What Cruise Line Should I Choose | Live Work Travel USA
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What Cruise Line Should I Choose?

Part 1 of my 3-part Cruise Vacation series.

One of the most popular vacation getaways in the United States are cruises. You see multiple different places within a short period of time and it’s great for family get togethers or family vacations. Cruises are very inexpensive for the level of service and entertainment that you get, and it’s pretty much all inclusive except for drinks, souvenirs and shore excursions. That’s why it’s also very easy to gain a significant amount of weight during a 7 day cruise. Food is usually available at any hour of the day 24/7.

Let’s take a look at some popular cruise lines, that leave from American ports to help you with your decision. There are different options for different passenger types. I’ve already cruised with Carnival and Royal Caribbean, so I had to research some facts about other popular cruise lines to give you a good snapshot of each.

Photo credit: matt coats / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Carnival Cruise Lines

CarnivalCarnival prides itself of being “The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line®” and offers the largest fleet of family friendly cruise ships. Known for its casual atmosphere and modern ships, it offers a vast variety of activities like water slides, theatres, spa and night clubs, mini golf, casinos and much more.

US Ports of Departure:

Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Charleston, SC; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Galveston, TX; Jacksonville, FL; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Norfolk, VA; Port Canaveral, FL; Seattle, WA; Tampa, FL

Highlights:

  • Fun for the whole family. Whether you’re 1 or 100, we’ve got onboard activities for everyone, including award-winning Youth Programs.
  • Our ships are made for fun. Seriously. Expansive decks, tricked-out waterslides, giant swimming pools – everything on board is engineered and designed for maximum good times.
  • Affordability. All in favor of “everything’s included in one incredible value”, say aye!.
  • Our friendly, responsive crew. The whole staff is dedicated to creating an amazing vacation experience, from our servers to stateroom attendants.

Clientele:

Families, Night Owls, Mainstream category

Celebrity Cruises

CelebrityCelebrity is known for its gorgous ships, elegant and classic cruising while reflecting current lifestyles, spa service and gourmet cuisine.
Laid back relaxing atmosphere with many international passengers.

US Ports of Departure:

Cape Liberty, NJ; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; New York, NY; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Seward, AK

Highlights:

  • Well appointed staterooms including sitting area, TV, shower/bath, amenities & more
  • Traditional & Celebrity Select fine dining, Oceanview Café & Aqua Spa Café, Bistros, Pool Grill, bars, lounges and more
  • Specialty dining including Murano, Tuscan Grille, Silk Harvest Restaurant, and Qsine (where iPads® serve as menus)
  • Broadway/West End tribute shows, European style Circus show, Theme Parties, guest entertainers and Casino
  • Youth Programs geared to different age groups
  • Access to the fitness center, fitness classes, sports court, jogging track, swimming pools
  • Duty Free shops and boutiques

Clientele:

Sophisticated 40-Somethings, Spa Lovers, Premium category

CruiseDirect

Disney Cruise Line

Disney-2Disney has age-specific children activities and amenities ranging from nursery to teenage. Adults are being entertained with award winning broadway style Disney shows, spa, fitness center and music lounges.

US Ports of Departure:

Galveston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Port Canaveral, FL; San Diego, CA;

Highlights:

  • Comfortable staterooms designed especially for families; including TV, split bathrooms with shower/bath, amenities and more
  • Fine dining in the main restaurants, buffet, casual fare areas
  • Entertainment including Broadway style shows, Disney character experiences, state of the art theatres, nightclubs and lounges
  • Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages
  • Family fun including deck parties, pools and slides, character greetings, movies and more
  • Youth Clubs with activities geared towards different age groups
  • Access to the fitness Center, jogging tracks, golf, basketball, volleyball
  • Duty Free shops and boutiques

Clientele:

Families, Mainstream category

Holland America Line

HollandHolland  cruises sail with nearly one crew member for every two guests, providing award-winning service in a classic and elegant atmosphere.

US Ports of Departure:

Boston, MA; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Seward, AK; Tampa, FL

Highlights:

  • Traditional & As You Wish fine dining in the main restaurant, Lido Restaurant casual fare, Terrace Grill, daily afternoon high tea and more
  • Access to the Culinary Arts Center which provides guests the opportunity to experience demonstrations and hands-on classes conducted by top chefs and wine experts, on select cruises
  • Youth programs geared to different age groups
  • Access to the fitness center and yoga classes
  • Theatre productions, live music, diverse lounges, movies and Casino
  • Well appointed staterooms including: TV, shower/bath, amenities and more
  • Duty Free Shops and Boutiques

Clientele:

Families, Foodies, Mature Travelers, Solo Travelers, Premium category

Norwegian Cruise Line

NorwegianNorwegian is famous for its freestyle cruising that allows passengers to dine without fixed times or pre-assigned seating. They offer a great variety of places to eat from grills, cafes, buffets to specialty restaurants.

US Ports of Departure:

Boston, MA; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Seattle, WA; Tampa, FL; Whittier, AK

Highlights:

  • Well appointed staterooms including TV, shower/bath, amenities and more
  • Freestyle dining options including fine dining, buffet, Pool Grill and more
  • Live entertainment including Second City Comedy troupe, Blue Man Group, White Hot Party, bars, lounges and casino
  • Access to Nickelodeon at Sea, waterslides, pools
  • Youth programs geared to different age groups
  • Access to fitness center, jogging track, golf basketball
  • Duty Free shops and boutiques

Clientele:

Families, Poker Players, Action and Adventure Seekers, Water-Sports Enthusiasts, Night Owls

Princess Cruises

PrincessPrincess is well known for it’s intimate and premium atmosphere with multiple dining rooms and theaters. Its ships are built to carry fewer passengers to create a relaxed and laid-back environment. Amenities include computerized golf centers and virtual reality centers.

US Ports of Departure:

Anchorage, AK; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Honolulu, HI; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; San Francisco, CA

Highlights:

  • Warm, welcoming service. Our goal as The Consummate Host® is to make you feel content and comfortable starting the minute you set foot onboard.
  • The best itineraries. Cruise with us and you can be sure to experience the best of each region you visit, no matter which of our over 100 itineraries to more than 300 ports you choose.
  • Exclusive amenities. Enjoy watching Movies Under the Stars®, and street performer-style entertainment in the Piazza. Or spend a few hours in The Sanctuary — a retreat just for adults.
  • Delicious, fresh food. Every sauce is made from scratch, breads and pastries are baked fresh throughout the day, and our chefs use local products to create dishes inspired by the region you’re visiting.
  • The experts love us. We’re continually being honored by the industry for our carefully planned itineraries, our spectacular ships, and the way we make everyone, of every age, feel relaxed and happy when they’re with us.

Clientele:

Water-Sports Enthusiasts, Romantics, Foodies, Honeymooners, Premium category

Royal Caribbean

RoyalPreferred by sports fans due to its on board activities, Royal offers a wide variety of amenities and entertainment for every taste and age group. Its fleet is one of the most innovative offering features like climbing walls, ice skating rinks, surf simulators, zip lines and more.

US Ports of Departure:

Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Cape Liberty, NJ; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Galveston, TX; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; Port Canaveral, FL; San Diego, CA; Seattle, WA; Tampa, FL

Highlights:

  • The Royal AdvantageSM – Royal Caribbean is the world’s most innovative cruise line with 22 award-winning ships that sail to the world’s most enticing places. Onboard you’ll find numerous first-at sea features, dazzling entertainment, unparalleled dining options, a variety of accommodations, plus friendly, personalized Gold Anchor Service®.
  • One-of-a-kind activities for everyone – Onboard you’ll experience first-at-sea innovations that make a Royal Caribbean cruise unlike any other vacation — like rock climbing walls, ice skating, the zip line and FlowRider® surf machines. Families will love moments with Shrek, Po the panda and other DreamWorks® Animation characters. And kids have a blast at the complimentary Adventure Ocean® Youth Program with specialized programs and spaces designed just for them. The best part? These features and many more are totally complimentary.
  • Dazzling entertainment and exciting nightlife – Enjoy Broadway hit musicals like Chicago and Hairspray, just steps from your stateroom. Watch performers that wow across the ice, in the multi-story theater, and in the incredible AquaTheater high-diving amphitheater.* Then live it up with dancing, laughs and live music at bars, clubs and lounges that never feature a cover charge. You can even stir your excitement at the slots and tables of Casino Royale®, our slice of Vegas right at sea.
  • A delicious array of dining options – Take your palate global with a wide lineup of dining options. Most are complimentary, or indulge at specialty restaurants – classic steakhouse, festive Mexican cantina, family-style Italian trattoria, to name a few – where you can order anything you like off the menu for one low price.

Clientele:

Families, Sports Fans, Action and Adventure Seekers, Poker Players, Fitness Buffs, Mainstream category

There are even more cruise lines servicing the American coast. For more snapshots and deal hunting click here.
Which one have you traveled with and why did you choose them? Please comment below.

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4 Responses to “What Cruise Line Should I Choose?”

  1. The Rookie says:

    Are you taking one of these cruises? Or all of them. I vote the Royal Caribbean if your single, Disney if your not.

    • Dan says:

      I personally have been on the Carnival Dream and Freedom of the Seas (Royal Caribbean). Part 2 of my series will actually be a comparison between these two and I should be ready to post it soon. I agree, Royal for singles or active couples and Disney for families with kids.

  2. Claud Smith says:

    Just to help you get the facts correct, the Disney Magic was the first ship built and it was on the water before 2000, because i celebrated the turn of the century onboard the ship (across from the WONDER just off shore from Disney’s Castaway Cay in the Bahamas).

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