We have only cruised Carnival, I a wondering "what" the other cruise lines offer? As far as food, alcohol, entertainment. What is "included" in the prices of the other cruise lines?
What is the BIGGEST difference in the cruise lines?
Your question(s) involve quite a broad spectrum of interest for and among cruisers. I suggest that you get yourself a copy of Berlitz----2019--Cruising and Cruise Ships. That perhaps will answer many, not all, of your areas of interest. After that, maybe you can post again while narrowing down and asking for more detail on specific subjects. Good luck and happy voyaging.
To put it simply, RCCL and Carnival could be compared to K-Mart or Target - after the families that can not afford nice things.
Princess and Celebrity are like Target and Sears - after the adults who can afford the nicer things.
Azamara and Crystal are like Macy's or Sak's 5th Avenue - after the adults who can afford the luxurious items.
(The above comparisons are made figuratively and not meant to insult anyone.)
Like anything else, the more you pay, the nicer product you will receive.
Only sailed Carnival. Looking forward to upcoming responses.
Regarding my previous reply - a little more refinement to the answer.
All lines provide a nice vacation. Carnival and RCCL (mainstream lines) are priced so that families can afford to cruise. While they do provide the same basic services as the other lines, the facilities will not seem as luxurious. For example, you can buy dinnerware at WalMart and at Macy's. WalMart will offer CorningWare while Macy's will offer Royal Doulton. You can eat off both sets, and the food will taste the same.
Princess and Celebrity (Premium lines) are a step up. Generally, the food, cabins, decor and service offer a more refined-feeling atmosphere.
The luxury lines (Crystal and Azamara) will offer the most refined atmosphere, along with more included amenities. Depending on the line, you can expect white-glove service and a stateroom that is much better (and larger).
Also note that I do shop at WalMart more than Macy's. The question is - what do you want your vacation to be, and how much are you willing to pay? Like Kennicott said - once you can answer that question, we may be able to help you a lot more.
You can also get a good comparison on this site under "EXPLORE". The topic Cruise Lines will break it down nicely and may answer a bulk of your questions. Each of us has a preference for a variety of reasons and will gladly tell extol the virtues of the that preference.
Each line has a number of differences and a number of similarities but then each ship for any line also has a number of differences from its sisters. The cruiseline web site has a number of articles that do a side by side of 1 cruise line vs another and it is quite informative.
When you look at cruise lines they all offer about the same things in their price. It's an all-inclusive experience Food, cabin, and entertainment. I've been on RCL, Norwegian, Princess and Carnival.My biggest take away was that Princess caters to an older crowd. This also seems true with Holland America. Carnival, Norwegian, and RCL caters to families. Their older ships are more affordable, so that families with multiple kids can afford for everyone to go. Norwegian newest ships appears to have stepped out and is trying to have a more luxurious amenities. Which has increased their price. I love their Free at Sea Promotion. It is worth the extra price especially if you are a drinker.
When deciding what cruise line to go on, think about what you want to do during your cruise and where you want to go. Then find a price that fits in your budget. People get disappointed when they have high expectations for cruises. Your experience is what you make them. I can be on the worst cruise ship and still find amazing things about it.
Take this for what its worth. Quizzes for choosing a cruise line.
googled: best cruise line for me quiz
so many quizzes, here are a few.
Being a bit older, we like the Princess line. We have been on NCL and we are looking forward to doing that again. Family members also like Princess, even if they are younger---something about a more polite crowd. Some have been on Carnival--a few times. All admit they were there to party, and they did,,,.
So, please meet with a very experienced travel consultant. Explain your budget, expectations, travel time frames and what you want to have as an experience. Cruising can be and will be a great experience, if you are informed and know what you expect. Enjoy--you will become hooked.
There are not only big differences between cruise lines, but within ships of the same line as well. Also sailings. Someone sailing on the same ship 1 year apart could have a totally different experience.