I've decided that Carnival is probably the first step on this cruise heirarchy. And probably QE2 is the top rung.
I'd like to make an upgrade next time. What's my next choice? Celebrity? Where do NCL and HAL rate on the list? From what I've read, NCL and HAL are about the same as Carnival...is that a fair assumption?
Or it could be that I just need a newer ship.
Would it be fair to assume that the whole quality of the cruise would go up on a newer ship?
Here's my issue(s):
4-time cruiser. #1 was Mardi Gras back in 86. First cruise..young(er) than I am now...I was impressed. #2 was Fantasy right after it came out. So it was a 'new' ship then. #3 was honeymoon. Nothing could have been 'wrong' with that cruise, either, but it was on the RCCL Majesty, and THAT was a new ship at the time, too. But I was impressed each time.
I just got off the Imagination. It was a budget cruise...not something I was 'planning' on taking, but the DH and friend-couple wanted to take a quickie vacation. So I went. This time, though, I wasn't as impressed as the other times. Is it age? Of me, or the ship? Was it because I'm a control freak and it wasn't MY idea in the first place? Who knows. The service was only 'standard' on-shore type service aside from one fabulous deck waiter. The entertainment was just as Simon & Randy would say when they insult contestants for only being as good as cruise-ship talent (mediocre): the lounge shows, comedy show, and on-deck live steel-drum band...all just so-so.
I don't remember cruising being this "mediocre." So I'm writing it off as a fluke. What's my next step for a better experience? DH and I are early-mid 40s and still like to "do stuff" but the activities on board were (for lack of a better word) "lame." (Lido deck Bean Bag Toss on the stage wth minute-by-minute commentary?! UGH!) We like to dance...we were hoping that the Lido deck would be "hopping" most of the time, but it wasn't. The Illusions lounge was dead, and the 70s & 80s night music was just awful...and those are OUR eras! We had a great time in port(s)..just the onboard experience was not as good as we'd like it to have been. (no more 'budget' cruises for us!)
So it'll be a year or more before we cruise again, and I'm starting my homework NOW. I know most of the 'information' is around these forums, so I don't expect a full-on reply to my rant, but wondering really just the answer to the initial question- that being what's the next step after this (but we're not up to "luxury" material yet
Just a step or two up the ladder, please