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Premium lines usually offer a more subdued atmosphere and refined style, and these ships tend to be midsize to large vessels that carry fewer passengers in slightly more comfort.

Larger

Activities tend to be more lifestyle-oriented; computer classes, foreign-language lessons, and enrichment programs are more prevalent. Dress codes range from country-club casual at all times to more traditional, often with two formal nights on a one-week cruise. The overall mix of passengers may be a bit older, but many families sail during summer and peak school vacation periods, so most of the ship have facilities for children, and some premium ships are among the most family-friendly afloat.

The social and entertainment staffs on premium vessels are no less busy keeping passengers happy. Even though some activities sound similar to those on mainstream ships, including pool games and bingo, everything is a bit more sedate. Afternoon music at the pool might be a jazz quarter instead of a reggae band. Shows and activities may be more sophisticated than those on mainstream lines.

Princess Cruises

  • Sails To Alaska, Caribbean

Why It’s Wonderful

Sophisticated styling includes piazza-style atriums, many different specialty restaurants, quiet enclaves, and fast-paced dance clubs. Spas are noted for their facilities and service.

Holland America Line

  • Sails To Alaska, Caribbean, Europe

Why It’s Wonderful

Traditional cruise enthusiasts find that HAL hits the right note with gracious, art-filled ships that also include all the latest high-tech gadgets.

Celebrity Cruises

  • Sails To Alaska, Caribbean, Europe

Why It’s Wonderful

For sheer beauty and excellent cuisine, Celebrity ships deliver a quality experience in modern surroundings.