The Floating Megaresort Lines
Are you a fan of big, bustling megaresorts with every sort of amusement known to humans? Youll probably want to gravitate toward Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and MSC Cruises. These three brands are what I call the floating megaresort lines lines that offer unusually giant ships that are the seagoing equivalent of land-based megaresorts such as Atlantis in the Bahamas.
Were talking ships with a seemingly endless array of deck-top fun zones, from waterparks and surfing pools to go-kart tracks and laser tag courses, as well as oodles of restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, spas, casinos and more. Were also talking ships that can hold as many as 5,000 or even 6,000 people, not including the crew.
These are brands designed to appeal to a wide demographic, including families with children of all ages. They offer cabins for $100 per night, cabins for $1,000 a night, and everything in between. The best way to describe them is that they are like the big Las Vegas resorts, except they float.
Note that the size of each ship operated by these brands varies. In general, the newer vessels in their fleets are the biggest, most megaresort-like vessels.
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.
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. The latest addition to Holland Americas fleet is the Rotterdam, which first set sail in July 2021, with a capacity of 2,650 passengers.
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The Best Cruises For Families Couples The Affluent And More According To Us News Plus Secrets For Saving On Cruises
Fishermen tie up their wooden boat next to a cruise liner in St John’s Harbour.
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These cruise lines offer a sea of savings.
U.S. News & World Report released its 2020 list of the best cruise lines, on Tuesday, naming Royal Caribbean International as the best cruise line for your money. Royal Caribbean inched up from its No. 2 spot on the previous years list, knocking Celebrity Cruises which had been the No. 1 best cruise line for your money down a spot. Norwegian Cruise Line took the No. 3 slot.
Factors like an impressive list of amenities , abundance of dining options and variety of itineraries at an affordable price point propelled Royal Caribbean into the top spot, the U.S. News report revealed.
U.S. News looked at 17 cruise lines and 176 ships, evaluating them on cruise ship quality, reputation among travelers, results from health assessments conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, price class, itinerary offerings and more.
Here are the top-ranking ships in each category.
For the money:2. Royal Caribbean International3. Seabourn Cruise Line
No matter which cruise line you decide to take, experts say there are a number of strategies that can help you save big when booking a cruise.
Cruise in the shoulder season. Saglie calls this cruising on the edges. For example, while the peak pricing for a cruise to Alaska is in the peak of summer June, July and August — you can save big by going in May or September.
What Can You Do To Ensure A Smoother Trip
Although the CDC recommends that people avoid cruises, Treffiletti says that there are some things you can do to help mitigate your risk if you do decide to travel.
For one, before setting sail, check the color-coded chart on the CDC website to see if your ship is participating in the agencys voluntary COVID-19 program. If so, youll be able to see whether there are any outbreaks on board. If things look grim, most cruise lines have implemented fairly flexible rebooking and cancellation policies.
If youre just booking now, research the protocols of each cruise line to see if they align with your own comfort level. Gray Faust recommends purchasing trip delay and COVID-19 insurancean extra cost that will be worth it if you get infected and cant board your ship.
Gray Faust says your packing list should also account for uncertainties. She recommends packing extra clothing and medication in case you are quarantined at any point. If you can snag them, toss in some extra KN95 masks and rapid antigen tests, too.
But most of all, Gray Faust says cruisers need to go into a trip accepting that there will be health protocols in placewhich might change as conditions worsen or improveand that theyre there to keep you safe.
You need to be OK with that, she says. You can still have a great trip. But youre protecting yourself and other people by wearing masks and by getting your vaccines.
Amy McKeever is a senior writer and editor at National Geographic. You can find her on .
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Two Largest Cruise Lines Resume Cruises From The Us
The worlds two largest cruise lines, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line, have officially resumed cruises from U.S. ports this 4th of July weekend.
Carnival Vista marked the return of Carnival cruises this afternoon when the cruise ship departed from Galveston for a cruise to the Caribbean.
Carnival Cruise Lines President Christine Duffy gave the following statement: Seeing our guests board the ship for the first time in over 15 months was a welcome and emotional sight. The excitement our guests have for Carnival cruising knows no bounds and its great to be able to have them enjoy our unique vacation experience and of course see our amazing crew once again.
Carnival Cruise Line was the first cruise line to homeport a cruise ship in Galveston back in 2000 and is the number one cruise operator from the port with three cruise ships carrying more than 750,000 passengers each year.
Royal Caribbeans Freedom of the Seas departed from Miami yesterday evening marking the return of cruises from the U.S. for the worlds largest cruise line.
Both Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean will add more cruise ships back in service over the coming weeks and months as they gradually resume cruises to the most popular cruise destination in the world, the Caribbean.
Learn the cruise secrets most people don’t know and cruise like a boss. Check out Intelligent Cruiser here for a better cruise vacation.
Best Cruise Lines For Couples
Awards for the best cruises for those traveling in twos are:
Viking dominates this category due to its “adult-focused environment and luxurious and romantic amenities, such as fireplaces in each ship’s common area and private verandas in every stateroom,” according to a U.S. News & World Report’s press release.
To qualify for this category, at least 62% of a cruise line’s online traveler reviews must be made by couples.
Most luxury cruise lines allow kids, though they often don’t cater to them the way the larger lines do. Viking, however, doesn’t allow children at all.
The company previously welcomed kids aged 12 and older to cruise, but as of 2018, all guests must be 18 or older to board.
Also on the list: Celebrity Cruises , Oceania Cruises , Silversea Cruises , Cunard Line and Holland America Line .
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Viking Ocean Cruises Review Which Recommended Provider
Yet again, Viking has held onto the number one spot in our survey, earning an outstanding five stars in every category. It specialises in small to medium, adult-only ocean cruises, with all of its ships carrying fewer than 1,000 guests. It’s not cheap, but the classy atmosphere, excellent food and unusual destinations are a winning combination, so it’s no surprise customers rated value for money as outstanding.
, or read our full Viking review for more information.
Regent Seven Seas Review Which Recommended Provider
For a luxurious, all-inclusive ocean cruising experience, it’s hard to beat Regent Seven Seas. Almost every cabin has a balcony, staff are friendly and helpful, and the port excursions are consistently enjoyably and well-organised. The only real downside is the cost.
, or read our full Regent Seven Seas review for more information.
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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.
Cruise Boikings Open For Carnival Jubilee
The first LNG-powered cruise ship to be based year-round from Galveston, Texas, the 345 meters long, 6,600-passenger, 183,200 gross ton Carnival Jubilee will sail on her first voyage from the cruise port in Texas on November 18, 2023. The ships inaugural cruise from the United States will stop in Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, and Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan, Honduras.
Since its National Plan for Vacation Day, its the perfect time to open Carnival Jubilee for sale and give our guests another incredible choice for their cruise vacation with the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful ports in the Western Caribbean, said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
Those guests who would like to sail on Carnival Jubilee a little earlier can do so on one of the longest voyages that Carnival offers. Sailing from Southampton in Southern England, she will visit La Coruña and Vigo in Spain, Madeira, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas in the Canary Islands and sail across the Atlantic Ocean to Grand Turk. The ship will depart Southampton on October 30, 2023, and arrive in her new homeport of Galveston on November 17, 2023.
The new cruises had been partially revealed last week when the cruise line made updates to the onboard Hub-app, which showed the various dates the vessel would be sailing on. These dates have now been mostly confirmed.
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Large Ship Line #: P& o Cruises
The United Kingdoms premier cruise lineand the worlds oldest, having commenced passenger operations in 1837P& O sails Europe, North America, and the Caribbean with a crowd made up primarily of British nationals. As such, prepare for the ships amenities to have a British bent . Three of the fleets six current ships fall into the large category, while its two adults-only ships, MS Aurora and MS Arcadia, are medium-sized. P& O’s newest ship, MS Iona is a mega-ship, as will be her sister, MS Arvia, due to sail in 2022.
Large Ship Line #: Disney Cruise Line
If theres one thing Disney Cruise Linedoes well, its hospitality. The company has taken every lesson its learned from its parks and resort operations and implemented that into its four cruise ships, the 2,400-passenger Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, and the 4,000-passenger Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. The ships are designed for families through and throughthere are numerous themed activities every day, from meet-and-greets to full-blown parties with Disney charactersbut there are plenty of adults-only areas that provide a respite from little ones. That said, the ships are not over-the-top when it comes to Disney decor. In fact, theyre quite elegant, taking design inspiration from early-20th-century ocean liners and sporting Art Deco and Art Nouveau aesthetics. The four ships currently sail the Caribbean , Alaska, Europe, the Pacific Coast, and the Panama Canal. Three more ships, including Disney Wish, are scheduled to be added to the fleet between 2022 and 2025.
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Large Ship #1: Costa Cruises
Italian cruise line Costa Cruises, which operates under parent company Carnival, has quite a history: it was founded in 1854 as a cargo shipping company, transporting olive oil and textiles around the world. Transferring to the leisure cruise side of the business in 1959, Costa currently operates 11 shipsthe majority of which accommodate between 2,800 and 5,300 passengersthat sail all over the world. Its next ship, Costa Toscana, will debut in December 2021.
Large Ship Line #: Norwegian Cruise Line
Things escalated quickly for Norwegian: the cruise line jumped from medium-size ships to mega-ships practically overnight , with just three ships in its current fleet sized somewhere in between. But thats soon about to change. Norwegian currently has six ships on order as part of Project Leonardo, each of which will hold about 3,300 passengers. Its interesting to see a cruise line scale back from its mega-ships and opt for a more manageable size for such a large order. The first, Norwegian Prima, is expected to launch in 2022 some of its highlights include the fastest slides at sea , a three-level go-kart racetrack, and a three-story theater that transforms into a nightclub after the evening’s show.
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The 2020 List Of The Worlds Best Cruises Is Out Now
U.S. News & World Report has released its annual list of the worlds best cruises. The report evaluated 176 ships in 17 of the top cruise lines to determine the rankings in six categories including best cruise lines for the money and best luxury cruise lines.
The findings factored in evaluations from cruise industry experts, health assessments conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, price classes, itinerary offerings, and reputation among travelers. The final rankings reflect offerings across the entire fleet of each line rather than information on individual ships within each fleet and the varying services each might include.
Royal Caribbean took the top spot for value cruises.
Royal Caribbean came in at number one in the Best Cruise Line for the Money category, while Viking Ocean Cruises earned the top spot in both the Best Luxury Cruise Line and Best Cruise Line for Couples categories thanks to its high-end amenities, adult-focused ambiance, and romantic touches like private verandas in each stateroom and fireplaces in common areas.
No surprise, Disney Cruise Line maintained its hold on the top spot for Best Cruise Lines for Families yet again it has earned this distinction in every one of U.S. News annual rankings. This year, it also won Best Cruise Line in the Caribbean for the seventh consecutive year. Rounding out the roster of winners, Seabourn Cruise Line remained the number one Best Cruise Line in the Mediterranean for 2020.
River Ship Line #: Grand Circle Cruise Line
Grand Circle Cruise Line might not have the largest followingyou probably haven’t heard of it, have you?but it certainly has a loyal one. Known for its immersive itineraries, this smaller cruise line is part of tour operator Grand Circle Travel, but it does have its own fleet of six river ships. Five of them sail in Europe, while the sixth, appropriately named Nefertiti, sails Egypt’s Nile.
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Calculating The Cruise Line Rankings
Best Luxury Cruise Lines: For our luxury cruise lines ranking, we include only cruise lines with a price class rating of 3.5 or above. Qualifying cruise lines are ranked highest to lowest based on their Overall Rating.
Best Cruise Lines for the Money: For our affordable cruise lines ranking, we include only cruise lines with a price class rating less than 2.5. Qualifying cruise lines are ranked highest to lowest based on their average Overall Rating, which carries a 40 percent weight and their price class rating, which carries a 60 percent weight.
Best Cruise Lines for Couples: This ranking factors in each line’s Overall Rating as well as the aggregate traveler rating by “couples” travelers and the percentage of a cruise line’s reviews on Cruiseline.com that are left by couples. For example, a cruise line that receives a high percentage of its reviews from couples is more likely to be couples-oriented. Cruise lines are ranked according to the weighted average of their rank within each of these three factors. For a cruise line to be eligible for inclusion in this ranking, at least 62 percent of its total traveler reviews had to come from couples.
Top 10 Largest Cruise Ships In 2021
The international cruise industry has expanded rapidly in the last few years, and it showed no signs of slowing down till the coronavirus pandemic hit the world.
The world witnessed what was never thought of, i.e. complete halt of the cruise business. However, the cruise shipping companies are doing everything in their power to sustain these tough times, and the industry is expected to come back at the earliest with some of the largest and most technologically advanced cruise ships in the year 2021.
As more new ships enter the scene, the industry is more equipped to offer the best vacation experiences to its guests across the world.
In order to meet the various preferences of travellers, the new technologically advanced cruise ships come in bigger sizes, with better amenities, and indeed, as luxurious, they can be.
Here we have a list of the worlds largest cruise ships, ranked in terms of their gross tonnage and passenger capacity, among others in 2021.
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