The Best Cruises for Adults

Fall is the perfect time of year for adults to cruise, and you can score some amazing deals this shoulder season. Check out some of our favorite ships and sailings.

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September 25, 2019

Cruising is typically associated with large family travel, especially families with kids, but cruising is also a great, budget-friendly option for couples wanting a getaway. These days, all the big lines have adults-only activities on board, from bars to spas to fine dining, and if you don’t want to listen to the sounds of children screaming on the pool deck, book in the fall. This semi-secret, shoulder season is amazing for adults. Kids are back in school. Most ships aren’t booked at max capacity. And cruise lines typically run their best bang-for-your-buck promotions such as onboard drink credits or BOGO spa treatments during this time.

We’ve rounded up our favorite cruises for adults--both brand and destination--and found some pretty insane deals for this fall. Take a look below and book a fall cruise for yourself.


For a budget-friendly cruise line, Norwegian has really tried to step it up and away from the other budget brands in the industry by redesigning dining experiences, refurbishing common areas and choosing a more modern, hotel-like design in their staterooms fleet-wide. We’ve got our eye on Norwegian’s Mediterranean sailings this fall. The Mediterranean is our favorite cruise destination in the fall because the temperatures are moderate (Italy in August is hell.) The summer crowds also die down, making destinations like touristy Venice much more enjoyable.

BOOK NOW: Expedia, Starting at $499/ 7 nights


Don’t click away. We’re not crazy. DCL belongs in this roundup because they truly do have some of the best adults-only programs in the business, from chef table workshops to adults-only, on-your-own excursions ashore. Plus, the cruise line’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, has an adults-only private beach complete with its own restaurant and bar. And after Hurricane Dorian, those ports in the Bahamas could really use the tourism dollars.

BOOK NOW: Expedia, Starting at $721/ 3 nights


Viking River Cruises has dominated the river scene for years. They’re a fan-favorite with retirees of course, but these days even younger adult couples are loving the brand for their strict no-kids-allowed policy. What we love about river cruising as opposed to ocean sailing is the port difference. Most ports along Europe’s Danube and Rhine Rivers are extremely accessible to tourist attractions and city centers so, as Viking loves to say, you’ll “spend less time getting there, and more time being there.”

BOOK NOW: Expedia, Starting at $2,599/ 7 nights


Ocean liners used to be the only way to get back and forth between America and Europe, and it’s actually still a popular option for people who hate flying. Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth ship is like stepping back into the age of transatlantic travel with Art Deco elegance everywhere you look. If you have the time, consider sailing to Europe. Some of the fall rates we found are definitely cheaper than a plane ticket!

BOOK NOW: Expedia, Starting at $799/ 7 nights


Princess is a sweet spot for not spending too much but having a more elevated experience than the budget brands. One of the best premiums with Princess is the attention to sleep quality. After all, relaxation is a top priority on vacation. You're sure to catch uninterrupted ZZZs with staterooms aboard select Princess ships, such as the Island Princess, with beds designed by a sleep expert. (Yes, that’s a thing.) If you have the vacation days, check out the sailings through the Panama Canal this fall. We were shocked to find rates less than $800 for 15 days at sea!

BOOK NOW: Expedia, Starting at $799/ 15 nights

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