Cruise Reviews, Reviews For Cruise Lines, Cruise Ship Reviews

Cruise Reviews From Avid Cruisers

Our goal is to provide unbiased cruise reviews & personalized recommendations for cruise ships worldwide. You should know, however, that while we provide cruise ship reviews and reviews for cruise lines, we specialize in small ships, mid-size ships, expedition cruises and river cruises on our sister site River Cruise Advisor. The easiest way to get started is to complete our form at the bottom if this page. We charge no service fees to users of our site for our recommendations. We can also put you in touch with a travel agent should you wish, but only with your consent. – Ralph Grizzle & Britton Frost

Ralph Grizzle & his daughter Britton Frost, river cruising on the Danube.

3 Important Steps To Choosing Your Cruise

So you want to go cruising but you’re confused by itineraries, stateroom categories, the differences in ships and in cruise lines? I know it can be daunting. When I first started in this industry more than two decades ago, I scratched my head for a few years before I began to understand what distinguishes one cruise line from the other and one destination from the other.

Our aim is to fast-track you to a point of understanding the vessel, the itinerary and even the stateroom that best fits your needs. With more than 500 ships sailing the oceans and rivers, that’s a tall order but one that we’re up for.

Ready? Let’s go.

1. Decide On A Cruise Category

In the cruise industry, we’ve come up with a way to categorize ships. There is certainly a blurring between the categories, but it may help you to think of cruises in the following categories:

Got money to burn? Go Luxury All The Way

If you feel comfortable budgeting $300 to $1,000 per day per person, look to the luxury cruise players such as Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line (grill class), Hapag Lloyd, Paul Gauguin, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea Cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club and Seabourn.

Actually, though these cruise lines command higher fares than the rest of the cruise lines on this page, luxury cruises can be a great value.

See

Also, because most luxury cruise ships are small ships, you may also want to read Five Reasons Why I Prefer Cruising On Smaller Ships

Seabourn operates a fleet of luxury ships, including Seabourn Encore, pictured here, which carries just over 600 guests.

Looking To Save A Bit But Still Go In Style? Go Premium

For a bit less investment than luxury cruises, you can cruise on the upper-premium ships operated by Azamara Club Cruises and Oceania Cruises, as well as the mid-sized premium-class vessels that make up the fleets of Celebrity Cruises and Holland America Line (often erroneously called, Holland American).

With a passenger capacity of 2,918, Celebrity Edge is an example of a premium-category ship.

Big Ships Can Offer Big Value

You’ll also find cruise reviews of such popular large-ship cruise lines as Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian, MSC Cruises, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International. These cruise lines typically offer the best lead-in rates.

Families traveling together may want to look at Disney Cruise Line, although any of the big ship cruise lines mentioned in the preceding paragraph also do a great job with families.

Capable of carrying more than 5,000 passengers, MSC Seaside is an example of a big ship.

Sailing Ships

If you love the sensation of sailing, take a look at Star Clippers and Windstar Cruises. These companies offer intimate experiences that connect you with the wind and waves while providing a closer view of marine life and ship operations. It can be an exhilarating experience, feeling the power of the wind as it fuels your voyage.

Windstar Cruises' Wind Surf.

Expedition & Niche Cruises

Niche Cruises offer some incredible vacation experiences, that are not only enriching but also potentially life-changing. Hurtigruten plies the Norwegian coast, and sails to Spitzbergen, Greenland and Antarctica. Lindblad Expeditions operates National Geographic expedition vessels in destinations that span the globe. Un-Cruise Adventures offers expeditions to Alaska, Baja California and Hawaii.

2. Decide Where You Want To Go

After you’ve figured out your ship style, you’ll want to start scanning a world map to decide where you want to cruise. Cruising can take you just about anywhere from the vast oceans of the world, pole-to-pole, to rivers that cut through the heart of continents. Port Profiles is designed to help you explore the various regions where cruise ships operate.

3. Find A Good Travel Agent

You won’t pay more using a travel agent than you would going to the cruise line direct, so take advantage of this great, and free, resource.

Still Undecided?

See My Favorite Cruises

Ask For Our Help

We know that any vacation is a big investment, both financially and emotionally, although financially, cruising offers some of the best value vacations. Our mission is to always help you in any way that we can. Together, we have sailed on most of the ships you’re here to learn about and we’ve spent time ashore in ports of all shapes and sizes around the world. We’re here to help.

The easiest way to get started is to complete our form at the bottom. We charge no service fees to users of our site. We can also put you in touch with a booking agent should you wish, but only with your consent.

Bon Voyage!

Yes, Ralph, Send Me Your Recommendations

Would you like my personalized recommendations for a cruise that's perfect for you? Fill out my form, and I'll do my best to help you.

Step 1 of 4 - Where Do You Want To Cruise?

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  • Please choose only one for now. We can chat later about other destinations.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Hello:

    We are cruising on the Grand Princess Oct 21,  29 days from Southampton to Ft. Lauderdale.  We will be stopping at:  Cadiz, Alghero, Rome, Florence, Cannes, Brcelona, Gibraltar, Zeebrugge, Paris, Vigo, Lisbon, Ponta delgada and Bermuda.  Any suggestions on any of these ports for tours we should take.

    Thank you for your help 

    1. Call Mary in Lisbon +351-938 234 054 References from Ralph and others on Trip Advisor! 😀

    2. OMG That was a year ago LOL

  2. If any of you wish to know more about the cruise industry, check my papers at http://www.grin.com/en/e-book/180656/royal-caribbean-cruise-line-rccl-a-brand-portfolio-analysis

    ….an examination of the nature, the typology and the management of a well known corporate brand operating in the Tourism industry: Royal Caribbean Cruises Line Ltd (RCCL).Adam Weaver in his article Complexity at sea: Managing brands within the cruise industry(2008), stresses how in the late eighties, corporate consolidation within the cruise industry, had as a result many cruise brands to be a part of a brand portfolio. In the complexity of the cruise industry, culture, languages and country of origins represent a major challenge for managers when adapting their brands across an international environment and portfolios are always bigger (Weaver, 2008).Originally Royal Caribbean Cruise LTD’s strategy to overcome the complexity of this issue has been to opt for a Global brand strategy instead of a multiple decentralized local brands strategy, which on the other hand, has been Carnival Corporation’s main strategy, also main RCCL competitor, as well as market leader for the global cruise industry (Weaver, 2008).

  3. Thoroughness

  4. I’m cruising with Thomson at the end of the year with TUI Discovery.Any impressions from Tropical Horizons or similar cruise?Any advice about the ship?

  5. I thing that this article is very important for people that don’t know the wonderful world of cruise. I share that! thanks

  6. Hi there.
    We have never been on a cruise and wanted some advice.
    We are a couple in our mid 60’s and usually travel everywhere by ouselves as independant travellers. We don’t like coach tours much and like to keep to ourselves.
    We also like a little bit of extra room, so where thiinking of maybe a balcony or junior suite if the price is right.
    We thought perhaps a cruise from Australia to New Zealand, or maybe Singapore, but not the Pacific islands
    Any information about cruise lines or cabins would be appreciated, as I have read mixed reviews about some cruise lines

    1. How about a river cruise? Sounds ideal in some ways, if you choose the right one.

  7. I was lied to by the NCL authorized agent about the price of my cruise and they refused to make it right. Once they have your credit card they will take what they want and not honor their deal. The agent was a liar. The NCL guest relations person (Avis Brown) failed to properly investigate or make it correctly and communicated slowly and in form letters only. I will never cruise with Norwegian again.

  8. Hey guys.

    Just came back from a horrific cruise. I decided to try Princess Cruises and man….NEVER AGAIN. YUCK there was actually OIL in the coffee cups and because of this uncleanliness everyone got sick! I made a video haha tell me what you think

    10 Reasons to Avoid Princess Cruises (Princess Cruise Line Review after horrible experience – warning to all!)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8xuMsrq9fo&t=2s

  9. We went on Carnival Spirit from Sydney to Moreton Island in early May. The Cruise is simply amazing, Best value for Money. Its a perfect leisure trip for the entire family. The ship has got everything that you can think of. Food, events, shows, sports, party, cinema, pool – name the thing and you will find it in the list.

    Shows were awesome, very entertaining. The Cruise Director Lee Mason is a very entertaining guy and quite hilarious. We ensured not to miss any of his shows. Kid loved the 24 hour Pizza and Ice cream counter. Ensure to embark on the cruise with huge appetite as there are huge options for dining every day.
    Burger Joint, BBQ, Salads, Dessert and much more.

    We captured our beautifully spent time on this 3 day cruise and made the video. You can check out the video here on youtube we uploaded :

    https://youtu.be/-0x7OETNMKE

  10. We just returned from our cruise aboard the Carnival Vista yesterday the 31st of March 2019. I will more than likely not be going on Carnival ever again. This was my 15th cruise I have taken, not all of them have been with Carnival. The ship is nice and most of the crew were nice, especially our room cabin guy! His name is Sam and he deserves a raise or promotion. He was always making sure everything was alright with us and our room. He was very personal and you could tell he legitimately cared. We took care of him at the end of the week and he deserved more than what we could give him. On the other hand, there were a few employees we encountered that were not as friendly and to be direct, I and the others in our group thought they were very unprofessional and rude. We had an injury in our group on an excursion and were told by the Information desk that we could go see the ship nurse at no charge. We decided to do that and I wish we never would have went to see her! She made us feel like we were a waste of her time. Granted they were closed at the time but there is no reason to make anyone who was injured on a Carnival excursion feel like this. I was also told by other Carnival employees that they do not even go to the nurse when ill or hurt because she is not nice. Matt the Cruise Director was GREAT along with many others but the two incidents stick in my mind from our week. The good should by far out weigh the bad but for some reason in this case, it doesn’t.

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