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Best Cruise Line For Seniors
best of

Best for Active Travelers

princess cruises best cruise line 2022
PRINCESS CRUISES
  • Unique adventure excursions
  • Expertise in Alaska cruising
  • Broadway-style entertainment
best of

Best for Families

noreweigan cruise lines best cruiese of 2022
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
  • Clubs for all kids, toddlers to teens
  • Onboard spas for adults
  • Children and adult entertainment
best of

Best for Seniors

Holland America best cruise line
HOLLAND AMERICA
  • Set-seating for dining
  • Cooking classes and afternoon teas
  • Comfortable cabins

How to Pick the Best Cruise Line for You

Picking the best cruise line can be daunting. Some cruise lines are exceptional when it comes to excursions. Others get high marks for their onboard dining and cabins. Price can also play into your decision, as can the destination the cruise goes to (Caribbean or Alaska, for example).

One way to help decide on the best cruise line is to read online reviews as well as ask questions on travel sites like TripAdvisor.com and find out from other travelers what they like or didn’t like about a particular cruise line. Working with a travel agent can also be a good idea. They can help you pick the best cruise line based on the size of your group, preferred ports of call and shore excursions, and onboard amenities such as spas, restaurants, casinos and theaters.

Also keep in mind that some cruise lines cater to certain ages such as specializing in activities for seniors or for children. A ship’s size can also be a consideration, if you prefer a large ship with thousands of passengers or a smaller size ship suited for a couple hundred travelers.

You might also want to choose a cruise line based on your personality. Do you prefer a lively cruise ship with nightly shows and a casino or a quieter experience on a smaller vessel that is geared to watching the scenery and nature, such as a cruise to Alaska or to the Galapagos Islands.

The cruise’s duration is for is also important to consider. Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess cruise lines are known to offer shorter itineraries while Viking and Norwegian, for example, have longer itineraries such as week-long cruises.

Lastly, your budget is an important factor when picking the best cruise line for you, and cheap does not mean you will lose out on quality. Budget cruise lines like Carnival and Holland America still offer reliable onboard customer service and experiences and well-maintained ships. Mainstream cruise lines such as Celebrity, Disney, Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean are more expensive but won’t break the bank.

Best Cruise Lines of 2022

Brand Rating Avg Daily Cost/Passenger Luxury Budget Family Friendly Best for Caribbean Best for Alaska Best for Europe Best for Mediterannean
Princess
$95
Norwegian
$95
Holland America
$99
Carnival
$65 – $95
Disney
$216 – $525
Royal Caribbean
$65 – $70
Viking
$249
Best Cruise Line for Active Travelers

Princess

princess cruises best cruise line 2022
  • Unique adventure excursions
  • Expertise in Alaska cruising
  • Onboard Broadway-style entertainment and live music

Princess cruises attract adventure-seeking passengers who appreciate the cruise line’s active excursion options, including canoeing, kayaking, biking, rock climbing and trail hiking. Onboard, passengers can use the ship’s state-of-the-art fitness center, including booking an appointment with a certified personal trainer or taking an aerobics class.

Best Cruise Line for Families

Norwegian

noreweigan cruise lines best cruiese of 2022
  • Clubs for all kids, toddlers to teens
  • Onboard spas for adults
  • Children and adult entertainment options, including waterslides, pools and live shows

On a Norwegian cruise there is something to do for every member of your family. From onboard water slides, virtual-reality gaming, clubs for toddlers and teens, adult spas, Broadway shows and more, Norwegian cruises are known to satisfy all ages.

Best Cruise Line for Seniors

Holland America

Holland America best cruise line
  • Set-seating for dining
  • Enrichment activities such as cooking and afternoon teas
  • Comfortable cabins

Holland America’s midsize ships carrying fewer than 3,000 passengers are ideal for seniors yet still offer big-ship amenities without busy and noisy amenities like waterslides. Onboard activities usually include live music, shuffleboard and fine dining. If Alaska is on your bucket list, Holland America has a long history in that area. The cruise line’s land-based tours feature its own wilderness resorts and Alaska Railroad cars, as well as routes into Canada’s Yukon that no other cruise line is said to offer.

Best Cruise Line for Dining

Carnival

carnvial best cruise lines
  • Several dining options on each ship
  • Restaurants are varied from casual to more formal dining
  • Dining establishments will accommodate any dietary restriction

For foodies, Carnival is the cruise line to book. It has some of the largest varieties of complimentary onboard dining options, including sit-down dining restaurants, poolside dining options, and casual cafes for grab-and-go items such as sandwiches. Carnival ships also have a selection of specialty restaurants.

Best Cruise Line for Kids

Disney

disney best cruise line
  • Kid-friendly amenities such as water slides and mini golf courses
  • Themed cruises such as Halloween and Pixar Day at Sea
  • Original onboard productions of popular shows such as Frozen and Tangled

Disney cruises are paradises for kids. From onboard games and shows to themed cruises and kid-friendly dining options, Disney knows how to cater to the little ones in your family. Disney cruises are also known for their once-a-cruise pirate-themed deck party, which combines an interactive musical show with dance parties and fireworks. Disney cruises’ state rooms are also family-friendly with verandas and adjoining rooms. Many rooms have bunk beds.

Best Cruise Line for Innovation

Royal Caribbean

royal caribbean best cruise line
  • First cruise line to offer a rock climbing wall, surf simulator, ice skating rink, Broadway shows and more
  • Continually drives at-sea innovation with new onboard amenities and features
  • Ships feel like floating cities

Royal Caribbean is one of the best cruise lines for delivering innovation at sea, with onboard offerings that were the first of their kind for a cruise ship such as at-sea ice skating rinks and rock climbing walls. Its ships are also expansive, feeling like cities on the waters with numerous onsite restaurants as well as gyms, spas, pools and more. 

Best Cruise Line for European Travel

Viking

viking best cruise line
  • Offers 15-day voyages in Budapest and other European destinations
  • Themed European cruises such as seeing tulips in Holland and Christmas Markets in Germany
  • Ideal for older travelers – average passenger age is mid-50s to late-70s

Viking river cruises in Europe are considered the best of any cruise line. A lot of this has to do with the cruises’ itineraries, which take the ships past some of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes and most famous historical sites. Each state room on the ship has a balcony for up close views of the surrounding countryside. Cruising on Viking is also convenient. Most everything is included in the cruise’s price. For example, you don’t have to pay any extra costs to dine at onboard specialty restaurants. On Viking’s ocean-class ships, the Scandinavian-style sauna, steam room and pool are complementary to use for all passengers. You also will have easy access to ports of call, which are often accessible, right off the vessel’s gangway. Viking’s small ships usually carry about 900 passengers.   

How to Make Your Cruise Go Smoothly

Having a stress-free trip is always a good goal, and thankfully an attainable goal if your plan right. Here are some tips to make your cruise vacation go smoothly.

Arrive Early to Your Departure Port

Many cruises depart in the afternoon so it might seem logical to arrive that morning. But if your plane is delayed or if you are driving and run into traffic, missing your cruise will put an end to your trip. Consider arriving the day before, or two days before if it is an international cruise. Arriving a few days to your overseas destianation can help relieve any jet lag before your cruise departs.

Do Your Research

Really get to the know the ports of call your cruise will go to and what onshore excursions are offered. Book excursions before your cruise’s departure date to ensure the tours don’t fill up. You can also book private excursions if you prefer to see sights with fewer people. Sometimes private excursions can be less expensive than the excursions offered by the cruise line. Tip: You won’t book a private excursion through your cruise. You’ll need to find an independent tour operator located in that port of call and book directly with them.

Book Ahead

If your cruise offers nightly entertainment such as Broadway-style shows, book those ahead of time or on the first day of your cruise. Shows can sell out. You can also book reservations for onboard dining.

Save Money By Bringing Your Own Drinks and Extra Toiletries Onboard

Many cruise lines allow passengers to bring their own wine and other drinks onboard. For example, Disney allows passengers to bring two bottles of uncorked wine or six unopened cans or bottles of beer, per cabin. Some cruise lines might charge a corkage fee. Be sure to check with your cruise line ahead of time to find out what their BYOB policy is. 

You can also save money by bringing extra sunscreen, first aid items like Band-Aids and aspirin, batteries and more instead of buying onboard and paying premium prices.

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