The general consensus, based off what I have read, has been that Princess Cruises cater to an older crowd. Our group will consist mostly of people in their early to mid 20s and I am wondering how prevalent this age group is on this cruise line. Obviously this is going to depend on a number of factors, but based off some experience, what have you witnessed? Is there quality night life for this age group? Thanks, I appreciate it.
I've cruised Princess for many years and I would not say that they "cater" to an older crowd. If anything, I believe they are trying to appeal to a younger crowd. I think this perception comes from the fact that Princess has many longer cruises and more "exotic" cruises, which translates to "more expensive" cruises, and therefore draws an older crowd. But my experience has been that only happens on the longer itinearies. I believe length of cruise, time of year, and destination have more impact on the median age of any cruise than does the cruise line itself.
You are not going to find an abundance of mid-twenty-somethings on any cruise line, except maybe a four-day Carnival Cruise during Spring Break. But ALL cruise lines try to provide activities and entertainments suitable for different age groups. We just returned from a Holland America cruise with our 24 year old son and he had a ball--partied into the wee hours with others his age--not a lot, but enough to have a great time.
So you are right--it depends on a lot of factors. But I think the demographics would be just about the same for a 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise, whether it was Carnival, NCL, or Princess--and only slightly higher on HAL.
We've taken 14 Princess cruises and I'd say in general, the itinerary and length of cruise have more of an impact than anything else.
If you are on a shorter cruise, particularly to the Caribbean, you will find a much younger crowd. Long cruises - say the South America cruises or some of the other 'exotics' - you're going to find an older crowd, and also much higher percentages of returning cruisers - Platinum and Elite levels.
Sea Princess Alaska 2002
Dawn Princess B 2 B Honolulu-Tahiti-Honolulu 2003
Coral Princess Panama Canal full transit 2004
Star Princess Eastern & Western Caribbean 2004
Grand Princess Grand Mediterranean 2005
Golden Princess British Isles 2005
Pacific Princess April 2006 Sydney to Osaka
Star Princess Sept 2006 Baltic and Transatlantic
Golden Princess March/April Buenos Aires to San Francisco
Sapphire Princess October/November 2007 Bangkok - Beijing - Bangkok
Sea Princess May 2008 Mediterrean Medley and Iberian
Royal Princess October 2008 Canada and Colonial America
Ruby Princess November 2008
Caribbean 'almost inaugural'
I agree with both Donah and Mattox about the length & where the cruises go to but one year we were on a 10 day Sun Princess in the Caribbean & it was filled to capacity with 70 + old-timers. The next year about the same time same ship it was a mixed age crowd. It's hard to call it in advance.
I was told by one Princess exec that the average age on Sea Princess is about 55. Another exec told me that the average age on Crown Princess is 38. Thus, it would seem difficult to generalize about age across the fleet.
The age group a ship attracts varies according to season (summer cruises have younger crowds, more families). It also varies according to destination. For example, Alaska cruises tend to have a higher average age than Caribbean cruises.
It does vary and depends on what you're comparing Princess to. If you base the comparison on Carnival, it's an older crowd. Base it on a comparison with HAL or Cunard and it's a ship for young people. Itinerary matters but cruiselines do have a market they attract more heavily. For 20 somethings I'd highly suggest looking at an RCI or CCL similar itin if available and affordable. Not that you wouldn't have a great time on Princess, you would. You may just feel more at home and welcome on lines that cater to your age group. Princess is changing their marketing and approach toward a younger and more mass market approach as is NCL. Whatever you decide have a great time!
I agree with all of the others regarding length of cruise, time of the year, location, etc.....Just go knowing that you will have a fantastic time no matter what age. You make it YOUR FUN TRIP! Enjoy all the wonderful people you meet, whatever the age. I guarantee that you will find fun people above age 60 as under age 30. Make it "YOUR FUN TRIP" and enjoy every single moment. Time will pass quickly so HAVE A GREAT TIME!