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What Is The Best Cruise Line To Travel On

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Small Ship Line #1: Seadream Yacht Club

What Are The 5 BEST CRUISE LINES If You Are Over 40 ?

Sailing through the Caribbean, around Europe, or across the Atlantic on either of SeaDreams two 112-passenger yachts means quickly getting to know your fellow guests. Facilities on the six decks include a pool, whirlpool, and casino, but the real highlight is the watersports marina that can be lowered down to the waves for easy ocean swimming, kayaking, and more. The ships often overnight in port, allowing guests the opportunity to experience the local nightlife before taking off for their next destination. In 2021, SeaDream will launch a 110-cabin luxury expedition yacht, SeaDream Innovation, that will sail to all seven continents.

Medium Ship Line #1: Bahama Paradise Cruise Line

You mightve already guessed from its name, but the Bahama Paradise Cruise Line operates cruises to the Bahamas, sailing two-day itineraries from West Palm Beach, Florida. It has just two ships in its fleet, neither of which is necessarily a showstopper, but thats not what the crowd is here forthis is a relatively no-frills cruise line for those interested in quick, affordable getaways. Many passengers opt to extend their experience with a multi-night stay in the Bahamas, which the cruise line organizes for its guests.

Best For Affordable Elegance

MSC: MSC sailings can be booked for rates similar to those you’d find with Carnival, but you’ll see a lot less kitsch and a lot more swank. Throughout each ship, passengers will notice sophisticated touches like fine art and staircases inlaid with sparkling Swarovski crystals.

Celebrity: Perfect for 30- and 40-somethings who have left their college frat party days behind, Celebrity is reasonably priced and offers the modern touches of mainstream cruise ships but with a more refined vibe.

Holland America: With fares that appeal to budget-conscious travelers, Holland America tends to attract an older demographic of cruisers who appreciate traditions like the Captain’s Dinner and formal attire. Passengers will often find understated glitz, rather than flashy colors or garish neon lights.

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Best Cruise Lines For Solo Travelers

Solo traveling can be quite liberating, and it’s even more so when you’re on a cruise. Imagine having loads of downtime to relax, recharge and maybe read all those books you’ve neglected for so long. When you cruise as a solo, you’re able to dine when you want, choose the port experiences that you want and spend time doing the activities that you want to do, without compromising with other people.

In this coupled-up world, a solo traveler can find a few things difficult when cruising alone. Mega-ships can be so big that it can be hard to meet people and run into them again onboard. Snagging solo tables or finding dining companions if you do want company can be hard, especially in an era where social distancing has become the norm. Then there’s the issue of cost: A solo can expect to pay between 125 percent and 200 percent of the published cruise fare to cover the cost of the “missing” passenger.

Some cruise lines make an effort to cater to solos. Some will greatly reduce or even waive single supplements to fill berths, or offer meet-and-greets or dining options for single cruisers. Several lines offer dedicated solo cabins, touting priced-for-one fares that generally run higher than the per-person cost for a double occupancy cabin, but lower than assuming the cost of the single supplement on a standard cabin.

Here is a look at the seven best cruise lines for solo travelers who are ready for their own adventure.

Best For Active Cruisers

Top 8 best cruise ships going to Alaska in 2020

Royal Caribbean: Who says cruises are nothing but lounging by the pool and not moving for a week? With Royal Caribbean, you’ll find high-energy activities like ice skating, rock climbing, ziplining, surfing, skydiving, water slides, mini-golf, bumper cars, arcades, trapeze lessons and escape rooms around every turn, in addition to entertainment that incorporates acrobats, high-divers and Broadway performances.

Norwegian: Although Royal Caribbean was first to debut Broadway shows at sea, NCL also has several on its list of production shows. But, if theater isn’t enough to get your blood pumping, the line’s other amenities include virtual-reality gaming, laser tag, escape rooms, go-karts, ropes courses, mini-golf, rock climbing, bowling and water slides.

Carnival: Carnival is a nice mix of both active and relaxed casual the “come as you are” onboard ambiance has little pretense. Active cruisers will love line dancing, water slides, mini-golf, ropes courses and the line’s latest additions: SkyRide, a pedal-powered recumbent bike-style pod suspended above the outdoor decks, and BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea.

Compare: Royal Caribbean vs. Norwegian Cruises

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The 8 Best Cruise Itineraries

Heidi Sarna

The best cruise itineraries offer history, culture, or natural beauty, as well as interesting embarkation ports and convenient connections. Pick one of these routes which we consider the best choices in the cruise world and you can explore an amazing destination by ship. Just be sure to pick the right month to travel, when the weather is just right and the crowding is at a minimum. Read on for our favorite itineraries, who goes, and when you should sail there. Bon voyage!

A full week at sea means you can see more of the islands flora, fauna, and landscapes than on a shorter cruise. The best routes sail round-trip from Baltra and call on Bartolome, Santiago, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana and Espanola, and offer plenty of time snorkeling in between.

When to Go: March

Who Goes: Celebrity Xpedition, Silver Galapagos, National Geographic Endeavour II

A full week at sea means you can see more of the islands flora, fauna, and landscapes than on a shorter cruise. The best routes sail round-trip from Baltra and call on Bartolome, Santiago, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana and Espanola, and offer plenty of time snorkeling in between.

When to Go: March

Cruising round-trip from aboard a small ship lets you get into the nooks and crannies of Alaska, and explore remote coves and passages by kayak, skiff, and paddle board. Plus, for a change of pace, this itinerary also includes busy Ketchikan and Wrangell.

When to Go: July

When to Go: July

Cruise Refunds And Cancellations

Any cruise lasting more than 24 hours is automatically considered a package holiday, regardless of whether or not your booking included a flight.

Package holidays are covered by the Package Travel Regulations, entitling you to a full cash refund within 14 days if your booking is cancelled by the cruise operator. If you booked your cruise through a travel agent, they will return your money once they’ve received it from the cruise line.

During the coronavirus pandemic, however, many cruise lines have been illegally ignoring the Package Travel Regulations, with some taking more than a month to issue refunds and others refusing refunds altogether and issuing vouchers, instead.

If you’re considering booking a cruise for later in 2021 or beyond, only do so with a cruise company that’s quickly and consistently refunding customers for cancelled bookings. All our WRP cruise lines can be trusted to do this and they also all organise excellent cruises.

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Picks From Joan Roca Founder & Ceo Of The Essentialist

One of our top choices for luxury cruise lines would be the The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and although all of their itineraries are showstoppers, our favorite is the Northern Europe & Baltic journey for the breadth of ports and destinations it visits, taking passengers beyond the usual to places like the Faroe Islands,” says Roca. “In addition to the spa, highlights for us include their selection of offshore activities and the multiple onboard restaurants.”

As frequenters of The Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts may anticipate, the company’s collection of yachts offers service, amenities, and dining as fabulous as their world-renowned properties. Booking with The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection also streamlines any other air, land, and hotel arrangements for seamless planning for the ultimate all-inclusive cruising experience.

Speer says if you’re interested in taking a cruise but your partner may still be apprehensive, Alaska is an ideal destination for first-timers and several luxury liners have great itineraries. She particularly recommends Windstar, Seaborne, Silversea, and Oceania for Alaskan cruises, which have an abundance of varieties depending on ship size, amenities, and excursion offerings. She says this is also a great trip for multi-generational families looking for a memorable summer reunion in a post-pandemic world.

River Ship Line #: Delfin Amazon Cruises

What is the Best Cruise Line?

Sailing the Amazon River in Peru isnt quite like other river journeysits a blissful escape into the wilderness, where you might be surrounded by pink dolphins or piranhas at any given moment. Delfin, the first Relais & Chateaux cruise line, makes the journey incredibly comfortable, offering boutique hotellike accommodations aboard its three rustic-luxe ships. And, as part of the Relais & Chateaux family, the cuisine is spectacular, incorporating regional dishes made with local ingredients.

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Medium Ship Line #: Crystal Cruises

While many cruises are notorious for charging guests for alcohol and specialty dining options, Crystal practices a generally all-inclusive fare structure covering all drinks , one specialty dining reservation per passenger , 24-hour room service, and a Wi-Fi package. The line has just two ocean-going vessels, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, which both have capacities of fewer than 1,000 passengers and sail global itineraries.

Medium Ship Line #: Regent Seven Seas Cruises

As far as all-inclusive cruises go, Regent Seven Seas is the real deal. Everything from specialty excursions to meals and alcohol to airfare is included in the rates. Even the mini-bar is free! The only things youll have to pay for are spa treatments, laundry, and the casino. The cruise lines five ships each carry 750 passengers or fewer, but the ships are actually quite large, offering each guest plenty of personal space, especially in their cabins. Regent Seven Seas specializes in round-the-world itineraries.

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Small Ship Line #: Windstar Cruises

The lines six shipsthree sailing yachts and three all-suite motor yachtsspecialize in visiting ports that ban larger ships, like the Byzantine hilltop town of Monemvasia in the Greek Islands, and the sleepy, palm-fringed island of Bequia in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean. Those smaller ports can give a sense of intimacy that isn’t always present in the most common cruise destinations, allowing for wholly different experiences. In 2017, Windstar also became the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation, introducing further special itineraries with culinary themes and guest chefs.

Hurtigruten Review Which Recommended Provider


It’s all about the destination on a Hurtigruten ocean cruise. Its vessels may not be the most luxurious around, but they are compact enough to access smaller ports and towns that large ships can’t. Throw in exceptional customer service and there are few better ways to explore Norway and the Arctic.

, or read our full Hurtigruten review for more information.

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Cruising Experience And Knowledge

Question the agents on cruising trends or up-and-coming destinations, and ask them to explain the differences between cruise lines. Find out how many cruises they’ve taken that year and with which lines they’ve personally cruised. The more knowledgeable an agent is, the better advice you’ll get. If the agent has rarely cruised, you might want to take your business elsewhere. In addition, you might want to look for an agent who is a cruise specialist — either at a cruise-dedicated agency or within a larger general agency — to get the best service.

What Are The Best Cruises In The World Viking Disney Are Big Winners

U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday published its ranking of the best cruise lines of 2022.

The publication evaluated 17 cruise lines through a combination of expert evaluations , traveler reviews and health ratings published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Vessel Sanitation Program .

Scores were then analyzed by category to determine winners, ranked highest to lowest, in six areas.

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Mega Ship Line #: Royal Caribbean International

If you truly want to feel like youre living in a floating city, Royal Caribbean is the cruise line for you, given that it has the four largest cruise ships in the world. Symphony of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Oasis of the Seas top the lists in terms of passenger count , length , and gross tonnage . Given their size, these ships provide every amenity you can think ofand plenty you cant even imaginefrom waterparks to world-class musical productions to autonomous bars staffed by robots to double-decker suites with slides for the kids. Youll find these behemoths sailing the Caribbean and Mediterranean throughout the year, but with so many activities on board, you might not even want to leave the ship.

Shopping For Great Deals

Best Way To Book Your Future Cruise ? Cruise Line Direct Or Agent?

Contrary to what you might expect, travel agents might actually be able to get you better deals than internet retailers or even the cruise lines themselves. The best travel agents have access to discounted group rates and exclusive cruise pricing that’s not found anywhere else. In addition, agents occasionally give you extra value on your booking — such as prepaid gratuities, a free bottle of Champagne or onboard credit — to sweeten the deal. And if the price of your cruise drops after you book, a good agent will notice and refund you the difference in fare. Finally, as cruise lines pay agent commissions, you don’t have to worry about paying extra for their planning services.

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Large Ship Line #: Princess Cruises

Part of the Carnival family, Princess Cruises has a fun claim to famethe TV show The Love Boat was set on its Pacific Princess ship. If youve never seen an episode, youre in luck, as one of the onboard TV channels airs reruns around the clock. But you wont want to stay cooped up in your stateroom when you discover all the activities on board its 17 ships, from its special Seawitch craft beer program that sees the cruise line partner with breweries around the world to Discovery at SEA, a series of programs based on TV shows from the Discovery, Inc. family of networks, including Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel, and the Science Channel. In October 2019, Princess Cruises newest ship, the Sky Princess, set sail, debuting a new class of stateroom called Sky Suites, which is the lines most luxurious offering. Its next two ships, Enchanted Princess and Discovery Princess, are scheduled to launch by the end of 2021.

River Ship Line #: Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours

Scenics 15 luxurious river ships sail waters across Europe and Asia, from the Danube in Germany to the Irrawaddy in Myanmar to the Volga in Russia. Each voyage is completely all-inclusivetransfers, excursions, all food and beverage , and gratuities are covered in the ratemaking for a truly relaxing and stress-free experience. And did we mention theres butler service for every cabin?

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Best Cruise Company Reviews

Many cruise line passengers book with the same company over and over again. Its that comfort of knowing what to expect on board, from the facilities and food to the general atmosphere. But the truth is that if youre willing to try a different line youll probably have a better holiday. While passengers of the most popular cruise lines, like Cunard, P& O and Celebrity rated them well, there are eight brands rated far better.

Best For Solo Cruisers

Seabourn voted best small

Holland America: HAL’s newest and largest vessels are equipped with solo cabins. For those wishing to share a cabin, the line also offers the Single Partners Program, which pairs cruisers of the same gender to share staterooms. Dedicated solo events like cocktail parties, mixers and games are scheduled, and gentleman hosts are available on longer sailings to dance with women cruising alone.

Norwegian: Norwegian was the first line to introduce dedicated areas for people cruising solo. Its newest ships feature cabins for one, as well as exclusive enclaves with a special lounge where lone passengers can mingle and enjoy drinks and snacks. Cruisers booked in this area also have access to concierge services.

Royal Caribbean: Royal’s Quantum-class ships include accommodations for solo travelers, but unlike the single staterooms found on Norwegian, Royal’s come in a variety of types that range from insides with virtual balconies to actual open-air balconies.

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Saga Review Which Recommended Provider

Saga, which offers small-scale ocean cruises exclusively for the over-50s, is a new WRP for 2021. In the past, concerns over the transparency of its excursion prices have prevented us from recommending it, but it has made significant improvements in this area this year, without losing any of what makes its cruises so excellent. Customer service, quality of food and value for money are all second-to-none.

, or read our full Saga review for more information.

An Overview Of Cruise Lines

As noted above, there are dozens of cruise lines out there. At last count, I had sailed with 40 different cruise companies, and I still hadnt hit every major brand despite it being my full-time job for years to test cruise ships.

One thing to understand right off the bat is that the lists of cruise lines that youll find here at TPG and at other travel sites include companies offering an incredible range of experiences.

When you think of a cruise ship, you may think of the giant floating megaresorts operated by the likes of Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line that you see in television advertisements the kind of ships that carry thousands of passengers and have all sorts of gee-whiz amusements on their top decks. But the world of cruising also includes companies that operate far smaller, more intimate vessels that carry just a few dozen to a few hundred people and have a completely different vibe. Theyre more like small boutique hotels that happen to float from place to place.

Related: How to plan a cruise with points and miles

In addition, youll find adventure-focused expedition cruise companies that offer yet another completely different kind of cruising one that involves heading to off-the-beaten-path places like Antarctica on small, hardy vessels designed for exploring. There also are cruise companies that specialize in ships that travel on rivers and even lines that just operate sailing ships.

Related: A line-by-line guide to 20 top cruise brands

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