Cruising is a popular method of travel for those looking to explore the world from the comfort of a luxurious ship. With so many different types of cruises available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one best suits your travel needs. Here are the four main categories of cruises to consider:
Mass Market Cruises: Mass market cruises are the most common and affordable type of cruise. These cruises usually offer a wide range of activities and amenities for passengers, such as live entertainment, swimming pools, fitness centers, and multiple restaurants to choose from. Companies such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line are known for their mass-market cruises. With these cruises, your food, some drinks (tap water, lemonade, iced tea, drip coffee, and some juice at breakfast), and entertainment are included. If you want wifi, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, or shore excursions, those are at an additional cost. Some may have packages that offer a better price when you bundle than if you book each part separately. Some even include shore excursion credits.
Contemporary Cruises: Contemporary cruises are similar to mass market cruises but tend to offer a more modern and stylish atmosphere. Companies such as MSC Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Celebrity, and Disney Cruise Lines offer contemporary cruises with sleek designs and a focus on entertainment and dining experiences. These cruise lines may have similar packages to the mass market lines for beverages, wifi, etc.
Luxury Cruises: Luxury cruises offer a more refined and exclusive experience. These cruises tend to have fewer passengers on board, which allows for more personalized attention and service. Companies such as Regent Seven Seas, Crystal Cruises, Oceania, and Seabourn are known for their luxurious offerings. Most of these cruise lines have more inclusions than the mass market or contemporary cruise lines. Some even include most excursions.
River Cruises: River cruises are an increasingly popular way to explore the world’s waterways and cities. Whether you’re looking to discover the beauty of the American South via the Mississippi, experience ancient European cities via the Danube or Rhine, or explore the exotic waterways of Southeast Asia, there are river cruises to meet your travel needs. River cruises offer a unique way to travel, featuring small ships that can navigate narrow canals and rivers, with plenty of opportunities to visit destinations that larger vessels can’t access. Along the way, you’ll enjoy stunning scenery, fine cuisine, and the comfort of river cruising. Personally, I want to cruise the Nile and Mekong!
Expedition Cruises: Expedition cruises provide a more adventurous and immersive experience. These cruises focus on exploring remote regions of the world such as the Arctic, Antarctic, or the Galapagos. These cruises often have naturalists, scientists and wilderness experts on board to educate passengers on local wildlife and ecosystems. These ships are smaller, more casual, and don’t have all the bells and whistles that other ships have. I currently have clients booked on one in Alaska that has marine toilets! Companies such as Lindblad Expeditions, UnCruise, and Hurtigruten specialize in expedition cruising. There are several luxury brands that also have expedition cruises. Many of these cruises are more inclusive in what is offered including shore excursions.
Even with mass market and contemporary cruise lines, you can upgrade to suites to make it more luxurious. Some have butlers or in the case of Virgin Voyages, “roadies”. This is perfect when you have groups traveling together with a wide range of budgets!
No matter what type of cruising experience you choose, be sure to research multiple companies and itineraries to make an informed decision that best suits your travel needs. This is how we can help you! Each cruise line has its own personality and things they are good at. We want to make sure you have the best experience possible and to do that, we will match you to the right itinerary and cruise line.