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How to Find a Cruise Line

Updated on July 23, 2012

New Norwegian "Breakaway"

Source

You have finally decided to take that dream cruise vacation, but where do you start the process of which cruise line, which ship, what destination and the many other questions a first time and even seasoned cruiser will find themselves asking? You could spend weeks surfing the Internet trying to find the answers to all these questions as well as finding the best cruise line and ship for you personally.

To list all of the cruise lines and cruise ships that sail from the United States would be an article all of it's own. This article will focus on the cruise lines most used by cruise travelers and not those that are in the speciality cruise line category such as river cruising.

Cruise lines and ships do not come as "a one size fits all", but rather have their own individual styles and personalities. The Carnival Line markets their ships as the "fun" ships. Carnival offers very affordable cruise prices. However, don't expect five star gourmet meals included in the basic fare. You will pay a surcharge for the 5-star restaurants unless you move up to a luxury cruise line. As with anything else, the old saying, "you get what you pay for", applys to cruises also.

Norwegian Jewel's Teppyanyai Restaurant

Source

Alaska

Contemporary & Premium Categories

Contemporary cruise lines are the most appealing to the largest segment of cruisers in general. They are usually the most affordable and offer activities for all age groups. These lines appeal to singles, couples, families and groups.

Premium cruise lines are similar to the contemporary lines but may offer a more elegant dining experience and a few more up-scale amenities and services.

Below are the destinations that both the contemporary and the premium lines offer:

Alaska - Frequently Asked Cruise Questions

Bahamas - Highlights

Bermuda - Places of Interest

Canada/New England - Tours and Videos

Caribbean - Guide to Caribbean Cruises

Europe/Mediterranean - Mediterranean Cruises

Hawaii - Cruise the Islands

Mexico - Facts, Answers & Questions

Panama Canal - Celebrity's Panama Canal Cruises

South America - Overview and Video

South Pacific - Bora Bora

Transatlantic - Travel between America and Europe

Cruise Lines

Ship Line
Category
Cruise Line Slogan
Lifestyle Afloat
Carnival
Contemporary
"Fun Ships"
Non-stop Fun - Lots of Fun for Active Kids and Adults
Celebrity
Premium
"With one crew member for almost every two passengers, no detail goes unnticed"
Defines the Premium Cruise Ship Experience - Lots of Personal Attention
Costa
Contemporary
"Cruising Itilian Style - That's Amore"
Mak a Honeymoon an Unforgetable Moment in Time
Disney
Premium
"Where Magical Dreams Come True"
Kids of All Ages Get to Experience the Magic of Disney
Holland America
Premium
"A Tradition of Excellence"
For Adults Wanting Excellent Dining - Excellent Personal Attention - A Quiet Environment
MSC
Contemporary
"The Finest Italian Hospitality Afloat"
Mid-Priced - Personalized Attention - More Intimate Cruising Experience
Norwegian
Contemporary
"Freestyle Cruising"
Very Large New Ships - Floating Resorts - Dine Anytime - Great For Kids and Adults
Princess
Premium
"Escape Completely"
Anytime Dining - Nice Ships - Great Kid's Programs
Royal Caribbean
Contemporary
"Get Out There"
Well Known for Great Caribbean Cruises

Finding the Right Cruise Line for You

When it comes to sorting through all the information provided on the Internet about a cruise vacation; it may be overwhelming to some. To find the perfect cruise takes time and research if you want to make sure you book the right cruise for the right price that fits your personality. Many people find it necessary to use a professional agent.

A professional agent will work with you in finding the perfect ship, cabin and itinerary. The wrong choice in any of these things can actually ruin the who experience. If you decide to use an agent, there is usually no charge to you for the agent's services. There is an exception to that with some agencies as they charge a small fee, so make sure to ask if there are any fees charged to you. A good place to search for a qualified cruise agent would be through the Cruise Lines International Agency (CLIA). It is a nationally recognized organization for the cruise industry and maintains a list of accredited agencies and agents. It also provides a wealth of information about the cruise industry. It covers safety, regulations, passports, food safety statistics and more. It is a great place to start a search for basic information.


  • Who is going on the cruise?
  • How long do you want to go for?
  • When do you want to go; do you have any flexibility with the date?
  • Where do you want to go? (it would be a good idea to have some ideas)
  • What kinds of things do you like to do?
  • What kind of cabin do you want? (inside, outside, balcony, upper deck, lower deck, etc.)
  • Do you prefer freestyle or anytime dining? (this would limit your cruise line choices)
  • Do you like the idea of formal dress up nights or do you prefer a more all around casual atmosphere?
  • Have you cruised before, if so, with what cruise line? (discounts are offered to repeat cruisers)
  • Will you need airfare to get to the port of embarkation? (cruising from close to home will make the total of your cruise vacation less without the added cost of airfare and transfers)?

These are some of the questions which a good cruise agent will ask you in order to find you the best cruise at the best price. You can also deal with the cruise lines directly, however, agencies buy blocks of cabin space and sometimes you will be able to score a better deal.


Two Cruise Savings Tips

This is a cruise compare website that will search and find the best deal based on the criteria you give. This is a good place to compare prices.

CruiseMuse

This is an on-shore excursions company. They are well known in the industry, have some great excursions and are usually less costly than the cruise lines:

ShoreExcursions

Happy Sailing !

Poll

Have You Ever Taken a Cruise?

See results

If "No", Do You Plan on Taking One?

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Comments

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    • TravelAbout profile imageAUTHOR

      Katheryn 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thanks Billy. I know you are not far off from planning that cruise! :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      When I become a best-selling author I'll take a cruise; until then I'll live vicariously through your adventures. Very informative hub; thank you for the info!

    • TravelAbout profile imageAUTHOR

      Katheryn 

      6 years ago from United States

      internpete..thank you for the vote up..I hope you get to go soon.

      Lifeasablog...I'm glad you think it will help you. Thanks.

      ComfortB...You all should have a great time. The kids will have lots of fun. Safe and happy sailing. A review of your cruise with some photos would make a great hub!! Thanks for the vote up!

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 

      6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      We (my hubby & 3 kids) are going on a cruise at the end of the month. It's our first, so we really did know the right questions to ask. Some of our friends have been really helpful filling us in on all the datails (they are veterans), and we're hoping to have a wonderful time.

      Your hub really did cover all the details 'what' and 'what nots'. Thanks for sharing.

      Voted Up and Useful.

    • Life as a Blog profile image

      Monty Hamilton 

      6 years ago from Austin, Texas

      I went on a cruise as a child, but would love to go on one as an adult. This hub will be an excellent reference for when I start shopping around for the right cruise to go on. Great and useful hub! Thanks!

    • internpete profile image

      Peter V 

      6 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

      Nice hub. I have not been on a cruise, but plan to in the near future so this will be useful. Thanks and voted up!

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