Who doesn’t like to look after their budget? A new report by prestigious U.S News and World Report has revealed the cruise lines that give you most bang for your buck. They may not always be the cheapest – but they offer the best value. Here’s the list – and send us your own thoughts in the comment box below!
1. Royal Caribbean – $100 a night
One of the world’s largest cruise lines has won the award for the most budget-friendly cruise line. The line has more than 20 ships as well as the world’s largest vessels – Symphony of the Seas, which will eclipse her sister as the biggest ship in the world and will be able to accommodate for close to 7,000 people. The ships are based all around the world and cruises are priced from around $100 a night. The ships are filled with amazing innovations like Bionic Bars, Aqua Theatres, ziplines and have fantastic food from pub grub to Japanese cuisine. The line also offers affordable shore excursions for every age group – from helicopter rides to scuba diving. The line visits Alaska and Canada, South Pacific, New Zealand, Europe, the Caribbean and much more.
2. Celebrity Cruises – $150 a night
Known for its small ships, Celebrity Cruises has ranked second in the list. The ships are for premium cruisers, but without breaking the bank. Cruises from the Caribbean range from around $150 a night but you can get some cruises sailing to the South Pacific from around $120 a night. Known for its fantastic food and efficient service, Celebrity is a popular choice not just with the international market, but with Aussies as well.
3. Norwegian Cruise Line – $110 a night
Norwegian Cruise Line, while just only back in Australia, has a strong international dominance. The line is expanding its fleet with some of the most innovative ships in the world – the Norwegian Joy and the soon-to-be-launched Norwegian Bliss both have two-storey race car tracks as well as a laser tag course onboard! It’s free and easy dining options make it popular for relaxed cruisers. The Norwegian Jewel has just started her inaugural season in Australia from around $110 a night.
4. Carnival Cruise Line – $100 a night
The fun family cruise line has a great price point both internationally and in Australia. While the fleet her and overseas might be slightly different in terms of offerings, Carnival is known for its fun ships. Overseas, the lines have cool features like sky bike tracks, water parks and more. The Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend which are based in Australia have fantastic programs for kids as well as the fastest and steepest waterslide at sea, the Green Thunder.
5. Princess Cruises – $120 a night
The line has won several awards in the 2017 Cruise Passenger Reader’s Choice Awards including, Best Overall Cruise Line as well as Best Premium Cruise Line. The line is aimed at the older cruiser and has great service, food, shore excursions, spa and overall experience. It’s perfect for guests who want long haul cruises and offers incredibly affordable world voyages. Princess has a large fleet overseas and the new Majestic Princess will be heading to Australia.
6. Holland America Line – $120 a night
The traditional line which is popular among older cruises, also has fun for the entire family. There are 14 ships in the fleet and each vessel offers one staff member per every two or three guests. The ships sail Down Under as well as the Caribbean, Asia, Europe, South America and more. For a great price, older couples can do traditional cruise activities like afternoon tea and ballroom dancing. For the younger sailors, there is Club HAL which is aged for children between three to 17.
7. Costa Cruises – $100 a night (cheaper in Asia)
The Italian cruise line mainly sails through the Mediterranean and is a lot cheaper than its competitors. But the line also sails from Florida and there are ships in the Caribbean as well as Asia, South America as well as Africa. The 12 ships in its fleet are mainly suited for older cruisers with activities like ballroom dancing and guests are required to wear formal wear on certain evenings. The line has more than 2,500 shore excursions for guests including walking tours of Croatia’s Dubrovnik or snorkelling.
8. MSC Cruises – $100 a night
Mainly catering to European cruisers, MSC is expanding its fleet substantially especially with the announcement of two more Seaside EVO ships this week. The line has just launched the MSC Seaside which has a unique ‘beach condo’ structure as well as a ‘walk on water’ walkway. Also onboard is fantastic food including delights from the master of pan-Asian cuisine, Roy Yamaguchi. The itineraries cost around $100 a night so it’s a great bargain to enjoy European hospitality.
OUR MENTION – $90 a night
While the list focuses on international ships, we also have to mention our local and much loved cruise line, P&O. The quintessential Aussie line takes us around Australia as well as the South Pacific. Most cruises are priced between $100 to $150 a night which is great value for money especially if you’re a first time cruiser or if you’re looking for an affordable holiday for the entire family.