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Your Bucket List Cruises

  • Cruise ship with bright lights in port at night
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    Cruises From Around the World

    We asked, and you shared. AARP readers have great ideas for what would make a dream cruise, from destinations such as Alaska and Tahiti to family trips and river voyages. Their picks go beyond the Caribbean — and might inspire your next cruise.

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  • View of deck of cruise ship with snowy mountains in the distance
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    Alaska Cruise

    From massive glaciers to wildlife, there is so much to see as you sail through the Inside Passage or Gulf of Alaska. For Felicia Eybl, a big attraction would be to see the northern lights. Louise Aikens of Abbeville, S.C., already has her exact ship picked out for her dream cruise to Alaska. She wants to sail on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas. A member of AARP’s Online Community shared that Alaska was always on her bucket list — until she actually cruised there last year and got to cross it off! She posted several photos from her trip to our forum.

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  • Tourists leap of the rear of a boat with snorkels on
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    Family Cruise

    While some might focus on the destinations as they pick their cruise, others just want to get the family together on the water. What’s nice about cruising is that there are things to do for people of all ages. While you might think of Disney Cruise Line as a ship for kids, there’s plenty to do for parents and grandparents, too. Catherine LePage says she’s already eyeing Carnival Cruise Line for her ideal family cruise for eight to 10 of her closest loved ones. “Having the family together for at least five to seven days would be a dream since the family lives miles apart.”

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  • Travelers cruising the Seine River at dusk in summer, view of Eiffel Tower in distance
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    River Cruise

    Are you looking for a smaller, more unique experience? If so, a river cruise might be for you. These ships can go places big ships can’t. For Brenda McDermott of Lexington, Ky., her ideal itineraries would take her on the Thames in England and the Seine in France. “On the Seine, [I’d like] a view of the City of Light, with "La Vie en Rose" softly playing in the background. On the Thames, [I’d like to sail] past Big Ben and Tower Bridge.”

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  • Musicians performing on a stage on the deck of a cruise ship
    Alexander Tamargo / Getty Images for Norwegian Cruise Line

    Celebrity Cruise

    We’re not talking about Celebrity, the cruise line, but rather a cruise with a celebrity on it! From time to time, big names join the voyage to provide entertainment and interact with passengers. For Millicent Leow, the perfect celebrity cruise would feature the rapper Pitbull. (He’s hosting the second annual “Pitbull After Dark Party” on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Jade in March.) Leow, whose 22-year-old son is a huge Pitbull fan, added why this would be a dream cruise: “It's been such a long long time since my son and I have done anything that's just the two of us. I really enjoy Pitbull's music, too.”

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  • Small cruise ship on water with mountains in the distance
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    Tahiti Cruise

    Have you ever thought about visiting Bora-Bora? Well, you can cruise there, too. For Howell and Kelly from Mount Joy, Pa., this is their dream cruise, and they’re taking it this year to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary. They say it took a few years of planning, but they finally decided on a small cruise ship: Windstar Cruises' Wind Spirit. (It only fits about 150 guests.) Before setting sail, they plan to spend a few days in Tahiti and Mooréa. “The small ship experience is so different than sailing on a bigger ship. And while it is more expensive, for doing something truly special, it’s worth it to us. “

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  • A cruise ship in the distance with a blue-domed church in the foreground
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    Mediterranean Cruise

    There are so many different paths you can take to sail the Mediterranean Sea. From an eastern cruise with stops in places like Italy to a western one with stops in cities like Barcelona, you can choose your course. A lot of cruises are one-way trips from the U.S., so you can pick where to begin or end your voyage and then spend a few extra days in a favorite international city. Another option to consider is a little-known secret: From time to time, cruise lines need to move ships based overseas to the U.S. and will offer good deals on what they call a “repositioning cruise.”

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  • Man reaching for a tropical drink from a pool
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    Single’s Cruise

    Though you might board a cruise ship alone, you can quickly get to know fellow passengers — if you’d like. With a long list of daily events and group activities, you’re bound to run into the same people because the ship is only so big. While some cruise ships may have certain weeks they set aside for singles, you can travel alone anytime. On many ships, it’s common to be assigned to a dinner table with strangers, or you can request private seating. For Gail Barraco, 61, she’d like for cruise lines to go a step further and design a ship for singles. She’d also like to see small cabins and prices reduced

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