The Best Cruise Lines for Your Next Cruise
Choosing the best cruise lines for you is absolutely important. If you pick up a wrong cruise line, your cruise vacation will turn out disappointing.
But then how can you know which cruise lines are right for you?
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) says that there are more than 50 cruise lines which have been registered at CLIA. Each cruise line offers unique vacations based on their services. However, it is nearly impossible to pick up the one or a few best cruise lines out of 50 cruise lines.
The importance of deciding the right cruise line is whether you consider the factors which are:
- Your lifestyle
- Cruising days
- Cruise ship size
In this article, you will find some ideas on the best cruise lines for your next vacation based on the factors you need to consider. You can save time in finding the right cruise line for your next vacation and enjoy learning a little more about cruising better before you set sail for a vacation!
I. How to Choose the Best Cruise Lines for Your Vacation
What is your cruise style?
What kind of lifestyle you have is important in selecting a cruise line. Your cruise would turn out totally different to what you expect if you do not consider the lifestyle you have.
For example, if you are looking for something special and romantic time with your partner onboard, you will be disappointed when you find kids are running and screaming everywhere around the ship.
On the other hand, if you are cruising with your family members, your kids will get bored easily because of fewer choices in entertainment facilities and dining. If the cruise lines offer kid’s events and activities, you and your family can all enjoy sailing together.
Are you a solo traveller? No worries. You are most welcomed. The cruise industry has already noticed the increasing numbers of solo travellers. You will find cruise lines which are offering special service for you.
1. Best Cruise Lines for Couples
For couples, a sense of exclusivity and privacy can be primary for a vacation together. Luxury cruise lines can provide a sense of specialness and intimacy while you are on board together.
But then if you do not have much budget for luxury cruises? Apart from luxury cruise lines, some mainstream cruise lines can also provide unique service for couples. If you are interested in further details, please find the article Best Cruise Lines for Couples.
Viking Ocean Cruises has an adults-only policy since Viking had started ocean cruises in 2015. All the cruisers are aged over 18 years old. While you are reading, relaxing or sun tanning at the poolside, no one is disturbing you with noise.
Viking also offers you destination-based itineraries, meaning more time at ports of calls and many overnight ports stays. Viking’s fleets are all less than 1,000 passengers. Luxury cruise lines tend to provide small ships and can deliver more personalized and refined services. Viking can provide feels of luxury, and yet the cruise rates are much lower than luxury cruise lines.
Princess Cruises is also ranked as one of the top mainstream cruise lines for couples in reviews. Of course, the reason is not because of Princess’s famous TV series “The Love Boat”. Princess’s unique service appeals to couples.
Dining is one of the most intimate times for couples on board. When the meal is sublime and served properly, time and space you share with your partner become special and memorable.
What a magic Princess does is unique. With some extra money, not so expensive, you can have a balcony dinner at your stateroom. I have never seen any cruise lines which provide this service.
A dining staff sets up a space for dinner at a balcony and decorates it with flowers and a champagne bottle box. You can have dinner with sunset at your stateroom. Join “The Love Boat” disco open deck party too. And don’t forget to book a stateroom with a balcony!
Celebrity is regarded as premium cruise lines, meaning pricing is below the luxury cruise lines and yet, the services and amenities are above the mainstream cruise lines. You can find and feel a touch of luxury onboard. Celebrity calls it as ‘Modern Luxury’.
What Celebrity offers to couples are not an adults-only policy nor balcony dinner service but has segregated space for adults from children.
The Solarium is an adult-only space with a pool, waterfalls and whirlpools. A glass room with full of lights and tranquillity beautifully houses the facilities. You can be away from the chaos, noise and crowed and have some luxury time at the Solarium.
2. Best Cruise Lines for Families
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) says “more than 30% of cruise vacationers sail with children and nearly all cruise lines provide supervised activities for kids, especially during school holidays”. Some cruise lines are particularly welcomed by the family cruisers. Please find the detailed information for the Best Cruise Lines for Families.
Disney Cruise Line
According to Statista, a US statistics and marketing company, Disney Cruise Line is ranked as the best-rated large-ship cruise lines by travellers in the United States in October 2018, from Condé Nast Traveler readers with a score of 92.95.
Disney is every children’s dream. You can become one with Disney characters onboard. When you wake up in the morning and get
Disney is also ranked as premium cruise lines. It is perfect for family cruisers that Disney’s standard staterooms are spacious, a separate bedroom and a living area.
Royal Caribbean International Cruises
Royal Caribbean frequently mentioned with Disney as the best cruise lines for family cruisers. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines offers the world’s largest cruise fleets, such as Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.
Because of this size, Royal Carribean can offer multiple entertainment facilities and dining options. There is also a park with plenty of plants in the middle of the sea on some ships.
Different generations can enjoy together onboard due to unlimited choices. Kids will never be bored but can enjoy the activity-filled onboard experience. Elder generation can select the best for them in 25 onboard dining options.
3. Cruise Lines for Solo Cruisers
Not all but some cruise lines have started providing services for solo travellers and welcome them. It was Norwegian Cruise Line which first started a single studio. Then Cunard has made specious single stateroom in her all 3 fleets.
Crystal Cruises is one of the world’s leading luxury cruise companies. Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity have been ranked as one of the top fleet for singles by U.S. News & World Report. Crystal offers a special rate for solo cruisers.
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Norwegian Cruise Lines is a pioneer for the first created studio cabins for solo cruisers. Norwegian’s Epic, Breakaway, Getaway, Escape and Pride of America have studio cabins. When you stay in the studio cabin, you can access the Studio Complex and Lounge.
Cunard does not limit her service by providing a studio cabin for solo travellers but has made a spacious single stateroom for solo cruisers. Cunard also does not make the solo cruisers feel alone on board. Some events and activities are particularly planned for solo cruisers, helping solo travellers doing things together.
4. Best Cruise Lines for Luxury Cruises
The cruisers for the hi-end luxury cruise lines tend to be well travelled. After visiting all the famous destinations, such experienced cruisers seek new adventure and discovery. Luxury cruise lines tend to be small-sized and this is the reason why they can access to small ports, exotic and unknown gem of the world. Many luxury cruise lines are destination-focused, staying longer time or overnight at ports of calls.
Seabourne Cruise Line
Seabourn Cruise Line is the world’s top luxury all-inclusive cruise lines, offering an intimate and unique cruising experience will excellence in service. Seabourn’s fleets are all-suite vessels.
According to Statistia, a US statistic and marketing company, Seabourne has been ranked as the Best-rated small-ship cruise lines by travellers in the United States as of October 2018, by Condé Nast Traveler readers with a score of 96.4.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent Seven Seas Cruises is a hi-end all-inclusive world’s top luxury cruise line, provided the world’s first all-suite and the all-balcony ship. All Regent Seven Seas feature all-suite accommodations (90% of suites in Seven Seas Navigator). You will enjoy spectacular dining at sea by master chefs.
Crystal Cruises is one of the most celebrated all-inclusive luxury cruise lines. Crystal receives awards from authorities like Condé Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure. The cruise line offers destination-focused sailing and high-end luxury experience onboard with two beautiful fleets.
Crystal’s staterooms are luxurious and in 13 categories. A wheel-chair is accessible to 10 out of 477 staterooms, with 65 suites, 215
1. Budget Conscious Cruise Lines
What is the budget? It is the
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line provides a lot of fun activities. In fact, there is a lot of activity announcement on board. Carnival constantly offers a variety of short itineraries and come to near ports to have plenty of home sailings in the US. The cruise rates naturally get reasonable. If you would like to join a ‘super-fun escape without going bankrupt’, Carnival is the one you must have.
MSC’s “Kids Cruise Free” promotion greatly helps family cruisers who have kids aged 11 and younger to sail for free year-round. From the winter 2018-19, sailors ages 12 to 17 can also cruise for free on selected voyages during low season and midseason. Watch out, the school’s offseason, MSC is filled with a lot of family with kids cruisers. The ship is filled with fun and active feels.
If you are planning to cruise as a couple, Viking Ocean Cruises, Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises will especially appeal to you. If you are cruising the Mediterranean Sea with your family members, Disney and Royal Caribbean are the best. You can find further details about the Best Cruise Lines for Mediterranean Cruises.
If you are more concerned about budget, MAC and Costa have many short cruises in the Mediterranean. You might be overwhelmed by lively Italian families. You know it is the Mediterranean Sea. The cruise rates tend to be lower than other mainstream cruise lines.
Seabourn Cruise Line and Regent Seven Seas Cruises are the best for the luxury Mediterranean cruises. These cruise lines are more
IV. The Duration of Cruising
How many days can you take off work for a vacation?
If you can have two days or weekend off, you need to find cruise lines which offer short cruises. Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Lines have short cruises. For example, MSC Cruises and Costa Cruise Line provide short cruises in Mediterranean Cruises. On the other hand, Viking Ocean Cruises and Disney Cruise Line only offers more than 7 days cruises and have no short cruises.
V. Cruise Ship Size
Cruise ship size is definitely important and is something you need to consider. If you selected a wrong cruise ship for you, it is upsetting indeed.
The number of passenger capacity influences pricing, entertainment options, space in public areas as well as onboard dining options. If you are interested, please find a detailed article on the cruise ship size “what is your cruise ship size? Does it matter your onboard experience?”.
1. Extra large mega ship
The extra-large mega ships can contain more than 4,000 passengers and 1,500 to 3,000 crews. What the mega ships can offer are reasonable pricing as well as multiple entertainment facilities and dining choices. The mega-ships greatly appeal to family and group cruisers. Children will never get bored with entertainment options and onboard activity programs.
Royal Caribbean International Cruises
Royal Caribbean Cruises is ranked as one of the top cruise lines for family cruisers. In fact, Royal Caribbean currently holds the world’s largest top 7 ships. The largest cruise ship can contain more than 6,000 passengers and more than 2,000 crews. You can find a diversity of cruisers from singles, couples, families, kids to elders due to the multiple options in dining and entertainment at Royal Caribbean.
2. Midsize Ships
Midsize ships tend to contain 2,000 to 3,000 passengers and less than 1,000 crews. Mid-sized ships are family-friendly and provide a lot of activities to entertain their guests. Some midsized ships attract elder cruisers who prefer a relaxed atmosphere and tailored activities.
Due to the size, midsize ships can be flexible to dock at any ports around the world. Midsize ships combine some big-ship entertainment features with a relaxed and quieter smaller ship atmosphere. Passengers tend to be elder, with fewer families and children. The price tends to be more competitive than both larger and smaller ships.
3. Small Ships
Small ships provide an intimate and luxury atmosphere. The price tends to be much higher than large ships and have spacious staterooms with balconies. The ships are not offering many entertainment facilities such as sliders, rock climbing or kid’s activities but more a destination-focused cruising style.
Seabourne and Silverseas are ranked as the top luxury cruise ship lines in the industry. Their services and especially the quality of their staterooms and suites cannot compare to other cruise lines.
Cunard, Crystal Cruises and Azamala are also luxury cruise lines and yet the cruise rates are lower than Seabourne and Silverseas.
Sailing with the smaller size of the fleets allows you to visit smaller ports anywhere around the world and enables you to have an up-close-and-personal encounter with the fellow cruisers.
Small ships are flexible and can access to popular remote areas and small ports in Europe, the Arctic and the Caribbean. Expect longer itineraries
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