When I started my training as a travel agent, one academy said agents are not supposed to say which cruise line they like best. Instead, the client should be told the best cruise line is the one best for you. Therefore, I wrote this candid summary of what I like about the three major cruise lines and let clients read this to determine what is best for them. After going on 14 different cruises spread among Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean, here is my summary. Cruise reviews can also be found by searching the internet.
Carnival Cruise Lines
Bad publicity hurt the image of Carnival when they had a ship stall at sea, and they got a bad rap from the media. The prices are usually lowest, the food is wonderful, the ships are clean, and they run a first class operation. Special events such as free cook outs, themed foods, plus ice cream, frozen yogurt, pizza, and drinks are plentiful to keep a smile on your face.
My favorite things about Carnival are great comedy clubs, wonderful entertainment shows, and a variety of tasty free food all the time. The attitude of this cruise line is super. You are constantly reminded they are known as the fun ship by being asked if you are having a good time and receiving great service.
Norwegian Cruise Lines
This is the smallest of the big three cruise lines, and maybe that is why they try so hard to please. Also known as NCL, this line has some of the best itineraries. Their theme while you cruise seems to be “whatever”, as they pioneered anytime dining and offer a relaxation more than a fun atmosphere.
They have some nice, big ships in addition to very clean mid size ones. The staff is plentiful and friendly. They have a variety of specialty restaurants where you can pay extra for upgraded food and atmosphere. Food quality is good but reported to be better in fee paid restaurants.
The itineraries of this line are excellent. Some of their ships are huge and impressive. They have a bit more pizzazz with the center of some ships looking like a mall, and some special innovative features. Cleanliness is excellent even though they did have some issues with virus outbreaks that were not dwelled on in the media like the Carnival breakdown.
This line is a bit more formal with less emphasis on fun or freedom like the other cruise lines. My experience with the entertainment and food was not as impressive as Carnival or NCL, but my clients have had no complaints. Their ships look great and they have a good reputation.
I hope this summary helps you decide what cruise line might be best for you. Click at your computer to find a travel agent for support on cruise selection. The best way to really know is to enjoy a cruise on each different line. Since life is so short, you owe it to yourself to really enjoy life and try that.
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