Memorial Day weekend has arrived and it's time to set summer in motion. ...
Best Cruises, Cruise Food & Entertainment
Cruises Performance (continued)
Cruises Food.Cruise reviews leave little doubt that food quality varies widely from ship to ship and even within a single ship.
Cruise food is a subjective commodity, of course, but some best cruise lines stand out for quality fare. For instance, while some passengers' cruise reviews posted on Orbitz express a desire for more healthy/vegetarian options on Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas, overall food earns an above-average ranking. Cruise Critic gives high marks to Carnival Cruise Lines' food variety (sushi bars and gourmet coffee are standard on many ships), noting that the 24-hour-room service on Carnival Liberty is especially tasty. Plus, the editors note, the heralded and bounteous midnight buffet found on cruises of yore occasionally makes an appearance on Carnival Cruise Lines today; the Chocolate Extravaganza, they add, is not to be missed. Norwegian Sky earns mixed marks at Expedia for food; some passengers appreciate the "freestyle dining" (flexible dining time and casual dress code) and others wish for more gourmet options. The food on several MSC Cruise ships garners only mediocre reviews, with travelers carping about stingy portions and tasteless, undistinguished meals despite the line's Italian lineage.
Cruise Entertainment.Almost all cruises offer some sort of onboard entertainment, such as shows, musicians, movies, and kid-specific programs. The trick is looking at the advertised themes and cruise entertainment options before you book. Do you want to climb a rock wall aboard ship? If so, Royal Caribbean might be for you; the line gets a thumbs-up from Frommer's for its innovative, fun, and varied amusements. Passengers posting reviews of cheap cruises on Orbitz also like the variety of entertainment aboard Royal Caribbean, with musicians, comedians, dancers, and family-friendly movie selections rounding out the mix. Thanks to Kathy Lee Gifford commercials of the 1980s, Carnival Cruise Lines has long been associated with "fun" and a more adult, party-like atmosphere, and cruise reviews agree that the cruise entertainment options can't be beat; Cruise Critic names Carnival Cruise Lines an Editors' Pick for best nightlife. The Disney Cruise Line, by the way, impresses some travel critics with its success at catering to an all-ages crowd, although adult-only areas and pools still exist on Disney ships.
Final Note.Safety aboard cruise ships is always a concern, especially with media reports in recent years about outbreaks of Norovirus, passengers falling overboard, and the recent Costa Concordia accident and fire aboard another Costa ship. Cruise Critic polled its members about cruise safety and more than 94% of the 1,700 respondents said that based on their experience, cruises are safe. Given the sheer volume of passengers and vessels at sea, it could be argued that the incidents of illness, injury, and loss of life are proportionately low. Experts note that flying or driving to and from the home port is at least as risky as cruising.
Don't Bother Cheap Cruises
MSC Opera Cruises
Several of MSC's ships, including the Poesia, Magnifica, Melody and Fantasia, do one-way repositioning cruises at rock-bottom prices. But hidden fees are travelers' biggest complaint (tea, coffee, and bottled water cost extra at some meals), along with grumbles about sub-par food and limited hours at the pool and restaurants. Passenger capacity: between 1,500 and 3,000 (depending on ship). Read more »
Celebrity Cruises Review
Holland America Cruises Review
Voyages of Discovery Cruises Review
MSC Opera Cruises Review
Carnival Cruises Review
Norwegian Sky Cruises Review
Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas Cruise Review
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