Choosing Your Cruise : The Cruise Line, The Ship & The Destination

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icking a cruise ship to take for your next holiday can throw up a number of different things to consider. First you need to choose which cruise line you go with. You may have perceptions about different providers already and this may impact your decision. Secondly, each cruise operator has their own fleet of ships – all of which offer different experiences to its passengers.

Finally and probably most importantly are the destinations that the ship will sail to on its itinerary.

The Cruise Line

You’ll quickly realise that each cruise line has a particular ‘vibe’ associated with it. The easiest and quickest way to immerse yourself in the cruise world is to pick up a brochure at a travel agent or to go online to a cruise provider website.

As one of the biggest and best-known cruise lines in the world, Princess Cruises proudly promote their young fleet (which means newer ships) with a focus on quality and comfort. It’s clear to see from the photography and language used in their brochures and on their website that this isn’t a party ‘nightclub’ cruise line. That might make you sigh with relief, or scramble to hit the back button. Either way, it’s one step closer to finding your ideal cruise.

The Destination

The destination that you want to travel to may play a part in the ship that you sail on, particularly if it is a very niche location. However, more popular destinations such as those in the Mediterranean will have a wider choice of cruise lines and ships to choose from.

Keep in mind that some destinations will appeal to certain types of travellers. Cruise forums are a great place to start if you are looking to meet like-minded people when on your trip. They’re filled with passionate and experienced cruisers who readily give honest advice on what you can expect on a particular ship or route.

While it may take some time to research your ideal cruise holiday, it’s well worth doing so to ensure full satisfaction. As with any holiday, when you’ve found the perfect cruise in terms of style and destination, the experience is one you’ll remember forever.

The Ship

Once you’ve narrowed down to which cruise line you’d like to use, it’s tempting to just book a trip on the first ship that’s sailing when you want to travel. However, you’ll find that each ship within a cruise operator’s fleet will be targeted to different audiences and have different benefits. Therefore, spending time doing your research on the ship before you book is well worth the effort.

With Princess Cruises you’ll find that there are 17 ships in its fleet. Of these, two are ‘small ships’ offering a more intimate atmosphere on board and access to unique destinations via smaller ports where the larger ships can’t get into.

However, the larger ships – of which there are many, also have their advantages. They are great if you are looking to meet like-minded people and take part in a number of activities including ballroom dancing and cabarets. They also have a large selection of gourmet a la carte restaurants to keep even the biggest foodie fully occupied for the duration.