Cruising for Boomers

Baby boomers are replacing seniors on cruise ships as the cruising experience changes to suit their taste and they get more free time to travel. More and more my fellow cruise passengers are around my age 63. Ten years ago the cruisers were a lot older than me.

As boomers retire they have more time to take a cruise but most of the boomers I talked with on a recent cruise are repeat cruisers. The cruise lines have plenty of ships and would like to keep boomers cruising and attract new boomer cruisers. To do so they are making changes in the cruise experience that are attractive to boomers.

As a frequent cruiser here are some of the changes I have noticed.

Baby boomers are replacing seniors on cruise ships as the cruising experience changes to suit their taste and they get more free time to travel.  More and more my fellow cruise passengers are around my age 63.   Ten years ago the cruisers were a lot older than me.

As boomers retire they have more time to take a cruise but most of the boomers I talked with on a recent cruise are repeat cruisers.   The cruise lines have plenty of ships and would like to keep boomers cruising and attract new boomer cruisers.  To do so they are making changes in the cruise experience that are attractive to boomers.

As a frequent cruiser here are some of the changes I have noticed.

1. More Casual Dining – The buffet is more like traditional dining with drink waiters, white table cloths and a more settled feeling like in the formal dining.  Same food is severed as in the formal dining room.  But the big change is in the 24 hour international cafe in the piazza in the center ship that serves pastries, sandwiches and salads, soup for and quick but tasty lunch.  Alongside the cafe is the gourmet coffee shop.  Boomers like casual and fast.

2. More Learning Opportunities – Classes at Sea with lectures on several subjects from experienced people.   On a recent cruise we had a naturalist giving lectures each day on volcanoes, sea mapping and types of ocean waves.  Also a former U-2 pilot had a lot of interest in his talks about military intelligence history.   A cultural presentation by a museum director was given.

3.  More Active – On the ship the dance classes were well attended as well as Zumba and other exercise classes.  The Olympics drew a good crowd trying out a different activity each day.  Then there were yoga, massages and a walking club.

4.  Boomer Entertainment –  Street entertainment in the center ship Piazza was nice.  Movies under the stars and countless other activities.  The comdey was geared more toward boomers I noticed.

5. Active Off Ship Excursions –  Hikes in the rain forest,   snorkel trips, helicopter tours, and ATV riding were some of the move active ones.

Interesting that learning and staying active is becoming a mainstay of cruising just as with the active adult communities.  You have heard the idea of just retiring to a cruise ship; well that may not be such a far fetch idea after all.

Originally posted 2011-11-02 16:51:36.

A Passion For An Active Life

We only moved into the Del Webb Community north of Atlanta not long ago but I already have noticed something interesting. People are really passionate about their activities.

For example, I attended a meeting of each of these clubs where the passion was on display with the members. They really get into it, going into details beyond what I thought. The degree of passion and zest they have for these activities was surprising. The club members could be professionals in these activities but in most cases they are doing it not for money but because they love doing it. They give their attention, time and resources to these activities to be the best they can be.

Here are the clubs I attended during the first two weeks.

1. Photographers – Ralph the instructor is a professional photographer and resident. Before the meeting,  the members were gathering around Ralph who was showing them the coffee table book he had just published of his photos of this trip to Iceland. The professional quality book was great and had wonderful photos. Wow!

There were 12 members present and they had an assignment the week before to photograph a subject (old log cabin nearby) and then to edit the image using the editing software they had been learning. Ralph used a slide projector to show the images and it was explained how they were edited. Suggestions were made for other edits and improvements. The members were really into it!

2. Coin Collecting – Next up I attended the Coin Collectors meeting. A resident who was a former stock broker showed us a list of coins he just had Hertiage Coins auction off. The list totaled $90,000 in value. These were his duplicates. Several interesting tips were discussed included how to get an appraisal to donate your collection to a charity rather than selling and then donating the money, an update on the coin market including demographic changes affecting it, avoid cleaning coins and more. One member had some inherited gold coins and suggestions were given as to how to value them.

At the end of the meeting I was chatting with some members about other things we collect.  I told them about my collection of Nineteenth Century Exposition Medals.

A fellow told us about his collection of antique movie posters which was on display in a show in Wisconsin.  These members really get into it!

3. Dancing – Mary Ann and I started the beginner line dancing class which follows the intermediate class and the advanced class. Getting to class early we watched the intermediate class finish up and they were good! The members then took off their dancing shoes and put of their street shoes. They were laughing and excited even after an hour of dancing. Later I spoke with a neighbor who is a member of this ballroom dancing club. When I told him we were learning the Waltz line dance he wanted to know the song we danced to and when I was not forthcoming with the answer he suggested three waltz songs, actually singing two of them to help me remember. These members really get into it!

4. Writers Group – This may be the most interesting group I attended. Three days ago I attended the writers group and at the coffee pot before the meeting, I met fellow resident William Cassill who recently released his first book, which tells the true story of a remarkable friendship between a mallard duck and a snow goose. “Free To Fly” is about his experiences while running a Vermont country inn with his wife. I had just read about this book. Wow.

The meeting included about 9 residents and all were writers, authors of books or writing a book. One resident owns a books store and showed us several books she had published or help publish including information on the publishing companies and cost. A member passed out three of her short stories to be reviewed. The group is looking to start a web site to display their writings and books and I shared some ideas with them. I have been spending some time thinking about web site ideas to share in our next meeting.

A member suggested the group take the on-line course “Start Writing  Fiction” and the members including me agreed to start this course and share our first short story with the class next meeting. The Writers Group meets every Thursday from 9:30am until 11am. I was surprised they meet every week, but I see that this is a very active group. These members really get into it!

These are only 4 clubs out of nearly 100 clubs at The Village at Deaton Creek. I can see right now that you cannot possibility do it all. But it is exciting to know choosing the clubs that really interest me will give the opportunity to get involved like these folks do with something I am passionate about.

This is going to be fun! That is why we moved here.
Robert and Mary Ann Fowler

Originally posted 2019-06-06 09:08:11.

Retirement Travel: Road Trip

Looking for travel ideas when you retire? Here are some enjoyable road trips for you to consider.

Many Glacier Lodge, Montana

When dreaming about retirement one of the fun things to do is to think about the traveling you will do, once you don’t have to go to work every day.

When you are in retirement, one of the fun things to do is to think of all the neat things you have done over your lifetime.

For today’s post,  I am combining those two ideas and posting about some of the enjoyable road trips that I have done.  This has been fun to remember and maybe will give you an idea for a road trip of your own.  Some here are some memorable scenic road trips I have experienced.

Road Trips

1. Blue Ridge Parkway is absolutely gorgeous!   Described as  America’s favorite drive. I started near Cherokee NC took the parkway all the way up to Blowing Rock.  Also have been on the Blue Ridge Parkway in a drive through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.  The Summer or early Fall is a great time for this trip.

2. Montana Practically the whole state is scenic but we took I-15 to Butte, then I-90 to Missoula then to the scenic drive on Hwy 83 to Kalispell and Whitefish.  Along the way we passed through the Valley of 1,00o haystacks.   From there a ride through Glacier National Park on the Going to the Sun road staying in the wonderful park lodges ending up at the famous Many Glacier Lodge.

3. Nova Scotia Flew to Boston and got a comfortable rental car for the drive up to Portland Maine and took the ferry over to Yarmouth Nova Scotia.  With the help of the Canadian Embassy we have planned out 5 overnight stays on the drive along the northern coast, stopping on our trip at the Bay of Fundy to eat scallops and to visit the scenic Peggy’s Cove, ending up at Halifax.

4. Charlottesville VA area.  Make Charlottesville your base and take in the area with day trips to homes of three presidents, Jefferson, Monroe and Madison.  Not to be missed is a day trip through the Shenandoah National Park.  Allow 3 or 4  nights in Charlottesville but you could continue the trip down to Williamsburg and Jamestown for a longer trip.

Retirement Travel

So these are four of my best road trips.  For your retirement travel planning, maybe this will give you an idea for a trip of your own.  Enjoy!

For more good travel ideas, visit our Boomer Travel page.
For more Retirement Travel ideas.

Originally posted 2012-05-13 12:31:41.

Boomers – Real Life Tips for Online Dating

Recently I read an article about tips for Senior online dating. Some of it I agreed with and some I had my own opinions. It took me to a place and time where I met a few people online. Then the day came for the face to face interaction which is an all different ball game no matter how much you learn from the Internet affair. Some of my experiences were rather humorous so I have a few tips to offer for the real deal.

Recently I read an article about tips for Senior online dating.  Some of it I agreed with and some I had my own opinions.  It took me to a place and time where I met a few people online.  Then the day came for the face to face interaction which is an all different ball game no matter how much you learn from the Internet affair.  Some of my experiences  were rather humorous so I have a few tips to offer for the real deal.

  1. Be prepared for the eye shock.  Pictures from the Internet can be very deceiving.
  2. Don’t get offended if he says, “Wow, you are a lot fatter than I expected.”
  3. Keep your composure should he change his mind at the last minute, not show up, and disappear completely from the Internet site.  He probably did not die of a heart attack and has gotten cold feet before.  Better yet, he likes playing games with peoples feelings.
  4. Run like hec if he comes dressed in a large over coat and it appears like he is carrying a weapon in his coat pocket.  Don’t be so noisy that you have to ask him about it.
  5. Don’t let your mouth drop open in shock when he takes his hat off to reveal his bald head.  I know you thought he had a full head of hair in that cowboy hat pic that you saw on the computer.  Now this is the real HIM.
  6. Try not to make too big of a scene at your local restaurant if he should say at the end of the meal, “Do you mind paying, I forgot my billfold.”  After all you might want to go back to that same place someday WITHOUT HIM.
  7. If he should start talking about all his Ex’s put a time limit on listening.  Oh, and by the way, all ex’s don’t just come from Texas.  I have met up with guys that have them scattered around the world.
  8. If you met for dinner and he is a health food nut then accept that.  Never but never though resort to eating carrot sticks for your meal instead of a nice juicy steak if you are hungry.  If he tries to change you at the first meal then imagine the rest of your life eating with him.
  9. If you see something protruding from his hair that looks like a Bobbie pin, it probably is.  Leave it alone and don’t ask.  Maybe later if there is a second date you can discuss the hair piece that you did not know that he wore.
  10. Just take it in stride if after the meal he excuses himself to the men’s room to clean his teeth.  Be glad that he did not take them out at the dining table.  Again remember in person is much different than on line dating.
  11. Then of course there is the nose blower.  The one that has excessive sinus issues and has to do a lot of blowing while you two are eating your dinner.  Have a heart and appear understanding.  Who knows next time you may have to blow.
  12. If you hear a rattle in his pants when he walks, NEVER BUT NEVER ask him if he wears Depends.  There will be another time and place for that discussion if there is a next time.
  13. Get concerned if he takes out a pill bottle and takes a pill right after a discussion of sex and the first date.  It might be Viagra and he might start rushing you to finished your meal quickly.  You do not want to take the chance of choking.  Chew slowly, take your time.  Don’t be worried about him paying ten dollars a pop for those pills because that is his problem, not yours.
  14. If you are a man give her a chance.  Maybe she forgot her glasses when she ordered the most expensive meal on the menu after your on line dating discussion of being frugal.
  15. If her hair looks purple, it probably is.  I know she said it was white but some of those white white hair rinses turn a ladies hair purple.  Just keep quiet about it.  It will wash out or discuss it at another time.
  16. If one of her eye lashes falls off keep cool.  Older ladies have to do what they have to do to look beautiful for you and sometimes those darn things just get loose.
  17. Oh yes and men just remember that women too wear hair pieces, wigs, lift up bras, girdles, and all their ex’s did not come from Texas either.

Be nice if she invited her girlfriend along because she was a bit scared of meeting you in person and had her sit at the next table. When she keeps giving the high sign to her just ignore it.  She probably will not want you to know so just do not mention it.  If she starts texting though, instead of listening to you, there might be a problem.  After all you are in control if there is a NEXT  time date.

Now after reading this do not let this influence you as for getting ready for that first meet up after the on line dating experience.  I am all for being a free spirit and putting spice in your life.  You might just luck out and none of the above will happen.  Then of course do not forget that there are senior centers, adult groups, cruises for singles, churches, and many other events where you can meet people your age for the first time.  It is OK.  Try getting out there.  That special one might just be right where you did not expect him or her to be.  Feel free!  Venture out into the unknown.  It is your life.  Live it.

Live, Love, Learn and Laugh!

Originally posted 2011-09-07 12:43:58.

Boomers: What To Do While Visiting The Villages in Florida

Thousands of people visit The Villages in Florida each year, some staying with relatives, some visiting on the Lifestyle Preview Plan like we just did and many others renting a home in The Villages.

There is something to do everyday that every baby boomer will find fun.

Here are some 16 tips and places to visit during your stay at The Villages Florida.

1. Pick up a copy of The Villages Daily Sun newspaper, especially the Thursday edition with the Recreation News and schedule for the week.

Sumter Square

2. Visit and walk around all three town squares,  Lake Sumter Landing which borders Lake Sumter and has a Florida seaport theme and is located centrally.  There is the original town square of Spanish Springs on the South side. The newest town square of Brownwood with a wild west theme is on the North side.  All three town squares are very walkable and have restaurants, shops and a movie theater. Also there is live entertainment in each square every night of the year!

town square

Continue reading “Boomers: What To Do While Visiting The Villages in Florida”

Originally posted 2018-09-29 20:54:03.

Boomers Turn Age 70

We baby boomers are turning age 70!! Can you believe it?

Boomers have never been this old. How do you act when you are 70?  I submit, just like we did in our 60’s.  No, not the 1960’s, even though I think that would be fun. Nothing has really changed by turning 70, right?

Well yes, a few things are changing. Not over night, but there are signs.

If you have delayed taking your social security, now finally you get to take your full social security check that has been growing.  We thought this day would never come.  Wow, that is going to be nice and well needed for many of us.

Also at age 70 1/2 we must take our RMD, required minimum distributions from our IRA’s.

So we start drawing our social security benefit and we must start taking annual distributions from our IRAs almost at the same time.  Well I think most of us at age 70 are ready for both and have no disagreements with those requirements.

Many boomers vowed never to retire or they couldn’t retire. Guess what, many were forced into retirement because of health reasons or maybe a job layoff.

If you retired in your 60s, then most likely you are now comfortable with your retirement. You have a comfortable routine and do the things you would like to do with your time. Many boomers that are retired, love spending time with their grand children. Some even move across the country to be closer to them.

Around this time (age 70) we or our spouses are dealing with some critical illnesses of some sort, be it diabetes, a stroke, heart attack, mobility problems etc. and we are most likely making room on our schedules for doctor visits.

Most likely a few of our friends have dementia problems starting or maybe advanced. We have two close friends in that boat.

A friend or two most likely has already lost their long time spouse to death.

More than a few of our high school or college school mates have died.

We spend some time on our medicare insurance don’t we.  Donut holes and open enrollments we know well.

Having been involved in recent years with a senior center and now living in a Del Webb Active Adult Community, I have a lot of friends that are in their 70s, thus are older than us older boomers.  Encouragingly lots of them are active, like to travel, have sharp minds and love to socialize.

We will be travelling through out our 70’s and dare I say 80’s. If we have the means, we don’t mind spending it on travel.

Racewalking

Some take up senior games and become senior athletes.

I have noticed now we don’t even mind being called a senior, even though we still don’t refer to ourselves with that title. We don’t mind the senior discounts, do we.

So another chapter in our lives is unfolding and for the most part we seem to be adjusting quite well.

So we have a lot to look forward to. Some of us are moving to active adult communities, or small towns or even to the city for retirement.

The future is not bleak as long as you have a positive attitude, your health and get out and participate in some activities with folks you like.

Even when you have some health problems, a can do positive attitude sure can go a long ways overcoming those obstacles.

They say at age 70 we only have 15 more years to live, on average. Let’s make the most of it.

Originally posted 2016-12-13 21:34:18.