There’s an ocean of possibilities when it comes to sailing the high seas aboard a cruise ship. If you’ve thought about taking a cruise just to find yourself overwhelmed with all the options, we can help. We’ve taken the guesswork out of selecting an ocean cruise line for your vacation!
Introducing the 2023 Seafarer Awards – Joyful Journeys’ personal list of cruise lines offering outstanding service and amenities. This is certainly not an exhaustive list of all the wonderful cruise line options, but these always get our vote in certain categories. Let’s dive in!
Recreation at Sea: When we think about the astounding number of opportunities for recreation aboard Royal Caribbean’s fleet, it truly stands out as the perfect cruise line for those looking to stay active while sailing the seas. Incredible is always on the itinerary with Royal Caribbean. Flowrider is Royal Caribbean’s onboard surf simulator or maybe your crew would prefer to zip line on board. Fencing, trapeze classes, a carousel for kids, an ice-skating rink, and even the only skydiving simulator at sea can be found on various ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet. Royal Caribbean is a great choice for active adults or families with teens!
Interesting itineraries: With seven ships sailing throughout The Great Land, Princess Cruises is synonymous with Alaska Cruising. Princess Cruises also brings their world class experience to Europe. Unpack once and save the hassle of trying to navigate through different transportation in multiple countries. Guests will see famous landmarks, venture through historical lands, make local connections, and take advantage of Princess Cruises unique More Ashore offerings. Select itineraries offer late-night departures to enjoy dancing at an Irish Pub and even overnight stays in some ports so you can enjoy things like camping under the Northern Lights.
“Just last year, we booked a Princess cruise that had bucket list stops each day! We were able to visit Positano, Pompeii, Istanbul, Mykonos, and more. We really enjoy the European itineraries because they are docked somewhere practically every day, so your sightseeing options are limitless!” – Sandi S.
On board entertainment: This year, Disney celebrates 100 years of entertaining and delighting audiences. Their entertainment reputation extends all over and even onboard Disney Cruise Line ships. From the moment that guests step aboard, they are immersed in the magic of the wonderful world of Disney. Special meet and greet times and even dance parties are on the agenda to make sure guests get plenty of time with their favorite Disney characters. Disney’s Broadway style productions are crowd-pleasers for the whole family. The kids’ clubs offer next level entertainment while immersing kids in a world that is just for them onboard the ship. Guests of all ages will enjoy fireworks at sea, Pirate Night, and first run movies all while setting sail with Captain Mickey and his pals.
“The best part about Disney Cruise Line is the entertainment! The shows each night were the highlight of our time onboard but our favorite had to be Pirate Night and the amazing fireworks display! All 4 of our kids agreed it was a night to remember!” – Tabitha H.
Hawaiian Itinerary and Concierge Service: If you’re looking for the only cruise line that takes you to four Hawaiian Islands in seven days, then you’re looking for Norwegian Cruise Line. NCL brings the spirit of Aloha to all guests onboard their 7-night Saturday to Saturday sailing from Honolulu. Their amazing itineraries aren’t the only thing that sets Norwegian apart. Norwegian’s Concierge service, The Haven by Norwegian, allows guests to experience true luxury with 24-hour butler service, private haven escapes: restaurants, courtyards, sun decks, and the Haven Lounge. Haven guests also receive personal escort on and off the ship at the pier and at ports-of-call and concierge service for booking dining, entertainment, shore excursions, Haven attendants to take care of your poolside needs, plus so much more. There are so many thoughtful touches and luxurious benefits for guests that it’s hard to mention them all!
“If you love cruising but would like to avoid the crowds and long lines, then the Haven might be for you. We enjoy having our own entrance and exit to the ship, our own check in process and early board/early exit priorities. It is also very relaxing to have a Haven guest-only restaurant and pool area which are very convenient to the Haven rooms. We were able to maximize our cruise experience with the Haven.” – Del L.
Smaller crowds, more inclusions: With eight ocean ships that have 930 passenger capacity plus two smaller ships for ocean expeditions, Viking Ocean Cruises is perfect for those looking for an intimate cruise experience. There’s a strict no “nickel and dime-ing” policy in the Viking Cruises philosophy. No surprise fees here. You’ll find much smaller crowds onboard and you’ll receive more inclusions including one complimentary excursion in every port of call!
“We had cruised several times before, but it only took one Viking ocean cruise to realize this company far outranks the others. The attention to detail is amazing, and guests are known on a first name basis. The food is delicious, there are cooking demonstrations by the Chef, nightly Broadway themed entertainment, High Tea in the afternoon. Excursions are well planned with preview lectures ahead of time and the excursion groups are always small. Viking is also very inclusive in price, with daily included excursions and there are no hidden food or beverage charges. We look forward to future cruises with Viking… we have already booked for the next 3 years!” Lois F.
Adults Only: Virgin Voyages offers a vibrant cruising experience for adults only. Guests will find a hip atmosphere, good eats, a focus on health and wellness, free wi-fi, and plenty of music. Each ship in Virgin’s fleet has more than 20 different dining options included in your fare. Unique entertainment for adults is the hallmark of Virgin’s experience onboard each of its four ships. It’s perfect for adults who want to feel carefree – like a kid again but with no kids onboard. All the fun is for YOU!
New Kid on the Block: Explora Journeys sets sail on their maiden voyage in July 2023. This brand-new luxury cruise line is designed to embrace enticing destinations and create lifelong memories. We can’t wait to share our clients’ experiences with their awe-inspiring destinations (and experience Explora ourselves!). Mediterranean and Western Europe; Africa and Indian Ocean; Red Sea, Arabian Peninsula & India; Northern Europe, United Kingdom, & Ireland…which one should we choose first?
If any of our Seafarer Award Winners have piqued your interest, contact your Joyful Journeys Vacation Designer to plan the cruise vacation of your dreams!