There are a number of excellent cruise lines from which to choose from. Each offers a variety of ships and itineraries to cater to a specific market niche or lifestyle. This is why it's so important to know what you're looking for in a vacation, what kinds of activities you'll enjoy, and the types of ship mates you'll be spending time with.
Professional cruise travel agents from Shari Marsh ask many questions regarding the type of vacation you're looking for so they can make relevant recommendations on the cruise line that fits your personal needs. Read through the General Cruise Line Classifications and then review the cruise lines.
General Cruise Line Classifications...
Appeals to the more sophisticated cruiser. Very upscale ships, unique amenities and itineraries. The passenger to staff ratio is low, thus providing more refined personalized service (the staff knows your name). In most cases, all staterooms are situated for ocean views and most have balconies. Dining is top-notch from the table setting to the food and wine. Attire is more country-club during the day and upscale/elegant in the evening. Kids programs are few to none.
An upscale experience that caters to all age groups and interests. Ships are well appointed with a unique blend of itineraries and onboard amenities. Passenger to staff ratio is still low and service is superb. Many ships have at least 80% of the staterooms providing ocean views. Dining is upscale and well presented. Attire is more reserved or casual, with certain dress requirements in the evening. Programs for kids are offered, usually segmented by age.
Caters to first time and repeat cruisers of all age groups and interests. Ships are of very ample size, some are the biggest afloat, with a vast array of activities and amenities. Numerous dining venues are available ranging from upscale to casual. Attire is usually relaxed, although most lines do have designated formal occasions. Programs for kids are extensive and segmented by age.
For those interested in exploring the interiors of a country or countries via river. River ships are smaller than your average cruise ship, allowing a more neighborhood-like atmosphere. All staterooms have a river/shore view and are well appointed. Dining is elegant. Entertainment can be found in conversing with fellow passengers, lectures, or a culturally enriching show. Attire is casual. Most do not have kids programs, but entertainment and excursions are enjoyable for all ages.