Ratings of cruise lines---Most interesting

I find it quite interesting the wide range of opinion when it comes to rating cruise lines. Here is a comparison using three major sources. Cruisemate----Cruise Critic---  Berlitz's "Cruising and Cruise /Ships". Note: Cruisemates and C.C. pretty much base their ratings on the highest percentage members give for cruises using five levels of quality. Berlitz only rates the big 11 and bases their ratings on combined scores of all around service levels and food as judged by a roving team of staffers, as well as some written public input.  Not exactly perfect comparison criterion but interesting nonetheless. BERLITZ-----1.  Cunard    2. Celebrity   3. MSC   4. Princess   5.  HAL   6.  P& O    7.  NCL    8. Star Cruises   9.  Costa   10.  Carnival   11. Royal Caribbean       CRUISEMATE------1. Crystal   2. Disney   3.  Regent and  Silverseas    4.  Azamara and Seabourn    5. Windstar   6. Royal Caribbean and HAL and Celebrity  7.  Oceania and Princess and Cunard   8.  Carnival   9.   Viking   10.  NCL    11.  Costa    12.  MSC            CRUISE CRITIC------1.  Azamara    2.   Crystal     3.   Disney    4.  Celebrity and  Seabourn    5. Viking   6. Oceania  7. Princess and Royal Caribbean   8.  HAL and Windstar   9.  Carnival  and  NCL and Regent   10.  Cunard    11.  MSC   12. Costa            

13 Answers

Rating a cruise line or a ships is very subjective, what I like you may not. We can see this where reviews of the same cruise go from Best cruise of my life to the next one, worst cruise ever. This is scene where one person goes through the trip and no issues and the next one gets the Noro Virus. Different MDR staff and cabin stewards or an issue with the cabin (I have had to change cabins on a trip because the A/C ducts popped very loud every time the A/C kicked in)

On one cruise I had a perfect cabin and cabin steward, my buddy was a deck below, his cabin had bad A/C, TV remote did not work and the sink did not drain. His Cabin Steward was not good and did not get things fixed. I had a great cruise he did not like it, Same ship, same cruise different experience.

Definitely interesting! Let’s add the cruiseline.com Best Cruise Lines to the list! http://cruiseline.com/cruiseline/best
1. Crystal Cruises
2. Disney Cruise Line
3. Silversea Cruises
4. Regent Seven Seas Cruises
5. Azamara Club Cruises
6. Seabourn
7. Windstar Cruises
8. Royal Caribbean
9. Holland America Line
10. Celebrity Cruises
11. Cunard
12. Oceania Cruises
13. Princess Cruises
14. Carnival Cruise Lines
15. Viking River Cruises
16. Norwegian Cruise Line
17. Costa Cruises
18. MSC Cruises
19. AmaWaterways
20. Avalon Waterways
21. Paul Gauguin Cruises
22. Uniworld River Cruises

Yes, I agree that ratings are very subjective and passengers have very different experiences on the same ship, even the same cruise. I have had nothing but good experiences on Carnival and others do not. I have read lots of poor reviews about premium cruise lines. I guess that you can't please all the people all the time no matter how expensive the cruise. If a passenger rates something poorly, it is important to read tthe reasoning. Sometimes the poor rating is due to a missed air line flight, or an online booking service or even rough weather or high seas. I discount those. The good thing about cruising is that there are all sizes of ships going all over the globe so it is possible tto find the right sized ship going to the places you want to see. Viva la difference!

I wonder if we could break down the cruise lines by classification a bit.

The luxury cruise lines are a class of their own, followed by the Mid class, then the "Fun Ship group." Each class has its own benefits, from best pricing to high end pricing with air fare etc. When one pays for the luxury, expensive class, their expectations should be very high. As expected, when you pay 238.00 for a short cruise, your expectations may not be as high.

This site has shown that on the same cruise and ship experiences vary from great to horrible. I have yet to have a bad experience on a cruise, but then I have not cruise as many times as others However, my expectations may be different than some one else.

Great idea John! Not sure I agree with how these categories break out, but here goes.
Mainstream sort:
1. Disney Cruise Line
2. Holland America Line
3. Royal Caribbean
4. Celebrity Cruises
5. Cunard
6. Princess Cruises
7. Carnival Cruise Lines
8. Norwegian Cruise Line
9. Costa Cruises
10. MSC Cruises
I noticed that Royal Caribbean was above Holland America on the first list but reversed on this list. Weird…

Premium sort:
1. Azamara Club Cruises
2. Windstar Cruises
3. Oceania Cruises
4. Paul Gauguin Cruises

Luxury sort:
1. Crystal Cruises
2. Regent Seven Seas Cruises
3. Silversea Cruises
4. Seabourn
Notice Regent and Silversea swapped places from the original list.

River sort:
1. Viking River Cruises
2. AmaWaterways
3. Avalon Waterways
4. Uniworld River Cruises

This works,

While some may swap places from time to time, this is what I was referring to.

Each class has its own level of service. When buying a cruise or even a holiday package once the classification is correct, expectations are set.

We might want to look at the mainstream group and further define the lines.

If I want a great cruise with my grandkids, at this time, I might look at Disney In 5 years maybe Carnival. When I cruised with a group of Family we went NCL, but as a couple my wife and I prefer Princess.

I believe this would assists those who are planning their first cruise. Professional agents should also know this as a service plus factor to their clients.

I have read articles in "Cruise Travel" that put Holland American and Celebrity in a "premium" class above RCI, NCL, Carnival and Princess. After having been on all of them I do agree that HAL and Celebrity are in a level above the other standard lines.

If you guys have never scene the print magazine "Cruise Travel" I can recommend it. It is a bi-monthly, thin magazine but it has good articles on different ports, cruises and a featured ship each issue. Do not purchase it direct it is way to expensive, I have found it through some sellers for much less.

Oops, I goofed up and said Crusiemates instead of Cruiseline. I don't know why I keep wanting to say cruisemate. Anyway, my source came from the exact same place as WeCruiseToo provided (Thanks). The lists appear different because Cruiseline has a few ties, which I lumped together, in other words Regent and Silverseas have the same rating 4.2 so they both tie for third, next on the list are Azamara and Seabourn which are tied for fourth with 4.1 ratings then you get to ranking number 6, three are tied, HAL, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity.

Trying to distinguish between the business model of the lines is a good idea but very difficult because comparisons are so convoluted. I.e., on a cruise the ship is used for an exploration type the next, a booze cruise. The easiest to segregate are those lines who cater more to nationalities other than U.S. or Canadians. For instance MSC, Costa and P&O. Notice that the up and coming MSC is rated near the bottom for Cruiseline and C.C. yet Berlitz rates it number three. I believe this occurs because over 60% of cruise passengers are from the US and that is where most of these ratings originate. MSC operates in five languages on just about every ship, therefore they have few announcements, entertainment is usually more visual than verbal and the ships rarely provide lecturers (What, no lecturers, count me out). But MSC rates very high in categories many of the traditional lines have been falling short in over the last few years. Costa specializes in cruises for Europeans or passengers with European tastes, particularly Italians. P&O has always been a traditional British cruise company, some might say the same about Cunard but Cunard ships have many more international passengers.

We have cruised on only three, two mainline, HAL and Princess, and one so called "luxury" line, Regent. I have a difficult time regarding Regent as luxury. True, some features of their product undoubtedly fall under that category. At one time I could argue that the total price was the same for a similar cruise for us on all three. Not anymore though. The initial price for Regent was always much higher. I would point out though, that we would get off Regent with an end of a 30 day cruise tab of maybe a couple hundred, while I would leave Princess with a tab of six or seven thousand. A lot of reviewers appear upset because they expected "luxury" on Regent and didn't get it. I have mentioned before that I believe the food on all three was mediocre, except for the specialty restaurants where HAL and Princess excelled over Regent, particularly Princess. Recently though the MDR meals on Princess are not tolerable for me, putting Regent ahead in the that regard but Regent specialty restaurants, at no extra charge, still aren't that good.

To give you an idea, a few days ago I costed out two similar cruises in the Mediterranean on Princess, 12 days, and Regent, 11 days. Nothing special about any stops, generally a normal mundane Mediterranean cruise for both. Princess was under $12,000 for the both of us and Regent right at $20,000. But Regent provided free air,(coach). To try to get a better comparison I factored in cruise line Business Class air. That made it about $20,000 on Princess and $26,500 on Regent.

Anyway, I'm getting pretty long in the tooth to try another line. But thinking about Celebrity just the same, so I'm all ears when you all talk about Celebrity. I was looking at Oceania but ruled them out as their staterooms are pretty miserly unless you get a butler, been there done that, no thanks. HAL maybe be becoming a smoking nightmare so we aren't looking at them anymore until they get things straightened out. Regent is jacking their prices and reducing service. Princess MDR stinks. So tell me good stuff about Celebrity, please.

Agree with previous comment(s) regarding breaking down these ratings a bit. Comparing RC to Silversea is apples to oranges and not fair or valid.

Say a first timer uses a list like this to decide which ship/line to try out. She decides Silversea looks like it is for her and then checks the pricing. Perhaps after being revived she'll check another line but wow, talk about putting someone off to cruising before they even put foot on deck! If the person did not look further (which some do not), the decision to try cruising might be based on solely on advertised price.

I think that the breakdown should be by price. I want to know the best for my price range, apples to apples. Inside cabin to inside cabin or balcony to balcony. Carnival and Crystal are at very different price points, the grandest suite on Carnival may cost the a lot, but you are still on a carnival ship surrounded by Carnival clientele eating Carnival food in the MDR.

I have friends that would rather cruise only once every few years and do it in a suite instead of one or two times a year in an outside cabin or balcony.


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