Learn 7 Top Cruise Tips for Senior Travelers

Always purchase travel insurance.

A delayed connection, misplaced luggage, or an unexpected illness may derail a trip. When something goes wrong, travel insurance might help you save money.


It can compensate you for travel cancellations, pay for medical evacuations in the event of an emergency, or provide access to a helpline if you become trapped and need to rebook flights or hotel rooms.

While we recommend that everyone buy comprehensive travel insurance for major excursions, it’s essential for seniors, who are more likely to have medical difficulties arise before or after a cruise, or who may not feel as comfortable making new arrangements on the fly if something goes wrong.

Even if you have health insurance, don’t assume you’re covered while traveling. Most policies do not protect you outside of the country, and many do not cover you on a foreign-flagged vessel.

Medicare does not pay medical expenses outside of the United States. The cost of travel insurance is decided by several criteria, including your age, the trip’s length, and the trip’s price.


Many medical and travel cancellation policies will cover you if you have a pre-existing condition. However, the insurance must generally be obtained within a specific time range.

To get optimum coverage, purchase travel insurance within a week of making the first payment toward a trip. Before scheduling a cruise, it is best to consult a trained specialist about your insurance needs.

Create Your Pharmacy

Preparing for unexpected illness or injury on a cruise holiday can save you money and time. Many cruise lines, for example, supply free motion sickness medication to passengers, but other sorts of seasickness cures, such as wristbands and patches, may not be available.

Purchase such goods at home for easy access if you become ill. Pack common over-the-counter medications and first-aid supplies such as Band-Aids or an Ace bandage.

Also, bring prescription drugs from home and pack extra if the trip is prolonged. You don’t want to rely on the ship’s pharmacy to have your specific pills on hand or to pay out of pocket for an onboard refill.

If you are traveling with prescriptions that require refrigeration, inquire with the cruise line 30 to 60 days before departing to see what arrangements may be made. Not all minifridges are cold enough to retain medications safely.

The infirmaries on major cruise lines are limited to mild non-emergencies and stabilizing patients with life-threatening conditions. There are payments to see the doctor, just as at home; however, unlike at home, the ship’s doctor will not accept your health insurance.

Save yourself a trip to the hospital by being prepared with vital drugs and visiting only when necessary.

Select Shore Tours You Can Take

Every port has arranged shore excursions provided by cruise lines. Swimming with stingrays and whale viewing are fee-based activities, as are coach trips and cooking workshops.

Join a shore trip if you wish to leave the organizing to someone else. Just make sure your physical abilities are sufficient for the excursion.

Usually, cruise lines provide a brochure or online material outlining the many excursions available at each port, the duration of the activity, and a sign indicating the physical ability required for each tour.

Royal Caribbean, for example, categorizes all of its tours as light, moderate, or demanding and marks wheelchair-accessible terms. Tour descriptions warn potential tour participants of long hours of walking or standing, rugged walking terrain, and activities that may not be appropriate for passengers with pre-existing medical concerns.

If you overestimate your abilities, you can end up paying for a tour you don’t entirely appreciate. Passengers who use wheelchairs or cannot walk up steps should consult with the cruise line’s special needs department and the excursions department. There are very few excursions that are wheelchair accessible.