Choose the Right Cruise

The Best Cruise Lines: What You Should Know Before You Book

Download a free copy of  ”101 Cruise Tips” to get the most out of your dream cruise vacation! 

101 Cruise Tips from AMT, an American Express Travel Representative

Our Top Picks by Category

LuxuryBoutique-size-ship Cruise Ships

The winner is…

seadreamsSeaDream Yacht Club.

It has twin all-suite cruise ships. They cater to sophisticated seasoned cruisers. Each accommodates just 112 passengers in 55 cabins. The twin SeaDream gives you a yacht-cruise experience.

 

LuxurySmall Ships

The winner is…

silversea

Silversea Cruises attract the older, more affluent, and better traveled passenger. Activities, shore excursions and entertainment are sophisticated. Most evenings are formal, but in a relaxed elegant manner. Silversea food and service are admirable.

LuxuryMid-Sized Ships
The winner is…

regent seven seas

Regent Seven Seas Cruises attract a audience similar to the SilverSea Cruises (see above), but the tone aboard the Regent fleet is a bit more relaxed. Regent’s star ship is the 700-passenger Seven Seas Voyager, which I feature in my special 10-page What It’s Like on a Luxury Cruise Ship section. RSSC also operates the Mariner, Navigator and Gauguin.

Mid-Price Ships
The winner is…

royal caribbean

Royal Caribbean is a good choice for the average first-time cruiser because its ships have a middle-of-the-road mix of passengers in terms of age, education, culture interests, and bank accounts. Food is not gourmet, but neither is it lackluster. Passengers party, but not to an excessive degree. There are children, but not in an overwhelming number. Activities are many and varied.

Adventure Cruises
The winner is…
lindblad.national-geographic

Lindblad / National Geographic jointly operates small, personable-sized ships. Itineraries include Antarctica and Galapagos. The line attracts affluent, seasoned travelers. Lindblad/National Geographic sailings are geared for the independent or small-group minded traveler. Rates are high end.

Childrens Cruises
The winner is…

disney cruises

Disney Cruise Lines have age-specific children activities, programs, and facilities, ranging from nursery to teenage. As in Disney World, the staff is immensely friendly. Parents and grandparents will not feel left out. Many facilities appeal to both child and adult – and some are for adults only. Rates are average.

Download a free copy of  ”101 Cruise Tips” to get the most out of your dream cruise vacation! 

101 Cruise Tips from AMT, an American Express Travel Representative
Fine Dining
The winner is…

crystal cruises

Crystal Cruises have outstanding onboard restaurants. The dishes are prepared by skilled, dedicated chefs. Food presentation has an alluring style. Crystal Cruise table service is polished yet personable. And dining room ambiance has a relaxed elegant feeling.

Family Cruises
The winner is…

carnival cruises

The Carnival Cruise Line is family friendly and vigorously courts the family market. Its ships are modern and large (some accommodate several thousand passengers). This allows the Carnival Cruise Line to offer a wide variety of activities and facilities to please all ages, from grandparent to four-year old.

Honeymoon Cruises

The winner is…

seven seas cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has a small cruise ship named the Paul Gauguin that sails to the romantic Polynesian Islands, including Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. The onboard ambiance on this Regent Seven Seas ship is casual, relaxed – just right for honeymooning. The 300 passengers enjoy French and Polynesian dining, spa treatments, watersports, and shore excursions.

Teen Cruises

The winner is…

royal caribbean cruises

Royal Caribbean International has special facilities and activities geared for teens, including teen-only dance clubs, rock-wall climbing, in-line skating, ice skating, volleyball, basketball, and team sports. Teens are grouped by age, 12- to 14- and 15- to 17- years old.

20-Something Party Cruises

The winner is…

carnival cruises

Carnival Cruise Lines attracts more partying under-30 cruisers than its competition. One reason is that it was the first to aggressively market the fun-in-the-sun concept to the 20-something single and young-married audiences. It is now entrenched in that generation’s word of mouth as being “the” party cruise line. Rates are moderate.

River Cruises

Many small cruise lines sail on rivers, canals, and backwaters around the world. See our River Cruises for tips & insights on these destinations: Nile, Yangtze, Kerala, Rhine, Mekong, Amazon, Danube, Rhine-Danube, Volga, and Canal du Midi.