Cruise Line Profiles: Top Ten

Some of the top cruise lines for jobs also happen to be some of the top cruise lines for travelers looking for a big ship atmosphere, the possibility of scoring a discount or deal, and a variety of onboard amenities and entertainment. The cruise lines listed below are not only popular with cruisers, they also offer a wide variety for all budgets and tastes. For example, Cunard Lineis a luxury cruise line that features exotic from Madeira & The Azores to Transatlantic Crossings. Cunard Line is also home to the world’s most famous and historic ships – Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth.

At the other end of the spectrum is Carnival Cruise Lines. Carnival Cruise Lines is one of the world’s most affordable cruise lines. It’s a top choice for families, groups of friends, and anyone looking for a fun and festive atmosphere. Couples looking for romance might choose a luxury line like Costa Cruises, while groups of friends interested in a more “adult-friendly” atmosphere may choose Holland America Line. The following list includes the top ten cruise lines for traveler’s and cruise jobs!

  1. Carnival Cruise Lines
  2. Princess Cruises
  3. Royal Caribbean International
  4. Holland America Line
  5. Costa Cruises
  6. P & O Cruises
  7. Norwegian Cruise Line
  8. Celebrity Cruises
  9. Cunard Line
  10. Star Cruise

Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival cruise lines may very well be the most popular cruise line in the world. With more than 20 vessels in it’s fleet, dozens of cruise vacations to choose from and outstanding values, its no wonder Carnival is the first name that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘cruise’. With so many cruise vessels and vacation types to choose from, how can you pick just one?

One of the ways to help narrow your choices down is to take a look at the vessels in Carnival’s fleet. Are you looking for a small ship or a large one? One that travels to a handful of destinations or to all destinations? Do you prefer newer ships or older ones? Chances are, you’ll have no problem finding a Carnival cruise ship to fit your style taste and budget.

Carnival cruise ships ‘Fun Ships’ run the gamut with names that speak volumes about each individual vessel. Carnival cruise lines fleet includes: Carnival Conquest, Carnival Destiny, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Glory, Carnival Legend, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Pride, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Triumph, Carnival Valor, Carnival Victory, Celebration, Ecstasy, Elation, Fantasy, Fascination, Holiday, Imagination, Inspiration, Paradise, Splendor, and Sensation.

Each Carnival fun ship has spacious accommodations, swimming pools, dining, shopping, entertainment and gambling, but some may have a few added extras that may appeal to you. Carnival Conquest is one of Carnival’s megaliners and features a spa, golfing/lessons, dancing shows and numerous activities for families while the brand new Carnival Freedom features ‘Carnival Seaside’, a 12-foot-high, 22-foot-wide LED screen for movies, sports and more. Carnival Conquest sails from Galveston, Texas to the western Caribbean and Carnival Freedom sails the eastern and western Caribbean. Carnival Freedom also makes frequent voyages to Europe and it also offers transatlantic cruises from Miami, Florida, Ft. Lauderdale, and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy.

If you like to spend your days splashing about in the pool or taking in the views from your balcony and your nights dancing, Carnival Glory is the perfect Carnival cruise ship for you. Carnival Glory has a 214-foot waterslide, loads of nightclubs and spacious staterooms with 80% featuring ocean views and 80% with private balconies. Carnival Glory sails from Port Canaveral (Orlando), FL to the eastern and western Caribbean.

While Carnival cruise ships are synonymous with fun for the whole family, many cruisers prefer a laid back environment that will allow for a bit more R&R. Carnival’s Ecstasy features 3-4 day getaways aboard a vessel that offers a slower pace, spacious staterooms for relaxing, large lounging areas designed specifically for taking it easy and numerous pools and whirlpools. Ecstasy also offers both formal and casual dining options, so romantic dinners are easy to come by. Carnival’s Ecstasy sails from Galveston, TX to the western Caribbean.

Cruise vacations come in all shapes and sizes and luckily, Carnival Cruise Lines has the perfect vessel for just about any type of cruise under the sun.

For more information about Carnival cruise lines and its fleet, visit www.carnival.com or call 1-888-CARNIVAL.

Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises is a luxury line, a big ship line, and a small ship cruise line all rolled up into one. This makes it easy for passengers with a wide variety of tastes and budgets to find the perfect cruise through Princess Cruises. A Princess Cruise offers an abundance of options in the way of amenities, destinations, ports of call, ships, and excursions. There are a dozen destinations to choose from, hundreds of ports of call on the menu, 17 cruise ship options, and hundreds of shore excursions and cruisetours to choose from.

Princess cruise ships are considered some of the most luxurious vessels in the cruise industry featuring ships that appeal to the traveler looking for an intimate atmosphere or those looking for more people to mingle with. Princess Cruises fleet of 17 ships include: Caribbean Princess, Coral Princess, Crown Princess, Dawn Princess, Diamond Princess, Emerald Princess, Golden Princess, Grand Princess, Island Princess, Pacific Princess, Royal Princess, *Ruby Princess, Sapphire Princess, Sea Princess, Star Princess, Sun Princess, and Tahitian Princess.

With room for 3,100 passengers and 900 balcony staterooms, Princess Cruises; largest ship is the Caribbean Princess. Caribbean Princess sails to Princess Cruises’ many exciting destinations ranging from Alaska, Asia, and Australia to Europe, Hawaii, and Tahiti. Of course, Caribbean Princess also sails to the Caribbean, as well as Canada, New England, the Mexican Riviera, and South America.

Island Princess falls somewhere in the mid-range on the size scale with room for 1,970-passengers with 90% ocean view staterooms, and more than 700 balconies

The 670-passenger Pacific Princess and the 670-passenger Tahitian Princess are two of Princess Cruises’ smaller ships. Both ships offer a peaceful, small ship environment with big ship amenities. Each vessel features more than 200 balcony staterooms. The Pacific Princess frequents Alaska, Asia/Orient, India/Asia, and Tahiti and Hawaii, while Tahitian Princess will take you to Tahiti, and Hawaii as well, and Polynesia.

Princess Cruises’ *Ruby Princess made her debut in 2008 and features 900 staterooms, all with private balconies.

Princess Cruises sails to a wide variety of destinations across the globe, with hundreds of exciting ports of call on the menu. Princess Cruises sails to Alaska, Australia & New Zealand, Canada & New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii & Tahiti, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal, and South America. Ports of call depend on the destination, but expect to visit off-the-beaten path ports such as Dominica and Roatan, Honduras, as well as historic ports such as Alexandria, Egypt; Santorini, Greece; Naples/Capri, Italy, and Cartagena, Spain.

There are so many shore excursions and cruisetours available during your Princess Cruise that it would be impossible to list them all here. So here is an example of a typical list of offerings on one of Princess Cruises’ Panama Canal cruises.

Panama Canal: Huatulco, Mexico

Highlights of Huatulco Tour
Rural Communities & Traditions
Mexican Cuisine Cooking Demonstration
Las Brisas Resort Beach Break
Eco-Walk & Birding Adventure
Princess Golf at Tangolunda Golf Course
Mountain Bike Excursion
Huatulco by Land & Sea Tour
Huatulco River Float
Deep-Sea Fishing Tour
Huatulco Sail & Swim Tour
Five Bays by Catamaran Swim

To book a cruise on any Princess Cruises ship, you can contact the cruise line directly at 1-800-PRINCESS. You can also book online at www.princess.com or contact your local cruise travel agent. FYI: Pre-reserving for cruise tours and excursions is highly recommended, as spots tend to fill up rather quickly. You can pre-reserve shore excursions up to 120 days before your departure date.

Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean Cruises is the second largest cruise line in the world offering 170 destinations worldwide and more than 140 ports of call. Established in 1968, Royal Caribbean Cruises is also one of the most trusted names in the cruise line industry today. The Royal Caribbean Cruise International fleet features a variety of vessels to accommodate everything from large families and low-key couples to party animals, the mature set and singles.

Royal Caribbean International Fleet

The Royal Caribbean International fleet includes the: Freedom Family, Voyager Family, Radiance Family, Vision Family, and the Sovereign Family each with its own special amenities and amazing extras.

Freedom of the Seas is the latest addition the Royal Caribbean family. Freedom is the largest in the Royal Caribbean Cruise family with a maximum capacity of 3,634 passengers. Passengers can enjoy a day spa, rock climbing, ice-skating, a fitness center and a full-service casino as well as Wi-Fi services and flat screen TVs in every stateroom. Just a few of Royal Caribbean Cruises exciting destinations include: Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Jamaica, and Hispaniola, to name a few.

The Voyager Family includes: Adventure of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas. Passengers can enjoy pubs and promenades or restaurants and nightclubs while exploring the Eastern, Southern or Western Caribbean, Bermuda, the Mediterranean or the Transatlantic.

Whether you’re interested in touring Barcelona or Istanbul, Scandinavia or Russia or the Greek Isles, Venice or the Hawaiian Islands, the Radiance Family was built to suit some of the most extravagant tastes. The Radiance Family ships include: Brilliance of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas. Each vessel features glass walls and elevators offering guests a front seat to all the beauty the sea has to offer. Glass solariums, day spas, a country club and adventure programs for kids are just a few amenities the Radiance Family has to offer.

For the party animal in you, the Vision Family features lounges and bars galore, non-stop nightclubs, mini-golf and beautiful spas for relaxation during the day. The Vision Family includes: Enchantment of the Sea, Grandeur of the Sea, Legend of the Sea, Rhapsody of the Sea, Splendor of the Sea and Vision of the Sea. The Vision Family travels to Alaska, Belize, Costa Maya, the Greek Isles, Iberia, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Turkey and anywhere in the Caribbean.

Each ship has the capacity to hold in excess of 2,200 passengers per ship. Great for couples and families alike, the Sovereign Family includes three ships: Majesty of the Seas, Monarch of the Seas and Sovereign of the Sea. Sovereign ships feature complimentary adventure programs for kids along with great restaurants and casinos as well as a nightclubs and large outdoor pools. These vessels can hold anywhere from 2,700-2,850 passengers and destinations range from Baja Mexico to the Bahamas. The Sovereign Family is also extremely popular for holiday cruises.

Couples looking for a little romance should consider Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas. With a maximum capacity of 2,020 guests, the Empress is the smallest and most intimate ship in the fleet. The facilities include: a day spa, a world-class fitness center, a romantic Italian restaurant called ‘Portofino’ and a Latin themed lounge called ‘Boleros’. Ports of call are located throughout the Caribbean and Bermuda and cruises range anywhere from 3-11 nights.

Things to know before you go
Royal Caribbean Cruises will include: meals, accommodations, snacks, access to fitness centers, entertainment and 24-hour room service. Keep in mind that the price does not include tips. In general, guests should tip the stateroom attendant, suite attendant, dining room waiter, assistant waiter, and the headwaiter. Guests should also figure port charges and excursions into their budget as well.

Prices for Royal Caribbean cruises vary greatly and depend on a wide variety of factors. Destination, ship size, ports of call, type of accommodations and time of year will determine how much or how less you will spend on your Royal Caribbean cruise. Typically, deluxe suites and rooms with balconies or ocean views cost more, with interior rooms costing considerably less.

The best deals are typically offered in January, September-December and late spring. Prices may range anywhere from $400 up to $5,400. The higher prices are usually for deluxe accommodations aboard any of the ships in the Radiance Family. If your interests lean more towards excursions rather than ship activities, it’s best to select and purchase your excursions online far in advance as tours tend to fill quickly. In general, you have 10 days prior to departure to purchase excursions online; otherwise you’ll have to purchase them on the ship or with a tour director, if available.

Canoeing, deep sea fishing, hiking through rainforests, shopping, land or landmark tours, scuba diving and cave exploration are just a few of the many tours and activities Royal Caribbean cruise passengers can enjoy during their Royal Caribbean cruise vacation!

To book a Royal Caribbean cruise visit the official Royal Caribbean website www.royalcaribbean.com or contact your local cruise travel specialist.

Holland America Line
No matter how you say it, ‘Holland American Cruise Lines’, ‘Holland America Line’, or ‘Holland American Cruises’, Holland America Line (HAL) is considered one of the world’s top luxury cruise lines.

Holland America Line has more than 130 years of experience in the cruise industry. This luxury cruise line covers all seven continents, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 homeports. Because it sails to so many places, Holland America Line has the means to offer itineraries ranging from two days to a whopping 108 days. Its no wonder Holland American Line is the most well-respected and highly recognized name in luxury cruising.

Holland America Line destinations include: Alaska, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, the Panama Canal, and South America. Some of Holland America Cruise Lines most popular cruises include: Australia/New Zealand, Asia sailings, the world cruise, the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, and Europe. Holland American Cruise Line also offers winter sailings to the Caribbean from its homeport in New York City. Winter sailings typically take place aboard Holland

1,918-passenger ms Noordam (introduced in early 2006).

Including the ms Noordaam, Holland America Line features a five-star fleet of 14 stunning ships ranging from the small and intimate to the large and luxurious. Holland America Linefamous fleet includes: ms Amsterdam, ms Eurodam (to be delivered in summer 2008), ms Maasdam, ms Oosterdam, ms Prinsendam, ms Rotterdam, ms Ryndam, ms Statendam, ms Veendam, ms Volendam, ms Westerdam, ms Zaandam, and ms Zuiderdam.

Excursions run the gamut from sightseeing and flightseeing to adventure tours, snorkeling, shopping trips, glacier tours, and more. Because there are so many ports of call for each destination and hundreds of land excursions, it would be tough to list them all here. But a good example of HALs exciting offerings is the Alaska cruise. Ports of call include: College Fjord, Glacier Bay, Haines, Alaska, Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, Alaska, Ketchikan, Alaska, San Diego, California, San Francisco, California, Seattle, Washington, Seward (Anchorage) Alaska, Sitka, Alaska, Skagway, Alaska, Tracy Arm, Alaska, Vancouver, B.C., and Victoria, B.C.

Land tour excursions cover places such as: Alyeska, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Whitehorse, Yukon, Denali, Homer, and Dawson City, to name a few. Passengers will tour a plethora of parks and highlights such as: Gates of the Arctic National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, Kluane National Park, Nome and Kotzebue, Alaska, Prudhoe Bay, and Alaska Tombstone Territory Park.

All Holland America Line excursions are on a first-come, first-served basis. Many tours have very limited availability, so advanced booking is highly recommended to avoid any disappointment. Requests for excursions that are fully booked are placed on a waiting list.

Prices for Holland America Line cruises vary greatly depending on a variety of factors such as season, destination, vessel, accommodations, length of cruise, departure port, excursions, number of passengers in your party and more. Accommodations play an important part in pricing, so it is important to keep in mind that there are plenty of accommodation types to choose from. The following list ranges from the most expensive room type to the least expensive.

  • Penthouse Verandah Suites
  • Deluxe Verandah Suites
  • Superior Verandah Suites
  • Verandah Staterooms
  • Large Outside Staterooms
  • Large Inside Staterooms
  • Large Standard Staterooms

While some suites are more spacious and luxurious than others, all staterooms offer different levels of luxury and include: fine linens, Egyptian cotton towels and bathrobes, massage showerheads, and flat-screen televisions.

To book a Holland America, contact the cruise line directly at 1-800-426-0327 or you can book with a Holland America Travel Professional online at www.hollandamerica.com. Contact your local cruise travel agent or any of the booking search engines listed below for possible discounts and deals on a Holland America cruise.

Kayak.com
Expedia.com
Orbitz.com
Travelocity.com
CheapTickets.com
VacationsToGo.com

Costa Cruises
Costa Cruises is the largest cruise company in Europe featuring more than a dozen ships that travel to more than a dozen exciting destinations. Costa Cruises’ fleet includes a wide variety of ships to suit varying tastes, styles, and budgets. Some are large and luxurious, while others are small and intimate. The fleet includes: Costa Serena, Costa Magic, Costa Victoria, Costa Romantica, Costa Marina, Costa Concordia, Costa Fortuna, Costa Atlantica, Costa Europa, Costa Classica, and Costa Allegra.

The two largest (and longest) ships in Costa Cruises fleet are Costa Serena and her sister ship Costa Concordia. Costa Serena features a Samsara Spa that spreads over two decks, more than 500 cabins with balconies, 13 bars, five restaurants, four swimming pools, and spacious decks with panoramic views. Costa Classica, the most popular ship, features a modern design, art and sculptures throughout, a ballroom, and a theater on two decks.

Costa Cruises luxury doesn’t stop with the interior of its ships, this cruise line is all about pampering, and entertaining its guests. Passengers may personalize their cruise by selecting from a list of offerings such as Costa’s red and rose wines special, floral arrangements, a variety of cabin comforts such as chocolates or a fresh fruit basket daily, gift sets, champagne and sparkling wines, white wines special selection, and beauty/spa packages.

Costa Cruises destinations include: Atlantic Ocean and Canary Islands, Eastern Caribbean, Eastern Mediterranean, Far East, Grand Oriental, Indian Ocean, Middle East, Northern Capitals, Norwegian Fjords & Highlands, South America, Transatlantic, Western Caribbean and Western Mediterranean. With so many exotic destinations to choose from, you can bet the itineraries this cruse line offers are even more spectacular. Sample itineraries include: Bahamas, Bermuda, Antilles, Canary Islands, Spain, (24 nights); Dubai, Oman, Yemen, Egypt, Italy (16 nights), Mauritius, Seychelles, Kenya, Madagascar (14 nights), Italy, Corsica, Tunisia, Malta (five nights), and Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Shetland Islands (14 nights), to name a few.

You’ll find a wide variety of shore excursions no matter what your itinerary or length of stay may be. Costa Cruises offers shore excursions specifically designed to allow the passenger to become fully immersed in different cultures, environments, and habitats. Guests will have three different levels to choose from including: Easy, Moderate and Hard — all specially designed to provide something for all tastes and abilities. For example, you will find natural and cultural tours that are designed with age in mind. Some are suitable for older guests, while others will suit younger guests. In addition, active and sports-oriented excursions are also available for individuals who are on the adventurous side.

Costa Cruise vacations are available 365 days a year and booking far in advance is highly recommended as space tends to fill up rather quickly. To book a Costa Cruise, you can contact the cruise line directly by phone at: 020 7940 5398, or visit the cruise lines’ website at: www.costracruise.com. You can also contact your local cruise travel specialist to help you book a Costa Cruise.

Please follow the links below for articles and profiles for P & O Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard Line, and Star Cruise.

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