My Favorite Cruises & Cruise Destinations

My Favorite Cruises & Cruise Destinations

My Favorite Cruises

Need a little inspiration for planning your next trip? I’ve compiled a broad list of some of my favorite cruise experiences in the hopes of helping you make decisions about your next cruise.

One thing you should know up front is that I am partial to small ship cruises, expedition cruises and river cruises. You won’t find many big ships, or even mid-size ships, on my list, though there are a few. Today, I likely would not cruise on a ship carrying more than 1,000 guests.

Two Trips With My Kids

A couple of my very best trips were with my kids: With my son, ‘Awesome’ Alaska: The Great Land Through The Eyes Of A Kid (on Holland America Line) & with my daughter, a Mekong River Cruise (on AmaWaterways).

Cruising the Mekong with my daughter helped us both of us develop better understandings of other cultures. © 2010 Ralph Grizzle

Small Ship Cruises

For pure relaxation at sea, I enjoy SeaDream Yacht Club, or if I want a refined, yet relaxed, lifestyle, I like SeabournSilversea Cruises and for a touch of Germany at sea, Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa 2. I also enjoy Crystal, particularly for its Nobu dining experience on Crystal Symphony and Serenity. Regent? It’s a tad too elegant for me, but it may be right for you.

All of these are among the priciest of cruises, but don’t shun them until you fully consider the value equation. These so-called ultra-luxury cruises are all-inclusive, so you could spend less in the end by paying more in the beginning.


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Make a wish upon a star: You can sleep under the stars on SeaDream if you wish. © 2009 Ralph Grizzle

River Cruises

The smaller the ship, in fact, the better for me. I enjoy river cruising and have a whole site dedicated to it, River Cruise Advisor.

Apple trees in blossom along the banks as Horizon II barges along the Canal de Bourgogne. © 2011 Ralph Grizzle


Even smaller that river cruisers, barge cruises have also given me some of the best travel experiences of my life. They typically carry fewer than 20 passengers and can run as much as $1,000 per day per person.

One of my favorite barge cruises was on French Country Waterways.

Some people have expressed concerns about cruising with strangers in such an intimate environment. Though French Country Waterways’ Horizon II carried only eight passengers, the intimacy worked well for us, however. We enjoyed the three other couples. I do understand that the lack of group harmony, on the other hand, could make for a miserable barge experience.

I enjoyed the freedom of the experience on the barge. I ran each day in the small villages before dinner, and those were some of my best moments, to quietly jog through the quaint places where we docked. I returned invigorated, mind, body and soul. It was April and everything was in fresh bloom. The landscape was like a Monet painting.

I also enjoyed barge cruising on European Waterways. See Barging Through Alsace & Lorraine: A Recap Of Our Adventure. And for a comprehensive overview of barge cruising, plus a video, see Luxury Barge Cruises In France.

If barge trips sound like something you’d enjoy, then you may want to try one with me. I host barge cruises every year in France. See Cruise With Me for details.

The Mighty Mississippi

Speaking of rivers, I  enjoyed cruising the Mississippi on the American Queen. See .

Expedition Cruises

Then there are expedition cruises, which I have enjoyed immensely.

Bikes and Boats

After a week of cycling Croatia, I’m convinced there is no better way to experience this beautiful destination than with Backroads and Ponant. See Bicycling Croatia with Backroads & Ponant

I’ve only scratched the surface. Check out the entire — and frequently updated — list of My Favorite Cruises & Cruise Destinations.

Bon Voyage, Ralph Grizzle

My Favorite Cruises

My Favorite Places

Additional Resources

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One Comment

  • Great site! My wife and I have cruised the globe. Having taken over sixty cruises, we have been to most destinations described here. The opportunity to interact with different cultures, visit historic places, and experience world destinations is what makes life fun and exciting. “Cruising is contagious. Catch the fever!”

    Andrew Kruglanski, Cruisin Susan, a cruise and travel blog


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