The best ships for solo cruising, romance, travel, relaxation, entertainment, food, pampering, bargains and families.
A list of the best cruise ships available for different kinds of people
There is a perfect cruise ship for everyone, no matter what their personality, budget, relationship status or demographics -- whether they are solo cruisers, a young couple, empty nesters, or senior citizens planning a family vacation for the entire brood.
As a cruise industry expert and columnist, I have selected a few ships below that I consider to be best for different kinds of people - based on the onboard ambience, cuisine, entertainment, and of course, price.
In making these "best ship" selections, I evaluate the ships' attributes and average prices to come up with a combined "cruise value" equation.
However, sometimes the most expensive cruise lines are simply the best in a given category - so I will tell you when that is the case and try to suggest a more affordable option.
Paul, of all the cruise lines that cater to North Americans, I think you have tried all except one or two (Regent and maybe Sea Cloud). You really need to try a Regent cruise. Of course, I would love a report on Sea Cloud too.
"The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."
F Scott Fitzgerald
Silversea Silver Explorer (23nts) - Kangerlussuaq, Greenland - Nome, Alaska - Aug 14
Seven Seas Voyager (30nts) - Dubai - Cape Town - Nov 14
Notably missing was Holland America. I find that they are the most pampering of any cruise line. The service and attitude are unmatched, except perhaps by the luxury lines. The prices match those of NCL or Celebrity.
Unfortunately, the entertainment on HAL is a real dud. Third rate (and I'm being really generous here) singers and comedian. Watching a few staff members on stage playing some guessing games was boring too.
We have also found the best entertainment on NCL. The comedy routines by Second City had us rolling; the acrobats were circus-worthy; the guitarist in the bar; the comedian; the hypnotist - I can go on and on raving about the NCL offerings - all this on the Gem - not even one of the mega-ships.
The downside of NCL? The crew all come with attitude, and the cleanliness does not match, or even come close too, HAL.
HAL's cabins are also much larger, across all categories.
Which will be my next choice HAL or NCL? Not sure.
After 43 cruises in many parts of the world and having more than 2500 clients booking thousands of cruises through us and getting all their feedback, I have come to one conclusion about cruises; everything is subjective and what one person loves, another will hate.
The best thing about cruising is that there is definitely something for everyone no matter their age, lifestyle, needs, likes, or budget.
And the most fun thing about cruising is trying them all so you can find the best one for you.
As the saying goes, "The journey is the destination!"
__________________ Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/12 yrs exp and 47 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
I agree with all of you, every cruise provides a unique and valuable experience. Even though I have only been on a few cruises, I really have made great memories of them. Thank for the list of best cruise ships. I feel like going on another cruise now!!
Last edited by Mike M; September 15th, 2012 at 08:33 AM.
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