Seabourn Encore And Ovation
Best Cruise Suite: Wintergarden Suite
Why? The signature feature of Seabourn’s 1,186-square-foot Wintergarden Suites, found on Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation, is the glass-enclosed solarium with a daybed and tub. The light-filled space is adjacent to the outdoor balcony, furnished with lounge chairs and an outdoor dining table.
The interior is no less impressive with a living room providing plenty of seating to host a gathering a dining room with a table that accommodates six a pantry with full wet bar a comfortable master bedroom and a master bath with separate whirlpool tub and shower. Seabourn’s trio of slightly smaller ships also have noteworthy Wintergarden Suites, but they are slightly smaller and lack an alfresco dining option.
Plan to Pay: Fares start at $2,000 per person, per night.
Small Ship Line #1: Quark Expeditions
If youre after white sand and turquoise waters, Quark Expeditions isnt for you. This line specializes in polar expeditions: each of its six ships is an icebreaker or an ice-strengthened vessel capable of bringing guests to the farthest reaches of the northern and southern seas. While youre guaranteed to explore some incredible rugged terrain, you might also sail in a pretty rugged shipthe two icebreakers, in particular, are nothing to write home about in terms of luxurious decor. But the access they provide to the polar regions is unparalleled and well worth the authentic expedition experience. The swanky new Ultramarine, however, is another story entirely.
Medium Ship Line #: Cunard
While Cunards Queen Mary 2 fits more than 2,600 passengersand a number of cats and dogson board, her sister ships, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria only have a capacity of about 2,000 passengers. Though theyre quite similar in layout, the QE and the QV differ in design. Both nod to the historic ocean liners of the early 20th century, but the QE takes on a bolder Art Deco vibe, while the QV features more subdued yet equally elegant decor. Guests on board both ships are likely to partake in afternoon tea before donning a glamorous gown for dinner.
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Select Sailings Offer Special Programming Geared To Grown
Disney is known to offer extra ways to celebrate throughout the year, with select cruises that are themed after holidays or fandoms, including the following standout sailings.
Star Wars Day at Sea on Disney Fantasy
Star Wars Day at Sea takes place on one day of a 7-night voyage with iconic characters like Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO, and Darth Vader. A “Star Wars” themed fireworks show, movie marathon, costume celebrations, trivia sessions, and scavenger hunts also take place.
New Year’s Eve on select sailings
Disney offers special programming on cruises for Christmas and Halloween, but there is something extra romantic about spending New Year’s Eve at sea with a festive dinner menu, a New Year’s Eve dock party, and the Disney characters dolled up in their finest.
Insider Tip: If you like to dress up, these themed days are a great opportunity to break out your Princess Leia or Loki costumes, or don a celebratory dress or tux.
Small Ship Line : Quasar Expeditions
The first luxury line to sail the Galápagos, Quasar Expeditions is best known for its in-depth trips aboard its two intimate ships that carry fewer than 32 passengers each. Yet note the street cred of said ships: One of the two, the Grace, is the former yacht of Princess Grace of Monaco. The other, the Evolution, will allow you to retrace Darwin’s footsteps in the Galápagos. Book the Baltra Island itinerary, where you’ll work your way from San Cristobal Island to Baltra, and explore all the central and southern islands of the archipelago in between.
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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.
Norwegian The Haven Family Villa
Available on nine Norwegian ships, these two-bedroom family villas with a balcony are located in The Haven, the ship within a ship area thats reserved exclusively for Haven guests. The villas offer roughly 600 square feet of space spread out over an oceanview master bedroom featuring a king-size bed and private bathroom that has both a tub and separate shower, and a second bedroom with a sofa bed for two and its own bathroom. Theres also a living room and dining area with an additional single sofa bed. For families of four, five, or six that are cruising Norwegian, the Haven Family Villa, with its refined decor and ample space, plus the 24-hour butlers, private dining, and courtyard with pool, is impossible to beat.
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Best Value Cruise Line Stocks
These are the cruise line stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-sales ratio. For companies in early stages of development or industries suffering from major shocks, this can be substituted as a rough measure of a business’s value. A business with higher sales could eventually produce more profit when it achieves, or returns to, profitability. The price-to-sales ratio shows how much you’re paying for the stock for each dollar of sales generated.
|Best Value Cruise Line Stocks|
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 five current ships fall into the large category, while its two upcoming ships, MS Iona and her as-of-yet unnamed sister, will be mega-ships.
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Disney Cruise Lines Concierge Royal Suite
The best suites on Disney Cruise Line ships are the Concierge Royal Suites. The individual suite sizes and layouts vary by ship, but all will wow you with their space and upscale style.
On Disney Magic and Wonder, the suites are smaller , but sleep seven with two separate bedrooms and 2.5 baths on Disney Dream and Fantasy, the suites are larger but only sleep five with one bedroom and two bathrooms. Disney Wish will have Royal Suites in one- and two-level versions, and each will have two bedrooms and sleep six.
No matter which suite you choose, original artwork and an art deco design will ensure you dont feel like youre living in a theme park. You can put your feet up in a large living space with comfortable seating, dining table, pantry, and wet bar. Two or four flat-screen TVs will keep you up to date on all the latest Disney flicks.
At night, sink into a plush Euro-top mattress covered in 300-thread-count Frette cotton linens and topped with a down duvet and your choice of pillows from a menu of feather, foam, and hypoallergenic styles.
All Royal Suites have over-sized balconies. The verandas on Disney Dream, Fantasy and Wish feature private hot tubs, as well as an array of patio furniture.
Perks include free Wi-Fi, concierge services, in-suite dining from a special menu, and access to the Concierge Lounge and its private sun deck.
River Ship Line #: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Uniworld’s 17 ships cruise around the globe in Europe, Egypt, Russia, China, India, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Their excursions offer passengers the opportunity to get a little closer to their destinations of choice, with visits to local homes, farms, and artisans, and every excursion is rated by ability level. In 2018, two of its ships were overhauled for a new venture, U River Cruises, with itineraries, dining, and activities that appeal to younger prospective passengersthink silent disco, mixology classes, and rooftop camping.
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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 To Book The Best Cruise Suites At Sea
Cruise ConnexionsRoyal Caribbean International CruiseDeals.com Oasis Allure of the SeasNorwegian Cruise Line features both a living room and a dining room.Royal Caribbean International Royal Caribbean has a number of cruisesSouth America offer for JanuaryDisney Cruise Line Allure Oasis of the SeasCrystal Cruises Crystal SymphonyCrystal SerenityDisney Dream FantasyDisney Magic WonderCarnival Breeze8-night eastern Caribbean cruiseWesterdam Holland America Line Oosterdam cruise shipSilversea CruisesJust Cruisin’ PlusOasis of the Seas shipMSC CruisesEpicCruise.comSplendida FantasiaSplendidaget an upgrade to the Yacht Club
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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.
Where Are The Best Cabins On A Cruise Ship
Choosing the best cruise cabin location on your ship is a matter of personal choice. Generally, your cabin will be located either on lower deck, mid-ship, forward or aft , with some pros and cons to all these locations. Booking a “guarantee” cabin is an open deal – you pay for a cabin category – best prices are guaranteed, but not necessarily the best location.
- Lower Deck cabins – cheapest. The cheapest are the lower deck Interior staterooms. The main advantage is a smoother ride. Main disadvantages – you’re using constantly elevators/stairs, more engine noise/vibrations, the sound of the anchor dropping .
- Higher Deck cabins – more expensive. You’ll feel more motion . But you’re closer to the best ship amenities – entertainment and dining venues, onboard pools, Spa, bars and lounges, etc.
- Midship cabins – less motion and a central location. The main disadvantage – more traffic outside. Also, check the lifeboat locations .
- Forward cabins – the most motion, wind and spray, smaller windows . Forward located suites provide larger than average balconies.
- Rear cabins – more motion than the midship cabins, but less than the front ones.
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Do I Need Outdoor Space
Balconies are the perfect way to relax in the fresh air without dealing with the crowds. – Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line
Its no surprise that balconies always come at a premium, since they have a veranda you can step out onto, and cruisers use this for everything from drinking morning coffee to watching the sunset.
The degree of privacy on balconies varies widely from ship to ship, so if thats important to you, do your research before you choose your location. Often, past passengers comment about privacy issues in their reviews. Luckily, we have a feature that even allows you to see reviews by people who have stayed in specific cabin numbers. If you get stuck you can always pick up the phone and .
Aft-facing balconies are popular for their dramatic views of the sea over the stern of the ship and for their larger size, but be aware that those verandas often have privacy concerns. The balconies are stepped out, one jutting out below the one above, so your balcony is in full view of all the other aft-facing balconies above it. Some of them are also in view of the public decks or restaurants.
Access To Exclusive Shipboard Areas
On a growing number of megaships, suite guests have access to sprawling, private ship-within-a-ship luxury areas that offer a level of pampering not found across the rest of the vessels.
On more than half of Norwegian Cruise Lines ships, for instance, many of the top suites are part of an exclusive, keycard-accessed area called The Haven. Aimed at luxury travelers, The Haven complexes are located at the very top of the vessels and often come with private lounges, pools, sunning areas and even restaurants.
A number of MSC Cruises vessels offer a similar ship-within-in-a-ship area for suite guests called the MSC Yacht Club, and the newest Celebrity ships such as Celebrity Edge have an exclusive and swanky indoor and outdoor lounge area for suite passengers called The Retreat.
Some ships also have private concierge lounges that are open only to suite guests .
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Best Cruise Ship Family Cabins
Taking a cruise with kids ensures a memorable family vacation, whether you book an interior cabin to save money or decide to throw down roots in a standard balcony stateroom. But some cruise ship family cabins elevate the vacation at sea to something far more grandiose, photogenic, and jaw-dropping.
In these cruise ship family cabins, youll enjoy extra space in which to spread out, amazing amenities, stellar views, and in some cases, exclusive access to luxuriously private areas of the ship.
Terribly British With Butlers
Luxury ocean liner Queen Mary 2 has the largest suite accommodations on the high seas. Suitably named after favored royal residences, Sandringham and Balmoral are each 2,249 square feet. Explore the ship while a butler unpacks your gowns and tuxedos for dinners to be enjoyed in the Queens Grill restaurant, to which these two duplex apartments have direct access. An indoor and outdoor hot tub, spacious balcony, fitness area, home office, dressing rooms, concierge and 24-hour room service are standard amenities. These suites can be combined to achieve an even larger accommodation.
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Inside Cabins On Cruise Ships
Inside cruise ship cabins’ best feature is their price – you book them with the line’s cheapest rates available. These cruise accommodations don’t offer window views. Still, on some of the newest cruise ships of Royal Caribbean and Disney, there are categories Interior staterooms with a “virtual window”, which is a large LED screen displaying outside cam views. The screen doesn’t have TV functions.
On some Carnival ships, there are Inside cabins with a “French Balcony” . Also, some “interior staterooms” are actually Oceanview , but since their views are obstructed, they are booked as Interior. On Royal Caribbean ships, some Inside cabins have a window looking out to the ship’s interior promenade
Inside cruise cabins are fitted with twin beds , private bathroom , sitting area. Next are shown the layouts of Interior rooms on Harmony OTS.
Small Interior Stateroom is the least spacious standard cabin category on cruise ships. These cabins have two beds , private bath , a small sitting area.
How Sensitive Are We To Noise
These cabins on deck 9 may look secluded, but they’re directly under the Lido Marketplace on deck 10. – Photo by Cruiseline.com
You should also look at the decks above and below the cabin youre considering to determine what noise issues may impact your stateroom. Every ship has certain cabins to avoid. You may not choose, for example, to be below the pool sleeping through the power washing and daily deck-chair stacking can be a challenge or above a show lounge or nightclub, particularly if youre traveling with children who go to sleep early or any light sleepers.
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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.
Types Of Cabins On Cruise Ships
Cruise ship cabins are often referred to as “staterooms” or “cruise accommodations”. Their furnishings can range from “comfy” to “luxurious”. The cheapest tend to be smaller than an ordinary budget hotel room. The largest staterooms rival many land-based luxury resort accommodations – both as sizes and amenities, but mostly as prices. Cabin rates are per person and usually based on double occupancy . Prices range widely by cabin types, sizes, deck location, amenities, company’s and vessel’s ratings, also by destination, season, itinerary, travel agency, inclusions, and bonuses, promotion deals, etc.
On big ships, you’ll find a number of cabin categories within each cabin type. This is according to location, size, features, quality of view, etc. Cabin rates vary not only by type and size but also by category. For a particular cabin type, brochure/online prices usually apply to the lowest category. In your cabin, every square inch is usable since the price of ships is generally determined by the number of their beds/berths. So luggage fits under the bed, while the items you unpack will be stored in closets and drawers.
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