To understand what to expect on a Premium Cruise Line, we first need to first look at Mainstream Cruise lines and what they offer. These cruise lines would be the equivalent of a 3 Star Hotel. They have nice accommodations and good food. They cater to families with many activities for children and teenagers. To support all these activities, the ships usually carry between 2,500 to 6,000 passengers per ship. The Crew to Guest Ratio is usually about 1 to 3.
These cruise lines have cabins with Value cabins that are priced low to allow for almost anyone to try a cruise. Their inside cabins are small and are designed for those who only want to sleep in the cabins and will spend most of their waking hours in activities in the many venues available on the ship. These ships are also being designed with more Balcony Cabins that allow for an upgrade from the inside cabins.
Some of the other amenities you will find on a Mainstream Cruise are:
Spa with available extras like Massages, Hair Styling, Manicures and Pedicures.
Health Clubs with Cardio and Weight machines, Cycle Classes and Yoga Classes.
Multiple Dining options, including the Main Dining Room, a Buffet and Specialty Restaurants
Lounges that might have a live band or dancing
Entertainment venues with Broadway shows, variety shows and musicians
Age Specific Children’s Programs
So what about a Premium Cruise Line? They will have these things as well. But they will be more like a 4 Star Hotel. Typically, the Ship will be a smaller ship. Most Premium Cruise lines have ships that hold 1,000 to 2,500 passengers. While they still have Children’s and Teen’s programs, they are usually smaller, as they target the Adult traveler.
Some of the features you will find on a Premium Ship are:
Additional Guest Spaces, many with Ocean Views
Art Collections, both for enjoyment and for purchase
Refined Services with a Staff to Guest ratio of 1 to 2 or 1 to 2.5
Gourmet style Cuisine
Premium Cruise Ships will typically have fewer Inside Cabins and will have a higher percentage of Balcony Cabins and Suites. Many of the Suites will also have more personalized service with Butlers and a Concierge desk. Most of these Cruise Lines will also specialize in areas of the world. Examples would be Princess Cruise Line that specialized in Alaska and the Caribbean. Another example would be Cunard with its many Trans-Atlantic sailings.
Premium Cruise Lines would include Princess Cruise Lines, Holland America Cruise Line, Cunard Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises and Virgin Voyages. Over the next few weeks, we will be focusing on some of these Cruise Lines and show what they are be offering and what distinguishes them from the others.