Best Cruise Lines for Young Adults 2024

Are you a young adult looking to embark on a cruise adventure?   With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the best cruise line that caters to your age group.

While cruises may have traditionally been thought of as a vacation option for an older demographic, many of the main cruise lines are now catering to younger adults

Young Adults Enjoying Cruise Pool

From entertainment to excursions, dining to accommodations, each cruise line offers a unique experience. 

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best cruise lines for young adults. 

Whether you’re seeking a party atmosphere or a laid-back vibe, these cruise lines have something for everyone. 

Lets take a look at the best cruise line for 20-somethings and early thirties.

Carnival Cruise Line for Young Adults

Carnival Cruise Line is an excellent option for young adults looking for a fun and exciting cruise vacation. Known for its lively and energetic atmosphere, Carnival offers a variety of activities and entertainment options that cater to a younger crowd.

One of the biggest draws of Carnival for young adults is the variety of onboard activities available. Whether you want to relax by the pool, hit the dance floor, or try your luck at the casino, Carnival has something for everyone.

Carnival is well known for its pool parties and active shore excursions, perfect for those who want to explore and have fun both on and off the ship. 

Top Deck and Pools of Carnival Inspiration
Top Deck and Pools on Carnival Inspiration

Nicknamed the “Fun Ships,” Carnival offers a wide range of onboard activities, including:

  • Basketball courts
  • Jogging track
  • Mini Golf
  • Pickle Ball
  • Pools and hot tubs
  • Ropes courses
  • Volleyball
  • Water slides

Plus a whole lot more, although note activities vary depending on which ship you choose.

There’s even a Roller coaster on one ship, Carnival Mardi Gras.

For those looking for a party atmosphere, Carnival is famous for its onboard nightlife. From themed parties to live music and comedy shows, there’s always something happening on a Carnival cruise.

The cruise line offers a variety of drink options, including craft beers brewed onboard and creative cocktails served at themed bars.

If you need a break or just hungry from all the excitement you can always indulge in 24-hour pizza or a delicious burger from Guy’s Burger Joint.

Carnival also offers a range of dining options, from casual options like Guy’s Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina to more upscale restaurants like the Steakhouse and Italian restaurant. And with the cruise line’s flexible dining options, you can choose to dine whenever and wherever you like, whether that’s a main dining room or a more casual buffet.

Another great aspect of Carnival is the lower prices, making it a budget-friendly option for young adults. 

With shorter cruises, Carnival tends to attract a younger demographic who are looking for a fun-filled vacation without breaking the bank.

We have covered here in more detail which are the specific best Carnival Cruise Ships for young adults.

As well as the best Carnival cruises for singles, which is more suited to younger singles.


  • Fun and festival-like party atmosphere
  • Unique bars and craft brewery
  • Pool parties and active shore excursions
  • Budget-friendly prices
  • Wide range of onboard activities, including sports and water parks

If you are traveling solo you might also be interested in the Carnival Cruises most suited to singles.

Royal Caribbean for Young Adults

Royal Caribbean is an ideal choice for young adults seeking an unforgettable vacation experience. With a focus on adventure and excitement, the cruise line offers an array of activities and entertainment options that cater to this demographic on some of the largest cruise ships in the world.

For active young adults, Royal Caribbean has a huge range of activities that are sure to get the adrenaline pumping. 

Onboard, there are endless activities to enjoy, from zip lines and rock climbing to water parks, basketball courts, mini-golf, pools, hot tubs, and even surf simulators on some ships.

Young Adults playing volleyball in pool on Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas – Young adults playing Water Volleyball

The nightlife is equally exciting, with wid range of bars, clubs, live music, game shows, and stand-up comedy to keep guests entertained well into the early hours.  There’s even a robotic bartender that mixes up delicious cocktails.

One of the best things about Royal Caribbean is that it caters to young adults, making it a great place to make new friends in the same age range.

One of the highlights of a Royal Caribbean cruise is a visit to the cruise line’s own private island, Perfect Day in CocoCay. 

Here, young adults can enjoy a water park, beaches, zip line, jet skiing, a hot air balloon, and Oasis Lagoon, a massive pool. 

With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Royal Caribbean is such a popular choice among young adults looking for a fun and exciting vacation.

Best Royal Caribbean Ship for Young Adults

With a large fleet and many options to choose from Oasis and Quantum classes, we would recommend starting with these choices, but others in the same class may well be equally suitable.

  • Allure of the Seas
  • Anthem of the Seas
  • Harmony of the Seas
  • Icon of the Seas (world’s largest cruise ship 2023)
  • Oasis of the Seas
  • Ovation of the Seas
  • Quantum of the Seas
  • Symphony of the Seas
  • Wonder of the Seas


  • Huge range of onboard activities
  • Plenty of nightlife and entertainment venues.
  • Perfect Day in CocoCay: Royal Caribbean’s private island
  • Some of the largest cruise ships in world
  • Good value budget conscious

Related Options:

Depending on your individual circumstances you might also be interested in:

Norwegian Cruise Line for Young Adults

Norwegian Cruise Line is a fantastic vacation option for young adults who are looking for an adventurous and exciting vacation experience. 

Known for its innovative ships and “freestyle” cruising philosophy, Norwegian offers a wide range of activities and entertainment options that are sure to appeal to younger adults whether traveling solo, as a couple or as group.

If you are traveling solo, Norwegian have single cabins with accompanying and exclusive singles Studio Lounge.

One of the standout features of Norwegian Cruise Line is its selection of adventurous activities.

Activities include:

  • Bowling
  • Mini golf
  • Race car track
  • Rock climbing walls
  • Ropes courses
  • Waterslides
  • Zip lines

Note: Activities vary from ship to ship.

Norwegian Encore – Aerial view of Racetrack (Photo Courtesy Norwegian Cruise Line)

Young adults who enjoy outdoor activities and adventures will love the cruise line’s selection of excursions, which range from zip-lining through tropical forests to snorkeling in crystal-clear waters.

In addition to its outdoor activities, Norwegian also offers a wide range of entertainment options for young adults. 

The ships feature multiple bars, including an ice bar.  The nightclubs are open for night-long parties.   There are also some great live music performances, comedy, and game shows. 

Sensoria Nightclub party on Norwegian Prima (Rendering)
Sensoria – Vegas Style Nightclub party on Norwegian Prima (Rendering Photo Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

Another highlight of Norwegian Cruise Line is its “freestyle” cruising philosophy, which allows guests to dress however they like and dine whenever, wherever, and with whomever they want. 

This enables guests to do whatever they want when they want without having to plan activities and fun around meal times or worry about what to wear.

For those who are looking for extra perks, Norwegian offers a “Free at Sea” promotion that includes specialty dining, free Wi-Fi, and shore excursion credits, making the trip even more enjoyable.


  • “Free at Sea” promotion with extra perks 
  • Party vibe and night-long parties
  • Exciting onboard activities such as water slides, rock climbing walls, and race car track
  • Easy and flexible “FreeStyle” dining options

Best Norwegian Cruise Ship for Young Adults

Norwegian Cruise Line has a large fleet of ships, many of which are suitable for young adults, but as a starting point we would check out these options first.

  • Norwegian Getaway
  • Norwegian Epic
  • Norwegian Escape
  • Norwegian Prima
  • Norwegian Viva

If a solo cabin is priority check out the Norwegian Cruise ships with single cabins.

Celebrity Cruises for Young Adults

Celebrity Cruises is an excellent option for young adults who are seeking a more upscale and sophisticated vacation experience. 

With a focus on luxurious amenities, fine dining, and enriching activities, Celebrity offers a unique blend of relaxation and adventure that will appeal to this younger adults.

Celebrity Cruises have an elegant and refined atmosphere. The ships are designed with a modern and sophisticated aesthetic, making for a stylish and chic vacation experience. For young adults who appreciate fine art, music, and design, Celebrity is a great choice.

Celebrity Cruises Passport Bar

One of the main draws of Celebrity Cruises is its exceptional dining options. The cruise line is known for its top-notch cuisine, with menus designed by Michelin-starred chefs and a range of specialty restaurants. For young adults looking to indulge in gourmet cuisine and fine wines, Celebrity is the perfect choice.

In addition to its culinary offerings, Celebrity also provides a range of enriching activities and cultural experiences.

From dance classes to spa treatments, there is always something to do on board. The Sin City  burlesque venue with nightly shows is a highlight for young adults who enjoy live entertainment.

Best Celebrity Cruise ships for Young Adults

Celebrity has 12 cruise ships in its fleet, while many might be suitable, we would check out these ships first, but if others are available in local ports they may also be ideal for you.

  • Celebrity Apex
  • Celebrity Beyond
  • Celebrity Edge


  • Modern luxury vacation experience with chic and stylish atmosphere
  • Exceptional cuisine and craft beer tastings
  • Range of entertainment options, including nightly shows
  • Relaxing environment 
  • Good for young couples seeking a romantic getaway

MSC Cruises for Young Adults

MSC Cruises is an ideal choice for young adults seeking an exciting and budget-friendly vacation experience. 

It’s a European Swiss-owned cruise company, which was founded in Italy.   It’s a popular cruise line with Europeans, so there will be a variety of languages spoken onboard.   

But as the 3rd largest cruise company in the world and one of the cheapest, it is well worth considering if they are accessible from ports near you.

The cruise line’s beautifully decorated and innovative ships offer a wide variety of activities and amenities designed to cater to the interests of young adults. 

MSC Poesia pool deck
MSC Posia pool deck (Photo Credit Celebrity Cruises)

One of the most significant advantages of MSC Cruises is the excellent value per cabin.

Young adults can experience the luxury and excitement of a cruise vacation without breaking the bank. The cruise line offers budget-friendly packages that include accommodation, dining, and entertainment, making it a cost-effective option for young adults

MSC Cruises also offers a range of nightlife experiences, including live music shows, DJs, and themed parties that cater to young adult’s music preferences.

The MSC ships offer a wide range of recreational activities, including:

  • Bowling alleys
  • Fitness centers
  • Rope courses
  • Sports courts
  • Swimming pools
  • Water slides

all of which are all popular features with active younger adults.

For those looking for relaxation, MSC Cruises’ ships have a variety of spa and wellness facilities that offer a range of treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps. 

Being founded in Italy, MSC Cruises is well known for its delicious pizza, a favorite among young adult guests.


  • Budget-friendly, excellent value per cabin
  • Innovative and beautifully decorated ships
  • Wide range of amenities and activities onboard
  • Great tasting pizza
  • European cruise line (various languages spoken onboard)

Best MSC Cruise ships for young adults:

With over 20 ships in the MSC cruises fleet there’s quite a few to choose from.  

We would recommend the below options first, but others may be suitable depending on where you sail from.

  • MSC Bellissima
  • MSC Divina 
  • MSC Meraviglia
  • MSC Seashore
  • MSC Virtuosa

Disney Cruise Line for Young Adults

Disney Cruise Line is not only a great option for families but also for young adults seeking a fun and exciting vacation. 

One key advantage of Disney Cruise Line is the quality of entertainment that it provides.

Guests can enjoy Broadway-style shows and other exciting entertainment options featuring the well-known mo characters from movie franchises many of us know and love and have grown up with.

Marvel Day at Sea – “Heroes Unite” (Photo Credit Disney Cruise Line)

Disney cruise ships provide plenty of adult-only entertainment, including comedy shows, concerts, and dance parties. 

The ships also have dedicated adult-only areas, such as lounges, bars, and pools, providing a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere away from younger guests.

When it comes to dining, there’s a wide range of options, from casual to fine dining, with plenty of cuisine choices to suit all tastes. 

There is an abundance of onboard activities. Young adults can participate in various activities, from trivia contests, sports tournaments to cooking classes. 

If you like a flutter while on a cruise vacation, its worth noting Disney Cruise Line does not have any casinos or gambling, except for Bingo.


  • World-class entertainment 
  • Lots of young families but plenty for young adults 
  • Wide range of dining options
  • Adult-only areas available
  • An abundance of onboard activities
  • Brands many know and love
  • No casinos or gambling (except Bingo)
  • More expensive

You might want to check out Why is Disney Cruise more Expensive?

Best Disney Cruise Ships for Young Adults:

We recommend any in the fleet of 5 ships:

  • Disney Dream
  • Disney Fantasy
  • Disney Magic
  • Disney Wish
  • Disney Wonder

Virgin Voyages for Young Adults

Virgin Voyages is an excellent option for young adults seeking a unique and exciting cruise experience. 

This cruise line is tailored specifically for adults, offering a range of activities and entertainment options that are sure to please young travelers. 

One of the key advantages of Virgin Voyages is its commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness, making it an excellent choice for young adults who prioritize eco-friendly travel.

The cruise line aims to target people who wouldn’t normally consider going on a cruise, so it caters to young adults who are looking for a unique and unconventional vacation experience. These are seen in some of the different activities available onboard, including:

  • karaoke lounge
  • record shop
  • tattoo parlor

As well as the more typical features on a cruise such as pools, hot tubs, and gym classes.

Virgin Voyages offers a range of onboard activities and entertainment options that cater to the interests of young adults.

The ship features a variety of restaurants and bars, including a mix of casual and upscale dining options, as well as several outdoor lounges and pools.

One of the unique features of Virgin Voyages is its focus on wellness and fitness. The cruise line offers a range of fitness activities, such as yoga, pilates, and a running track, as well as a spa that offers a range of treatments and therapies. 

Virgin Voyages Karm Chameleon Redemption Spa
Virgin Voyages Karm Chameleon Redemption Spa (Photo Credit Virgin Voyages)

Another advantage of Virgin Voyages is its commitment to inclusivity and diversity. The cruise line actively works to create a welcoming and accepting environment for all travelers, regardless of their gender, sexuality, or background. This creates a safe and fun environment for young adults to connect with like-minded individuals from all over the world.

The dining options on Virgin Voyages are exceptional, with a variety of restaurants and cuisines available to suit all tastes. The cruise line focuses on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and offers a range of options, including vegan and vegetarian dishes. 


  • Adult-only ships with a focus on luxury and a hip vibe.
  • Activities, entertainment, and dining options catered towards a young adult crowd.
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Targets non-cruisers who want a different vacation experience.
  • Sustainable practices are incorporated into the cruise experience.

Best Virgin Voyager Cruise Ships for Young Adults:

  • Virgin Brilliant Lady
  • Virgin Resilient Lady
  • Virgin Scarlet Lady
  • Virgin Valiant Lady

P&O Cruises for Young Adults

P&O Cruises is an excellent option for young adults seeking shorter, more affordable cruise trips in and around Australia and for sailings from Britain.

This cruise line offers three- to five-night P&O Sea Breaks, perfect for those who want to experience the thrill of cruising without committing to a long trip. These cruises allow young adults to explore different destinations in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

If you prefer to sail with adults only, P&O Cruises has two adult-only ships in Arcadia and Aurora. These provide an environment for those who want to avoid the crowds that often come with family-oriented cruises.

P&O Cruises offers a variety of activities and modern amenities such as fitness centers, spas, and pools, as well as a range of dining options to suit all tastes. 

The ships also have numerous bars and nightclubs, providing plenty of entertainment options for young adults who enjoy the nightlife.


  • Affordable option
  • Good option sailing from UK 
  • Sails from and around Australia
  • Adults-only options on Arcadia and Aurora

Best P&O Cruises Ships for Young Adults

We would first recommend the adults only ships:

  • MV Arcadia
  • MV Aurora

Frequently Asked Questions

Do People In Their 20s Go On Cruises?

Many cruise ships are popular with 20-somethings, but its all about choosing the right ones.

They tend to be the ones packed with fun activities and sporting options as well as swimming pools and waterslides to enjoy by day and bars and nightclubs for the evenings. 

Separately we have covered cruises for singles in their 20s.

Is MSC Cruise For Young Adults?

MSC Cruises is a popular choice for young adults who are more budget-conscious.   MSC offers some really good value deals.   The ships offer a good quality service, they are just cheaper because there’s a higher ratio of guests to ship size and staff. 

What Are the Best Cruises for 20-Year-Olds?

The best cruises for 20 years olds are those with plenty of activities to keep them entertained.  Be that sports-related or activities like zip lines and surf simulators.  Or depending on what they are interested in perhaps those with racetracks or more video game orientated.  There’s a cruise ship for everyone.

We have covered in more depth the best cruises for for 18 to 20 somethings.

What are the Best Cruises for Young Couples?

In part, this depends on what the young couple are looking for.  If looking for a fun party time, day and night cruise lines like Carnival Cruise, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line all have good options.

If looking for something a little more luxurious and slightly more relaxed, Celebrity Cruises would be a good choice for a young couple.

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