Listed below is my personal preference of the so called mass marketed lines.
( 1 ) Holland America, ( 2 ) Celebrity, ( 3 ) Princess. ( 4 ) RCCL and Carnival being, in my opinion, about equal. They give very good value for the money and in my opinion, are probably the best for families. This is only my opinion which, as usual , doesn't mean anything to anyone but me.
I don't travel with kids and choose carefully the adults I travel with. Some adults can be more of a pain in the posterior than kids. I am more selective in choosing a cruise now than a few years ago and don't book a cruise just for the sake of cruising. I look closely at the ports and also at the ship. In other words if the cruise doesn't necessarily go where I want to go and I am not crazy about the ship, I will pass. I like to go on new ships ( have the Carnival Liberty booked for Jan. ) but if the itinerary is something I am interested in, the ship doesn't have to be new. I don't cruise in the late spring or summer to avoid the throngs and loads of kids. I usually cruise in the fall and / or late winter. I don't worry about mechanical failures ( unless it's on a plane ) and don't worry about hurricanes. I figure the ships officers are on the ship same as I am and they probably wouldn't want to sail through a hurricane any more than i would.
I don't worry about the food, as generally it's good on all the lines. If sometimes I don't care for something, I know there's plenty more to choose from.
I don't fret the selling of photos, gold by the inch, or worry about bingo. If I want to buy something and the price ( to me ) is reasonable, I will buy it. If it's unreasonable, I pass and don't condemn the cruise line for pricing it to high. It's my choice.
I don't have to know the waitstaff on a first name basis. I don't care if someone forgets to make a monkey out of a towel one night or if I have to remind them I am waiting for my coffee. I am easy to work with and as a result usually get good service.
I am not a partier nor a party pooper. I like to relax and enjoy my time aboard ship and just as much, enjoy most of the ports. Obviously I like to cruise and hope to get in several more in the next 50 years.
That's my take on cruising.