Pick the right cruise line for your vacation style. Once you’ve picked your destination and price range…which ship should you choose? Is there really that much difference in the atmosphere or “personality” between cruise lines?
Is your idea of cruise vacation attire shorts and flip flops? Do you prefer more sophisticated elegance? Will you be traveling with kids? The Cruise lines invest heavily in defining and delivering their “brand.”
See how they describe the difference in on-board experience of the major brands.
So is the marketing speak real? From my personal experience the cruise lines do a pretty good job of delivering on their Brand Spirit. I just returned from a week on the Norwegian Epic, and the anytime dining and entertainment options, as well as the relaxed and more casual dress codes definitely exemplified “Freestyle Cruising.” Also the wave architecture design of our staterooms was definitely unconventional! (Small, but nice design).
Princess Cruises has been a standard in cruising since the 1970’s in the United States and is my favorite “all around” cruise line. With 16 ships traveling to over 350 ports of call… you can definite “escape completely.” The service, food and amenities on Princess does deliver “relaxed, comfortable elegance,” in that it is more upscale than the mass market cruise lines, without being stuffy or too conservative.
I have not yet sailed on Holland America Line, but my clients tell me it is indeed more conservation and traditional than Princess or Norwegian and tends to attract an older passenger.
Celebrity Cruise Line is a premium plus line that offers a more upscale experience and dining quality than the other lines listed here (but without the luxury ship amenities or prices!). After several ship inspections on Celebrity ships, the quality and upscale amenities varies by ship. I recommend the newer “solsticized” ships over the older ships like the Constellation.
None of these cruise personalities are good or bad, but they are important in choosing the best cruise vacation for you. For example, if you enjoy a younger “Fun in the sun” party cruise – you may want to avoid Holland America. Or if you really don’t want to travel with children on-board, you may want avoid Norwegian or Royal Caribbean.
What is your cruise personality?
For personal advice in planning your cruise vacation contact:
Kathleen Peters, KMP Travel – Cruise Planners