September 26, 2017

Choosing A Cruise Line

Choosing a cruise line used to depend a great deal on your budget and, although that is still true, the competitiveness of the cruise business has resulted in a much narrower price range in the premium and contemporary lines. Service and food will vary from one line to another, but this also can vary among the ships of a fleet, and even from one voyage to the next on the same ship, which goes to show the influence a good hotel manager or head chef or cabin steward can have on your cruise experience.

To meet the growing demand for cruise travel, the major cruise lines have launched dozens of new ships over the last two decades. This proliferation of newbuilds, along with the ongoing retrofitting and refurbishing of ships, has resulted in an ever-expanding array of shipboard amenities – from water slides to specialty restaurants. These shipboard features vary among the cruise lines and are designed to differentiate their respective brands.

The average size of a cruise ship has gone up dramatically in recent years, with the gross tonnage (internal volume) of most newbuilds topping 100,000. Today’s megaships are called floating resorts for their range of amenities, including shopping malls and skating rinks, but not all of the newer ships are massive – they come in a range of sizes and styles to appeal to different segments of the cruise market. The classification of ships is not an exact science and the following is a general guideline for people who are new to cruising.

Cruise Line Classifications

Find out about the various classifications of ships from Budget to Luxury and what levels of service you can expect from each.