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Premium Cruise Lines

Within the cruise industry’s rating system, premium cruises are a step up from mainstream cruises on the successive steps of sumptuousness, adding layers of service and style to your cruising experience.

 

MY TRAVEL AGENT’S top points of comparison for PREMIUM cruises:

 

1. SHIPS - In premium cruising, personal space is one of the perks: while ships defined as premium carry as many as 2,850 guests, many are in the mid-size range of 500-1,500. Ships tend to be newer mid-size to large vessels that carry fewer passengers and have a more spacious feeling.

2. PORTS - These ships can reach nearly every port in the world.  There’s a strong focus on enrichment, in the form of intriguing shore excursions, lectures, courses and demonstrations.

3. PUBLIC AREAS - Expect a glamorous subtle décor with toned-down colors and extensive art collections.          

 

4. CABINS - Staterooms range from inside cabins for three and four and outside cabins with or without balconies to suites with numerous amenities, including butlers on some lines.  Staterooms on some premium cruise lines tend to be slightly larger than their mainstream counterparts.

                

5. DINING - Dining is a focus, with more options, from celebrity chef restaurants to in-cabin dining served by the course. Shipboard custom reigns in main restaurants with traditional two seatings. High marks are afforded the quality cuisine and presentation. Many ships have upscale bistros or specialty restaurants and many command an additional charge. Plus, the option of a casual alternative is often available.     

 

6. SERVICE - The ratio of staff to guests is typically higher, offering more personalized service. Attentive service is polished and unobtrusive.

 

7. ENTERTAINMENT - Production shows are somewhat more sophisticated and gentlemen hosts are on some sailings to keep single ladies dancing the night away. The same sophistication goes for entertainment, which may consist of multiple choices in smaller venues rather than a big Vegas-style theatre and show.

 

8. ACTIVITIES - In addition to the traditional cruise activities, on board lectures are common. Port talks often include history and cultural topics in addition to the usual shopping advice.

 

9. SPA/FITNESS - Spa facilities can be more comprehensive than found on mainstream ships. Gyms and exercise rooms come fully equipped, and are manned by an attentive staff.

 

10. FAMILY/CHILDREN - Programs for children and teens are well run but not as comprehensive as those found on mainstream ships.  The average age for the premium cruise clientele skews slightly higher that that of mainstream cruises.

 

11. FELLOW PASSENGERS - Experienced cruisers and some first timers who enjoy a more upscale experience in lower key surroundings. Premium lines attract families, singles, and groups; however, as a rule of thumb—the average age ratio will be higher on sailings longer than seven to ten days.

 

CLICK ON THE ARROW TO THE LEFT OF THE CATEGORY HEADER IN THE NAVIGATION BOX TO CHECK OUT OUR FAVORITE PREMIUM CRUISE LINES.


 
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