Tell me about your favorite cruiseline

When I'm researching cruises, I find that the cruiseline websites are most often NOT the best place to learn about their brand.  I would like to hear from fellow cruisers.

Tell me about acceptable dress (daytime and evening), demographics (family, older

cruisers), is it laid back or more refined, etc.  I'm interested in anything you would have to say about the cruise experience.

I would like to learn anything that would help me determine if I would feel comfortable on a particular cruiseline, or if I would feel like a turd in a punchbowl Big Smile

Think of what you would tell a friend to convince them to come on a cruise with you.

 

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13 Answers

This is a tuffy.. I've only been on one so far.

I am a loyal Princess cruiser. It is typically an older crowd but people who are young in spirit. They are laid back but refined in their behavior (e.g. Enjoy a drink but not puking over the rail type.)  Most are retired but have worked hard the bulk of their lives.  They are cruising to relax and have fun and don't usually sweat the small stuff.

Attire is pretty wide ranged but definitely casual most of the time - shorts, nice t-shirts - no big designer brand emphasis - yet on formal nights, people who want to, do dress very elegantly. That said - you may see one couple in tux and long gown and the next in nice dress shirt and simple sundress.  It's fun for those who want to "dress up" and fine for those who don't. (Just not too casual on formal night in the MDR or you will be turned away.)

There are a ton of activities, games, etc, going on BUT you are not "forced" into participating. The cruise director and staff aren't yanking you off your lounge chair and dragging you on stage. The food choices are wide ranged and the quick spots - International Cafe, Pizza and ice cream, hamburger/hot dog locations make grazing all day easy.

As a 35 year old, my son usually finds couples and/or singles his age (not many) but he actually enjoys the "older crowd" with a good sense of humor.  He had expected it to be more "geriatric" but has been pleasantly surprised to see us "oldsters" still know how to party - hell we invented it.

What I especially like is that most Princess cruisers do not flaunt their wealth and you can feel comfortable with people from all walks of life.  They are aged to perfection but very very smooth - not bitter or snooty.

That said, yes there are a few exceptions but you will find a jacka$$ or two on any cruise line. I would never feel like a turd in a punchbowl on a Princess cruise but I would feel like a punchbowl trying to douse a bunch of turds on some of the party boats.

Thanks, DebbieVi!  That's exactly what I'm looking for.  When I look at Princess website, I get a more "refined" feel than I would be comfortable with, so your description is very helpful.  We are not folks down from the hills for our annual trip to town, but we are on vacation and want to relax and be comfortable.  Casual, but not slobs.  We would like to consider other Cruiselines besides Carnival, and information like you just gave me helps a lot in determining which ones we would be interested in.

Your thoughts might help someone who is considering Carnival, though Happy 

I believe that "corporate" portrays Carnival & Princess differently to appeal to different people.  However, I think people who are "too refined" are disappointed with Princess because it is not hoity toity enough for them.  Which is why the "black card holders" waste their cruise wanting to be catered to and first in every line. (Elites have priority embark and disembark, next available tender group and that is it! They think they are also entitled to first in line walking off at every port, in the coffee line, at the elevator etc and it's just not so!)

Also, what I love about formal night is that it really only pertains to dining - meaning throughout the rest of the ship, people are dressed however they want and nobody feels under or over dressed.  I always wear whatever the mood strikes me and am 100% comfortable doing that on ANY Princess ship I've been on (which includes: Crown, Ruby, Royal, & Grand).  I also like leaving out of Fort Lauderdale versus Miami which is a big difference between Princess and Carnival.

I prefer Holland America which is geared to an older group of passengers.  I was surprised that on the ms,. Koningsdam there was a slightly younger group on board.

Although not a stickler for formal wear on gala nights, a dress shirt and long pants for men are required in the MDR on gala nights.  We had two on our recent 10-night cruise.  

 

  Service is very good and the crew work hard to provide service to passengers.  They want the high ratings. We have made lasting friendships with many staff members over the year.  This year we were happy to see two crew members from our last cruise on board.

 

Food is also fine.  If you do not like something, they offer to bring you something else.   They truly want you to be satisfied.  My husband's Special request meals are always correct andthey unfailingly bring him the next day's menu before he leaves the MDR.  

 

We now get free laundry when we travel on HAL.  There are lots of cocktail parties and wine tasting, too.  Since all ships seem to be cutting back now, HAL is also.  I also like that I often run into returning cruisers. 

 

I do like the entertainment on HAL ships.  The Koningsdam is no exception.  There was always music somewhere in the evenings. 

Thanks, Glomarrone!  What is the typical dress for daytime?

My favorite cruiseline is Celebrity. I'm not sure if they still do it, I always enjoyed getting complimentary champagne upon boarding. Also with their loyal program, there are gatherings for every level, as well as welcome back gifts.

Celebrity had the welcome aboard champagne last August on the Solstice. It was a nice touch.

My favorite cruise line is Celebrity.   It is elegant and casual,  gets a nice age mix of late 30's to 80's,  it tend to get upper middle class and above clients,  the food is very good as is the service,  entertainment is good and they have guest lecturers on on longer cruises (one cruise was a retired WWII British Commander that gave a lecture series of the Rise and Fall of U-Boats in WWII,  another cruse we had lectures of great ships through history. ).  I also like that Celebrity ships have a lot of space per person so you never feel packed in.  They have relaxed the MDR dress code and I had no problem going to the MDR in nice jeans and long sleeve shirt.

 

My favorite ships are the Solstice class ships.   Big well laid out cabins,  modern design, lots of storage space.  

 

I have had good cruises on other lines but Celebrity is my favorite when they are an option for where and when I go.

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