Which cruise is right for you?

Updated: Jun 23

Have you been eyeing everyone else's cruise vacations and longing to go on one, but don't know which one would be best for you? Want to plan a cruise vacation, but aren’t sure where to begin?

The first thing you should do when figuring out how to plan a cruise is to choose the type of cruise you'd like to go on.

Are you looking for more of a family vacation? Do you have young children or older children? Would you want child care services so you could be by yourself, or would you rather do everything together as a family?

Maybe you'd prefer not to take kids at all and do an adult-only cruise with just your significant other, friends, family members, bridal or bachelor party. Would you want to get wild with other adults, or would you prefer to have a relaxing getaway?

Here is a quick summary of the most known cruise lines, what they're known for, where they sail to, and some activities you can do while on board.

1. Royal Caribbean International is known for driving innovation at sea and pushing the envelope of what is possible on a cruise ship. They have debuted countless industry “firsts” – such as rock climbing, ice skating, and surfing at sea – to capture the imagination of families and adventurous vacationers alike.

Along with multiple pools, a 3D theater, a zipline, and parades in the indoor promenade, they host a kids program, which is divided into groups by age, beginning with 6 months, with each child able to be cared for and entertained with interactive classes and activities such as a theater, arts and crafts workshop, science lab, video arcade, and much more!

They have more than 300 destinations, with one of them being a trip to their private island, Cococay in the Caribbean. Other itineraries to to the Bahamas, Europe, Alaska, North America, Asia, and South Pacific - so pretty much all around the world.

2. Disney cruises are also ideal for families with their kids' clubs generally spanning from ages 3 to 12, as well as other options for teens. If you and your child/ren love Disney, Marvel, or even Pixar, a Disney cruise would be a fun option for the whole family. Disney also gives adults their own adult-only areas that have a peaceful pool and a spa while their kids are having a blast!

They offer several themed play areas that are different on each ship, including Andy's Room (from "Toy Story"), Monsters Academy (inspired by "Monsters, Inc.") and Marvel's Avengers Academy, a S.H.I.E.L.D. command post where kids can interact with the Avengers through a virtual game. Disney Dream features a replica of the Millennium Falcon from "Star Wars," where young ones can play pilot or learn lightsaber techniques from a Jedi Master.

They also feature a tweens club for ages 11 to 14 that includes video games and karaoke that has a fun coffee shop feel, and a for-fee nursery that is available to care for the littlest cruisers, ages 6 months to 3 years.

Disney cruises are known to bring the Disney magic to sea with their themed family restaurants, live shows, deck parties, elaborate kids' spaces, character appearances, and at-sea fireworks.

With destinations to Bahamas, Caribbean, Northern Europe, Norwegian Fjords, Mediterranean, British Isles, Bermuda, Alaska, Canada, Mexican Riviera, Baja, Panama Canal, Pacific Coast, Transatlantic, Hawai'i, and have some Specialty Cruises - Pixar Day at Sea, Marvel Day at Sea, Halloween on the High Seas and Very Merrytime Cruises, you’ll have a vacation you’ll never forget!

3. Carnival cruises are known to be fun for all ages, so if you're looking to have tons of fun on your vacation, they have water slides, top deck sports facilities, miniature golf, 4D theaters, 24-hour pizza and ice cream, and host kid-friendly programming.

They have excellent cuisine in the dining room, specialty restaurants, buffets and pubs. They put on amazing production shows, have piano bars, dance clubs, huge casinos, multiple pools and expansive outdoor spaces.

They have extensive family programs, and almost every stateroom takes 4 or 5 guests. All of this wraps up in an easily attainable, affordable price to attract landlubbers – who can be of any age, but largely millennials, families, singles and couples.

4. Holland America Line mainly attracts older travelers who can afford to pay the line's higher prices and prefer a more traditional cruise experience, complete with afternoon tea and musical performances. The excursions for these destinations would be primarily adult-oriented, with activities ranging from animal encounters to bike tours and even helmet diving. They offer enrichment programs like digital photography, cooking demonstrations and mixology workshops, or you could work up a sweat in spin or Pilates classes before unwinding at the spa.

These cruise ships will take you to Australia, Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada, southeast Asia, Europe, South America, Antarctica and more.

5. Virgin Voyages targets Millennials, for the most part, and is the first confirmed adult-only cruise. Because of this, their dining and ambiance is geared more toward the luxury style of only adults. You won't find chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, or even a buffet-style meal here. They focus more on steakhouses, Korean BBQ, and elaborate brunches, with a bar at every specialty location, and all eateries, gratuities, and taxes are included in your price, so no surprise fees at the end of your trip. You can even pre-pay for your alcohol, as well, and get a bonus when you spend a certain amount.

Activities on this ship are geared toward adults, as well, with an outdoor wellness space, a night club, casino, karaoke, gaming areas, adult shows and performances, and a track that goes all around the top deck.

Since Virgin just created their cruise line just a few years ago, they only have a few destinations they’re sailing to, including Europe, South Pacific, and Transatlantic, with all Caribbean itineraries stopping at their private beach club, Bimini, and they’re all worth the trip!

I hope this has clarified some things you didn’t know about cruises before and helps you in your decision of which one to choose for your next vacation!