I would appreciate it if some of the more experienced cruisers out there could share their opinions of what are their favorite cruise lines. Please don't bother with Radisson, Silverseas, or Seabourn as I'm 33 and have 3 kids. Way out of my price range. I've been on the Celebrity, Mercury(which I loved) and Carnival, Destiny(which I didn't like). Does the size of the ship make a difference to you and your experience?? My wife and I didn't like the Destiny and I'm not sure if the size of the ship and all of the people on board had something to do with it.
I don't have a favorite yet...Need many more cruises to develop a favorite I think! lol So far I have sailed Celebrity, RCI, NCL, and Carnival. (BTW-I had a great time on the Destiny) I enjoyed each one, and appreciated different things about them. I am anxious to try Princess, and one of the newer RCI ships. When, where, and how long you sail, I think makes a difference as to the experience you might have, especially on Carnival.
Having sailed NCL, Celebrity, Princess and RCI, I must vote for Royal Caribbean as my favorite so far, hands down. I haven't sailed on their biggest ships yet, but absolutely love the Legend Class ships, which are about 70,000 tons. The Princess Sea/Sun/Dawn/Ocean are all about the same size, and they'd win my vote for second place. I just like that size ship. I find that the staff of RCI seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs and are very willing to go out of their way to ensure we have a good time. I've not found that nearly so common on the other lines I've sailed. Just my opinion, and many will disagree. Many will agree, too. Why not try them all?
I have only one cruise under my belt, the second coming up in 29 days, and both on the same ship. We had such a WONDERFUL experience all around on the Grand Princess last year that we are repeating it, but to different ports, and this year with a balcony.
I'll be watching this site to read all the others choices. Have a great cruise!!
P.S. Have you checked out the message board for the cruise lines? If not, go to the top of this bb, click on cruise lines, then click on your choice of cruise lines by name.
After 33 cruises and 10 of them taking the kids I would vote for either Celebrity(food and service better) or Royal Caribbean(more kids and kids facilities) We do not however recommend the new Mega liners from RCI as they just hold way too many people. We are taking the Brillance in the fall on a transatlantic voyage (just mom and dad)and the Galaxy in May to Canada and New England
with the kids for 11 days from Baltimore.
The Radiance or Brillance should be excellent or any of the Celebrity ships are excellent.(my teens just love the great food aboard Celebrity and the excellent service they offer)at very good rates. RCI does have more space dedicated to kids, but mine, given the choice, still seem to perfer Celebrity.
Thats my two cents worth....Happy sailing with the family.
You mentioned that you have 3 kids, my choice would be one of the Voyager class ships, truly a great family cruise. We cruised on Explorer last year and by far, the best cruise we've had so far.
There is just so much for anyone to do on these ships, and although they are large, very easy to navigate the ship.
Definitely RCI!! The newer ships have waterslides and my kids have never been more happy on a ship before! I don't know if I can get them to cruise in the future on a ship without one. Every day for 3 hours, they'd be on that waterslide, meeting friends, playing games and having a blast. It gave me 3 hours of freedom to enjoy the incredible Solarium on the Radiance.
Princess has a good program too, and my kids prefer the Grand Class ships' arcades to RCI's arcades which are more expensive and the games are more outdated than Princess'. But, Princess' camp counselors aren't as fun and energetic as RCI's. The service and food were far better on RCI than on Princess too.
With either line, you can't go wrong, but the kids recommend RCI as their favorite.
Carnival is still my favorite cruise line. I know many people say it is just a party boat. But we have a group that goes and most of us don't even have more than 1 drink a day. We have always been treated very well by Carnival and are all looking forward to being on the Inspiration in April. Char
I don't have a favorite Cruise Line. I find that NONE are consistent enough to warrant that type of loyalty. Seems you can have a wonderful 5 star cruise experience on one ship, then a less satisfying experience on another.
However, I do have favorite cruises. To this point
#1 Celebrity Millennium... just the best overall cruise experience I've had to date (couldn't have hurt that it was visiting two of my favorite cities, Barcelona and Florence).
#2 RCI's -Grandeur of the Seas.. one of my early cruises, but I still remember what a great cruise we had...and I really enjoy the size and layout of RCI's Vision Class ships
#3 Seabourn Sun- just the overall epitimy of class... it didnt require miles of marble, or decorating magic to create it. It just was.
And it's soon to become a Holland America ship, so will become financially accessible to all.
#4 Carnival Triumph- the most lively fun cruise we've had... helped alot that John Heald, the very best Cruise Director in the business was onboard.
I haven't had a bad cruise yet.. but these 4 stand out in my mind, and as you tell quite diverse from each other. So.. it all depends on what you're looking for at a particular time, and mood.
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: Favorite Cruise Line
My two favorites are Celebrity and Princess - I love the service and the food on both - Princess is just a tad more relaxed than Celebrity and their pools and hot tubs are open 24/7; but I really love the Thalossotherapy pool on Celebrity; and I felt the dining room service was better on Celebrity than Princess. Both lines have beautiful ships; all standard cabins have mini-fridges; Celebrity's standard cabins are a little larger than Princess's. I would not hesitate to sail on either line!
No real favorites....love all cruises. Some are better than others depending on the "mix" of passengers. Had a cruise director, from Princess, tell me a long time ago every cruise is different and it's true!! For us, Best waiter and table mates was with RCCL Sun Viking. Best cruise director was Princess on Regal. A close second was RCCL Song of America. Best cabin steward was a female aboard Royal Princess. Best cocktail waitress was last year onboard Celebrity's Zenith. Probably the best "mix" of passengers was on our first cruise with RCCL Song of Norway. In 18 cruises Susan and I can say we have never had a bad cruise!!!!
I agree with Kuki that there is too much inconsistency for anyone to accurately inform you about "the best cruise line".
For one thing, lines' policies change, often without notice, in ways that may be important to you. Examples: RCI's crackdown on carry on beverages last summer, lowered drinking and gambling age, and elimination on the wine stewarts; NCL's switch to freestyle dining and ever changing internet charges; and Hal's crew reductions.
For another thing, ships get pretty hard wear and tear. Your three year old car may look and run like new, but a three year old ship may be pretty ratty if it hasn't had periodic maintanence and redecorating. So my opinion on a ship's condition as I saw it a year ago will be inaccurate, one way or another.
Best thing to do is to find an use a good TA (no, I'm not one) who does a lot of cruise booking and can give you up to date info. Then check the TA's recommendation with RECENT posts on the recommended ships of this and other cruise boards.
Another comment: I'm one of those who thinks ship size is important. Not size alone, but size compared with the number of guests. This is called a passenger to space ratio. I don't know the calculations (Kuki might help out here), but the higher the number, the more space per guest. Some ships I consider pretty crowded have a ratio of 40 or less. One's that don't seem crowded have ratios of 58 or even 68. The ship info pages on this site state this ratio, in some cases. But I fear that even a "mega ship" with a good space ratio may have problems. For example, whether the ship has 300 or 3000 guests, it usually has only one entry/exit point. So larger ships equal longer lines. Another important number IMO is the number of crew compared with the number of guests. Seems that many ships reported to have spotty service have a crew number of 40% of guest number or below. Ships reported to have great service usually have this percent at 60% or more. Again, you can find guest and crew numbers on the ship info pages on this board, and do the math.
Finally, you say you like Celeb., and I hear it is very good.Most reviewers rank it at the very top of the "mass market" lines, just below the class that includes Radisson and such. If you don't want to break into that class, Celeb may be the best bet. Besides, Radisson, et. al. aren't known for childrens' activities.