The Australian line that pioneered the idea of “fun ships”, with kids careering down Green Thunder water slides, is hunting Honeyboomers – couples who leave the kids at home.

With a bigger ship on the horizon – Carnival Splendor will join the fleet in December, with 3,000 passengers and 60 spa suites – the move to more mature couples has been given new urgency.

Carnival Cruise Lines has even introduced a ‘Nautical But Nice Sale’ aimed at giving Aussie couples savings of up to AU$800 per cabin and a 50% deposit reduction per passenger for bookings made by 30 September 2019.

The line’s latest research reveals that Australian Gen Xers are in the middle of a “friendship drought”, with over 30% claiming they never have time to see them.

Over half say they would like to spend more time with close friends like they used to.

Carnival says that 45% of guests in this segment are leaving their kids at home and travelling with friends as a way to reconnect, try new things and have fun making new memories.

An online campaign stars real-life Carnival Cruise Line Australia customers and self-confessed cruise addicts, Simon and Kelly O’Keeffe.

The couple, married for 23 years, were asked to nominate a friendship couple they would like to reconnect with on an all-expenses paid cruise.

Then Carnival filmed the surprise reunion and also documented how a Carnival Cruise helped the couples to reconnect and re-establish their bonds as a friendship group.

You can see the film here.

A film company spokesperson told Mumbrella, a trade media site: “After a decade or more focusing all of their energy on work and raising their kids, Honeyboomers are ready and eager to spend some quality time with the people that matter most – their partner and favourite friends.

“Time together free from carpools, Saturday sport, work deadlines and dishes, parents can finally get back to being the fun people they were before the kids. Plus, going on a Honeyboom cruise with your favourite couple means some unforgettable memories are bound to be made.”

Carnival Cruise Line Australia marketing director, Jayne Andrews added: “Whilst Carnival is known for being the family cruise line, our holidays are also popular with couples looking for a fun-filled holiday experience.”

Carnival Splendor, the line’s largest ship which will be homeported year-round in Australia, will offer Cloud 9 Spa and accommodation.

Spanning two decks, Cloud 9 Spa features more than a dozen treatment rooms, exclusive spa staterooms, a thermal suite and thalassotherapy pool as well as an expansive gym and fitness centre.

The staterooms and suites also offer additional in-room, spa-related amenities and décor in harmony with the relaxing theme of Cloud 9 Spa.

At the Thermal Suite onboard Carnival Splendor, guests can tailor their spa experience with an inviting mixture of dry heat and high-humidity areas including a Laconium, Tepidarium, Caldarium (Oriental Steam Bath) and Aroma Steam/Aromatic Grotto.

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