By Kaylee Johnson
Over winter break I cruised on the brand new Regal Princess. After having cruised with spring breakers, 40 year old party-goers, and children, I was ready for a change of pace. I never thought I could enjoy cruising with people so much older than me. One night in particular my family and I were sitting in the theater watching a comedy show and the comedian asked different age groups to cheer. He started at 40, and the room remained silent until he got to 60. The majority of the people in the theater were 60-80, and they were the friendliest people I’d ever met. Here is what I learned about elderly cruisers while cruising with them:
- They enjoyed meeting new people. On prior ships I was on, millennials would generally not think about engaging in a conversation with a stranger. On this ship, it was totally different; people chose to eat dinner with strangers. I was as shocked as the other four millennials on the ship. While the elderly sat and ate dinner with strangers, they made eye contact, and talked about their experiences.
- They danced with each other. Every night in the piazza older couples would dance for hours. I loved watching them twist and twirl in their evening gowns and tuxedos. Then one night it struck me, millennials do not dance with each other. The thought of awkwardly moving back and forth on the dance floor does not seem appealing to my generation, I suppose.
- They dressed up for dinner. Almost every cruise ship has “formal nights,” but the cruisers on Regal Princess took it to another level. They dressed in satin gowns, and freshly ironed tuxedos. Their hair was flawless, and it was evident that the ladies put a lot of thought into doing their makeup. I loved this element of the ship, but I must admit my family did look slightly underdressed standing next to our fellow cruisers. On prior cruises people would eat dinner in corny Hawaiian shirts and flip flops!
- They lived in the moment. I loved taking pictures on vacation, and when I arrive home I made scrapbooks. Not once on my vacation did I see a fellow cruiser taking pictures. When they saw something beautiful they captured it with their eyes, not their cameras. I think all millennials could learn something from the elderly couple watching the sunset, without the urge to Snapchat it.
- They generally did not drink to get drunk. On past ships people were falling in the pool by 11 AM. At one point on a prior cruise, they had to close the pool because somebody dropped a martini glass in it. I saw very few people drinking on Regal Princess, and if they were it was social drinking.
- They valued relaxation and quality service. I must admit that the service on Regal Princess was impeccable. Every crew member we came across was polite, and welcoming. One of my favorite things on the ship was the “18 and over pool.” The pool was never over-crowded, and the sun was always bright.
- They had manners. They respected our space, and did not try to steal our lounge chairs. They always held doors open, and pulled out chairs for their spouses as well. I loved watching the happy couples walk hand in hand.
- They read for fun. On prior ships people were pathetically playing with their phone, even though it did not work well in the middle of the ocean. What I noticed on Regal Princess was that cruisers were reading, and that made me so happy. I love to read; I was in my element. It was very refreshing to see people reading a novel or a newspaper instead of staring blankly at a phone.
I was very impressed with Regal Princess; in fact, I found myself relating more with their demographic than the younger demographics I had experienced on past cruises. Don’t automatically shut down the idea of a cruise that caters to an older crowd, you would be surprised how lively the ships can be. No matter what you do for spring break, it will be memorable if you embrace adventure and live in the moment.