‘Best’ can be a very relative term. There is no single ‘best’ cruise line as it depends on individual preferences and priorities. Most cruise lines offer the same basic principal of voyage, but can largely depend if it’s one of the small ships or one of the mega cruise ships. Some people may prioritize the amenities the luxury lines offer, while others may prefer a more relaxed and casual atmosphere.
Many cruise lines more popular with cruisers include Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Celebrity Cruises. It’s best to do some research and read reviews to determine which cruise line aligns with your preferences and needs.
Table of Contents
1) Important Factors When Choosing the Right Cruise Line for You
2) Cruising Classifications
3) Different Cruise Lines
4) Frequently Asked Questions
5) Time for a Cruise?
Important Factors When Choosing the Right Cruise Line
When choosing a cruise, there are several important factors to consider. Here are some key factors that you should take into account:
1) Destination: Consider where you want to go, and choose a cruise line that offers itineraries to those destinations.
2) Budget: Determine your budget and choose a cruise that fits within your price range. Keep in mind that there may be additional expenses such as airfare, off ship excursions, and onboard activities.
3) Cruise Line: Different cruise lines offer different experiences, so research the cruise line’s reputation, onboard amenities, and level of service before booking. Look for an expedition ship or one of the small river cruises for differences in the mass market lines.
4) Itinerary: Look at the cruise itinerary and make sure it includes the destinations and activities that you are interested in.
5) Cabin Type: Consider the type of cabin you want and its location on the ship. An inside cabin is typically less expensive, but a balcony cabin offers a more spacious and scenic experience.
6) Onboard Amenities: Look at the onboard amenities such as dining options, entertainment, and activities to ensure they meet your preferences and interests.
7) Travel Dates: Choose a cruise that fits within your travel dates and availability.
Overall, it’s important to research and compare different options to find the best cruise that fits your preferences and needs.
Budget Cruise Lines
A budget cruise line is a type of cruise line that offers affordable cruise vacations with lower-priced fares than other cruise lines. These cruise lines typically offer a more basic, no-frills experience compared to luxury or premium cruise lines. They often have fewer onboard amenities, more limited dining options, and smaller staterooms, but they can still offer a fun and enjoyable vacation experience.
Budget cruise lines often focus on providing value for money and appealing to travelers who are looking to save on their vacation costs. Some examples of budget cruise lines include Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, and Norwegian Cruise Line.
Mid Tier Cruise Lines
A mid-tier cruise line is a type of cruise line that offers a vacation experience that is between budget and luxury cruise lines in terms of price, amenities, and service level. These cruise lines typically offer more amenities than budget cruise lines, such as larger staterooms, a wider variety of dining options, and more onboard entertainment and activities. However, they are not as luxurious or upscale as premium or luxury cruise lines, which may offer more exclusive experiences, more personalized service, and higher-end amenities.
Mid-tier cruise lines often appeal to a wide range of travelers, including families, couples, and solo travelers, who are looking for a good value vacation with a balance of comfort and affordability. Some examples of mid-tier cruise lines include Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, and Princess Cruises.
Luxury Cruise lines
A luxury cruise line is a type of cruise line that offers a high-end, upscale vacation experience with the finest amenities and services. These cruise lines typically offer the highest level of personalized service, with a high staff-to-guest ratio, and often include butler or concierge service. Luxury lines also offer gourmet dining experiences, often with open seating, and may feature celebrity chefs or Michelin-starred restaurants. In addition, luxury lines offer spacious and well-appointed staterooms, with amenities such as private balconies, high-quality linens, and high-tech entertainment systems.
Luxury lines may also offer exclusive shore excursions and onboard experiences, such as private tours or access to exclusive lounges and amenities. Examples of luxury lines include Crystal Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. These cruise lines cater to travelers who are looking for a premium vacation experience and are willing to pay a higher price for the highest level of comfort, luxury, and personalized service.
What Certain Cruise Lines are Known For and How They Might Align With Your Priorities
Carnival Cruise Lines (budget class)
Carnival Cruise Lines is a popular cruise line that offers a fun and exciting vacation experience. Known for its lively atmosphere, diverse entertainment options, and affordable prices, Carnival cruise line is ideal for those looking to relax and have fun with family or friends. With a wide range of activities, from water parks and casinos to comedy shows and live music, there’s something for everyone on board.
Additionally, the line’s ships are equipped with comfortable accommodations, delicious dining options, and top-notch service. Overall, Carnival Cruise Line can be a great choice for anyone seeking a lively and enjoyable vacation at an affordable price.
Royal Caribbean Cruise line (budget class)
Royal Caribbean is a popular cruise line that offers a diverse and exciting vacation experience. A Royal Caribbean ship could be one of the quantum class ships known for its innovative designs, high-energy atmosphere, and extensive range of activities. Royal Caribbean cruises are ideal for those seeking adventure and entertainment. With features such as rock-climbing walls, zip lines, a different pool deck for different pool choices, surf simulators, and ice-skating rinks, there’s always something fun to do on board.
These big ships from Royal Caribbean are equipped with comfortable accommodations, excellent dining options, and top-notch service. They also offer a wide range of itineraries, including destinations in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. Several cruise lines including Royal offer Oasis class ships that are larger then shopping malls and give ample opportunity for entertainment.
Norwegian cruise line (budget class)
Norwegian Cruise Line is a popular cruise line that offers a relaxed and flexible vacation experience. Known for its Freestyle Cruising concept, which allows guests to dine and dress as they please, Norwegian cruises are ideal for those looking for a more laid-back and casual atmosphere. With a wide range of dining options, including specialty restaurants and casual eateries, guests can enjoy a variety of culinary experiences.
Norwegian ships offer a range of activities, from Broadway-style shows and casinos to water parks and spa treatments. The line’s ships also feature spacious and comfortable accommodations, including the innovative Studio staterooms designed for solo travelers. Overall, Norwegian Cruise Line can be a great choice for anyone seeking a flexible and casual cruise vacation experience with a variety of dining and entertainment options.
Princess Cruises (mid tier class)
Princess Cruise Lines is a popular cruise line that offers a luxurious and sophisticated vacation experience. Known for its elegant ambiance, high-quality service, and exceptional cuisine, Princess cruises are ideal for those looking for a more refined and upscale experience. With a focus on relaxation and enrichment, the line offers a wide range of activities, including spa treatments, art classes, and cultural experiences.
Princess ships are equipped with spacious and stylish accommodations, top-notch amenities, and a wide variety of dining options, from casual eateries to gourmet restaurants. Overall, Princess Cruise Lines can be a great choice for anyone seeking a refined and upscale vacation with a focus on relaxation and enrichment.
Celebrity cruises (mid tier class)
Celebrity Cruises is a pricier cruise line that offers a sophisticated and luxurious vacation experience. Known for its modern and stylish ships, exceptional service, and gourmet dining options, Celebrity Cruises can be a great choice for travelers seeking an upscale and refined vacation experience. The line’s ships feature spacious and well-appointed staterooms, with amenities such as private balconies, high-quality linens, and high-tech entertainment systems. In addition, Celebrity Cruises offers a variety of dining options, including specialty restaurants and innovative cuisine concepts, often featuring menus curated by celebrity chefs.
The line also offers a range of activities and enrichment programs, such as culinary classes, art exhibits, and guest lectures, allowing guests to expand their knowledge and interests while on board. Overall, Celebrity Cruises can be a great choice for anyone looking for a luxurious and sophisticated vacation experience, with a focus on exceptional service, gourmet dining, and enriching activities.
Holland America Cruise Line (mid tier class)
Holland America Line is a premium cruise line that offers a classic and elegant vacation experience. Known for its refined and sophisticated ships, exceptional service, and enriching activities, these cruise ships can be a great choice for travelers seeking a more traditional and timeless cruise experience. The line’s ships feature spacious and comfortable staterooms, with amenities such as plush bedding, mini-fridges, and flat-screen TVs. In addition, Holland America is one of those cruise companies that offers a variety of dining options, from formal dining rooms to specialty restaurants, often featuring menus inspired by the destinations visited.
The line also offers a range of activities and enrichment programs, such as cooking classes, wine tastings, and cultural performances, allowing guests to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the regions visited. Overall, Holland America Line can be a great choice for anyone looking for a classic and refined vacation experience, with a focus on exceptional service, enriching activities, and traditional elegance.
Disney Cruise Line (mid tier class)
Disney Cruise Line is a premium cruise line that is part of the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products division of The Walt Disney Company. It operates multiple ships that offer a unique combination of family-friendly entertainment, exquisite dining, and luxurious accommodations.
Disney Cruise Line has a reputation for exceptional customer service, with a high crew-to-guest ratio that ensures personalized attention to every guest. The ships feature a range of activities for all ages, including live shows, character meet-and-greets, kids’ clubs, adult-only areas, and a variety of dining options.
Disney is certainly the one cruise line that caters specifically to children through a Disney experience. While more costly than other cruises, parents and children rave about how amazing a Disney cruise ship can be.
Seaborn Cruise line (luxury class)
Seabourn Cruise Line is a luxury line that offers an intimate and exclusive vacation experience. Known for its smaller ships, personalized service, and all-inclusive amenities, Seabourn can be a great choice for travelers seeking an elevated and luxurious vacation experience. The line’s ships feature spacious and well-appointed suites, many with private verandas, and amenities such as personalized butler service, high-end linens, and in-suite bars stocked with guests’ preferred beverages.
In addition, these luxury vessels offer a range of dining options, including specialty restaurants and a culinary partnership with Thomas Keller, the acclaimed chef and restaurateur. The line also offers a range of activities and enrichment programs, such as spa treatments, lectures, and cultural performances, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the destinations visited. Furthermore, Seabourn also provides its guests with exclusive excursions, often featuring private tours and unique experiences not available to other travelers. Overall, Seabourn Cruise Line can be a great choice for anyone seeking an intimate and luxurious vacation experience, with a focus on personalized service, gourmet dining, and all-inclusive amenities.
Regent of the seven Seas Cruise Line (Luxury class)
Regent Seven Seas Cruises is a luxury cruise line that offers an all-inclusive and extravagant vacation experience. Known for its opulent and spacious ships, exceptional service, and gourmet dining options, Regent Cruises can be a great choice for travelers seeking the ultimate in luxury and indulgence. The line’s ships feature lavish and well-appointed suites, with amenities such as personal butler service, high-end linens, and in-suite bars stocked with guests’ preferred beverages.
In addition, Regent offers a variety of dining options, including specialty restaurants and menus created by renowned chefs. The line also offers a range of activities and enrichment programs, such as lectures, classes, and cultural performances, allowing guests to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the destinations visited. Furthermore, Regent Cruises includes all shore excursions in the fare, providing guests with exclusive and immersive experiences in each port of call. Overall, Regent Cruises can be a great choice for anyone seeking an all-inclusive and luxurious vacation experience, with a focus on exceptional service, gourmet dining, and exclusive excursions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Cheapest month to go on a cruise?
The cheapest month to go on a cruise can vary depending on a number of factors, including the destination, cruise line, and time of year. Generally, a cruise fare tends to be lower during the shoulder seasons, which are the periods just before or after the peak travel season. For example, in the Caribbean, the peak travel season is typically from December to April, so prices may be lower in the months of May or September.
How do you know if a cruise is a good deal?
Low prices don’t always mean the best deal. All the ins and outs of getting a great deal, whether it being your first cruise or 10th, depend on numerous factors. Essentially good deals are what you feel are fair for what you pay for.
The past decade cruise ship pricing has changed constantly. Longer cruises on large ships that have reached passenger capacity will likely offer more variety of things to do. This can include wine tasting, on board skating rinks, or even wave riding.
What is a good amount of money to take on a cruise?
The amount of money to take on a cruise can vary depending on several factors, including the length of the cruise, the destination, the activities and shore excursions planned, and the traveler’s personal spending habits.
The cruise industry is more or less considered as cashless societies. Cruise ships are like floating malls and work through your personal cruise card you receive upon embarkation at your departure port.
As a general rule if you plan on getting off of these expedition ships for an excursion and want to purchase a souvenir, it’s best to bring some cash along. This of course all comes down to how many people in your cruise party and how much per person you would like to plan for.
What is the best side of a cruise ship to stay on?
The best side of the cruise ship to stay on can depend on the itinerary and destination of the cruise. Here are some factors to consider when choosing which side of the ship to stay on:
1) Scenery: If your itinerary includes scenic views, such as glaciers, islands, or ports, you may want to choose a cabin on the side of the ship that will offer the best views. For example, if you are cruising to Alaska, a cabin on the port side may offer better views of glaciers and the coastline.
2) Sun exposure: If you prefer to spend time on your balcony or outdoor spaces, you may want to consider the sun exposure on each side of the ship. Cabins on the port side may offer more shade in the afternoon, while cabins on the starboard side may receive more sun.
3) Noise and vibrations: Cabins located near the front or back of the ship may experience more noise and vibrations from the engines or other onboard activities. Cabins located midship are generally considered to be more stable and quieter.
4) Accessibility: If you plan to use certain onboard amenities frequently, such as the dining room, pool, or spa, you may want to choose a cabin that is closer to these areas for convenience.
How far out should you book a cruise for the best deal?
The best time to book a cruise for the best deals can vary depending on several factors, including the cruise line, the destination, and the time of year. Here are some general tips to consider:
1) Early booking: Booking a cruise several months in advance can often offer the best deals, especially if you are able to take advantage of early booking discounts or promotions. Generally, booking 6-12 months in advance can offer the best value.
2) Last-minute deals: If you are flexible with your travel dates and destination, waiting until the last minute to book a cruise can sometimes offer significant discounts. However, this can be a risky strategy, as availability may be limited and you may not be able to get the cabin or itinerary that you prefer.
3) Shoulder season: Booking a cruise during the shoulder season, which is the period between peak and low season, can also offer good deals. For example, cruising to the Caribbean during the shoulder season between November and early December can often offer lower prices than peak season (December-January).
It’s important to note that the best time to book a cruise for the best deals can be highly variable depending on the specific cruise line, itinerary, and demand. It’s always a good idea to research the specific cruise you are interested in and monitor prices over time to identify the best time to book.
Time to Cruise?
Cruising is a popular vacation choice for many people due to its convenience, affordability, and variety of experiences. With a cruise, travelers can visit multiple destinations while enjoying the comfort and amenities of a floating hotel, making it an ideal option for those who want to explore different places without having to pack and unpack constantly. Additionally, cruises offer a range of activities, entertainment, and dining options onboard, catering to a wide range of interests and preferences. There are of course other cruise lines we have not written about that are worth exploring. Costa cruises, MSC cruises, Azamara club cruises, Virgin voyages and Oceania cruises are to name but a few.
So when it comes to choosing the perfect cruise line, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Each cruise line offers a different and unique experience. For those not ready to set sail to the south pacific, south america or even the bahamas, there is an option of river cruising. A river cruise is a more intimate way to experience fine dining on a luxury line that isn’t ocean bound. A river cruise also lets you get more specific historical excursions as these smaller cruise ships snake their way through rivers.