In the latest part of our Reasons to cruise series we take a look at some of the most famous ships to be sailing the seven seas today. From exquisite yachts to beautiful translatlantic ocean liners and huge megaships.
These vessels have reached rock star status, with fans travelling round the world to get a chance to experience them again.
So while destination is the biggest factor when booking a cruise – let’s not forget how big a part the ship itself can play in the decision making process!
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Line’s first ‘Fun Ship’ Carnival Sunshine (formerly Carnival Destiny) is technically a refurbishment but that doesn’t really do what’s taken place proper justice. This is the most a ship has ever changed without being totally rebuilt.
Hardcore fans of the cruise line have flocked to see the vessel and catch a glimpse of its huge ‘serenity’ areas, waterfall, huge onboard waterpark (including a ‘speedway splash’) and SkyCourse.
These developments have taken the company’s outdoor space to another level. It also cements Carnival’s commitment to the Caribbean – a region where it can fully make the most of its better al fresco areas.
The refurbishment programme is now being rolled across other ships within the Carnival fleet.
Compagnie du Ponant
The French cruise line’s ships are a sumptuous celebration of French design and luxury living. Its décor is understated yet elegant and it’s a theme that runs through the whole of the ship.
Where Ponant – and other ships within a ‘yachting’ bracket – comes into its own though is on the relaxed and intimate outdoor spaces.
Whether that’s enjoying a beer off the stern in the balmy Mediterranean or taking the zodiacs out in the Antarctic. The versatility of this ship is incredible.
Queen Mary 2
Any vessel that attempts to master transatlantic crossings has to have something special about it.
A seven-day itinerary – most of it at sea – means that passengers will go out in search of what’s available to do onboard the ship. A Cunard crowd won’t be willing to accept waterslides and bumper cars either.
Instead they will find entertainment in the Royal Court Theatre, Planetarium and Canyon Ranch spa club – and of course the company’s famed formal nights.
There’s a reason guests come back time after time again.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest class of ships sees Norwegian Getaway – the sister of Breakaway – being dedicated to the beautiful city of Miami.
The vessel carries a latin vibe throughout its many decks and sees the finest example of the company’s ‘Freestyle Cruising’ mantra on display.
Highlights onboard include the innovative Waterfront, which makes the most of the ships huge array of dining options by giving them an optional outdoor space.
There’s also 24-hour pizza delivery, a dinner show option with the Illusionarium as well as Legally Blonde, a Grammy Experience and a Wine Lovers musical.
Oasis of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International
The biggest cruise ship in the world still packs one hell of a punch. With zipwires, neighbourhoods and pretty much anything else you can imagine onboard.
Oasis of the Seas – and it’s sister ship Allure of the Seas – has been described as a floating resort, and for good reason. The vessel can hold around 6,000-passengers, far bigger than anything else at sea.
It’s a formula that clearly works for owners Royal Caribbean International too – they’ve got two more on order.