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The Best Cruise Lines For Every Type Of Traveler In 2023

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Cruise travel is on the rise in 2023. Despite being forced to halt operations in 2020 because of government restrictions, cruise travel is back to normal now, and it's poised to continue growing in 2023.

Many cruise lines have dropped all travel restrictions, including vaccine, testing, and mask requirements, and returned to normal operations.

Woman looking out over the side of a river cruise ship

Cruises offer a relaxing, hassle-free vacation, and they are often surprisingly affordable. Although some people may associate cruising with older retirees who want to play shuffleboard and take line dancing classes all day, that could not be further from the truth.

There are cruises out there for everyone. Here are the best cruise lines for every type of traveler in 2023:

Cruise Ship sailing into the sunset on the ocean

Best For Families

Disney Cruise Line is one of the best choices for families looking to splurge on a vacation that is guaranteed to be a hit with the kids.

Royal Caribbean and Carnival are two other good cruise lines for families, especially on shorter sailings to Mexico, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean.

All of these cruise lines offer robust programming for kids and teens, including youth clubs with activities that will keep them occupied all day.

Many of the ships on these lines, especially the larger ones, have additional kid-friendly attractions like water slides, rock climbing, and other activities.

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Disney Cruise Line ship in port

Best For Adults

For couples without children, groups of friends, and other adult travelers, Virgin Voyages is one of the best options for adults-only cruising.

These ships are only for travelers 18 and older, and instead of a traditional dining room and Broadway-style shows like you'll find on many other cruise lines, Virgin Voyages offers a selection of hip restaurants and nightly entertainment featuring world-famous DJs.

Virgin Voyages cruise ship at night with neon signs

Best For Solo Travelers

Since most cruises are priced for double occupancy, solo travelers can find themselves paying double the price for a cabin.

However, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Holland America all offer a select number of “studio” cabins that are specifically designed for single travelers and will not incur an additional fee.

Girl enjoying cruise ship with arms open to the wind

Best For Older Travelers

For travelers in their sixties and older, there are many great options. Viking is known for catering to older travelers on their luxury river cruises around Europe and other international destinations.

Seabourn and Silversea are two other lines that attract older travelers. These two cruise lines offer ocean cruises to destinations around the world.

Older Travelers on Cruise looking out on the ocean

Best For Culture

If you prefer to get immersed in the destinations you're visiting, and you don't just want to lie on a beach in every port of call, there are a number of cruise lines that offer more cultural immersion.

Oceania runs longer cruises (most around two weeks or more) to destinations around the world, with a focus on immersion. Guests can choose from culinary and wellness tours to enhance their understanding of the destinations, along with plenty of onboard programming.

AmaWaterways is another cruise line that offers great cultural immersion. On their small-ship river cruises, many of the excursions in destinations visited focus on history, art, and architecture.

Woman taking a photo in a european destination

Other Tips For Choosing A Cruise

Not everything comes down to the cruise line you choose. Some other factors to consider are the destination, duration, size of the ship, and time of year of your cruise.

For example, a Carnival 5-day cruise to Mexico or the Caribbean during the spring is likely to have a big party vibe and a lot of college kids on spring break.

Carnival cruise ship at sunset with top deck in view

But a Carnival 14-day transatlantic cruise during the winter is going to have a very different crowd and likely be much quieter. These are all factors to keep in mind when booking the cruise that will be right for you.

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