So, following all this seriously exciting news about the Anthem of the Seas (read our blog about it all here), and the fact that we’ve also got the P&O Britannia on its way, got me on to thinking about my current favourite cruise ships that sail from the UK. Until they both launch, at least.
There are many ships that sail from the UK on a regular basis, so I decided to limit myself to one ship per cruise line, and just a list of five of my favourites. This is my own personal opinion, it’s not that of Cruise118 in general, so if you want to argue, post your comments here.
So, here we go. And this is in order. Although the gaps between places are minimal; I’ve switched things around a few times before finally settling.
#5 Balmoral, Fred. Olsen
As one of the best cruise lines for British passengers, Fred. Olsen has a long history providing great sailings around the world. It was a tough choice between the four ships in the fleet but I’ve opted for the Balmoral. It’s the biggest, and the one that joined Fred. Olsen latest, in 2007 (although the Braemar is the more recent build, in 1993 – the Balmoral was first built in 1988). There’s a real British feel on-board, and that’s something I like.
#4 Arcadia, P&O Cruises
Again, so many great P&O ships, so hard to choose between them. But I’ve gone with the Arcadia, for a special reason too – it’s one of the adults-only ships in the fleet. I’ve nothing against children, but one of the ships in the list in particular is all about family fun, so I wanted something to contrast with that. There are some great restaurants on-board, it’s a mid-sized ship so it’s comfortable without being imposing, and it’s generally got a really relaxed vibe.
#3 Queen Mary II, Cunard Line
Cunard ships are some of the most revered, and with good reason. There’s nothing quite like the authentic experience offered by Cunard ships, and the Queen Mary II is no different. From the white-glove service for afternoon tea and all meals in the Main Dining Room to the classic, yet not old-fashioned, décor throughout, you really feel like you’re enjoying something special on-board.
#2 Independence of the Seas, Royal Caribbean
Ha, I bet you thought this was destined for number one. Not quite, but it’s still a phenomenal ship. Whether you’re someone just looking for a fun cruise for you and your partner, or you’re taking the family away, there are few ships with as many features as the Independence of the Seas. The FlowRider surf simulator, the rock-climbing wall, the many different dining options…it all comes together for a really great cruise holiday.
#1 Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Cruises
A class act and a worthy leader of this list, I’m sure you’ll agree, Celebrity Cruises manages to offer a balanced cruise holiday for all. If you want a family holiday, you’re catered for with really good kids clubs and activities. But couples and single travellers will find a refined, upmarket atmosphere with a real contemporary vibe, making for an experience everyone will love.
So that’s my list. What’s yours?
By Ian Lewis