What’s Your Favorite Cruise Line?

By Cindy O’Neil

After having sailed on more than 50 cruises, I’m often asked that ever-popular question:

Q: What is your favorite cruise line?
A: And the answer is — drum roll please — whichever cruise line I’m on!

I’m an equal-opportunity cruiser. I look for great deals, fascinating itineraries, and new adventures. I’ve given many ships a try and have never been disappointed. Each line offers a different experience.

Although all cruise lines provide shipboard accommodations, transportation, entertainment, and dining, each offers a unique flavor and demographic. Are you a foodie? Are you looking for high-energy activities? Are you traveling with children? Many variables come into play. If you’re new to cruising, here is a quick overview to help start your search.

Carnival Cruise Lines.
Long marketed as the “Fun Ships,” Carnival does indeed offer many fun activities for all age groups and features a top-notch children’s program. Ship décor is bright and festive, and waterslides are a signature feature. Dining options vary and, for the most part, guests hail from all over the United States. You will find passengers of all ages, but 70 percent tend to be 55 or younger.

Celebrity Cruises.
Celebrity provides guests with an elegant country-club atmosphere. Service and cuisine are exceptional and presented in a variety of intriguing dining venues. Innovative activities, such as glass-blowing demonstrations, entertain passengers — an internationally diverse group of baby boomers, their families, seniors, and honeymooners.

Costa Cruises.
Costa offers “Italian-style” cruising and a festive European atmosphere with great Mediterranean cuisine. The line has an extensive children’s program and often offers a “kids sail free with two adults in same stateroom” promotion. Passengers are predominantly European and South American even on Caribbean sailings, and activities are often done in at least five languages.

Cunard Line.
Cunard is best known for traditional trans-Atlantic voyages, hearkening back to the grand sea crossings of yesteryear….

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Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!