You might assume if you’ve cruised before that you know which brand provides the best value; but you would be amazed to discover just how different cruise lines differ when it comes to size, amenities and dining options as well as destination itineraries. That’s why comparing before booking — even repeat cruisers — is always worthwhile; 2024 rankings of seven biggest cruise lines reveal significant variations between them when it comes to cabin comfort, onboard activities/facilities/service and amenities offered as well as reviews from passengers rating everything from staff to food/drink offerings as well as accommodations provided during their voyage.

Carnival Cruise Line’s lively voyages and budget-friendly amenities – like pools, mini golf, karaoke and Broadway shows – attract families looking for short Caribbean voyages. Additionally, its best passenger-to-space ratio ensures plenty of room onboard for movement and exploration.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

Royal Caribbean is renowned for its popular Caribbean and Europe itineraries, boasting massive ships that are over 20% larger than any others afloat (only MSC ships can beat this) featuring everything from rock climbing walls and surfing pools to Broadway shows and ice skating rinks. Furthermore, this megaline excels when it comes to luxury cruising; all-suite vessels with high staff-to-passenger ratios make Royal Caribbean a standout amongst luxury lines.

Cunard Cruise Line’s long and distinguished history dates back to the 1800s, and this premium line continues its legacy through semiregular transatlantic sailings between Southampton, England, and New York City led by their 2,695 passenger flagship Queen Mary 2. Furthermore, Cunard has become popular with those wanting an authentic ocean travel experience aboard classic vessels like Queen Victoria or Elizabeth.

Norwegian Cruise Line, one of the top midsize lines, stands out as a consistently great value among its big rivals in cruising, thanks to long cruises to popular Caribbean and Alaskan ports of call. Their ships, such as their flagship NCL Horizon ship with plenty of entertainment such as nightclubs, surf simulators and virtual reality parks; Norwegian also enjoys excellent ratings for onboard crew service from industry rating services.

Azamara Club Cruises

Although small by comparison with mass market lines, Azamara stands out as an all-inclusive experience, boasting luxurious ships featuring high staff-to-passenger ratios and spacious cabins. Azamara also offers World Voyages that visit multiple countries and continents on multi-week journeys.

Other cruise lines deserve recognition as well, such as Crystal Cruises which recently resumed operations after an absence and has quickly established itself as one of the most luxurious lines available. Their all-suite ships provide guests with dining and activity options such as teppanyaki grilling, spa services and specialty classes – among many other features.

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