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Old August 3rd, 2011, 01:34 AM
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Default Best cruise company for europe?

I have read tons of post saying that Princess is the best for Alaska, I was wondering who is the best for Europe?
tia
Vicki
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 02:28 AM
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I do not think there is a BEST just one line that suits your needs/wants better than others
Europe cruises are usually more port intensive so you will usually be on the ship for eating & sleeping
If budget is a concern then look at pricing, ports of call that interest you, size of ship, number of passengers (more people= more lines to get on/off )
if you want Vegas style shows or light entertainment in the evening
After a busy day of touring many people retire early to get ready for the next day of touring
I am sure you will get lots of good information
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 07:24 AM
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Hi Vicki, on top of all lulu's comments I would add that according to several award sites, Costa are the number one for Europe, although from family experience I can advise that the atmosphere can be decidely frosty to non-Italian passengers.

To find the best ship/line for you, you need to think across a wider landscape - Where do you want to visit? where you want to fly in & out from? what else do you want to do before & after your cruise?
Do you want an educational, or full-on party experience?
How much do you want to spend? - the costs over here can vary greatly.

For us (in our 40's) Princess is still the best line, but we travelled on the Celebrity Eclipse recently and were blown away by the experience. We treated ourselves to Aqua class, so maybe the other levels which use the MDR & don't allow access to the spa relaxation areas may not have been so amazing.
We tried HAL last week & hated the experience, very poor service and quality of food, and the entertainment was an insult to the business - IOHO

We loved Cunard's Queen Elizabeth & Queen Victoria ships, but aren't in any rush to board QM2 again - although no doubt many will say the exact opposite.

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Old August 3rd, 2011, 10:25 AM
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I agree with the other posters. My main concern when I am going to Europe is itinerary. I know I will be on the ship less than normal, and so the ship really needs to go where I want to go. You spend so much to fly over there, you might as well see what you want. My other consideration is that I really like to pack light in Europe because we often combine cruising with a land trip, so I don't want to bring lots of fancy clothes. That tempers my decision somewhat on which cruise line I pick.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 10:45 AM
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I agree with everything said so far esp KayAnnie - combine with a landtrip if time permits.

IMHO some of the best places in Europe are not easily visited by a cruise e.g. Madrid,Paris,Prague,Vienna - the list goes on.

I would not advise to try and see Europe on one visit.

Select which area of Europe you wish to see first; determine how much time and money you have and work it from there. There is no 'best' cruiseline IMHO.

I apply the same principles when I visit North America.

Annie

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Old August 6th, 2011, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprint180 View Post
I have read tons of post saying that Princess is the best for Alaska, I was wondering who is the best for Europe?
tia
Vicki
In Europe it's all about the intinerary. I choose based on the least amount of sea days and of course which ports the ship will be going to. I don't want to spend all that money to get to Europe and sit on a ship all day. I also like to depart from one city and get off in another. I do like Princess for the Med because they have less sea days and laundry rooms so you can pack less.
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Old August 6th, 2011, 06:38 PM
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You MAY enjoy a couple of days getting to the Med with P&O but if not fly into a "hub" like Barcelona or Venice & get right into it. With the right itinerary you can see loads! Celebrity have a ship or two there & P&O are basing the ''new'' smaller Adonia there part of the year I think.
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Old August 6th, 2011, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-cruiser View Post
In Europe it's all about the intinerary. I choose based on the least amount of sea days and of course which ports the ship will be going to. I don't want to spend all that money to get to Europe and sit on a ship all day. I also like to depart from one city and get off in another. I do like Princess for the Med because they have less sea days and laundry rooms so you can pack less.
With these preferences, you should look at Regent. Rarely a see day (had 14 days in port on a 14 night cruise a couple of years ago), different embarkation and debarkation ports, free self service laundry, and (additionally important) anytime dining so you never feel rushed getting back to ship.

edited to add:

Highlight of that trip was three days, two nights in Venice. A great way to see the city.
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Last edited by Marc; August 6th, 2011 at 07:14 PM.
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Old August 6th, 2011, 07:04 PM
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I never think of the posh ones...good point!
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Old August 7th, 2011, 02:53 PM
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CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) offers a course for Travel Agents which leads to certificaition as an Accredited Cruise Counselor and then a Master Cruise Counselor. A major portion of this course is devoted to "qualifying" the client, that is finding out what their expectations and wishes are for a cruise, and then recommending some cruises that will well fulfill their special needs.

It is never so easy as asking, "What is the best line for Europe?" The Travel Agent needs to collect information from the client and then answer the question, "What are the options for Europe for US?" A well trained ACC or MCC will work very hard to personalize the answer.

Although lots of cruisers on this board have THEIR personal answer, a good TA will not give you just one answer but will propose a variety of options and list the pros and cons of each. In fact a TA who recommends only one line should be avoided. There are many good choices and each person may choose a different one!

Having said all that -- I can't resist adding that we personally have had four very good European cruises on Princess ships and one on HAL and enjoyed them all. Check out our trip reports and pictures at Cruising with the Halls
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