Medium Ship Line #1: Princess Cruises
Of Princess Cruises 17-ship fleet, its five smallest include the Coral Princess, Island Princess, Sun Princess, Sea Princess, and the infamous Pacific Princess, which was the star of the TV show The Love Boat. The Pacific Princess is by far the smallest, holding just 680 passengers. The four other ships carry around 2,000 passengers and are the perfect size to sail through the Panama Canal.
Best Cruise Lines For Couples On The Go
Couples looking for an active vacation can look to Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean, which offer action-packed activities and entertainment onboard their biggest ships.
Carnival Cruise Lines fun ships have multiple entertainment venues, as well as hopping bars and night clubs, ensuring a lively onboard atmosphere day and night. Outdoor activities include pools and hot tubs, twisting waterslides, volleyball, mini-golf, and more. Onboard the Carnival Vista and the Carnival Horizon, you can find the SkyCourse, a thrilling ropes challenge perfect for adventurous couples. Another new attraction is BOLT the ultimate roller coaster at sea that will be available onboard Carnivals upcoming new ship, the .
Norwegian Cruise Line offers a long list of activities onboard its newest ships. The Norwegian Bliss, Joy, and Encore all have the Racetrack the first go-kart course at sea, an outdoor laser tag, and thrilling waterslides. The Joy and Encore also have the Galaxy Pavilion, a large arcade with VR games, rides, and race cars. Headline shows include Broadway hits such as Jersey Boys and Kinky Boots, and other entertainment includes a comedy club, and a Beatles cover band. There is no shortage of bars and lounges onboard, ranging from a mojito, wine, and whiskey bar, to a brewpub.
Rule #: Do Be Flexible With Your Days To Cruise The Cheapest
As you can see in the chart below, the fares for the same cruise can vary dramatically, depending on when you sail.
Holidays like Christmas and New Years fetch the highest prices by far. These rates can often be double what you would pay in the lower season.
The highest rates found around the holidays are closely followed by peak summer rates when families with kids like to cruise.
The best times with the lowest rates? The fall months when people are back at school and work are less popular for cruising, meaning that rates hit their lowest. You can also find low rates in the time between New Years and Spring Break.
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Rule #: Do Choose Your Room Location Carefully
While not every cruise line does it, many will charge you different amounts for the same class of room in different locations of the ship. For example, a room on a higher deck will cost more than one on a lower deck. Through years and years of bookings, the cruise lines know which rooms are most desirable and charge accordingly.
Most times the premium you pay for room location wont seem like a big deal. The cruise lines typically frame it by adding something like $3-5 per person, per day.
Lets do the math, however.
A room with two people being charged an extra $5 per person, per day would rack up $10 per day or $70 in room location charges over the course of a week-long cruise. That may not sound like much to some of you, but that comes about to about 6-8 drinks from the bar if you were to want to spend your money on alcohol instead.
The rule of thumb is that the higher up your room is on the ship, the more you will pay.
For the absolute best rate for your particular room class, let the cruise line place you automatically at their lowest rate.
Best For Newbies Or Cruisers With Little Vacation Time
Carnival: Known for its short sailings of three to five nights, Carnival is a great option for people with limited vacation time or those who haven’t sailed before and aren’t sure if they’ll like cruising. Sticking with a short sailing to the Caribbean or Bahamas will give you a taste of what a “typical” voyage is like.
Norwegian: Norwegian is a solid choice for newbies looking for shorter sailings to and from the U.S. East Coast. The line is notorious for nickel-and-diming its passengers, so the less time you spend onboard, the less time you have to spend money if you’re on a budget. You can still enjoy the experience without additional spending, though, so this is a good line if you don’t mind a more basic experience.
Royal Caribbean: Royal Caribbean can be a little more pricey than Carnival, but it’s comparable to Norwegian — particularly after you factor in extra fees that can accumulate on NCL. Like the other two lines in this category, Royal offers a great experience for beginners, particularly on its shorter sailings to beachy destinations.
Compare: Carnival vs. Norwegian Cruise Line
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What Is The Conditional Sailing Order And Why Was It Introduced
The Conditional Sailing Order was introduced as a phased approach for cruise ships to return to operations inside the United States. It involves several steps that cruise lines need to follow and comply with before setting sail again. The order was first introduced on November 1, 2020, replacing the No-Sail order the CDC had between March and November 2020.
The different steps cruise lines had to take to resume operations was the testing and crew welfare phase, ensuring crew well-being on board while cruise ships ramped up testing capacity.
Subsequent steps included simulated voyages to test the cruise ship operators ability to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 onboard, certification for ships that meet specific requirements, and a phased return to cruise ship passenger voyages in a manner that mitigates COVID-19 risk among passengers, crew members, and U.S. communities.
Although the order had been a mandatory one initially, this changed only a few months ago for one state when a Florida Judge ruled the CSO voluntary only. Nonetheless, all cruise lines have said they will follow the directions from the agency entirely and continue to do so.
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River Ship Line #: Avalon Waterways
With a fleet of 20 river ships, Avalon has quite a few itineraries throughout Europe, India, Southeast Asia, Egypt, and Peru, though it charters ships in those last two destinations. Avalons own purpose-built ships are incredibly spacioussuites are 30 percent larger than the industry standard and feature fully retractable floor-to-ceiling windows.
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Best Disney Cruise Ship For Kids: Disney Fantasy
Disney Cruise Line is a favorite for families, and has the awards to prove it. While all of the Disney ships were built with creating magical memories in mind, Disney Fantasy currently takes the cake as the best cruise ship for kids because of its seven-night sailings from Florida to the Caribbean and Mexico.
All Disney ships feature themed parties, such as a Pirates in the Caribbean dance party, where pirate costumes are encouraged and the only fireworks at sea blast off overhead. Youre sure to encounter Disney characters and movies throughout the ships. Holiday times are unforgettable with Halloween on the High Seas and Very Merrytime winter wonderland festivities. The Bibbiddi Bobbidi Boutique transforms children into princesses, pirates, sea captains and knights.
On select Fantasy sailings, guest can partake in Star Wars Day at Sea, which includes character sightings, Star Wars movies playing by the pool, themed activities and even special Star Wars food and drinks on the menus. If youd like to don your Hans Solo garb or Storm Trooper costume, an atrium costume party is the perfect place to bring on the fun in full force.
Children will love testing their sleuthing skills in the Midship Detective Agency, which sends them on an interactive ship-wide caper to crack a case of whodunit. Disney imagineers put a ton of magic into the ships, thinking through every modern and whimsical detail, including enchanted artwork that transforms in front of your eyes.
Social Hosts And Hostess
Those who have strong people skills will surely like this job as they are constantly in the public eye. You will regularly socialize with people and will serve as the mouthpiece for the ship. Duties involve greeting the passengers as they board and disembark, acting as masters of ceremonies, assisting shore excursions, and giving port talks.
Ill tell you right away that this is a demanding job. You need to be available whenever passengers need your service. It means working long hours during the day or even at night. However, you can meet different people, including occasional celebrities. You can even make friends with them.
Youll enjoy the experience of meeting acquaintances boarding the same cruise line again. Not only that, but youll also have the opportunity to attend special events that are only exclusive to a few passengers.
If rest time makes you think twice about having this job, there is good news. You will have your day off while in port as passengers will go onshore. This is your chance to get a good sleep and relax before the passengers board the ship again.
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We Priced A Years Worth Of Cruises
With all of these expenses in mind, we dove into what it would cost to live on a cruise ship for an entire year.
Of course, when it comes to cruising for twelve months, you have an amazing number of options. From different cruise lines to routes, departure ports, ships, and even cabin types, there are a number of things that will have a big impact on what you spend.
Thats why we aimed to keep everything simple. To price what it costs to live aboard the ship, we took a look at sailings aboard the Carnival Horizon in 2021.
Carnival Horizon is a newer ship from the cruise line that sails six and eight-day itineraries year-round from Miami in 2021. That means you could sail the entire year without having to change ships and always coming back to a homeport in the United States.
The routes that the Horizon sails would take you all across the Caribbean, from Cozumel to Aruba, from San Juan to Grand Cayman. Because it is a bigger and newer ship in the Carnival fleet, youd also have tons of amenities and activities on board, as well as a many restaurant options including Guys Burger Joint.
As for the cabin, in our search we opted for a balcony cabin. Yes, you would be able to sail for cheaper in an oceanview or interior cabin, however, we assume that if you are aboard the ship for an extended period of time, having your own balcony is a must.
As well, we assume a couple is sailing with two people to the room.
- Cruise Line: Carnival
- Number of People: 2
Decks With Obstructed Views
There are cabins at certain decks that provide obstructed views of the scenery. Decks with obstructed views could be a disadvantage for travelers who want to capture the spectacular view of the surrounding areas. However, when the view doesnt matter to you, then you can choose the deck that suits your priorities the best.
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Finding The Best Cruise Deals
Ever wonder how to find the best cruise deals? There are a lot of great resources out there, and we picked from some of our favorites to bring you a list of tips. According to the Cruise Lines International Association between 2003 and 2013, demand for cruising worldwide increased 77 percent, from 12 million to 21.3 million passengers. The CLIA says that Florida remains the center of cruising in the United States, with its five cruise ports accounting for nearly 62 percent of all U.S. embarkations. Following Florida, are California, Texas, and New York .
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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Best Msc Cruise Ship For Kids: Msc Seaside
MSC Cruises is a family-owned cruise line thats focused on making it easy for families to explore the world. Learn new languages, cultures and cooking skills in immersive onboard programming and interact with people from all over the globe. MSC Seaside is one of the best cruise ships for kids because it sails year-round to the Caribbean from Miami.
MSC Seaside features modular connected staterooms , an interactive aqua park with four waterslides, a splash zone and adventure trail ropes course. High-tech fun includes a Formula 1 simulator and XD Cinema, which catapults you inside the film youre watching. Two of the longest ziplines at sea whisk guests away at 344 feet, or you can strike it big at the two full-size bowling lanes.
There are six distinct kids areas on board MSC Seaside. Developed in partnership with Chicco and featuring the latest Chicco baby equipment, supplies and toys, MSC Baby Time features a space where babies up to age 3 can play with their parents in a separate baby care drop-off area. LEGO bricks are a big part of the fun in the Mini Club for kids ages 3 to 6 and the Junior Club, for 7 to 11-year-olds, which also offers video games. Tweens and teens also have their own spaces.
Tip: Check out the Kelly & Kloe MSC Cruises web series, which is about two tween sisters and their ship captain father.
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.
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Large Ship Line #: Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises currently sails around the world with a fleet of 14 ships, ranging in size from its petite Xpedition-class vessels, which carry 16 to 100 passengers, to its large 2,800- to 3,100-passenger Solstice class and 2,900-passenger Edge class, which debuted in late 2018 with Celebrity Edge, an edgy ship designed to appeal to a non-cruising clientele with innovations like Eden, a three-story hybrid experiential restaurant, craft cocktail lounge, and performance venue and Le Petit Chef at Le Grand Bistro, a dinner restaurant that features a 4D animation projected on your plate throughout the course of your meal. Celebrity Edge will be joined by three sister ships in the next five years, starting with Celebrity Apex as soon as this year.
Where Youll Spend Money On Your Cruise
Head to any cruise website and youll see plenty of cheap headline prices. Cruises starting at a few hundred dollars for a week are common. At first glance, it seems like living on a cruise ship would be amazingly affordable.
After all, a cruise for $500 a week would cost only $26,000 to sail for a year. For many people, that would be cheaper than living on land!
But anyone who has been on a cruise knows those headline prices are just the start of what you pay. In fact, in our opinion, its a bit disingenuous of the cruise lines to advertise those prices. After all, what youll actually pay is much, much more.
Double Occupancy Cruise Fare: Apart from a few sailings that offer solo cabins, any headline price you find is actually only half of what you will pay for cruise fare. Thats because cabins are typically sold based on double occupancy, but prices are shown per person.
So for a fare thats $599, it will actually cost $1,198 based on double occupancy. Even if you are sailing solo , you will still have to pay this double charge.
In other words, whenever you see a cruise price, double it right away for what youll really pay in fare.
Port Fees & Taxes: We all expect to pay taxes on things that we buy. Its no different for a cruise. However, the taxes arent included in the headline cruise fare. As well, cruise fares will also have port fees tacked on. These are per-passenger fees paid to ports of call for the privilege of docking.
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