Intro to Cruise Line Categories: Mass Market, Premium, and Luxury

Intro to Cruise Line Categories: Mass Market, Premium, and Luxury

All cruises are not alike. Most people have heard of the biggies… Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney, etc. But there are many more cruise lines that provide a wide variety of experiences at different price points.

Cruise lines are typically broken into three categories: Mass Market, Premium, and Luxury. (Some writers add a fourth “deluxe” category, between Premium and Luxury, but three categories are most common.)

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Cruise Research Made Easy

Cruise Research Made Easy

Researching a cruise can be overwhelming - even if you know when and where you want to go, there are at least a dozen cruise lines and hundreds of itineraries to choose from. It's hard to even know when you're comparing apples to apples because fares on each cruise line don't always include the same elements: air, gratuities, alcohol, excursions, etc may or may not be included.

That's part of the work I do for my clients... I ask a lot of questions to understand what they're looking for and then bring them only the options that make sense. One of the details I'm particularly proud of is how I take information that is presented differently on each cruise website (ship details, costs, itinerary, etc.) and present them side by side in an organized layout, making it much easier to compare.

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Cruising 101

Cameron Hewitt from Rick Steves Travel presented a fantastic one hour lecture titled "European Cruising 101" as part of a Rick Steves education day in March 2014. The lecture was the best overview of the cruise industry I've ever seen, covering the difference between cruise lines, choosing an itinerary, money saving tips and tricks, behind the scenes details, an industry overview, and much, much more. Highly recommended for anyone even remotely interested in cruising. The talk is focused on European cruises but 95% of it is applicable for the industry in general.

Reasons to Cruise

Reasons to Cruise

Frommer's list of his top 9 reasons to take cruises.  I agree with all of them... but this one hit the nail on the head for me:

Reason #5: I love the shippy stuff. What is it about that ship horn moaning farewell to a port or the chirpy cruise director's voice announcing upcoming activities over the PA system? Call me a sap, but I like it. I like the hum of the engines, the sound of the wind whipping across the open decks, and the excitement of leaning over the railings to watch the ship being tied up at a pier in a new port.
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