Cruise lines can be grouped into three distinct categories: luxury, premium and contemporary. The contemporary cruise lines – such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line and MSC Cruises – are recognized for their family-friendly, large, amenity-loaded ships.
These ships are like floating resorts, with lots of activities for all ages, large spaces for entertainment, sports decks, extensive spa facilities and well-run children’s programs. These ships also tend to have a variety of dining options – everything from fast snacks to gourmet fare in stylish restaurants – in order to fuel everyone from the youngest to the most senior passengers. Still, with all they have in common, each contemporary cruise line is known for some distinctive features.
Royal Caribbean’s signature on-board activities include rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks and surf simulators. This line’s fleet includes the world’s largest cruise ships – the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas, which each accommodate 5,400 passengers. Innovative features on these ships include central courtyards full of growing trees, shrubs and flowers.
Norwegian Cruise Line is known for its "Freestyle Cruising” concept, which offers open seating and extended hours in the main restaurants, as well as multiple alternative restaurants. Casual attire is acceptable all over the ship in the evenings, though you can dress up for dinner if you like.
Carnival Cruise Lines’ large fleet of 23 ships offers a huge variety of itineraries around the world. Long known as the "Fun Ships,” in recent years Carnival has upgraded its ships’ facilities, amenities, entertainment and cuisine. Carnival’s ships now boast water park features, coffee bars, expanded spas, and more comfortable staterooms.
As you might expect, Disney Cruise Lines’ ships are especially family-oriented. While there are plenty of activities a family can enjoy together, there are also on-board spaces and activities specifically for children, teens, and adults. For example, each ship has a quiet pool area for adults to enjoy while the kids are busy with pool parties, dance contests and other supervised activities.
MSC Cruises is a European line with an Italian flair. The ships’ classic interiors feature lots of marble and brass. Still, this line caters to families with a "kids sail free” policy (for those under age 11 staying in a stateroom with two paying adults), as well as entertainment and activities for all ages.
To find out more about contemporary cruise lines, as well as what premium and luxury lines have to offer, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.