When it comes to choosing your cruise, there are a lot of factors to consider. Where do you want to go? For how long? What do you want to be able to do on the ship? Who do you want to go with? Basically, what type of experience do you want to have?
The amount of choices out there can be overwhelming. But fortunately, U.S. News and World Report put together a list of the best, most affordable cruises of 2019. Everyone loves a good deal, and with the bang for your buck you get on these cruise lines, you can bet they’re the most popular.
These five major cruise lines have something for everyone. It’s just a matter of choosing which is best for you.
Experts and travelers alike love Celebrity Cruises, which will take you just about anywhere in the world. In 2019, go to Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, South America or India, to start. The 15 ships offer a wide variety of sizes, from the Celebrity Xpedition, with space for 100 passengers, to Celebrity Silhouette, which was made for almost 3,000 passengers. On every ship, there’s about one crew member for every two passengers. Celebrity is known for its beautiful design, high-quality and diverse dining options on each ship, and each ship has plenty to do on-board, from dance lessons and wine tastings to trivia contests and spa retreats.
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean is a larger cruise line that offers trips to 68 countries on six different continents. Its smallest ships still hold more than 2,000 passengers, with its largest accommodating nearly 7,000. Despite these huge numbers, there’s still an average ratio of one crew member to three passengers, making sure everyone is attended to. And on ships this size, there’s tons to keep you busy — from a wide array of kids activities, to multiple different restaurant and entertainment options on each cruise. And off-ship excursions like guided tours really make each trip special.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian’s 17 cruise ships take thousands and thousands of passengers around the globe each year. There are no dress codes, fixed dining times or assigned seats. With trips lasting between 3 and 21 days to destinations like New Zealand and the Panama Canal, Norwegian has something for everyone. On-board activities include everything from water parks for kids and live musicals for adults. And the dining options expand from the traditional cruise buffets to include globally-inspired restaurants that include everything from Japanese to French food.
Carnival Cruise Line
A Carnival cruise is destined to be a lively one. With cruises lasting up to 24 days, its 25 ships depart from cities all over the U.S. and take passengers all over the world. The itinerary varies widely based on the ship, making it easy to customize your trip to your needs. But the constant on each one is the wide array of activities and dining you have at your fingertips: waterslides, sports areas, bars, casinos, comedy acts, night clubs and live music, to name some of the amenities. And like the other ships on this list, the many dining options ensure the food choices won’t get stale.
If a Carnival cruise is a party, a Princess cruise is its more refined older sister. Some of these voyages last up to 72 days, and as such the amenities are a little different. On top of the regular cruise options are things like music lessons and stage shows, and poolside movie screenings. The dining schedule on these ships is also flexible, as are its off-boat excursion options. If you decide you want to spend a few extra nights at a destination, the cruise offers packages to accommodate you. Did we mention it has wheelchair-accessible cabins, and taxes, fees and port expenses are included in the fare?