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Best Cruise Line

Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:57 am

I am planning a Cruise in December for the Western Caribbean or Bahamas ... please let me know what is the best cruise line around there, I have been on one Carnival Cruise before in the Southern Caribbean.


RE: Best Cruise Line

Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:37 am

My two favorites are Princess and Carnival. They are the best and have good prices. Princess does not have cruises just to the Bahamas though.
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:40 pm

I have sailed with Celebrity 16 times. I think they are outstanding. Largely one determines which cruise line he likes because of what he likes to do onboard. Celebrity is a more luxurious line, though not pricey. The Continental cuisine is fantastic, the staff very good, and the entertainment wonderful. If you are the type who likes a rowdy atmosphere with lots of noise I am told Carnival is the best bet. If you have children, perhaps Disney might be in order. I have heard good things about Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Princess. Hope that helps.
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:53 am

Seabourn absolutely no questions asked. The service and ships are absolutely amazing.
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:00 am

If you've only sailed on Carnival, you've pretty much sailed on the Southwest Airlines of the cruise industry - they're the "entry-level" cruise for first-timers, for the most part.

If you're looking for a more elegant experience, I'd suggest Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as your next step up. Beyond that, my best overall recommendation is Celebrity Cruises, which is also owned by RCCL. Their ships are magnificent, and while not exactly bargain-basement, their prices are more than reasonable for the outstanding service you receive.
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:06 am

The new QMII with Cunard line would be a good bet. I don't think it sails in the Caribbean, but then again, I could be wrong.


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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:13 am

I know there is a Gay cruise line: the Atlantis. I think they are popular for gay travelers... of the Future
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:15 am

Actually, of the popular lines, two of you have hit the nail on the head: Cunard and Seabourn
I have sailed on Cunard about a dozen times (once on QM2)...Seabourne three times.
Crystal Cruises is right up there as well.

The mass market Carnival, NCL, RCL, Princess, etc...are but a shadow of what those three provide...

Treat yourself--the price difference is usually negligible.
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:24 am

I've sailed on Royal Caribbean(3x), Princess(3x), and Holland America(once). I think Princess was the best in terms of service, food, and fun, with Holland America coming in at a close second. 3 years ago I went on a Mediterranean cruise from Istanbul to Barcelona on Golden Princess, it was the best 2 weeks of my life.

Royal Caribbean was terrible compared to those two for the price you pay. The food was often served cold, and it was just well...bad on the Serenade of the Seas last February. The ship was nice but the service is nothing compared to Princess and Holland America.

Ships I've sailed on:
Princess- Golden Princess, Grand Princess, Sea Princess, (Star Princess next summer)
Royal Caribbean- Nordic Empress, Grandeur of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas
Holland America- Zuiderdam

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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:29 am

Celebrity is a very good line to sail with. I did a 7-day Southern Caribbean cruise in March 2003 on the Constellation, and it was the best vacation of my life. The ships are very classy, but that in no way prevents you from having an awesome time. The food is excellent as well, especially that gargantuan Midnight Buffet they do the second to last night onboard the ship. The entertainment is good. Service is excellent. I had no complaints.

I say Celebrity, but I would try to make it a point to get on one of their newer ships (Millenium, Summit, Infinity, or Constellation). They may be new, but they are not the massive 2500-3000 passenger megaships that many of the other cruise lines have come out with. I believe that they all accommodate around 1950 passengers. They are large ships, but not overwhelming. No matter what though, the vacation will be an experience to remember.

Carnival, who I sailed on seven years ago, is more of the Southwest Airlines of the cruise industry, but is probably the best bet if you are going with small children. A family with older children would have no problem sailing on Royal Caribbean or Celbrity, though. Royal Carribean is probably the cruise line to go with for the most active cruise vacation out there. Celebrity is more of the classy cruise line, but they have plenty of activities too.

Any cruise promises to be a great vacation. Have fun!  Big thumbs up
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:49 am

Greg already mentioned Crystal Cruises (ships are the Crystal Harmony, Symphony and Serenity)....always ranks very, very high on satisfaction polls, surveys, etc.

A word of warning....if you ever decide to take a Crystal will probably be the only passengers on board the ship who are not at least 75 years old.  Smile
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:05 am

Well...any of the premium lines are basically 'God's Waiting Rooms' for a lot of elderly.
At Crystal, it's not so much the old's the damn wheelchairs that bothered me.
Seabourn the crowd is younger and more active...but I think it has more to do with the design of the ship (not so handicapped friendly) and the activities offered (on deck, in port, water sports, etc).
Cunard has always been a mixed bag since both the QE2 and QM2 cater to very diverse crowds.
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:13 am

I prefer Royal Caribbean over Carnival.
It's been years since I been on a Princess and Holland.
Bring back the Concorde
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:49 am

The food on Princess is dreadful - hard to find one spice on board, let alone a clove of garlic. Its bland and bad, catering to the white sauce and jello crowd. Royal Carib is better, although much much gaudier. The QE2 is a totally different experience. You still get bouillon served on the decks at 11 am. Try that on a Cruise ship.

Cruises are best enjoyed with parents and grandparents. They're close yet, about 1000 feet away !
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:01 am

They're close yet, about 1000 feet away !

 Laugh out loud
I remember when I was a teen and went on a family crusie, I never saw my family once I boarded the ship!
I met friends really quick and had a ball for entire week!  Smokin cool
Bring back the Concorde
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:36 am

Celebrity is my preferred option.

Having said that, I had a very very good time with Disney. And never once had a problem with screaming kids.

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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:40 am


Atlantis is not a cruise line, it is a tour company that at various times of the year offers cruises on ships that they have totally chartered out for there use. In addition to the cruises they also offer some land based all inclusive holidays as well.
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 6:57 am

I sailed on Carnival Cruise Lines last May, but that's the only cruise I've ever been on, so the only thing I have to compare it to is my expectations. I must say, the actual cruise wasn't as good as I thought it would be.

The service was decent, but the food was crap. Breakfast and lunch was like fast-food, but not as good. Dinner was ok, but quite a bit worse than a restaurant.

Despite all that, the cruise turned out to be the best five days of my life. 280 High School kids stuck together on a boat in the middle of no where. Good times...  Smile
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:05 am

Well, I have been on a total of 4 cruises in the last six years.

Princess: Sea Princess, 7 day Western Caribbean, for my honeymoon, was upgraded 12 spots to outside room.

Princess: Sun Princess, 10 day Panama Canal, no upgrade this time, was very disappointed with that. Remember the longer the cruise the older the people, at least so I have been told by the ship's staff. Inside room.

RCCL: Voyager of the Seas, 7 day Caribbean cruise, wonderful ship, ice rink and rock climbing wall, mini put. Outside room

RCCL: Radiance of the Seas, 7 day Alaskan Cruise, another great ship. Balcony Room.

Try for some great feedback and reports on most Cruise Lines and Ships.

On the whole I would suggest RCCL, food was superior to Princess, and RCCL, I feel anyways, have better ships.

Let us know what you choose and I wouldn't mind seeing a "trip report" after the fact Big grin

And BTW, get atleast and outside room, minimum, iside just plain sucks I-I

Andreas  Big thumbs up

[Edited 2004-08-26 01:13:06]
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 11:44 am

Ive been on:



Holland America:
Westerdam (sp?)


We loved the Carnival Spirit- not rowdy at all, but glitzy. Beautiful ship, lots of dark wood. However, in terms of round-about "best", we enjoyed our Celebrity cruise the most- and have just booked Celebrity again for Summer 05- a 10 day journey to the Galopagos on Celebrity Xpedition!

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RE: Best Cruise Line

Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:34 pm

I've been on a Princess cruise in Alaska and a Royal Caribbean cruise in the eastern Caribbean. The former ship was the Sea Princess, which was about 2,200 passengers. The service was good, the ship was quite nice, but I'd say the food was so-so. The big draw was the scenery, which is simply jaw-dropping.

The Royal Caribbean cruise was on the Adventure of the Seas, with 3,724 passengers onboard, which I think is the highest of any passenger ship afloat. I actually liked the bigger ship much better -- RCCL did a great job of providing enough public space that you don't notice the crowd, and the extra room provided more options (like RCCL's fantastic ice skating show) that smaller ships just can't match. The decor and shipboard atmopshere was pretty comparable, but the Royal Promenade on RCCL's Voyager class is a brilliant idea. The food on the Adventure was definitely superior to Princess' and the dining staff and cabin attendants were more enthusiastic. For example, our Ukrainian head waitress was phenomenal and we got towel animals nearly every night on RCCL, never on Princess.

It really depends on what kind of experience you want. If you want a cruise that harkens back to the days of ocean liners, Cunard is the obvious choice. If you want a classy, elegant, formal cruise at a slightly higher-than-average price point, go with Seabourn, Crystal, or Celebrity. If you want a more relaxed, family-oriented, middle-market cruise, go with Princess, Royal Caribbean, or Disney. As you know, Carnival is the cheap, high-energy, floating Las Vegas option.

Itinerary, availability, and price will probably make a lot of the decision for you, though.

Keynes is dead and we are living in his long run.
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:07 am

I went on a Carnival cruise in April ... I read lots and lots of review about how Carnival was trashy, filled with roudy kids, service was horrible. That really put a great picture in my head ... Then good reviews started rolling in too, I went to certain websites message boards and asked all the questions I could think off, and it really put my mind at ease, and by the time the cruise came around I was confident we would have a good time.

So April 12, 2004 we sailed the Carnival Fascination from Miami. It was a quick trip, only 4 days (since my dad lives in Miami, we decided like two months before the sailing to go) and it was a blast.

The ship was one of the older ones, built in 1994, but definately did not show it's age. It was kept in great shape. The staff was amazing, very friendly, willing to help you with whatever you needed, from the wait staff to your room steward.

The shows were great. Everynight we had great options, there were tons of clubs on board, the lounge had a midnight comedy club for adults, there were dance parties on the pool deck at night, and lots of seminars and audience participation games during the day (during days at sea.)

The food was great too. You had lots of options as what you could do when you wanted to eat, your sign and sail card had your meal time and dinning room on it, but you did not have to eat in your dinning room if you did not feel like it. You could go to one of the more casual places and eat, and not have to deal with getting dressed up. Yeah, we did that on the first day, and we wished we wouldn't have when we went to our dinning room the second night Lobster, Steak, Salmon, all this great stuff, with people coming around offering you more, and you had your own personal waiter who would sit and talk with you ... ours was a man from India. It was awesome ...

Formal night was the best, we all had to get dressed up, and they had photo stations set up all over the ship where you sit down, get your picture taken, and then go to the photo gallery later that night and try to find all the ones of you. It was great to see everyone dressed up and having such a great time.

So basically Carnival is a GREAT value, we sailed for 4 days, from Miami - Key West - Cozumel - Day At Sea - Miami for $249.00/person. Next time I would like to do a longer cruise, but this one was great, I will always defend Carnival now. Maybe you just have to be careful the dates that you pick and choose prime vacation times.

do what you like . like what you do . life is good
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Fri Aug 27, 2004 2:19 am

took Royal Caribbean on the Inside Passage to Alaska. It was o.k. No previous cruise experience to compare with.
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Fri Aug 27, 2004 2:35 am

Depends on what/where you're going... but so far as transCaribbean is concerned, I prefer Royal Caribbean.
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Fri Aug 27, 2004 3:02 am

I've sailed with Royal Caribbean and Holland American Line.

Royal Caribbean: 10 day western caribbean on "Splendour of the Seas". Nice ship, great food, great service. Loved it, would go again anytime! Was lots of fun, overall a great holiday.

Holland America: 10 day eastern caribbean on the "ms Rotterdam". Beautiful ship, great food, great service. Not quite as many activities as Royal Caribbean (but still more than enough to keep us busy), but the lounges were a little nicer, and if you ever get bored there just go for a walk, because when I took the time to walk around and look that thing was like a floating art museum! statues, models, paintings, they were everywhere!

Overall I would recomend Royal Caribbean and Holland America. It's hard to pick one of the two. Royal Caribbean had a bit more to do, but Holland America had a bit nicer lounges and more models n statues and things. But overall I found cruising one of the best ways to travel. Id take a cruise ship over an airplane any day. (But the airplane is still fun as far as getting to the ship goes)

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RE: Best Cruise Line

Fri Aug 27, 2004 5:01 pm

Most cruise lines mentioned above (RCCL, HAL, Princess, Carnival etc. etc.) are for the "average folk", good value for little money.

The best one can get are both "Seabourn Cruise Line" and "Silversea Cruise Line". One here you'll find the "better-off" folks such as lawyers, doctors, artisits, actors etc. etc. (not that they're nicer though...)

And I know, I worked on the "Seabourn Spirit" and the "Silver Wind"!!

Hence their 5*+ ratings...
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:33 pm

Looks like Carnival Corp is doing OK here. They own Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Seabourne and Cunard.


RE: Best Cruise Line

Sun Aug 29, 2004 10:02 pm

EA CO AS, have you ever been on Carnival? I have been on Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Norweigan and I still liked Carnival and Princess the most. When you say there is a "class" difference that is just a pleathra of crap. There prices are the same and I think the quality is even better.
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RE: Best Cruise Line

Sun Aug 29, 2004 11:09 pm

Remember Carnival now does in fact own Princess among other cruise lines.
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