Making sense of cruise lines

Any cruise holds the promise of a wonderful vacation. However, it’s important to know that different types of cruise lines provide different types of vacation experiences. Cruise lines can be divided into three major categories, and knowing what each offers will help you select your dream cruise vacation.

The three major categories of cruise lines are contemporary, premium and luxury.

All three offer the ease and fun of a vacation that visits multiple destinations on a comfortable ship that is like a floating resort. The difference is really in the details.

Contemporary cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, have the largest ships, often carrying 2,000 passengers or more. With efficiently designed staterooms, suites and public spaces, they have the highest passenger-to-space ratios at sea. Daily schedules are bursting with activities and entertainment for all ages. Dining usually centers on a traditional main dining room with two assigned seatings for dinner, plus buffet-style restaurants. However, there is a trend toward more open-seating dining and alternative dining options on contemporary lines.

On the ships of premium cruise lines such as Celebrity Cruises, the décor, service and entertainment tend to be more subdued and sophisticated. Ships range from mid-size to large, with lower passenger-to-space ratios than the contemporary cruise lines. Many premium-line ships have upscale specialty restaurants and bistros. You’ll still find guests of all ages on board, but activities for children and teens may not be as extensive as they are on contemporary cruise lines.

Like five-star land-based resorts, luxury cruise lines offer the very finest accommodations, entertainment and dining. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is one example of a luxury line. Luxury ships can range from large yachts to mid-size vessels. Accommodations are spacious, with elegant touches such as freshly cut flowers and fine linens. Service is highly individualized, attentive and discreet. Luxury cruise lines cater to adults and usually are not well suited to children and teens.

Of course, some cruise lines do not fall easily into just one category. For example, Azamara Cruises is a deluxe cruise line that fits right between the premium and luxury categories.

Understanding your travel habits and dreams will help Cruise Holidays put you on the right type of cruise line, ship and itinerary for you. Take time to talk with me, Cruise Holidays, about your past travel experiences and what you want most in a cruise vacation.

Carrie Finley

Carrie is ready to explore, discover, and share the wonderful world of cruise travel. My goal is to report live from the ships sharing information about the overall experience under my Blogger-at-Large series. You will find information about cruise ships and places near the sea. Explore what’s buzzing at the cruise lines and gain insight into the world of cruising. Make sure to connect with Carrie via social media outlets including Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

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