Choosing the right cruise line is essential to ensuring you have an incredible cruising experience. If you don’t like dressing up, then a cruise line that requires cocktail dresses for dinner each night is not going to be enjoyable. Likewise, if you enjoy a sophisticated atmosphere, buffets brimming with excited children may not be what you are looking for.
Here are some things to consider when choosing your cruise line.
The first thing to consider is the size of ship you prefer. Do you like the mega-liners with multiple floors, shopping arcades, activity centres and several pools, restaurants and bars? Or do you prefer a smaller, more intimate ship with fewer people and crew that know your name? The experience on board a large liner with several thousand guests is vastly different to that on board a small ship that takes just a couple of hundred.
Do you prefer to have all your excursions included so that you don’t have to budget for added tours or do you prefer to have a selection of options and pay-per-tour? Some cruise lines will include all excursions (eg. The expedition style voyages) whereas others will include some excursions where you have a choice of three for example, but pay additional for the other options. And some won’t include any excursions so any activities you do, are at additional cost.
Dress up or dress down
Would you prefer a ship where you dress formally for dinner and sit down to a 5-course meal each evening, or would you prefer to be able to head on up to a buffet in your casual gear? Or would you prefer a choice of both? Some ships offer casual dining options as well as fine dining restaurants, others have just the one restaurant and other larger ships have everything from burger bars through to restaurants with menus designed by Michelin star chefs.
Are you somebody that is on the go from dawn to dusk, who would like a range of activities on board like waterslides, zip lining, dodgem cars and casinos? Or do you prefer a quiet drink in a piano bar with good conversation? Larger ships will have more activities and entertainment options on offer, whereas smaller ships will generally have fewer. The Paul Gauguin for example has their own dance and entertainment group who will provide entertainment in the evenings but you won’t find the glittering shows and cabarets that are on larger ships.
What type of overall experience are you looking for? Are you looking for an expedition style cruise where you venture into lesser visited destinations where you can learn from an expert team of biologists/naturalists? Or perhaps the onboard lifestyle and activities are more appealing and the destinations are an added bonus? Do you prefer a small, intimate environment where you can meet and get to know other people, or are you quite comfortable in larger crowds and prefer a busier vibe? Some cruise lines offer cheap pricing, however the experience isn’t always what people think they are purchasing. It pays to check exactly what type of experience you can expect to have and well worth spending a little more to ensure you get the holiday you envision.
At Ultimate Cruising, we have the facility to book cruise lines of all sizes and experiences. Have a chat to one of our Ultimate Cruising experts to make sure you choose a cruise line that is going to suit you.