Before we boarded the ms Eurodam for our 28-day cruise through the Mediterranean, we prepared ourselves to be in the minority demographic.
We’d read that the average cruiser on Holland America ships was closer to 60, and we’re… well not. Nate’s 34, and I turned 30 on the ship. We also don’t have kids so knew we’d be in between the kids’ and teens’ club activities and evening bingo.
Here are our tips for other cruisers under 40:
Participate, Even If It Feels Cheesy
When the main act of the night is an old lady singing show tunes you’ve never even heard of, you can feel like you just want to camp out in your stateroom and drink wine in your bathrobe. Fight the urge to find the uncool side of cruising and just sign up. The whole experience will be more fun if you participate and engage.
Our favorite night on the ship was when we just decided to take a late night walk and met an older couple from Vegas celebrating their vow renewals at the dueling piano bar. From there we met drunk Toronto girl who was soon-to-be-engaged and tottering around drinking cosmos and referring to her “fiancé.” SHE introduced us to a similar 30-something, childless couple from Seattle who we were so happy to meet that we hung out with them the rest of our cruise.
Remember That Everyone Has a Story
One day we decided to check out tea time at 3 p.m. knowing we’d be the youngest people there by at least 10 years. We were, but that didn’t mean we had a bad time.
Instead we got seated with John, an older Englishman that had traveled all over the world, living in Beirut and Zanzibar. We had a really nice conversation with him. Honestly, if I had just looked at him, I probably would have lumped him in with all of the other grey-haired repeat cruisers, but inevitably after talking more with him, we got to hear his story. Everyone’s got one, you just have to fight the urge to judge people at surface level.
Get Friendly with the Crew
Let’s face it, working on a cruise ship isn’t going to get you rich which is why a lot of crew members and performers are also young. We had a great time hanging out with one of the saxophone players in the blues band, and one of the dueling piano players. Both were under 30 and could relate.
Meet Your Cruise Director
Our cruise director, Simon, was a feisty Brit in his 30’s. Early on in our cruise we introduced ourselves and admitted that we were desperate to meet other people not 100 years old. He suggested younger activities, made introductions for us, and even took us out for drinks at one of the ship's bars, which really helped. He also checked in with us whenever he saw us around the ship.
Find Your Spots
If you can’t deal with the 70’s disco music blasting from the speakers by the pool, explore your ship - you’re bound to find a bar you like or a quiet spot that allows you to really relax and be yourself. We found a few hiding spots around our ship that helped us escape the Cha-Cha-dancing, “let me tell you what else is wrong with the Beef Wellington” types on our cruise.