Not all cruise lines have the same services - it's logical, their services and amenities also differ. Ships vary in size and on-board services, staff are differently trained and there are numerous other aspects to analyze before choosing a cruise line fast.
For your convenience, we have analyzed several of the largest cruise lines. Our list unveils differences between these firms and presents part of their array of services. Hopefully this will facilitate making the correct choice!
Carnival Cruise Lines
This is a cruise line preferred by the young people, they have the most adequate on-board entertainment facilities and services.
Their ships are fun and noisy, filled with crowds of youngsters. Perhaps it is not a quiet place for the elderly looking for relaxation and quietness.
They call their ships "Fun Ships" - this marketing technique is built on offering attractive on-board entertainment and other similar services.
Carnival operates primarily in the Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii and Canada, but they also sail around European shores.
This cruise company offers great on-board entertainment, as well as wellness services, fitness packages.
They are one of the most notorious cruise line in the World.
They possess 6 of the "Top 10 Large Ships", according to the "Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards". As of 2012, they still held this record.
Celebrity is one of the most appreciated cruise lines, having won many awards.
They have multiple, specialty restaurants on board and they have award-winning staterooms.
Their prices aren't among the lowest ones, though...
Aside of their giant ships, they possess a small cruise ship with a capacity of 96 passengers, called "Celebrity Xpedition", which operates to and around the Galápagos Islands - grabbing a trip with this ship might be one of the most unique experiences you can have. This could be close to adventure travel, an expedition cruise to the exotic islands of Galápagos where unusual species of lizards, turtles and birds roam.
Another notorious cruise line, World-famous cruise company.
Princess has a service called "Personal Choice Cruising", which allows clients to customize their cruise trip fully, from lunch to entertainment services. If you'd like to set your own rules, tailor-make a cruise, then pick your own services with Princess Cruises.
This is a cruise line that gives special attention to spa and wellness services.
They have small ships and claim to have hundreds of "affordable balconies" - some ships count over 700 of these!
One of the big players in the cruise business. Despite its name, it also operates in areas around Europe and western Mexico, not only the Caribbean Sea.
Royal Caribbean is most appreciated for its well-trained and kind staff, innovative modern ships, land-based trips.
Interestingly, some of their ships even have boxing rings, ice skating rinks.
For picking the best place to stay, they have an online 360 degree tour system and a schematic map of the cabin layout.
They operate in the Caribbean primarily, but offer cruises to Alaska and they also have attractive Mediterranean cruises.
Azamara Club Cruises
Azamara is aiming at creating a more intimate atmosphere to passengers. They operate smaller ships and they offer wellness/spa services. Encouraging elegance is part of their marketing effort and they are also renowned for their quality dining services.
Azamara also concentrates on the importance of destinations. They give special attention to land-based tours, sightseeing trips.
Cunard is an English cruise line, whose history dates back to the 1840s.
With an English atmosphere, typical elegance and cabaret-style on-board entertainment services, Cunard is one of its kind... Elegant bars, shiny high-end halls, premium quality cabins and there's more... all in luxury style.
A sophisticated atmosphere and elegant staff await you at Cunard. Expect high prices, more rigid dress codes, as this is a luxury cruise line.
Italian style cruise line...
Offers cruise trips primarily in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Dubai, but it also operates on routes to North America, the Indian Ocean, East Asia and South America.
Take Costa if you want to see the World. They have one of the most far-stretching cruise routes. On-board entertainment includes electronic simulator rooms (you can try the Gran Prix Race Car simulator, for example), they have theatres, music studios, spas as well.
Plus: Italian style dining will captivate you!
Crystal Cruises had its ships designed based on the principles of feng shui, believing that it attracts positive energy.
Ob-board entertainment and activities include Broadway-style shows, even bingo and unusually, they even hold creative learning classes on their ships: musical instrument lessons, wellness classes, dance lessons etc.
With Crystal Cruises you can also enjoy the thrill and excitement of casino playing. Las Vegas-like atmosphere dominates on the ships with casinos from Crystal's fleet.
Holland America Line
This cruise line is concentrating on ensuring good comfort, more space to its passengers. They carry less passengers per ship, offering more space in cabins than the biggest cruise lines.
Holland America offers classic atmosphere cruises, it is an old company whose history dates back to 1873. They even have a dress code (like some other cruise lines) - elegant clothing, such as tuxedos for men are recommended. After 6 PM, sports, jeans, swim suits, shorts and similar 'inelegant' clothing is recommended to be swapped for something more elegant.
If you want a stylish, elegant cruise, then Holland America might be the right choice for you.
Interesting thing is that all of their ships have Dutch names, all ending in "-dam", just like "Amsterdam".
MSC Cruises operates gigantic white ships, typical modern cruise ships with swimming pools on their deck.
MSC is the 4th largest cruise operator in the World (as of 2009 - title held in 2011 too).
The name "MSC" comes from "Mediterranean Shipping Company" and the firm is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The company operates cruises in the Mediterranean primarily.
Most routes served are in the Mediterranean, the Baltic and other northern European seas.
If you want to sail around Europe, it can be an extraordinary experience and with MSC, you can also apply for land-based guided tours!
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line is based in Miami, despite its name, which suggests Norway. The company's history dates back to 1966, when they operated under the name "Norwegian Caribbean Line".
Most of their ships' names contain the word 'Norwegian', for instance "Norwegian Sky", "Norwegian Jewel" etc.
They offer top quality entertainment with powerful accent on wellness and fitness. They are innovative, which means that they'll improve and modernize their ships from time to time, trying to bring something new and exciting to the general public.
Their ships have casinos, they organize bingos, have excellent restaurants and bars, they organize pool games, deck parties etc.
Great name for a cruise line...
It's a young cruise line, which only started operating in 2003 with mid-size ships belonging to the R-class. The vehicles were obtained from the Renaissance Cruises fleet. They were all renewed...
Oceania offers rich online entertainment, focusing primarily on music. They have concerts, but they also have karaoke services.
On board you will even be able to take part at wine-serving festivities, attend hands-on arts and crafts classes etc.
This cruise line is great for those who want to meet new people, learn new things, interact with other travelers, as they have plenty shows, entertainment events. Some of which are held on the top deck.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
The firm offers exquisite service, cruises are destination-focused and special land-based tours are organized as well. Casinos aboard will entertain those who have the courage to risk and are driven by a thirst to gamble.
The cruise line requires formal attire only on designated evenings. It's not a luxury line, so you can walk around in sporty outfit without feeling inadequately dressed.
You will find fitness and recreation facilities aboard: gym rooms and a jogging track can be found on each vessel. Additional sports courts exist on some of the vehicles only. It's a typical cruise line, a passing choice for land-based tours as well. It's not specialized on luxury, youth, seniors or anything else, it's just about for everyone.
The line is appreciated for the large private balconies it sells to passengers who get lucky enough to find available places in such cabins...
Seabourn operates relatively small luxury cruise ships and provides high level services to passengers.
Elegant restaurants sell a select series of wines and spirits, the top decks have open-air pools, the ships even have libraries and they provide video rental services to cabins. Contests are also organized, so are various guest appearances on entertainment shows.
Choose this cruise line if you'd like to have a stylish peaceful cruise. There are no noisy dance shows, screaming crowds of youngsters... It's a line ideal for seniors as well!
Plus: Seabourn will take you to faraway places in the World, including Asia.
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines
It's a British cruise company offering a typically British atmosphere for those who choose to experience a trip with them.
You won't just sail oceans and seas with Fred Olsen. They'll take you on land-based journeys with buses and will show you attractions with their guides.
On board shows, dances and cabarets are highly popular. The Fred Olsen ships turn into party ships for the nights.
Fred Olsen is famous for not having too many repeating cruise routes. They will take you here and there, trying not to repeat the same pattern all over again.
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