Small Ship Line #1: American Cruise Lines
American Cruise Lines has the unique distinction of operating not only old-school paddlewheelers in the United States, but also contemporary river ships. And they dont just sail on the Mississippiyou can also explore the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the Pacific Northwest, too. Beyond that, the 13-strong fleet also has oceangoing vessels that explore the coasts surrounding the entire country, from New England to Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico.
Large Ship Line #: Holland America Line
As its name indicates, Holland America is a cruise line that was established in 1873 to primarily ferry passengers, many of whom were emigrants, between the Netherlands and the United States. Of course, these days, the cruise line sails more broadly to more than 470 ports around the world on its 11 shipsand its highly regarded for its Alaska itineraries. While passengers can enjoy classic cruise activities like swimming, sports, and gambling, Holland America is particularly noted for its culinary and musical programs: it has a partnership with the TV show Americas Test Kitchen for cooking demonstrations, cooking classes, and a number of live music venues , and stage productions dedicated to the history of music on many of its ships. It also partners with O, The Oprah Magazine, on lifestyle programming, like daily meditation classes. The next addition to Holland Americas fleet will be the Rotterdam, which is due to set sail in 2021, with a capacity of 2,650 passengers.
River Ship Line #: Aqua Expeditions
Aqua Expeditions has three river ships: Aria Amazon and Aqua Nera, which sail the Peruvian Amazon, and Aqua Mekong, which traverses the Mekong between Cambodia and Vietnam. Guests sailing aboard these modern, luxurious vessels will partake in daily excursions that introduce them to both the ecology and the culture of their destinations. Aqua also operates the expedition ship Aqua Blu, which sails through Indonesia.
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Medium Ship Line #1: P& o Cruises
The British line P& O Cruises is the oldest in the world, established in 1837 to ferry mail and passengers between the United Kingdom and the Iberian Peninsula, but it began to offer leisure operationsthe very first cruises as we know themas early as 1844. The ships cater to a primarily British audience, and they provide good value for a classic cruising experience. Guests enjoy traditional activities like shuffleboard, dance classes, and pub quizzes. The ships typically sail in Europe, though they do have ports of call in Asia and the Middle East.
How Can I Maximize The Value Of My Cruise Vacation
There are plenty of ways to get more bang for your buck when you sail on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Every ship in the fleet offers a range of delicious complimentary dining options, but you can dig into even more crave-worthy flavor by purchasing a Specialty Dining Package for less ahead of your cruise. Add a Specialty Beverage Package which includes unlimited alcoholic beverages, soda, and more and your experience is as close to all-inclusive as it gets. And with so many complimentary shows and attractions onboard, you can easily fill every sea day without spending a single dollar extra.
Royal Caribbean also offers deals based on departure ports and destinations, so if youre a flexible traveler looking for great savings, you can plan your next vacation around which itineraries are on sale. Just check your email or visit RoyalCaribbean.com/cruise-deals to stay up to date on promotions, sales and special offers. You can even browse sailings and deals by homeport, destination and season, so you can rest assured youre getting the best possible deal no matter when or where in the world you choose to set sai.
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Since 2001, we’ve helped our customers find the perfect cruise packages and book dream cruise vacations for less. We are a cruise finder and booking website committed to helping you research all your cruise travel options to find a cruise that fits what you’re looking for. After you find the perfect cruise, make your reservation with our cutting-edge booking engine. We are the best site to book a cruise with because we are driven by our passion for cruise ship travel. Book a cruise today and enjoy the excitement of cruising the world with us!
Medium Ship Line #1: Msc Cruises
Showing up for the third time on our list, MSC Cruises is clearly beloved by many! The Swiss cruise line has just four medium-size shipsthe Lirica classwhich accommodate between 2,000 and 2,600 passengers. Theyre also the oldest ships in the fleet, though they each underwent refurbishment as part of MSCs Renaissance program to modernize interiors and expand their size. The line is known for its Mediterranean inspirationthough its fleet sails far beyond the region, calling at ports all over the worldso youll find delicious Italian food on board no matter where your ship is taking you. MSC sailings are quite lively, especially at night, with many guests partying at nightclubs into the late hours.
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How To Choose A River Cruise
Ralph Grizzle, publisher of River Cruise Advisor.
Choosing a river cruise can be a source of consternation, confusion and frustration. In Europe alone there are more than two dozen navigable rivers and canals. Add the confluence of companies offering seemingly similar experiences and you might just end up feeling as though youre going upriver without a paddle, so to speak.
Thats where I come in. Im here to help you navigate the ever-changing currents that define river cruising today. As many of you might already know, I produce tons of content for my sites avidcruiser.com and rivercruiseadvisor.comto help travelers make informed cruise vacation decisions. I decided to create an ebook to streamline this information even further, devising a step-by-step guide to selecting the right river cruise for you. Believe me, it is a process. There are so many personal factors that go into making river cruise vacation decisions. What I think is incredible might be a total miss for you.
Having focused my travel writing career on the cruise industry for nearly three decades, Ive taken hundreds of cruises, and in the past ten years, added more than 50 river cruising to my proverbial travel bucket. Personal preferences aside, what I can tell you is that I have garnered a lot of insights that can help you understand the many options available to you.
How Much Whats Your Budget
How much you are willing to budget for your river cruise? Ill give some general guidelines for you to help guide you, but remember that pricing is a moving target.
Skys The Limit
If your can budget more than $400 a day, then take a look at Crystal, Scenic, Tauck and Uniworld. All are the most inclusive of among the river cruise companies, including the all-important prepaid gratuities. You should be prepared to spend between $400 and $600 per day. As an example, Scenics 12-day Bordeaux sailings from May through September this year start at US$6,230 per person, double, and include free or reduced airfare. Thats $519 per person per day. But keep in mind that air is included or reduced.
Down To Earth
If you would like to stay under $400 a day, AmaWaterways, Avalon, Emerald and Viking deserve a look. None of these offer 24/7 booze or prepaid gratuities , but all are exceptionally good choices that rank high in pleasing their guests. As an example of affordability, one of the higher per diems that I priced on AmaWaterways was for its Duoro River cruises. Its eight-day Enticing Douro river cruises start at $3,099. Thats $387 per person, per day.
Give Me Value
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Medium Ship Line #: Oceania Cruises
Its all about the food on Oceania Cruises. Its 1,250-passenger MS Marina and MS Riviera offer restaurants by Jaques Pepin, a six-course Dom Perignon dinner with a pairing of three vintages, a cooking center where passengers of all cooking skill levels can take classes, and culinary-themed excursions, like a visit to the market in Nice with a chef. Its four smaller Regatta-class ships also have excellent dining options, like the Polo Grill and the Italian eatery Toscana. Two new 1,200-passenger ships are on the way for Oceania, set for delivery in 2022 and 2025.
Small Ship Line #: Metropolitan Touring
Operating three expedition vessels in the Galápagos, Metropolitan Touring is the ideal cruise line for those seeking a casual experience in the wildlife hotspot. The tiny ships, which only accommodate between 40 and 78 passengers, have a laid-back atmosphere where the focus is very much on wildlife spotting. The company also offers land-based tours in mainland Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia that can be combined with a Galápagos expedition.
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The Best Types Of Cruises For First
Plump for a winter sun trip in the Caribbean. Its easy and affordable to reach the boarding port, and shuttling between the clusters of islands offers a compact, convenient contrast in cultures. Think of a cruise as a tapas menu, says Spencer Brownit allows you to sample destinations to which you might later return for a longer visit. Even handier, when on a Caribbean cruise almost every island accepts payment in dollars, so theres no need to juggle currencies. The waters also are largely calm, keeping seasickness to a minimum.
The CDCs constraints on cruising have also led many lines to reposition ships that might have roamed the globe onto less far-flung itineraries, so you can trial ultra-luxe operators like Crystal, for example, on a short jaunt to and from the Bahamas. River cruising is another smart first time choice, says Spencer Brown. You can literally walk off the ship into town, go to a park or ride a bike, or just sit on the top deck breathing the airits marvelous, she says.
Destination programming has been upended by the pandemic. Many lines now focus on bringing passengers to their own private islands, a reassuring if slightly soulless optionbut the advantage is that theres no risk from any local interactions its effectively just a landlocked version of the ship.
Mega Ship Line #: Norwegian Cruise Line
Known for its colorful ships, Norwegian Cruise Line first broke into the mega-ship category in 2010 with the launch of Norwegian Epic, which can carry just over 5,000 passengers at full occupancy, and have since introduced five others in the Breakaway and Breakaway-Plus classes. The crowd aboard these vessels, which primarily sail in North America, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean, often consists of families who take advantage of amenities like waterparks, virtual-reality gaming, and go-kart racing, though the cruise lines newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, has a decidedly more mature atmosphere. In November 2019, Norwegian launched the newest member of its fleet, Norwegian Encore, which is the most luxurious of its mega-ships.
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Large Ship Line #: Royal Caribbean International
Though Royal Caribbean is perhaps best known for its mega-ships, it has quite a number of large ships, toothe 3,100-passenger Voyager-class ships, for instance, were once the worlds largest, until Royal Caribbean debuted the larger Freedom class and subsequently the Oasis class. Each class had its own series of firstsVoyager of the Seas was the first ship to have an ice rink and a rock-climbing wall, while Freedom of the Seas introduced the first FlowRider surf simulator at sea.
Best And Worst Cruise Lines
Whether you’re a complete novice, or an experienced cruiser keen to get back to the seas following the coronavirus pandemic, it always pays to do your research into the best and worst cruise lines.
Our ratings are driven by thousands of cruise line guests rating their experience of the facilities onboard, the cabin, food and drink and customer service so you can avoid finding yourself queuing for the restaurant every morning or being ripped off over tips.
From luxury small-ship cruises to big name brands with full entertainment and leisure facilities we know from guests that the cruise lines rated best are always those that have the best passenger to space ratio onboard something that will be more important than ever as cruise lines look to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. See the full results below to find out which cruise lines give you room and which ones pack holidaymakers onboard.
Find out how to find the best cruise deals.
How To Find The Right Cruise Ship For You
By | Submitted On November 11, 2008
Finding the right a cruise ship is not easy.
How can you possibly choose a cruise ship if you have never been on a ship before? We felt the same way when we took our first cruise as well. So, here I am providing you with a list of things you should look for and ask. Knowing the right benefits to look for can help you eliminate a great deal of cruises right off the bat!
Here are some things you want to consider…
It is important to determine how much you are willing to spend and keep that in mind while you are looking for a cruise. Do you want an all inclusive cruise? Do you have the money to spend on extras such as shore excursions, spa services, and drinks? Before you choose any cruise ship, you want to find out the total cost. This means the cost of the cruise itself, tips, and any other extras that you might enjoy.
Of course, this is ultimately important. Most cruises range four, seven, or eleven days. However, you can find shorter or lengthier cruises as well. You will want to determine how long you can stay at sea and en route to ports. Keep in mind that the shorter the cruise, the more likely that you will be with a younger group of cruisers. This may or may not be what you want!
Where Do You Want to Go?
Where is the Port?
Room or Cabin Arrangements
Craig Ferguson is an avid Caribbean cruise enthusiast.
Cruise Lines For A Livlier Experience
As we alluded to there, most kid-friendly or family-oriented cruise lines are going to be quite lively have a fun and energetic atmosphere. Norwegian Cruise Line is a company that offers a fun cruise experience and Carnival Cruise Line is another great company for those looking for something more up-tempo. Many cruise lines have great onboard activities too that can range from water sports to cooking classes.
For the majority of cruise lines, you will be able to have an experience that matches your personality as most of the events are going to be optional and you wont be forced into anything. You will be free to create your own cruise experience. Unless youre an extreme introvert or extrovert, youll find most companies can match your personality.
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Large Ship Line #: Cunard
For those longing for the romantic nostalgia of bygone transatlantic sailings, Cunard is your go-to. The legendary cruise line was established in 1840 and has had dozens of ships in its fleet, though today, there are just three active vessels: the Queen Mary 2, the worlds only true transatlantic ocean liner, designed specifically for ocean crossings, as well as the worlds only pet-friendly ship the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Victoria. Activities havent changed all too much in the last 180 yearstheres still a proper afternoon tea, black-tie dinners, and galas in the ballrooms. Its quite like a step back in time, with all the modern safety measures, of course. Cunards next ship is scheduled to be christened in 2022.
Luxury Cruising Tips By: Richard And Helen Visit With Us
We are Richard and Helen, luxury cruisers sharing our experiences with you.
If youre interested in luxury cruising , then I encourage you to check out their videos on your tube. These are genuinely some of the most engaging vlogs Ive seen. Visit with us can be found on Facebook and Instagram. You can also join their Facebook Group The Luxury Cruise Society.
1. All-inclusive benefits: The main thing we love about luxury cruising is the all-inclusivity of your cruise experience. For example, not having to produce your cruise card every time you go to the bar. However, not all of the luxury cruise lines are totally all-inclusive. While most have gratuities, drinks, specialty dining and WiFi included, some charge extra for these. A few even include shore excursions so its always best to read the small print.
2.Mainstream cruise luxury options: Luxury cruise lines tend to have smaller ships than most sailing the high seas these days. However, if you prefer the facilities and entertainment offered on larger family style shipst, don rule out luxury cruising. Many ships now offer a ship within a ship experience for their suite passengers, which allows them to experience luxury on a larger ship, such as MSCs Yacht Club and NCLs Haven.
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The Scoop On Shore Excursions
For a first timer, these can be confusing. Details arent often added to an itinerary until six months or so before sail date check back regularly, snap up a place on any excursions that are of interest, and book earlypopular options can reach capacity long before sailing. In pre-pandemic times, it was easy to go off-menu and arrange private excursions, using independent companies, which can often be cheaper than the line’s options. But as cruising restarts, the focus on the ships own bubble, keeping passengers and crew together and safe, might mean these independent options aren’t available. Check the rules when you book, and keep checking as protocols like these are inevitably in flux.