Royal Caribbean International, Best Cruise Lines for the Money · The Best Cruise Lines for You · Carnival Cruise Line. If you’re on a cruise for the first time, you’ll likely travel with one of the brands above, if only because they dominate the cruise market among North Americans and indeed the world. As you can read in our ultimate guide to Royal Caribbean, this single brand alone accounts for almost 20% of all cruises worldwide. Add in the next three biggest players: Carnival, MSC Cruises, and Norwegian, and you account for well over 50% of the cruise business..
All of these brands have changed over the years, and the old distinctions no longer apply.. For example, you can enjoy a “premium experience” on Norwegian ships in the exclusive The Haven area that exceeds anything you’ll experience on many so-called premium ships.. The experience on a Royal Caribbean ship can be just as elegant or more elegant as the experience on a Princess ship.. What all of these brands have in common is that they operate relatively large mass-market ships with relatively affordable starting prices..
Remember that the term “big” is relative.. There are big differences between these brands in the size of their ships.. The largest Holland America ships, for example, are less than half the size of the largest Royal Caribbean ships and carry far fewer passengers.. You’ll also find that the size of the ships within the fleets of each of these brands can vary significantly..
Royal Caribbean’s largest ships, for example, are three times as large as the smallest ships.. Are you a fan of big, busy mega resorts with every type of entertainment that people are familiar with? You’ll likely want to gravitate toward Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and MSC cruises. I call these three brands the “floating mega-resort lines,” which offer unusually huge ships that represent the seafaring equivalent of land-based mega-resorts such as Atlantis in the Bahamas.. In a recent price comparison between family cruise brands, TPG found that a family of four could only pay half as much for a cruise on a Carnival ship as a cruise on a Royal Caribbean ship, provided that there were similar cabins and itineraries.
The difference was even bigger when we compared the cost of a family vacation on a Carnival ship with the cost of a trip on a Disney Cruise Line ship, assuming similar cabins and itineraries.. Like the “floating mega resort lines” above, Carnival is also known for many amusements on its ships, including water park areas, pedal-powered “sky rides,” and on its new ship Mardi Gras, the first roller coaster at sea.. In general, however, Carnival does not operate ships as big and full of venues as the big ships of Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and MSC Cruises. In recent years, until the arrival of Mardi Gras, there was not a single ship among the 30 largest cruise ships in the world..
All of these lines are niche players in the industry.. But in many cases they are known in the travel world for what they do. Disney may only have four cruise ships (soon five) compared to 25 for Royal Caribbean, but when someone says the words “family cruise,” Disney is probably the first line that comes to mind. Oceania Cruises only has seven small ships, but it serves some of the world’s most interesting destinations.
Each Oceania ship carries up to 1,250 guests and sails to more than 450 ports around the world. On board, you’ll find art workshops, cooking classes, and wine tastings, as well as dreamy spas, beautiful libraries, and elegant gyms. Butlers are officially trained members of the Guild of Professional English Butlers, and the kitchen staff comes from some of the best restaurants in the world.. If you’ve ever dreamed of having your own butler, Silversea is the right cruise line for you.
Silversea is the only luxury cruise line that offers butler service for every single suite on the ship, and Silversea butlers take service to a whole other level with white gloves. They handle your laundry more carefully than you, scour port towns to find your favorite taste of home, and even help you pack and unpack your suitcase. If you’re a foodie, a new culinary program nicknamed SALT for Sea and Land Taste brings the taste of destinations to life with cooking lessons on board.. Of course, you don’t have to cook yourself aboard a Silversea ship..
Each ship has several restaurants with multi-course meals, which are guaranteed to make your mouth water every evening. This French cruise line is meant to give passengers the feeling of traveling on their own private yachts. On board, guests are greeted with laduree macaroons, Veuve Clicquot champagne and luxurious Hermes toiletries.. Each of the company’s ships has an onboard spa with massage cabins and either a Turkish bath or sauna..
Ponant’s luxurious small ships sail to remote destinations such as Antarctica and offer unique experiences such as solar eclipse observations from the edge of the earth. The company is working with Smithsonian and Disney on certain trips. Seabourn cruises to all seven continents and at the right time. It is intended to give passengers aboard their small ships the feeling of a private club..
Each Seabourn suite features ocean views, a walk-in closet and a tidy dining area.. Ships can seat a maximum of 600 passengers and offer plenty of room for guests to spread out as they explore some of the world’s most interesting scenery. Seabourn prices include everything, including premium liqueurs. And although there is no formally trained butler, each suite has a caregiver who meets all your needs and even offers you a relaxing soak in case you need a dip after an adventurous day in the harbor.
If you prefer your cruises without thousands of other guests, Windstar is the right cruise line for you. Windstar operates a fleet of small ships, each carrying a maximum of 342 guests.. Its luxurious small ships sail to 150 ports in Europe, Central America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific, and you won’t go hungry along the way. Exquisite in-flight meals were presented by James Beard Award winning and Michelin-starred chefs.
You’ll have to pay extra for alcohol, but all meals and a Windstar barbecue on board, a feast with suckling pig, shrimp brockets, and more are included.. What is impressive is that all the top lines that readers have selected as the best cruise lines for large ships are winners of the WBA Hall of Fame. Read on to find out why Disney Cruise Line is the creme de la creme. Celebrity Cruises with ships that include the cutting-edge Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex, claims the.
The cruise industry likes to divide its offerings into a number of strangely named categories such as “contemporary” and “premium lines.”. 6th best cruise line for money and 10th best cruise line in the Caribbean. Cunard Line is one of the few luxury cruise lines that offers quiet dining options to select passengers, meaning that people dine in normal cabins at a different restaurant than guests in suites. At the last count, I had sailed with 41 different cruise lines, and I still hadn’t met all the big brands, even though testing cruise ships was my full-time job for years.
The cruise industry likes to describe these seven lines as either “contemporary” (the top four on the list) or “premium” (the next three on the list).. Major destinations for expedition cruises include Antarctica and remote parts of the Arctic, including the icy islands of Spitsbergen, Franz Josef Land and Canada’s Northwest Passage.. Most tourists, consisting of couples, groups, families, or even solo travelers, would opt for cruise trips rather than backpacking trips, as a vacation on a ship with a variety of locations with various activities is more enjoyable than booking a long week-long trip to just one city. Viking Ocean Cruises is one of the companies that refund tickets quickly, and canceled trips are well addressed by management..
Princess Cruises’ claim to fame may be the lead role in the 1977 Smash TV series The Love Boat, but the cruise line has continued to make waves with engaging onboard activities and diverse itineraries since its debut in Hollywood.. Like expedition cruises, this has been a rapidly growing segment of the cruise world in recent years, with capacity growing rapidly among major river lines. Several previous award winners of large ships, including Viking Ocean Cruises and Seabourn, have moved to the Central Ships category. This British shipping company is known for its transatlantic service, which transports both pets and people between headquarters in Southampton, England and New York City.
Despite the luxurious costs of the cruise, people still find it promising with their fantastic crew and trained staff. Much of the growth of river cruises was driven by marketing efforts and the aggressive shipbuilding program of a single line, Viking.