How to Choose a Ship for your Cruise

With so many ships and cruise lines to choose from, it can be a challenge finding the best fit for your needs. Each cruise line has a different style and market. Do you prefer a fun party ship with round-the-clock live music? Or do you prefer a ship with a distinct, contemporary “Pearl District” style? Or would you rather sail on a classy, upscale line that prides itself on world-renown gourmet chefs? Booking a multi-generational reunion with your family or keeping it simple as a single?

Even between ships of the same line, there can be an array of sizes, services and onboard amenities. No longer can you count on a comparable experience even between ships of the same line.

Here are just a few of the things our agents watch for:

Ship size – There are all sizes these days, sometimes within the same cruise line.

WIT Agents know which cruise line has a 600-passenger ship in Alaska within a larger fleet. We know which ship in a fleet can accommodate 1258 guests and which 1916. We compare ship tonnage to passenger ratio. A lower passenger count on a large ship tends to indicate spaciousness in public areas.

Are you planning a multi-generational trip? While some cabins hold a maximum of 4 guests, some can hold 5-6 guests.  We also know which ships offer the most activities for teens and kids, yet have amenities for parents and grandparents.

Special Features – Possible cool weather at your destination? Sailing up to Alaska, or to the Mexican Riviera during winter? Some ships have a retractable glass roof over the pool area to facilitate a warm “greenhouse” effect. We know which ships have that roof. It seems a small thing to consider in the selection process, but can be a big difference when sailing.

Dining options used to be only a choice between first and second seating in one dining room.  Today, ships can have several dining rooms and specialty restaurants (some at additional cost), offering both open seating and assigned dining. Can you have reservations in a certain restaurant, at a certain table, even when only open dining is offered?  Can you make dinner reservations for your entire trip at the beginning, or only day by day? WIT agents know the nuances! Some cruise lines offer an early payment discount, allowing dining and spa reservations before boarding.

Product quality – which cruise lines have pillow top mattresses?  Which lines offer complimentary appetizers in their lounges pre-dinner?  Which cabins have full tub/shower and which have shower only?  Which cruise line has the smartest age-grouping kid program?

Whatever your needs, WIT agents have the knowledge, expertise and experience to help you select a ship. All of us have sailed on a variety of cruise lines and would love to find a ship to suit your needs. We can also arrange air, cars, hotels, shore excursions, and pre- and post-cruise travel if necessary.

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Filed under Cruises, Travel by Ship

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