Everyone knows that one of the best things about a cruise is the food! Passengers dine on sumptuous meals three times a day in the dining room and can even go back for more at the Midnight Buffet! But wait…dining at sea has changed dramatically in recent years, offering travelers more options than ever before.
Cruising is a popular way to sightsee while relaxing. These days the most difficult decision when it comes to setting sail on a cruise is what amenities are on the ship and what are the ports of call. To see some differences and a small snippet of cruise information in the ship categories continue reading on.
Deluxe Cruise Lines
In general, the cruise information for these cruise lines offer a high quality product – at a high quality price. Pre-discount, per diem prices range from $400 to $900 per person. Since most people who can afford these cruises have time to travel, the average cruise length is longer than seven days. You will probably have a good time on these ships but it will cost you.
Premium Cruise Lines
These cruise lines offer a high quality product at a more affordable price. Pre-discount, per diems for these ships will range from $250 to $450 per person. Onboard amenities, and the quality of food and service varies amongst the ships in the fleets so make sure you read both the professional and passenger reviews before selecting a ship or itinerary. Average cruise lengths range from 7 to 14 days in this category and the typical passenger is a veteran cruiser.
Mass Market Cruise Lines
These cruise lines provide a good product at an affordable price. Pre-discount, per diems range from $150 to $300 per person. The ships are typically larger than the higher end vessels but they also offer a greater variety of activities (rock climbing, pool slides, etc). Typical cruise itineraries range from 3 to 10 days and you will be traveling with a mix of veteran and first time cruisers. The quality of food and level of service is typically very good but the onboard experience is more typical of a large land-based resort than a traditional cruise. Don’t expect a lot of personal service as you may well be traveling with 3000 fellow passengers.
Budget Cruise Lines
The cruise information for these cruise lines provide a basic product at a basic price. Pre-discount, per diems are typically below $150 per person. Many passengers on these cruises will be first-time cruisers and most seem to report having a good time – but don’t book one of these cruises expecting gourmet meals and personal service. Ships are typically smaller and older and many cruises will include large blocks of passengers from the same country.
River Cruise Lines
These cruise companies offer trips on the rivers and canals of Europe and North America. Many of the vessels are purposefully built for river cruising and as such they are smaller and do not offer the same type of amenities found on a cruise ship (i.e. no pool or gym). Pre-discount, per diems typically range from $250 to $350 per person. The quality of the food and level of service is typically very good and many passengers are likely to be repeat customers. These trips are a great way to take in the local flavor of the area.
Specialty Cruise Lines
These cruise companies offer a wide variety of itineraries and vessels ranging from restored ocean liners and sailing vessels to coastal steamers and ice breakers. Typical itineraries range from seven to fourteen days and vary by itinerary. Expedition cruises to remote areas are typically longer and attract an older and more experienced crowd. Passengers on sailing trips are usually a bit younger and up for more of a party. Pre-discount, per diems range from $150 to over $500 per day depending on cruise length and itinerary. There are a lot of options in this category.