The Best Cruise Lines

When picking a cruise line, consider what you want to get out of the experience and choose accordingly.
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Written by Lee Huffman
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Cruising is a popular way for travelers to visit multiple destinations for one price. In fact, industry statistics indicate that nearly 80% of travelers who have cruised before want to book another cruise in the future. The best cruise lines offer transportation, accommodations, food and entertainment that meet their target audience's needs. 

Which cruise line is best depends on what type of traveler you are and where you'd like to visit. So what is the best cruise line for you? Below are some things to consider when choosing which cruise to book for your next vacation.

Best cruise lines for families: Disney Cruise Line

(Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line)

Families can experience Disney magic by booking a cruise through Disney Cruise Lines. With over 19 ports of departure to choose from, your family can take a Disney cruise from almost anywhere in the world. Departure cities include Barcelona, Rome, Fort Lauderdale, Sydney, New Orleans and San Diego. 

On board, your family will enjoy live shows that rival Broadway performances, evening fireworks displays and visits from popular Disney, Marvel and Star Wars characters.

Accommodations are designed with families in mind by including privacy curtains, divided bathrooms and storage space in most staterooms. 

Food options include gourmet specialties, quick-serve bites and 24-hour room service, so you and your family can eat anytime you're hungry. Parents can even book a romantic dinner while the kids have fun at one of the supervised youth clubs. 

If you're a Disney+ subscriber, Disney Cruises has a special offer where the third and fourth guests sail free (excluding taxes, fees and port expenses) from January through April 2023.

Best cruise lines for couples: Viking Ocean Cruises

(Photo courtesy of Viking)

Couples looking for the best cruise lines for a romantic adventure should make reservations with Viking Ocean Cruises. All Viking cruise ships are adults-only, so couples can enjoy their trip without interruptions from other travelers' children on board. 

Travelers can choose departure ports from the Americas, the Mediterranean, Asia, Scandinavia, Northern Europe and more. Viking operates smaller ships with a maximum of 930 passengers, which makes it easier to visit ports that larger cruise liners cannot navigate.

On board, you'll enjoy supreme comfort during your journey. The stateroom features a king-size bed, large closets and robes and slippers. Bathrooms include glass-enclosed showers, anti-fog mirrors and heated floors. 

Each ship offers eight dining options at no extra charge. Passengers can choose from fine dining, al fresco and poolside dining, regional cuisine and room service. 

When visiting ports of call, Viking itineraries feature the highest average hours in port per day, which gives travelers extra time to explore destinations and their unique attractions.

Best cruise lines for luxury travelers: Regent Seven Seas Cruises

(Photo courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises)

If you're wondering what is the best cruise line for luxury travelers, look no further. Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers an unrivaled experience for the most discerning travelers. All of its ships are truly all-inclusive, with complimentary unlimited shore excursions at its more than 500 ports of call. 

Regent offers an all-suite fleet so travelers can enjoy spacious and luxurious accommodations. Each suite has a private balcony, a dedicated attendant, an in-suite minibar and a separate sitting area.

When you dine aboard a Regent cruise, you'll experience world-class chefs as well as sommeliers to pair your wine to your meal. Dining options include a variety of restaurants serving French cuisine, Pan-Asian dishes, Italian specialties, steak and more. 

When you’re not out exploring a new port of call, you can take cooking classes, book a spa day or fitness class, enjoy evening entertainment or gamble at the casino, among other activities.

For travelers whose vacation budgets have no limits, consider upgrading to "the most exclusive address at sea" — the Regent Suite. It features a 4,000-square-foot stateroom with top-notch amenities. These include a private car and driver in every port, an exclusive private dining experience and an in-suite spa with unlimited treatments.

Best cruise lines for singles: Norwegian Cruise Lines

The Spice H2O Lounge on the Norwegian Breakaway. (Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

Cruising while single can get expensive since most cruise lines charge based on double occupancy. For single travelers, the best cruise line to travel on is Norwegian Cruise Lines. 

Whether you just need some "me time" or are looking to meet new people, Norwegian features an extensive inventory of single cabins called studios. These staterooms are an average of 100 square feet with a full-size bed and separate sink and shower areas.

Single cruisers also have access to an exclusive shared social space called the Studio Complex and Lounge. In this lounge, you can enjoy complimentary refreshments throughout the day, order room service and meet fellow travelers. Or, you can just relax with a book or the TV remote. 

The Skyy Vodka Ice Bar. (Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

Norwegian's itinerary includes meetups for solo travelers, pub crawls, Broadway-style entertainment and shore excursions. Plus, the ships themselves have features that might appeal to the young and/or single crowd.

That includes the Skyy Vodka Ice Bar, found on a few Norwegian Cruise Line ships including Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Epic. Yes, the bar is made entirely from ice.

The best cruise lines, recapped

Cruising offers something for every traveler, allowing you to visit multiple destinations while sleeping in the same bed every night. Whether your next vacation is with your family, your partner or solo, there's a ship that’s right for you. The best cruise lines offer promotions regularly, so keep an eye out for specials that match your budget.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Cards for Cruises from our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

on Bank of America's website

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Receive 60,000 online bonus points - a $600 value - after you make at least $4,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

See more cards for cruises
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