Fun parties, warm weather, and a vacation away from classes are every students' spring break dream, and spring break cruises can make those dreams come true.
Most college students don't think of a cruise vacation when they think of their ideal spring break getaway - instead, they picture a tropical beach, late night parties, and fun activities to fill the days instead of classes, homework, and exams. Spring break cruises can have all of those things and more, however, and there are many other reasons to head for the port during this campus break, including:
- No Car Needed: Once passengers board the ship, all their transportation needs are met. Even if passengers choose cruise shore excursions at the different ports, transportation is included with those tours. Instead of battling traffic, confusing directions, and rising gas prices, students can enjoy a carefree getaway.
- Activities: Cruise activities can include everything from working out in the gym to taking a twirl down the ship's waterslide to joining in a line dancing lesson. Trivia contests, late night dance clubs, Broadway-style shows, and more are all included with the cost of the cruise.
- Easy to Arrange: Unlike a more complicated vacation, a cruise is relatively easy to arrange. Students don't need to take time out to plan hotels, flights, rental cars, dining, entertainment, and more - they just need to relax and enjoy all the ship has to offer.
- Cost: Short weekend cruises can cost as little as $150 per passenger, making them a very affordable option for college students who may be strapped for cash, or for families looking for an inexpensive spring break destination everyone can enjoy.
- Education: The opportunity to visit unique cultures in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, or other popular cruise destinations is a great benefit for students. Even while they enjoy the cultural flair of different countries, they are learning tidbits about history, geography, and other educational topics they can take back to class.
Before students make cruise reservations, they need to note the strict age requirements. For most cruise lines, passengers must be at least 21 years old in order to travel alone, though exceptions are made for married couples or legal domestic partnerships. If passengers are under 21, at least one person in the cabin must be over the age of 25 to act as the guardian. Before booking a cruise, prospective passengers should contact individual cruise lines for updated age requirements and other necessary details.
Picking a Cruise for Spring Break
When choosing a cruise for a spring break getaway, students should look both at the itinerary as well as the amenities offered on board.
The best destinations for spring break cruises are close to United States ports so they require less travel time to reach. Furthermore, some destinations are better known a more liberal culture and more exotic nightlife that can appeal to college students as well as families with teenage students. Popular spring break destinations for cruise ships include:
- Cozumel: This tiny island off the Yucatan peninsula offers all the Mexican hospitality students can desire.
- Key West: Known for its large number of bars and liberal social scene, Key West is a popular spring break destination.
- The Bahamas: The close proximity to the United States as well as the country's exemplary water sports make the Bahamas a great student getaway.
- Aruba: Great nightlife and a liberal culture make Aruba a popular destination with students of all ages.
Students interested in getting the best vacation for their money should choose some of the newest, largest ships afloat. These ships generally offer a wider range of onboard activities, frequently at little or no additional cost, such as:
- Rock climbing walls
- Surfing simulators
- Miniature golf courses
- Multiple dance clubs
- Widely varied dining options
- Larger shopping malls on board
- Lectures and seminars on a wide range of topics
- Basketball, volleyball, golf, and other sports facilities
Many of these options may also be available on mid-size ships, which can often be even more affordable.
Cheap Spring Break Cruises
Finding a discount cruise is as easy as looking online. Many internet cruise travel agents offer spectacular deals, and may even offer discounts for students. Other tips for finding a cheaper cruise include:
- Booking with friends to share cabin costs
- Choosing a less expensive interior cruise ship cabin
- Understanding cruise price inclusions to avoid expensive bills on board
- Booking well in advance to snag the best rates
While a cheap weekend cruise could cost as little as $150 per passenger, a longer, more elaborate voyage could cost as much as $2,000 or more depending on airfare, cabin choice, and more. Students should carefully investigate different options in order to select the best cruise to fit their budget.
A Note About Behavior
Spring break may be a time for wild parties and outrageous behavior, but students should be aware that cruise lines do not tolerate disruptive passengers or irresponsible behaviors. Passengers caught drinking underage, damaging property, or otherwise being unruly may be disembarked at the next port without any refund or travel assistance. Spring break travelers should always be courteous to their fellow passengers and to cruise ship staff, which is easy to do without missing a beat of this great getaway.
Spring break cruises can be superb vacations for stressed out students. By choosing the right itinerary and ship as well as behaving responsibly, everyone can enjoy a great break without breaking the bank or adding more vacation planning stress to an already hectic school schedule.