When you’re booking your cruise it’s just so easy to go for the biggest brand or ship out there, assuming it’ll be the best. But just because it’s bigger, doesn’t mean it’s better…
Many spectacular ships are thrown aside because the mega ocean liners look like they can give you everything, but the very ships you’re ignoring are the ones guaranteed to give you the cruise of a lifetime.
Read on to discover why you shouldn’t always believe the hype and find out why you should consider a cruise on these misunderstood ships…
They’re one of the huge holiday giants, so surely their cruises should be the most popular around right? It may surprise you to know that Marella Cruises often tend to be overlooked, and we have no idea why.
You get what you pay for with Marella: it’s all inclusive, gratuities are included and there are no hidden extras.
Their Celebration ship is traditional in style, meaning it’s much sleeker in appearance and once you’re inside you’ll find contemporary furnishings and iPod docks in every stateroom.
Their service never fails to please, the staff always remember your name and they’ve been with the company for years, so no matter when you cruise, you’re bound to see some familiar faces!
Fred Olsen, Boudicca
With emphasis on class and style, and none of the craziness of a bigger more entertainment focused ship, Fred Olsen believe in classic cruising with a modern twist. However, due to being smaller and more personal the cruise line do tend to be disregarded!
On the ship you’ll be dazzled by expert chefs preparing food more delicious than you could imagine, there’s even a fantastic selection of vegetarian dishes and healthy options.
Their drinks are reasonably priced, or there’s even an option to go fully inclusive, which is well worth it if you plan on spending quite some time at the bar.
And if you’re a single cruiser, this ship is perfect as the single rooms aren’t as tiny as you think! Not to mention they have the friendliest service…
Our specialist cruise consultant, Ria, cruised with Boudicca: ‘I was expecting a very small cabin but i was quite surprised at how spacious they actually were! Staff were very friendly and attentive, and the comedian- oh this guy was funny…’. Read more of Ria’s stance on Fred’s here!
Cruise and Maritime, Astor
Imagine a floating country house with only 600 passengers on board. Sounds perfect doesn’t it? While the line isn’t one of the biggest cruise companies out there, you definitely shouldn’t be casting it off just yet.
On the ship you’ll get to enjoy a sports deck with its own jogging track, yoga classes, volleyball and that’s just the start.
There’s really loads to do for the more active passenger and you’ll also be treated to enrichment programmes from knowledgeable guest speakers, so with a Cruise and Maritime voyage you’ll get to discover all about the region you’re travelling to!
Our specialist cruise consultant Trudy has her say on CMV: ‘Their ships are more smaller and intimate and offer a leisurely and traditional home from home country house style of cruising and emphasis very much on personal service and going that extra mile for their clients!’ Read more of Trudy’s blog here!
Riviera River Line, MS Countess
Riviera River Line tends to be disregarded due to the fact that they’re ‘too British’, but is there really such a thing? It’s 4 to 5 star cruising and great value for money- where can you go wrong?
You’ll get delicious four course meals every night, and all shore excursions are included in your fare. WI-FI is available everywhere on board and there’s even a 24 hour UK based telephone, so if you want to talk to loved ones, home is just a phone call away!
Gratuities are also up to you, so you won’t get any big extra charges slapped on to your final bill. So the cruise line really offers everything you could possibly want on a river cruise, for a fraction of the price of an ocean sailing.
MSC cruises are known far and wide as being ‘the Italian line’ and often people will choose not to cruise with them due to something as silly as not liking Italian food, but that’s not all MSC are about! We’re talking about a globla mega line here…
There’s loads of other options on board, including an American style sports bar, where you can grab some finger food and watch the game, or the delicious Tex Mex and Steakhouse, serving Mexican classics and the tastiest cocktails.
There’s even 24/7 room service available to give you absolutely anything you want, and if you’re a pizza lover you can get pizza delivery direct to your cabin! Now where do we sign up…
Our specialist cruise consultant Ruth speaks on MSC: ‘I found the atmosphere to be excellent and it was less formal than some of their competitors which I am sure would be appreciated on some longer cruises! The ladies will love the virtual mirror which allows them to try different hairstyles before going to the hairdressers. Wow brilliant idea- why can’t we have this at home!’ Read more of Ruth’s blog here.
Holland America, Koningsdam
Holland America aren’t heard of much in the UK, but that’s no reason to turn down a cruise on this line. Koningsdam is the latest ship in the fleet and is part of their Pinnacle class, a whole new level of luxury.
They’ve upgraded loads of firm favourites including: The Culinary Arts Centre that has a new dining element, and the adults-only area and specialty restaurants have all been revamped especially for the ship.
You’ll also discover new features on the ship including a glass roofed lido deck and a huge theatre! With Koningsdam, Holland America have brought in a mix of old and new, but are still staying loyal to their incredible style.
Our specialist cruise consultant Sally commented on Koningsdam: ‘HAL offer the chance to visit exotic and more obscure places than ever in premium comfort and surroundings, with fine dining and entertainment by top Chefs and broadway composers onboard Koningsdam!’ Read more of Sally’s blog here.
You may be surprised to know that Carnival aren’t actually sold much in the UK, despite it being known as one of the most fun companies out there.
Their latest ship Vista continues bringing the party to sea with a whole bunch of amazing new features. On board you’ll be treated to the first ever IMAX cinema at sea, Waterworks that’ll rival any land water park and an adult’s-only retreat where you can sit back and relax on one of the deck hammocks for a while.
Worried that there’s not enough to do for the kids? Drop them off at Camp Ocean! A day camp for those aged between 2 and 11, with ocean themed activities to keep them busy whilst you unwind.
What do you think of these seven misunderstood cruise ships? Will you be stepping away from the big names and catching a cruise with one of the underdogs? Or do you have a cruise line you’re loyal to? Let us know in the comments below!
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