Why Its Important To Pick The Right Line For You
Weve long said that no matter what type of cruise youre taking, its important to do a little bit of research or work with a travel advisor to make sure that you wind up with a vacation thats going to be a great fit. Yes, you can jump on just about any cruise ship and have an amazing time.
And yes, the basics of a cruise will be the same on most lines. But the devil, as they say, is in the details.
With that in mind, were going to look at each of the major cruise lines and give you an idea of what they have to offer adult travelers.
From restaurants perfect for date nights to a ship on which no one under the age of 18 is allowed, weve got all kinds of options for you to consider.
Think of this as a Beginners Guide to Adult Cruising. Lets dive in, looking at what they each offer, in no particular order.
Keep in mind that in some cases, well be speaking about what a cruise line specializes in generalities. Not all of the mentioned restaurants or amenities will necessarily be available on every ship in the lines fleet.
Ncl Cruise Ship Weddings
Since 2016, NCL offers weddings at sea, including same-gender ceremonies. The weddings are performed by the ship’s Captain.
- For now, these offers are only for the company’s newest vessels of the Breakaway- and Breakaway-plus classes.
- Formerly, couples were not allowed to marry at sea, but only ashore . They also had to produce a marriage certificate before participating in an onboard ceremony. By the NCL’s new policy, cruise ship captains can perform the wedding ceremonies on the ship, with a Bahamas-issued marriage license.
- NCL also offers absolutely legal same-gender ceremonies. However, these offers are only available in port destinations where such marriages are recognized by local law. The list of such destinations in the USA includes Hawaii, Boston MA, NYC New York, Los Angeles CA, Seattle WA, Florida , also Vancouver BC .
- NCL’s new package “Wedding at Sea” includes a bridal bouquet, 1 matching boutonniere, 1 wedding cake for 2, champagne toast. The company also provides an experienced wedding coordinator.
- In addition to the “Wedding at Sea” program, NCL also offers harborside ceremonies , also destination weddings and vow renewals.
Private Cruise Island Enhancements
NCL Norwegian expanded the company’s plans for its Bahamian privately-owned island Great Stirrup Cay and the exclusive luxury resort destination Harvest Caye . Harvest Caye port features a large-sized swimming pool, private beach, shallow lagoon , private cabanas available for rent, as well as a huge flora and fauna diversity.
Great Stirrup Cay was last enhanced in 2014 and by 2017 spring features several new offerings and amenities .
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Princess Cruises’ The Sanctuary
Where to Find Serenity: Fleetwide, except for Pacific Princess
Pampering Elements:Princess has got the concept of an exclusive adults-only sun deck, dedicated to quiet relaxation and attentive service, down pat. At The Sanctuary, the lounges are upscale and plush, and Serenity stewards provide cooling Evian misters, chilled face towels, rental MP3 players with noise-canceling headphones and healthy and refreshing drinks and snacks like fruit skewers, spring rolls and smoothies.
The ships’ Lotus Spas also have outposts there in two private cabanas, where various massages are offered. You can even take part in a sunset yoga session right on the deck. Cabanas can be rented separately for a fee.
On Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess, The Sanctuary area is 20 percent larger than on the line’s other ships, which leaves room for additional landscaping and four more private Sanctuary cabanas. These offer personal TVs, a welcome cocktail and sofa seating. The three ships also feature an adjacent adults-only Retreat Pool area, with cabanas available for rent that space transforms into a lounge area each evening.
Serenity Secret: Book an outdoor massage, and you’ll be able to enjoy The Sanctuary free of charge for an hour after the treatment.
If you’re tired of your own musical choices, you can rent an MP3 player for use in The Sanctuary 10 preloaded playlists include calming island, new age, soft pop and country music selections, among other genres.
How To Make Sure You Get A Seat For Shows
NCL offers a variety of evening entertainment shows, including comedy, magic, and Broadway-style productions. Most are free and offer first-come, first-served seating. If you want your pick of seats, show up 15-30 minutes prior to the show . The popular shows can fill up fast!
One caveat: if you would rather your fellow passengers not be angry with you, dont send one member of your party to reserve a block of seats. This is a huge breach of cruise etiquette! If you want seats together, your entire party needs to show up early and sit in them.
If youd like to see a show that requires tickets, such as one of the Illusorium dinner shows, some can be booked online before your cruise, and some need to be booked on board. Check the entertainment section of your online cruise planner for specifics.
For shows that require tickets, you can often book premium seating for an additional charge.
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Are Norwegian Cruise Line Good For Young Cruisers 7 Reasons You Need To Try Them
Norwegian Cruise Line are one of the biggest cruise lines in the world, they are American owned and focus on a freestyle approach to cruising. Ive been cruising since I was 11 years old and have cruised with Norwegian Cruise Line more than any other cruise line. They are without a doubt one of my favourite cruise lines and I consistently recommend them to friends.
Be Careful When Bidding On Cabin Upgrades
After you make your final payment for your cruise, you may get an email asking if you want to bid on a stateroom upgrade. NCLs Upgrade Advantage Program will allow you to switch to a higher-category stateroom if youre the winning bidder.
Sometimes you can get a bargain on a better room, but other times it may not be worth it. If you win, youll be switched to a guarantee stateroom, so you wont be able to choose your room location. Your perfectly-located inside stateroom might be exchanged for an obstructed oceanview right near the nightclub!
If you bid too high, you could end up paying even more than if you had just booked the higher-category room in the first place. You also wont receive any additional Free at Sea perks that youd normally receive with the new cabin category.
My tip? Only bid an amount youre comfortably willing to spend for any stateroom in the upgrade category. If you wouldnt be happy with the worst room in the category, dont bid at all.
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The 8 Best Cruises For Adults In 2022
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- Best Overall: P& O Cruise See Rates“Ideal for cruisers who enjoy ocean cruising on a mid-sized ship, with an array of dining options and several cabin choices.”
- Best Music Festival Cruise: Norwegian Pearl See Rates at Expedia“Offers music festivals at sea a great way to meet like-minded adults.”
- Best for Over 50: Saga See Rates“Entertainment onboard the vessel is more traditional and a hybrid between the river ship model and ocean cruises.”
- Best Cruise Experience: Holland America See Rates at Expedia“Offers a musically-themed cruise voyage that appeals to an older demographic.”
- Best Traditional Cruise: Tauck See Rates “Tauck’s more traditional themed cruises have excursions that are aimed at adults.”
- Best Holiday Cruise: Azamara Club Cruises See Rates at Expedia“Spends New Years Eve at Copacabana Beach in Brazil.”
- Best Modern Cruise: U River Cruises See Rates“Takes hip approach to river cruising, with modern, stylish ships featuring chic rooftop lounges.”
- Best Historical Cruise: Viking Ocean Cruises See Rates“Has excursions geared toward older travelers interested in art, history, and culture.”
What Can You Use The Cruise Norwegian App For
- See the daily schedule of whats happening on the ship
- Book shore excursions
- Review your on board account
- Keep in touch with other guests on board
Bonus NCL tip: Messaging and calling work best when the app is open and your device is unlocked. That can use up battery power fast! Pack a small portable charger to make sure your phone or tablet stays charged.
Ncl Ships By Age And Size
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Norwegian Cruise Line has 17 ships, ranging from new mega-ships that accommodate over 4,000 guests to ships that were built in the 1990s and are less than half the size.
Ive been lucky enough to experience both the oldest and newest and the biggest and smallest NCL ships and honestly, theyre worlds apart in many ways.
So, to help you to decide which of Norwegians cruise ships to choose for your next cruise, read on for a guide to NCL ships by age, size and class along with photos of each.
Windstar Small Ship Cruises
Unable to accommodate children younger than 8, while passengers under 21 must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 25 years old, Windstar Cruises also essentially offers adult-only cruises in practice.
The intimate atmosphere and elegant designs of their small cruise ships are adult-oriented and not really suitable for children, especially younger ones. There are no childcare, entertainment or other kid-friendly services on board. Additionally, Windstar also doesnt offer a child rateeach minor occupying a stateroom as a third person will be charged the applicable third person rate.
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Best Traditional Cruise: Holland America Line
Why We Chose It
Holland America Lines Koningsdam offers everything long-time cruisers appreciate, from a comfortable size and price point to onboard activities and numerous dining options.
Live cooking demonstrations and fine dining events, Rolling Stone Rock Room live music venue and B.B. Kings Blues Club
2,650 guests, which makes it a mid-size ship thats easier to navigate
Club HAL for kids ages 3 to 17 included
No live daytime music
Dont have a lot of time for your Alaskan vacation? This best of 7-night itinerary is focused on the regions iconic Inside Passage, which gives passengers an efficient taste of all the areas most photographed and talked about sights. Plus, Holland America offers more access to Glacier Bay National Park and has more departures featuring Glacier Bay National Park than any other cruise line.
The Koningsdam boasts 912 balconied accommodations, which means 69% of the ship has rooms with a private veranda view. Youll also find massage showerheads, magnifying mirrors, terry bathrobes, Egyptian cotton towels, Elemis luxury bath products, and fresh fruit in your stateroom. Anglers will enjoy the cruise lines Savor My Catch program, which brings ocean-to-table dining to a whole new level. Plus, guests can catch their own fish during shore excursions and have it prepared and served on board.
Other Interior Attractions And Activities
In addition to entertainment spaces, the interiors of Norwegian ships are loaded with other venues where passengers can kick back and let loose day and night.
All but one Norwegian ship has a casino, and on the lines bigger vessels, they are huge operations. The casino on Norwegian Encore has more than 300 slot machines and 26 table games , plus its own bar.
On the lines big Breakaway-class and Breakaway Plus-class ships, the casino along with a large proportion of all onboard restaurants, bars and clubs sprawls across three central decks connected by an atrium-like space known as 678 Ocean Place . At night, these three-deck complexes become lively places.
The Breakaway- and Breakaway Plus-class ships also have innovative outdoor promenades called The Waterfront lined with outdoor seating for many restaurants and bars. The Waterfront is located on Deck 8 of each of the ships, which is one of the main decks for restaurants on them all.
Two of the newest Norwegian vessels Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Joy have state-of-the-art gaming and virtual reality zones called Galaxy Pavilion.
Theres nothing quite like Galaxy Pavilion in the cruise world. The venue has an amazing array of high-tech virtual reality experiences, including incredibly realistic race car simulators , hang gliding simulators, virtual mazes and a virtual reality Jurassic Park ride.
Theres also the bowling alley youll find on Norwegian Epic.
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Our Picks For The Best Cruise Lines For Young Adults
Millennials tend to spend their money on experiences instead of on material things. The following best cruise lines for young adults know this and have catered their ships and activities to this. On their ships, youll find nightclubs and concert venues, along with things to do like bar crawls, hiking excursions and onboard zip lining.
Save Money With A Specialty Dining Package
If you didnt choose a specialty dining package as part of a Free at Sea promotion, you can still purchase a discounted package. If you plan on eating at least a few dinners at specialty restaurants, it really pays off to bundle it into a package.
NCLs specialty restaurant menu items are priced à la carte, and without a package youll have to pay for each item individually.
Prices vary by restaurant, but as an example, Le Bistros main courses are priced in the $20-40 range, starters are about $8-14, and desserts are $5-14. With a dining package, your entire meal is covered in the price.
You can purchase 3- to 14-day specialty dining packages online , and your cost per meal decreases the more days you purchase. For example, a three-day package will cost $33 per meal, but a 14-day will cost just $15.65 per meal.
Bonus NCL tip: Dining reservations open 90-120 days before sailing depending on the cruise. Book your specialty dining reservations at least a few weeks before your cruise to make sure you can choose the restaurants and dining times that work for you.
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Ship Size And Things To Do
When it comes to the largest ships with the most features, theres little argument that Royal Caribbean is the gold standard.
Its Oasis-class ships are the largest cruise liners in the world, measuring more than 1,000 feet and 225,000 tons. The ships are also well-known for having unique things to do, including ice skating, FlowRider standing waves, huge multi-story slides, and tons more. If you want a ship with the most to do at sea, then Royal Caribbean is likely your choice.
Norwegian is making huge strides in this area, however, as a whole the fleet isnt quite there yet. Its Breakaway-Plus class of ships are the cruise lines largest. These ships measure about 165,000 tons. On board you will find a number of unique things to do, including go-karts, laser tag, and even waterslides that will take you out over the edge of the ship.
To be fair, we think these newer ships are comparable with Royal Caribbean, its just that on average Royal Caribbean offers larger ships with more things to do.
Msc Cruises’ Top Deck Solarium
Where to Find Serenity: Deck 18 on MSC Fantasia, MSC Divina, MSC Preziosa and MSC Splendida, known as the Top 18 Solarium Deck 19 on MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview and MSC Meraviglia, known as the Top 19 Solarium
Pampering Elements: While officially “adults preferred” , MSC Cruises‘ Top 18 and 19 Solariums do skew toward an adult clientele, with dedicated spa services, bar menus and complimentary fruit skewers.
Enjoy express 20-minute reflexology and facial treatments or massages, available from the Solarium’s private massage chairs. Then, head to the Tiki bar for a smoothie or a frozen cocktail. A private entrance and chilled towels upon arrival set the mood for sunning and seclusion. Watch the sunset from one of two private hot tubs in the area.
On MSC Divina, there’s also the free-to-use, adults-only, lounge chair-fringed infinity pool on Deck 15 aft, where passengers can order signature cocktails from the Disaronno Bar or have a dip in the whirlpool. Meanwhile, MSC Seaside touts a glamorous, 16-and-older South Beach pool and sun deck , tucked away at the back of the ship on Deck 7. Although there are no hot tubs on the South Beach sun deck, loungers do have access to a bar as well as a gelateria and creperie for ice cream, waffles and crepes.
Serenity Secret: At Top 18 and 19, wide-brimmed relaxation pods can be made available if you prefer to take in your ocean views from the shade.
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Ncl Ships By Age And Size Newest To Oldest 2022
Booking a Norwegian Cruise vacation offers so many diverse choices. Choosing the right family cruise ship for your cruise depends on so many factors. Where you intend to sail, whats on your cruise itinerary wish list? Or are you lead by the best cruise deal, or cruise ship? We fit between all brackets depending on the trip, however for us the ship is a huge factor. Thus we thought it a great idea to share all of the NCL Ships By Age and Size, Newest To Oldest and also by how many passengers each NCL ships holds.
Additionally if you are a fan of a more modern cruise ship we have also noted when each NCL ships has been renovated. And for more reading check out what the biggest cruise ships in the world are?
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