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Because you can't spend all day every day journeying around IgoUgo, editors round up the highlights: members' notable trips, newest reviews, favorite destinations, contests, and more. Have a question or idea? Let us know!

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5 Cruise Companies to Check Out in 2011

5 Cruise Companies to Check Out in 2011 Photo

Photo by raymond longaray

Posted on December 9, 2010 in Cruises

Despite the out-of-commission Carnival cruise ship that made headlines last month after it was towed to shore, setting sail on a cruise liner is still high on the gotta-book-it lists for tons of IgoUgo members. If your plan is to take to the water next year, there’s no time like the present to start planning (and perhaps to start earmarking that holiday bonus). All aboard!

  1. Royal Caribbean International
    IgoUgo member Joyce Feuerbacher Altgelt booked a 7-day cruise with a whopping 17-person group earlier this year, and “had a fantastic time,” checking out locations like Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta along the way. The company runs cruises in locations as diverse as New Zealand to Dubai, as well as all throughout South America where Joyce explored.
  2. Carnival Cruise Lines
    Carnival Cruises made headlines when one of its ships, the Splendor, suffered an engine room fire -- stranding passengers for days (and cancelling the Splendor’s next excursion)! However, events like that are rare, and IgoUgo members had plenty of positive things to say about Carnival. Check out the journals of members like croberts0414, who had a fantastic time with her family in August (“the staff really catered to the kids,” she says) and pbpd81 gave the cruise line’s Destiny ship a 5-star review, calling it “a great choice for our first cruise.” The cruise line offers trips covering the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, and even a “cruise to nowhere” option.
  3. Princess Cruises (owned by Carnival)
    The third-largest cruise line in the world, Princess also claims to have pioneered the round-the-clock restaurant at sea -- so if you want access to food at all hours, this is the trip for you. IgoUgo member Kathy S booked a trip through the Mexican Riviera via Princess, and especially loved the ship’s activities -- plus all the ports of call she visited.
  4. Norwegian Cruise Lines
    Norwegian’s cruise-style is characterized by their philosophy of “freestyle cruising” -- a good choice if you don’t want to be locked in to a strict schedule -- which means you can eat, dress, and do activities as you choose. Jaclynjoseph set sail on the Norwegian Dawn last January, and gave the liner a 5-star review, claiming, “we couldn’t have asked for a better price.” And for bite-by-bite accounts of the food experienced during a western Caribbean Norwegian cruise trip, check out Kebamo’s on-board restaurant reviews in his journal "Bobbi’s First Cruise."
  5. Cunard Cruise Lines
    Cunard claims to have the “most famous ocean liners in the world" -- and it’s true that their ships like the Queen Mary, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth are synonymous with luxury travel. The company is especially known for transatlantic journeys, as gorboduc discovered. “It stuns me to think that as recently as the mid-50s, the way most people got to Europe was on an ocean liner,” she commented. “How would it be to arrive in the UK without jet lag? In Southampton rather than at Heathrow or Gatwick?” Her trip went off without a hitch though, becoming a “comfortable, relaxing routine.”

Of course, there’s tons of other cruise lines, and lots of smaller cruises out there in case a big 5-7 day (or longer!) passage is out of the question. Any major port city—Boston, New York, Seattle, etc, all have ships docked nearby, with “mini-cruises” offered as daytrips, or just very short adventures. Bon voyage!

More Cruising on IgoUgo
Popular Cruise Destinations: Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska
Member Raymond Longaray’s Photos of Newport and Quebec
Great cruise journal: Eastern Mediterranean Cruise and Tour with Madrid Extension

Posted by alexanderbasek (Alexander Basek)

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