Zagat released the results of its first Cruise Line survey today. The survey, conducted on ZAGAT.com, covers 22 major cruise lines as voted on by 2,379 regular cruise-goers who had taken 9.5 trips, each averaging nine days. All told the surveyors had taken a total of 22,700 separate cruises.
Background: The cruise lines in the survey were categorized as follows: Large Ships (1,500+ passengers), Mid-Size Ships (200 to 1,500) and Small Ships (less than 200), based on the average size of the ships in its fleet. Each line was then rated on Zagat’s signature 30-point scale for five aspects of its performance: (1) Cabins, (2) Service, (3) Dining, (4) Facilities and (5) Shipboard Activities, with an “Overall Score” based on an average of the five separate ratings.
Smooth Sailing: The top cruise lines, based on their Overall Scores, are Cunard Line (Large), Regent Seven Seas (Mid-Size) and SeaDream Yacht Club (Small). Lines with mid-size ships tended to get the highest overall ratings. Thus, following Regent were Crystal, Seabourn and Silversea all with a score of 26 out of a possible 30. Following with overall rating of 25 are Cunard and Disney. Based on their ratings, the major category winners are as shown below:
|Large (1,500+)||Mid-Size (200 to 1,500)||Small (<200)|
When asked to name their personal favorites, the surveyors chose Royal Caribbean (Large), Crystal Cruises (Mid-Size) and Windstar Cruises (Small).
Setting Course: When choosing a cruise line, 88% of surveyors say that Ports of Call is their principal consideration, with Past Experience (81%) and Ticket Price (80%) following close behind. Other major issues are Cruise Duration (72%), Dates (69%) and Balcony/Deluxe Room Availability (64%). Departure Ports are cited by 61% of surveyors, with Ship Size and Activities tying at 58%.
Staying Afloat: As a result of the recession, many lines lowered their prices. The three named as “best for budget cruises” are Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line in that order. When asked how the economy has affected their cruising, 47% say they’re looking for better values, while 23% report cruising less. Surveyors report these alternate ways to be cost-conscious: 20% are limiting their excursions, 19% are choosing cruises that depart closer to home, 15% cut back on what’s included in their packages, 10% choose less expensive rooms and 5% take shorter cruises. A lucky 18% say the recession hasn’t affected their cruising habits, while an unlucky 19% say they “don’t cruise enough to have habits yet.”
Regent offers savings kids under 18 years of age who sail from just $399 on select 2010 voyages. Share unique experiences with the whole family, onboard and ashore, as this special offer is combinable with the cruise lines’ Free Unlimited Shore Excursions!
For adults who want to share their travel adventures the complimentary Club Mariner Youth Program (available on select voyages) is designed for age groups 5 – 8, 9 – 12 and 13 – 17 and is supervised by a staff of experienced and enthusiastic youth counselors.
- Crystal Cruises’ 20th Anniversary Promotions
- Caribbean: Kids free on 2-for-1 Crystal holiday cruise
- Crystal Cruises: Kids Sail Free on Two Baltic Cruises, Europe
- Nickelodeon and Norwegian Cruise Line Hit the Open Sea with Nickelodeon” All Access Cruises
- Priceline’s Cruise Deals: Free Upgrades, Kids Sale Free, Cruise Dollars