Why You Should Think Twice Before Booking A Cruise During Spring Break

Spring break is one of the only times of year when students are let out from classes for a week and not for a particular holiday or calendar event — spring break is the event. College students, as well as families with children, take advantage of this period, booking trips to warm-weather destinations to soak up the sun before heading back to school to finish the academic year.

With some popular spring break spots turning away tourists due to crime and disorder and others seeing a surge in pricing due to heightened demand, you might be tempted to skip the coastal locales and hop on a cruise instead. However, don't expect to leave the spring break chaos behind when sailing the high seas.

First, spring break cruises aren't always a smart choice for travelers on a budget. Just like the hotels on land, you'll likely see a spike in cruise prices around the spring break period. On top of that, be prepared to deal with crowds. Though every ship has occupancy limits no matter the time of year, the type of passengers on board can make all the difference. While some ships are packed with retired folks lounging on their balconies or quietly enjoying drinks on the deck, spring breakers tend to be more active and come in large groups that congregate by the pool, in the casino, at the bar, in the lobbies... you get the idea.

Rowdy guests can ruin your relaxing vacation

Cruises are known for being a relaxing escape from everyday life, but that calm ocean-atmosphere can go right out the window during the spring break season. If you share your journey with belligerent and rowdy partiers, you could face late-night noise and other disruptions that spoil your fun. In 2023, Carnival Cruise changed its cruise ticket contract just in time for spring break, seemingly as an attempt to get ahead of the chaos. The new agreement stated that Carnival had the right to fine passengers $500 if they interfered with "the comfort, enjoyment, safety or well-being of other guests or crew," Fox Business reported. Moreover, out-of-control guests could be forcibly removed from the ship and even banned from any future Carnival cruises.

Even with stricter rules on certain cruise lines, don't be surprised if some spring breakers are extra lively on your ship. One cruiser shared their experience on Cruiseline.com: "Unfortunately for us, we were placed across from a huge sorority/fraternity that had multiple rooms. We expected them to be a little loud, what we didn't expect was how bad it would get. We got NO sleep the entire trip. They screamed, partied, and hung out in the hallway pumping music. They were drunk all the time which caused them to fight regularly as well."

What if you want a party cruise?

Big crowds and boozy cruise parties might not be everyone's cup of tea, but what if you want a high-spirited spring break cruise? Thankfully, you're in luck. Besides the standard journeys — which can be ideal for older travelers and family vacations — there are also cruise lines perfect for young adults and college-aged cruisers. One of the most popular offers is the College Party Cruise, a spring break experience that brings together young adults for a week of drinking, dancing, and mingling with new friends. While the cruise doesn't require passengers to be in college, the majority are, and its group pricing structure applies only to those between the ages of 18 and 29.

Ignite Cruises is another option for young adults looking to party hard while sailing away to gorgeous seaside destinations. Though Ignite Cruises doesn't host its own ship (besides the College Party Cruise, which it helped create), it does offer packages for groups of spring breakers on existing cruises so you can still be surrounded by like-minded travelers, even if your cruise isn't only designed for young partygoers.