You’ve done some research and you know what you want from a cruise, but who do you go with? With so many luxurious lines out there, each of their fleets looking impressively pristine, how do you quickly decipher their differences?
It used to entail hours of trawling through brochures or cross-referencing websites, but no part of your holiday should be a chore. Like with every blissful break we provide, we believe that every stage of cruising should live up to its name, and that includes before you book. So, with this handy list, we’ve saved you some precious time and, in a nutshell, have summed up which lines are best placed to satisfy your differing desires.
Whether you’re cruising with little ones or not so little ones, Royal Caribbean are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of the sheer volume of onboard facilities, activities and entertainment. Tots and toddlers have their own dedicated play spaces, including nurseries with babysitting, along with a host of DreamWorks movie characters and Barbie on board. There’s also a huge kids pool with waterslides, a fairground, arcade, parties and parades, ensuring that every moment of your child’s adventure on the seas is magical. Older kids can enjoy surf and skydiving simulators, zip-lining, rock climbing, DJ classes, late-night free pizza and discos.
Unfettered indulgence and romance go hand in hand, which is why the most inclusive line going, Regent Seven Seas, is perfect for couples. A Regent cruise would make for an unforgettable honeymoon or anniversary, but this level of unabashed luxury really needs no excuses. With pre-cruise hotels, flights, shore excursions, dining, drinks and gratuities included, along with elegant onboard accommodation and stellar service, the only thing left for you to do is enjoy your time with each other. For couples, there’s no better way to bring the world to your door.
For older guests
Golden oldies have their pick of the lines when it comes to finding a ship with likeminded passengers seeking similar pleasures. Between Holland America’s focus on traditions like afternoon tea and ballroom dancing, Azamara’s emphasis on destination immersion, giving you plenty time to explore the cities you visit, and the onus that Seabourn place on service and sophisticated dining, you have a broad selection of suitable lines. Which you choose depends on what interests you most.
For sailing solo
Norwegian Cruise Line have built ships and created itineraries with singles in mind. Offering unique studio accommodation, designed and priced with solo travellers in mind, Norwegian offer freedom and flexibility to elevate the feeling of liberation that seeing the world by yourself should bring. Aboard Norwegian Epic, there are 128 solo cabins with access to a shared social space with large-screen TVs, coffee making facilities and a bartender, ensuring that travelling on your own only means being alone when you want it to.
Celebrity has dining covered, dedicating a huge amount of deck space to a variety of restaurants on its ships. From sophisticated French delicacies, to a creperie offering sweet and savoury delights, plus an excellent eatery with a menu centred around providing niche international comfort dishes, the amount of choice is as large as your appetite and as varied as your tastes. Meanwhile, Oceania also make for a mouth-watering option with acclaimed TV chef Jacques Pepin overseeing their dining arrangements.
For exploring destinations
Spending more time in port and featuring more overnight and late-night stays than most other cruise lines, Azamara are very much focussed on helping you immerse yourself in the destinations they visit. To help you see the world differently than you otherwise would with a different cruise line, Azamara have tried to incorporate less tourist-heavy ports in their itineraries, giving you a more authentic experience of local life around the globe. Along with scheduling itineraries around world cultural and sporting events, another excellent feature of nearly all Azamara cruises is their “AzAmazing Evenings”, in which guests are invited to enjoy a complimentary onshore event showcasing the local culture of a destination through music and performance.
Royal Caribbean’s mega ships also mean mega entertainment. From theatrical performances to ice skating and water acrobatics shows, this family-friendly line pushes the envelope when it comes to evening entertainments. Their stage shows have included Grease, Chicago, Saturday Night Fever and Hairspray. Also high in the entertainment stakes are Norwegian. Their collaborations with established performing outfits like Blue Man Group and the Second City Comedy Troupe are just two enthralling facets to their allure. You can also expect live musical performances, duelling pianists and stand-up comedy, ensuring there’s never a dull moment at sea.
For last minute deals
If you’re somebody who enjoys booking a holiday in the spur of the moment or you enjoy finding a deal that brings great value for money, P&O may just be the cruise line for you. The world’s longest running cruise operator on the seas offer a wealth of deals all year round.
The above information is just a guide to help you in your search for that perfect first cruise. While our picks may highlight some of the best lines to go with, other lines not mentioned may also have a long list of qualities you’re looking for. If you’d a like a more in-depth breakdown of which cruise line is best suited to you, get in touch and speak to one of our dedicated luxury cruise experts today.