What is the best current cruise ship?

As experts in the cruise field, we’re often asked for advice about holidaying at sea, but one question that tends to pop up more than any other is ‘what is the best cruise ship?’ – an excellent question, but one that is rather difficult for us to answer!

The features and amenities that constitute ‘the best’ vary depending on each individual travellers’ interests and preferences. We’ve all got our favourites, but what’s right for us might not be right for you. Rather than providing a definitive answer, we find it to be more beneficial to suggest some amazing ships that may suit different demographics and passions.

For families

If you’re travelling with babies, young children, or teenagers, we think that one of the most important considerations when choosing a ship is what there is to do on board.

While sea days are a great chance for us to gaze out across the horizon, kids can become bored very easily. Depending on the age of your children, look for ships that boast an on board nursery or play area, kid-friendly dining establishments, fun activities, and infants’ splash pools.

Ships to check out

  • Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas for the exhilarating H20 Zone Waterpark
  • P&O’s Azura for the poolside Sea Screen cinema showing old and new family favourites
  • Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway with its incredible waterpark and even the chance to ‘walk the plank’

For families

For couples

If you’re heading off on a romantic getaway, we believe that indulgent luxury should be one of the primary considerations.

Although all ships are truly opulent, there are some that really stand out as excellent options for loved up couples.

Some features to look out for are cozy bars, relaxing spa facilities and beautiful staterooms. Some ships even offer adults only sailing experiences, ensuring a much more intimate holiday.

Ships to check out

  • P&O’s Adonia for its adult’s only atmosphere
  • Celebrity’s Solstice Class for the stunning AquaClass staterooms
  • Azamara Club Cruises for the exceptional on board ambiance

For couples

For adventurers

If you’re looking for a different kind of cruise experience – one that visits tiny islands, sails through narrow waterways, and docks in some of the most remote and mysterious destinations in the world – then it’s vital to consider your ship.

For true adventurers, we think that smaller ships are a wonderful option.

Their size means that they are able to travel where other liners cannot, creating a unique and alternative cruise experience.

Ships to check out

  • Regent Seven Seas’ Navigator for being one of the most compact luxury liners in existence
  • Celebrity’s Celebrity Xpedition for the one-of-a-kind Galapagos Islands itinerary
  • Princess’ Island Princess for full length Panama Canal transits

For adventurers

For shopaholics

Whether you simply enjoy a touch of window shopping or are keen to stock up on souvenirs, many of the more modern cruise ships are a shopaholic’s paradise.

In fact, some liners boast rows and rows of designer stores that make the ship more like a luxurious city centre shopping complex than a sea-going vessel.

We think it’s best to look for ships with a good mix of cruise line exclusives and well known brands for the ultimate shopping experience.

Ships to check out

  • Cunard’s Queen Victoria for the Harrods store, H. Stern jewellers, and prestigious Clarendon Art
  • Celebrity’s Celebrity Millennium for the Innovations Store selling a wide range of electronics
  • Princess’ Royal Princess for offering brands such as Lancome, Swarovski, and Clinique

For shopaholics

For foodies

Food plays a major part on any cruise, with one of the biggest decisions of the day being whether you eat dinner in the buffet, the dining room, one of the many stunning speciality restaurants on board, or simply order room service to dine in your luxury stateroom.

Many celebrity chefs are now lending their names to fine dining restaurants at sea, creating the perfect blend of two passions for food-loving travellers.

Ships to check out

  • P&O’s Ventura for Marco Pierre White’s The White Room for a mouthwatering menu including dishes such as Velouté of Wild Mushrooms and Madeira Cappuccino with Truffle Foam and Mediterranean Prawns and Lobster Tartufi with Saffron Risotto, Green Asparagus and Black Truffle Butter
  • Celebrity’s Celebrity Reflection for the one-of-a-kind Qsine restaurant
  • Regent Seven Seas’ Mariner for the Prime 7 steakhouse restaurant serving perfect aged beef

For foodies

For trend setters

If you like to make a statement, stand out, and enjoy amazing experiences before anyone else, then travelling on some of the most recent introductions to the seas is the perfect choice for you.

Cruise ships are becoming bigger, better, and more magnificent than ever before, and there are a whole host of new vessels we can expect to see in the near future.

Ships to check out

  • Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas sailing from New York from 2014
  • P&O’s Britannia, arriving in 2015
  • Princess’ Regal Princess, setting sail in May 2014

For trend setters

However you like to travel, whoever you’re travelling with, and whatever you like to do on holiday, there is a cruise ship that perfectly reflects your interests and personality – it’s just a case of finding it! With so many great ships sailing the seas today, it is very difficult for us to say with any certainty what the absolute best ship is, but we know there are some truly amazing vessels out there that you’ll just fall in love with and our job is to find not the best overall but the best one for you!

Michael Wilson is the Managing Director at Bolsover Cruise Club.

Comments (4)

  1. Tom Fuszard says:

    Nice article. I haven’t taken a cruise yet, but would like to. Unfortunately, there are so many options–and most newspaper articles about cruises tout the typical, large-ship cruise–that it leaves newbies wondering what other possibilities exist.

    I’m particularly intrigued by the “adventuring” style of cruising. Friends have suggested European river cruises; those are supposed to be really nice ways to experience a destination.

    This column has piqued my interest. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Paul Johnson says:

    Thanks for dropping by, Tom. I hear good things about river cruises also.

    I don’t think endless days at sea on a vast ship is for me, but a few days dipping in and out of the Norwegian fjords… I would be up for that. :)

  3. Marilil says:

    Absolutely love cruising. It’s the only holiday that I can really tune out and concentrate on relaxing and having fun. Have to start planning for our cruise this summer – lots of options out there.

  4. Sara Hardman says:

    I’m about to go on my first cruise and was originally convinced that I’m far too young but having read lots of blogs I’m now really excited. I’m starting with a week on P&O Azura and am hoping for a touch of luxury and elegance as a change from backpacks and dorms.

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