Monday, August 10, 2009

How Do I Know Which Cruise Line to Go On?

Holland America, Cunard, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney, NCL, Princess and the list goes on. I just mentioned a small percentage of the total number of cruise lines at your disposal for a possible cruise vacation. The choices can be overwhelming to so many travelers. How do you make a choice? Do you choose solely on price? Do you choose based on where the particular ship is cruising to along with price? Do you base your decision on size of the ship?

I want to help by clarifying some of the differences between the various cruise lines and hopefully will aid you in deciding what would be the best choice for your next cruise getaway. You really have to decide on what type of vacation do you want to have. Do you want peace and quiet? Do you want luxury mixed in with a little adventure? Do you want it to be something for the whole family?

So let's start by look at Carnival Cruises. Carnival has given its self the name, "The Fun Ships." Their cruises tend to lean heavy on the fun and less on the formal. They tend to attract a "fun" crowd that prefers party over peace and quiet. Carnival has ships of all sizes appealing to a large and diverse crowd, but make no mistake about it, if you want something more along the lines of rest and relaxation, their cruises may not be for you, especially over the spring and summer months.

So then what about a cruise line like Royal Caribbean? Royal Caribbean offers a fun and adventuresome atmosphere. Their itineraries are designed to offer passengers a chance at adventure in their various ports of call. But they also try to cater to those looking to get away from it all. They are a nice option for both the fun crowd and the relaxing crowd.

Norwegian Cruise Line is another one closer to the style of Royal Caribbean. Their "free-style" approach offers guests the freedom to set their own schedule which should help guests feel more like they are truly on a vacation.

The 3 cruise lines I just mentioned also tend to be tailored towards the trendy crowds with their more contemporary decor various night clubs and activities. So if you like things more formal, then these 3 might not be to your liking as much as some of the other options.

If you want more of a formal cruise reminiscent of the days when cruising meant black-tie dinners and balls, then you might want to look at Celebrity, Princess Cruises, Holland America, or Cunard. These will offer a much more formal setting in many cases. They also will be tailored towards those who like to have educational offerings on their cruises in the way of seminars or classes. Their demographic tends to be more older ranging from the mid-40's to the early retirees.

Now where does this leave those of you who want a cruise for the whole family? Naturally Disney Cruise Line comes to mind for those of have children, but don't overlook Carnival or Royal Caribbean when it comes to family activities. Again...if you want a fun and adventuresome cruise for your entire family, they all 3 have programs designed for kids of all ages and will have entire areas of the ship devoted to all age groups.

If you want your children to have as much fun as you though, you may not want to carry them along on a Cunard, Holland America, or even a Princess cruise. They all boast of having activities for kids, but they are not as organized nor do they devote the space for children as Disney, Royal Caribbean and Carnival do on their ships.

I am only mentioning those main cruise lines that are not considered to be in the "lifestyles of the rich and famous" category. There are others that are simply devoted to pure luxury and most of my clientele are every day folks (like me) who are not looking for a cruise that costs similar to a year's house payment. :)

So with all of this said, I do not recommend you looking at a cruise solely because it is advertised as the cheapest etc. That cruise line and ship may not be to your liking or fit your personality or vacation desires. A good cruise specialist can help you choose the right cruise that fits your budget so you don't ever go on a cruise and look around and ask, "what in the world am I doing on this ship??"

So many cruise lines are visiting similar ports of call around the world so you have lots of choices. If you want a cruise in the Mediterranean, you can choose between Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Princess, and others. Choices are abundant so don't feel like there is not a cruise for you. Maybe you have yet to sail with a cruise line that more to your style and way of life.

How have your experiences been? Have you found one cruise line to be better than some of the others that you have sailed on? Let me know of some of your experiences. Thanks for reading.

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