Before you choose a cruise line you need to consider what type of cruise you want. Do you want a cruise with all the bells and whistles? Do you want just a lazy cruise where you can curl up with a good book in the sun? Also, where do you want to go? To the Caribbean? The Bahamas? Or maybe somewhere more exotic like Asia or the Indian Ocean. Looking at many factors will help you choose the best cruise line for you. Believe it or not, there are many different cruise lines than Carnival and Royal Caribbean.
There are a lot of different cruises and you need to find one that fits your needs. Is this a honeymoon trip? Are you traveling with kids? Or maybe you are older and want something more laid back? Each cruise line fits into a cruising category: Contemporary Cruise Lines, Premium Cruise Lines, Luxury Cruise Lines. Below you will find information on each one and hopefully that will help you narrow down your choices!
These are considered floating resorts and are great for most people. They range from 500 to 1500 guests on the older cruise ships and around 3,000 on the newer ships like Carnival’s Vista. They include pools, spas, dining experiences, health clubs, and children’s areas. Their job is basically to entertain you and they do with trivia games, elaborate shows, deck parties, and many more activities. Carnival, Disney, and Royal Caribbean are the most popular contemporary cruise lines. Cruise rates vary but are normally between the $150 to $350 per person, per day, depending on season, cabin choice, ship, and itinerary.
Premium cruises offer all the same amenities as contemporary but offer a lot more upscale options to cruisers that expect the best. They can range from having 500 guests to 1500. When you sail be prepared for superior art collection exhibits, gourmet style cuisine, amazing customer service and plenty of amenities. Some of the more popular luxury cruise lines are Celebrity, Oceania, and Holland. Cruise rates vary but are normally between the $175 to $475 per person, per day, depending on season, cabin choice, ship, and itinerary.
Luxury cruises are way different than contemporary and premium cruises. They are mostly frequented by older people and couples, though families do sail on them. Customer service is off the charts on a luxury cruise. For every two passengers there is one highly skilled crew member to help them. The staff is highly trained to offer superior service without being obtrusive. Don’t expect your cabin steward to come down the hallway hollering your name and waving wildly. Luxury cruises are also less crowded, most only hold between 100-900 guests. That is significantly lower than the other cruise lines. This makes your cruise feel a lot more private and without so many guests service is more one-on-one. Also, luxury cruise ships have longer itineraries, ranging 14-30 days and travel to more exotic locations like the Orient, Asia, South America, and the South Pacific. Of course all that luxury comes with a high price tag and don’t be surprised to pay anywhere from $500 to $1000 dollar a person per day depending on season, cabin choice, ship, and itinerary. Some of the more popular luxury cruise lines are: Crystal, Silversea, and Regent.
If you are looking for something completely different and a lot more laid back look at adventure cruising and riverboats. They have great itineraries without all the bells and whistles. Plus they are smaller so you get stellar service!