The Best Cruise Lines for 10 Types of Cruisers
By Jason Cochran
Here are 10 considerations a vacationer might have, paired with the line that answers them best.
I want to feel like Im in Titanic
Sinking aside, the grand liner experience is one worth cherishing, and it lives on in just one brand: Cunard Line, which has been sailing since the 1830s. The Queen Mary 2 may be one of the most fabulous vessels afloat, and yes there are still classes of service. You'll find me in the Princess Grill!
I want to see Europe
Most of the major lines (including Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Disney) make summer forays into Europe, but my advice is to stick with ships that are on the smaller side. These would include Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea or Seabourn - all of which get into ports many of the larger ships just can't reach. Also, consider a riverboat cruise down one of Europe's famous rivers - its a great combination of a land tour and a cruise.
I wanna party!
Belly up to the casino bar on a Carnival ship, my friend. Most of the vessels in the Carnival fleet, while jammed with opportunities to drink and eat yourself into a stupor, are fairly indistinguishable from each other thanks to being dominated by long-time designer Joe Farcus.
Im a foodie
Holland America offers a Culinary Arts Center program, where passengers can learn hands-on cooking skills and delve into the local cuisine of the ports they visit. Oceania Cruises new ship, the Marina, has a Culinary Center with a similar experience, itself linked to Bon Apptit. Or, for the ultimate food and wine experience take a Food Network theme cruise (http://themecruisefinder.com/CruiseAds/item/2492)
I dont want to cruise
Seabourn Cruise Line is an ultra-luxury line that separates itself from the hoi polo. Two lines with a similar profile, but with slightly less tony standards, are Azamara Club Cruises and Oceania Cruises.
I dont want to fly far to cruise
People around Floridas East Coast and New York City have their pick of itineraries, but Carnival is the most conscientious about porting ships throughout the United States so that more passengers can drive to their vacations.
Im traveling solo
The Norwegian Epic became the hero of the unwed in 2010 when it introduced a special category of single cabins for solo traveler. In addition, a number of the more deluxe lines tend to offer significantly reduced single supplements throughout the year.
I have kids under 12″
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Disney Cruise Line is the top choice, and the reason doesnt have as much do with the brands characters as you might think. A number of the larger lines such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival also have fantastic kids programs that will keep your little ones occupied throughout the day and well into the night.
My teen-agers get bored quickly
For active kids, theres Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. The line has worked hard to set itself apart as a high-adrenaline product. Look for a line that features a specific teen club (many with their own soda fountains and discos). Teens feel comfortable if they have their own areas to congregate.
Im not going with kids, but I want to be busy
Princess Cruises seems right for those who arent in the mood to be overwhelmed by gimmicks, but want to retain a little of the mall-inspired extravagance that prevails in todays ships. Check out a theme cruise, where you'll share your cruise with fellow travelers who have the same interests as do you. www.themecruisefinder.com
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