A party cruise is a type of cruise vacation in which dancing, drinking and general rowdiness, as well as festive behavior is the order of the day. Tourist agencies and cruise lines usually target the younger generation when marketing their party cruises especially the college going students. Several other types of cruises are notorious for being too relaxing and laid back, but then the party cruise usually aims at providing high levels of fun filled activities.

Professionals charged with the responsibility of marketing cruise lines developed the idea of the party cruise probably to attempt to eliminate formal dinner reputation and the shuttlecock system common in some cruises. Usually, these trips are nearly geared exclusively towards age groups of early-twenties to mid-twenties or are promoted as spring break packages. In a real sense, a regular cruise is almost similar to a party cruise, but the marketing process acts as an integral element of the trip.
The clientele aboard a ship may be used to differentiate a party cruise from a regular cruise. There is a significant difference in this case. Other theme cruises focus on different cultures, peace, family activities, quietness and relaxation. You will less likely meet people who have the sole purpose of spending their time celebrating in a traditional cruise which has no theme. On the other hand, such people will form the majority of the people aboard a party cruise. After going through the pamphlet for a party cruise, an elderly couple or a young family would most likely not pick that particular trip. This is actually the norm and may result in consistency in the age group of guests on a party cruise.

Party cruises usually keep travel schedules which are similar to those of traditional cruises. The schedule mainly includes a number of specific routines; namely docking in a particular city to pick passengers, cruising off to a tropical or other desired locations, docking for one or two nights, and finally returning to the departure port. Guests can look forward to being inundated with opportunities to drink alcohol, gamble in casinos in the ship and even attend parties while on-board in clubs on the party cruise. The following day, passengers can just lay out and relax next to a pool or on the decks, sleep for the better of the morning or eat brunch. Some party cruises also offer adrenaline-fuelled activities such as fitness centers or climbing walls.

Upon docking of the cruise ship, passengers are allowed to disembark. A party cruise usually docks in a city that is known for a party atmosphere and of course an active nightlife. Passengers can enjoy their days celebrating on the cruise ship or at local nightclubs. There is also an option of exploring a locale of choice to spend the nights. The cruise ships return to the port, at the end of the destination and guests are usually invited over to continue with the never ending parties on their way back to the shore. This makes party cruises a thrilling adventure.