sip poolside while enjoying the ocean vistas.
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