“It’s all about the customer” is an oft-repeated mantra, but some mass-market cruise lines embrace that mandate better than others. These five mainstream lines truly get it right. How do we know? Because Cruiseline.com members told us so in their evaluations.
Disney’s theme parks are known for their smiling “cast members,” and that reputation extends to the company’s ships as well, which received the highest score for service of any cruise line. Many members’ evaluations mentioned the crew’s warmth and sincerity, while other guests were awed by the impressive stage shows, superior kids’ clubs, and seemingly endless activities. And, unlike on most ships, some of the crew members have the additional challenge of being perfect hosts while in costume as Disney characters.
Telling Quote: "The Disney cast members were all very wonderful and friendly, treating us like we were the celebrities instead of just people.” —RealLifeMinnieM
While Disney showcases its characters, Royal Caribbean’s crew is busy strapping guests into zip lines and coaching them in the boxing ring, too. Many travelers praised both the waiters and performers on this line, but it was the room stewards who were singled out in review after review for keeping the cabins spotlessly clean.
Telling Quote: “The waiters were five stars in terms of professionalism and overall kindness.” —Loveboats
Although it may not sound that sexy, “efficient” is the adjective often used to describe the service on Celebrity sailings. Rooms are cleaned and problems are addressed promptly by experienced crew members. Passengers who sailed in AquaClass felt like they were especially pampered by the concierge and the staff at the Blu restaurant.
Telling Quote: “Excellent service from a crew that worked well together and were always upbeat.” —LauraL14
Some passengers may complain that Holland America’s older ships feel “tired,” albeit spotless and well-maintained, but the crew gets rave reviews. It appears the line may have the market cornered on “smiles.” As Holland America’s passengers tend to be somewhat older, it’s interesting to note how many travelers remarked on the special concern the crew showed for guests’ health and safety.
Telling Quote: “Crew always had a smile for you! They were ready and willing to lend a helping hand; if you looked confused, they offered help.” —Rain
With a crowded program of poolside contests for multigenerational guests ranging from kids to seniors, Carnival’s crew has the formidable task of keeping passengers who’ve been promised “fun” satisfied. Cruiseline.com members reported that the crew works hard and succeeds, with many travelers describing crew members as “fantastic” and “excellent.” Some passengers weren’t thrilled with the food, but almost without exception, the wait staff got high marks in all of the ships’ restaurants.
Telling Quote: “The waiters were constantly doing anything they could to make our experience amazing and they really went above and beyond. Actually the entire staff went above and beyond.” —RachelChristie