Too Late To Get A Reservation On The Ship Head To That Restaurant Anyway
Didnt realize you needed a reservation or the spot you wanted was already filled? Dont worry you might still be able to get in.
You can head down to the restaurant and see if there is any room available. Sometimes people make reservations and then forget about them, freeing up space. Your chances are best if you go early or late instead of during peak hours.
Theres no guarantee youll get a space, but it does happen.
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.
Cruise Line Transfers From The Airport Are A Terrible Deal
When you fly in for your cruise, you have to also arrange for transportation from the airport to the cruise port. We usually recommend a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft. What we dont recommend is taking the transfers offered by the cruise line.
Cruise line transfers seem like a great idea after all, if youre getting a ride from the cruise company to the port, you know you wont miss your ship. However, the cruise transfers only run on the day of the cruise. That means if you fly in a day early for your trip, you are out of luck.
They are also expensive. For example, Carnival charges about $30 round trip per person to get you from the Miami airport to the Port of Miami a 10-mile ride. Compare that to a taxi or Uber, which will charge you about $35 round trip for up to four passengers. Meanwhile, with a taxi or other transportation, you arent tied to the cruise shuttles schedule.
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River Ship Line #: Tauck
Taucks nine river ships specialize in navigating Northern Europe, with itineraries that highlight the castles of Germanys Rhine River or explore Paris and Monets gardens at Giverny on a Seine cruise. Special departures throughout the year welcome multigenerational family groups, including young childrena unique offering among river cruise lines.
Royal Caribbean International Fun Family Adventures
With its huge, innovative ships and large, ever-expanding fleet, Royal Caribbean International is a cruise line with an active vibe that can appeal to the whole family.
There are more than 25 ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet, and the line prides itself on new and unusual features such as ice rinks, robotic bartenders, skydiving chambers, surfing simulators, zip lines, escape rooms, climbing walls, and more right on board. The largest ships even have distinct neighborhoods that bring unique themes, outstanding architecture, and personalized character to each part of the ship.
Royal Caribbean International sails worldwide, offering a wide scope of itineraries and voyages of varying lengths. There are plenty of options for younger cruisers as well as seasoned passengers, and each ship offers vast entertainment options for everyone to enjoy.
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Always Use Your Cabin Safe Its Not Perfect But Its Better Than Nothing
Unfortunately, we live in a world where you have to be cautious with your valuables. Theft does happen, even on a cruise. Every cabin will come with an in-room safe, which you should use whenever you leave the room. Its perfect for storing extra cash, electronics, passports and more.
Its by no means perfect, but the safe helps protect you from any crimes of convenience where someone snags an item just because its left out in the open.
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.
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Go To Guest Services Late At Night Or Early In The Morning To Avoid Lines
Whats that huge line you see in the middle of the ship at the beginning and end of the cruise? Its the line to talk to Guest Services. Its always a hassle to have to deal with getting things straightened out with your onboard account, but its something you occasionally have to do.
Heres a big timesaver. If you do have to talk to Guest Services, plan your visit either later in the evening or early in the morning. At these times the line is almost non-existent so you can talk to a rep immediately.
You can also purchase perks like Carnivals Faster to the Fun to save time if you dont want to be bothered to go at off hours.
Small Ship Line #1: Star Clippers
Star Clippers has a fleet of three ships, with its flagship Royal Clipper holding the record as the worlds largest full-rigged sailing ship. All three are sailing yachts, unfurling their sails for itineraries across the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Southeast Asia, with classic exteriors and interiors featuring several bars, a swimming pool, library, and formal dining room.
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Extra Perks: Faster To The Fun Vs The Key
If youre willing to spend the extra money, both cruise lines offer some perk programs that can make your cruise more special.
For Carnival, this program is called Faster to the Fun. The costs run between $40-$120, depending on the length of your cruise and the ship that you sail. That price is per cabin, not per person.
For Faster to the Fun, you get the following perks:
- Early access to your stateroom
- Priority luggage delivery
- VOOM Internet for one device
- Choice of departure time
Bottom line: Both cruise lines offer VIP perks. Royal Caribbean offers more perks, but is also priced per person, which may be more expensive. Carnivals is a per-cabin fee, but doesnt include perks like Internet.
Should You Use A Travel Agent To Book A Cruise
There are several benefits to using a travel agent to book your cruise. In fact, a majority of cruisers use a travel agent, whether a local agency or an online booking website, to book their cruise.
According to the Cruise Line International Association, when people did use a travel agent, they reported a high degree of satisfaction with the advice, knowledge and value received.
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Dont Sail Without The Vaccine
On some cruises if you want to get on the ship, then youll need to show proof of vaccination. But rules will continue to evolve and some places such as Florida dont allow cruise ships to require proof of the shot.
No matter if its required or not, you should get the vaccine to sail. Not only does it protect you from getting sick, it also protects other passengers and the ports that are visited. If thats not enough, cruise lines currently charge sharp testing fees for unvaccinated passengers that can add hundreds to the cost of your cruise.
Buy Gift Cards For Your Cruise To Rack Up Rewards
Want a way to earn a little extra from buying your cruise? Consider buying gift cards from grocery stores to pay for your trip. Some grocery chains offer discounts on gas based on the dollars you spend at the store. For example, Kroger lets you save up to $1 per gallon with their fuel point program.
The trick is to buy your gift cards with a credit card, which gets you the fuel points and the credit card points. Its a way to earn some serious cash back on your cruise purchase.
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Have Dietary Restrictions Cruise Lines Can Cover You
Vegetarian? Gluten-free? Food allergies? No matter your dietary restrictions, the cruise lines can accommodate. Dont wait until you are on the ship to tell the cruise line about your diet restrictions. Call as soon as you book and speak to a customer service agent. They can update you on food options and also make a note on your account to notify the crew.
Disney Cruise Line Magical Sailings
For true family magic, theres no equal to Disney Cruise Line as long as passengers are a fan of the Disney brand, which will be found everywhere onboard, admittedly in often elegant and understated ways rather than brash or heavy-handed accents. The four ships of Disney Cruise Line offer no casinos, but have extensive programming for children of all ages and many different attractions to appeal to everyones inner child.
The attention to detail is unmatched, and Disney fans will find themselves immersed in all the magic of Disneys worlds through the character appearances, themed shows, exquisite restaurants, and other extensive Disney dreams onboard.
Because Disney Cruise Line is popular with families, the ships are often more crowded as extra berths in cabins are filled . Yet there is much to distract passengers onboard, and even adults will enjoy the nostalgia of classic Disney in every detail.
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Soft Drinks By Cruise Line: Coke Products Or Pepsi Products
I get itthat was a lot of info to take in, especially if youre in the very first stages of planning a cruise! If having access to Coke vs. Pepsi products on a cruise is important to you, heres a quick chart that breaks it down so you can easily rule out cruise lines that dont have your fave drinks.
How much does it impact your vacation if the cruise line only carries Coke products? Is it a dealbreaker if you cant get your favorite soft drinks on a cruise? Let me know in the comments below!
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Who Provides The Best Value
Both Celebrity and Norwegian Cruise Line have similar inclusions, and there isnt usually a big difference in cost for comparable cruises. It really comes down to the experience you want to pay for, and the deals available that offer you the best price.
Each brand runs regular promotions which may see discounted rates and value adds, so the best value fares generally depend on the offers available at the time of booking. Both lines tend to have tiered fares the best priced option with standard inclusions, or an upgraded fare with additional perks.
For example, Celebritys Sail Your Way promotion allows you to choose an entry level fare without any extra benefits, or upgrade to include a number of bonuses which may add on a beverage package, onboard credit, or Wi-Fi. Similarly, Norwegians ongoing Free At Sea program allows guests to get up to five free offers depending on stateroom category selected, or forgo these for a discounted fare.
To get the best value for you, its worth weighing up which offer will add the most benefit to the cruising experience you are seeking.
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Large Ship #: Msc Cruises
Nearly half of MSCs fleetnamely those ships in the Musica and Fantasia classesfalls into the large cruise category, with its newer builds firmly taking a bigger is better stance. The eight large vessels primarily sail in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, though they do offer itineraries in North and South America, Asia, and Northern Europe, too. The family-friendly ships skew on the upscale side, and theyre known for their incredibly international crowds.
River Ship Line #: Viking River Cruises
Parent company Viking Cruises has expanded feverishly in recent years, with more than 60 river ships and six ocean vessels in its fleet. Under Viking River Cruises, the company’s riverboats explore familiar waters like the Danube and Rhône in Europe, as well as faraway itineraries on the Volga in Russia, and the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar. Viking River Cruises also includes complimentary Wi-Fi and select shore excursions in its prices, and its Culture Curriculum offers experiential learning through events like regional wine tastings and menus that rotate seasonally.
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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.
Cruise Ships Are A Great Place For Spreading A Virus
You know why you always hear about norovirus on cruise ships? Thats because if you were going to create a conducive place to spread a virus, you would build a cruise ship. Having thousands of people in an enclosed area and the same dining facilities is ripe for spreading illness.
Cruise lines go to great lengths to sanitize and keep everyone healthy. Even so, definitely use hand sanitizer, which is available all over the ship. Proper hand washing is also important.
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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.
Guide: Which Cruise Line Is Right For You
As the popularity of Seattles Alaskan-focused cruises grows by leaps and bounds, the options you have in cruising continue to expand. Now you have the choice of 11 different ships from seven different cruise lines.
All those options can make it confusing on deciding which cruise line will fit what youre looking for. To make things easier, weve broken down each line with a synopsis below to give you a better idea of what to expect with each. Weve also created a handy reference guide at the end of this page to help you see at a glance the differences between the cruise lines.
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Best Cruise Lines For Families
The top-ranking cruises for families for 2022 are:
Disney dominates the family cruise category, as it has every year since U.S. News started ranking cruises in 2013.
The company has five ships: Magic, Wonder, Dream, Fantasy and its latest, Disney Wish, which is scheduled to launch in summer 2022. The ship is also set to introduce Disney’s first “attraction at sea” 760 feet of water slide tubes with Mickey Mouse-themed music, lighting and special effects.
Also on the list: Costa Cruises .
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.
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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.