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These Are The 7 Most Popular Cruise Lines With Americans Right Now  

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Cruising has seen a huge surge in popularity following years of decline during the pandemic.  

For more than a year, cruises departing from the U.S. were banned completely, but now cruising is back, and it’s bigger than ever before.  

Woman looking out over cruise ship

Cruising offers great value for money, and it’s easy to visit multiple destinations in a hassle-free way. 

What’s more, because cruise ships come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, sailing across the globe, there is a cruise to suit everyone.  

From huge ships with water parks and climbing walls to elegant and intimate liners with fine dining options, you can find a cruise ship that offers the right pace and lifestyle for you.  

But which cruise line is right for you?  

According to a trends report from CruiseCompete, these are the 7 most popular cruise lines with Americans right now:  

Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International is known for its oversized, action-packed liners. In fact, Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world in 2023.  

Royal Caribbean works hard to drive innovation at sea and to bring as many new and exciting activities to their passengers as possible.  

The waterpark deck on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

From suspended infinity pools to waterparks at the top of their ships and impressive entertainment lineups to surf simulators and zip-lining, it would be hard to be bored on a Royal Caribbean ship.  

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises is best known for being a premium cruise line, and guests return again and again thanks to the high-end service offered, as well as the world-class cuisine.  

Celebrity Cruises have higher-priced entry-level cabins than Royal Caribbean. This reflects the elevated quality of the dining experiences and the overall more refined cruising experience offered.

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The Celebrity Summit cruise ship in dock with a palm tree in the foreground.

Celebrity Cruises is also known for its range of unique itineraries, meaning that passengers can spend their time off the ship in exciting destinations.  

Celebrity Cruises have a relatively small fleet, with just 15 different ships.  

Carnival Cruise Line

If you’re looking for a high-energy cruise, then Carnival Cruises might be the right line for you. 

Carnival cruise liners are often referred to as ‘party ships’, and the focus of the staff on board is on cultivating a high-energy atmosphere.  

The pool deck of the Carnival Breeze cruise ship, which is docked in Miami.

Carnival currently boasts a fleet of 24 ships, and these sail all over the world, from Alaska to Australia.  

You’ll immediately recognize a Carnival cruise ship for the bold and bright colors it is decorated with, intended to reflect the bold and bright experience on board.  

Norwegian Cruise Line 

If you’re looking for a relaxed cruise with few traditional cruising rules, then the Norwegian Cruise Line might be the right choice for you.  

Norwegian introduced the ‘freestyle cruising’ concept. This means that there are no enforced dress codes or fixed dining times on board.  

The result is a cruising experience that feels fun and relaxed and has a great ambiance.  

A Norwegian cruise line ship sailing in the open sea.

The Norwegian cruise line boasts a fleet of 18 ships.  

This means that you can sail across the world on a mixture of short 2-day itineraries, longer 21-day itineraries, or everything in between.  

Princess Cruises

Princess is the third-largest cruise line in the world, and the company has been sailing since 1965. 

Princess has a strong reputation for being the best in the Alaskan market, which it dominates. But you can sail around the world on a Princess cruise liner.  

Princess Cruises

You won’t find high-octane activities on a large Princess ship. Unlike other cruise liners, there are no water parks, climbing walls, or zip lines.  

Instead, Princess offers a more traditional ‘old school’ approach to cruising, with low-key elegance and an abundance of relaxing lounges and pool decks.  

Holland America Line 

The Holland America line has been sailing for more than 150 years and is best known for its award-winning service.  

This service is so exceptional because of the high crew-to-guest ratio that is offered on all Holland America ships.  

A Holland American Cruise ship passes by a mountain

From a practical point of view, what makes Holland America unique is that their ships are constantly sailing around the world: unlike other liners that will have one ship sail the same itinerary back and forth.  

This means that if you love a route, you can try it on different ships. Or if you love a ship, you can follow it around the world!  

MSC Cruises

Like Royal Caribbean, MSC is a family-friendly cruise line, offering a huge number of exciting attractions that will appeal to guests of all ages.  

Unlike Royal Caribbean, you may not have heard of MSC. This is because, until recently, the line mostly catered to a European audience.  

A MSC cruise ship docked with palm trees in the foreground.

MSC is a mega ship line, which means its ships are enormous. This enables them to offer resort-like vessels with water parks, zip lines, and even race track simulators on board.  

5 of the 20 biggest cruise ships in the world are currently operated by MSC.  

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