Popular Mediterranean cruises


The biggest of the popular cruises, Carnival has always had a reputation for fun and partying as well as being great for kids.


  • Casual, informal and fun
  • Glitzy Vegas-style entertainment
  • Great childrens facilities


Costa offer an Italian style of Mediterranean cruise, with Mediterranean food, décor, artwork and a lively nightlife scene. These are popular cruises with the Europeans although the crew are multi national.


  • A real Mediterranean flavour
  • Great for kids with the Costa Kids club
  • Great Mediterranean food


Disney have managed to combine elegance with family friendly on its 2 ships. No casinos or libraries, it has extensive kids facilities as you would imagine, but plenty of adult only spaces to escape to.


  • Innovative cabins with room for 4-6, along with baths and TV’s
  • Disney’s Oceaneer kids programme from 9am -1am with Disney characters
  • Teen only club with games rooms and soft drinks bar
  • Adult only pool, spa and lounge area
  • giant outdoor movie screen on deck

Fred Olsen

One of the few remaining family owned independent cruise lines, Fred Olsen has a loyal customer base that return year on year. Popular cruises for the older passenger (mostly Brits), they offer a traditional British themed atmosphere with formal dress for dinner and old fashioned entertainment.


  • Traditional British old style cruising
  • Peace and quiet in abundance

Holland America

Originally founded in the Netherlands, Holland America are now based in the US. Its fleet is diverse so check your ship before you book. It had a reputation of sticking to traditional cruise styling however it is introducing modern amenities to all its ships to provide more popular cruises for everyone.


  • Signature of Excellence enhancement programme


Mediterranean Shipping Company pretty much competes with Costa for the European cruise market. MSC are still independent of the big cruise lines however so retain that uniqueness. Sophia Loren is the Godmother to each new ship, the latest of which are the Fantasia class which rival some of the big boys in the industry.


  • Italian style onboard experience at an affordable price
  • All year cruises attracting seniors over the winter period
  • Fantasia ships offer a 4D theatre experience and Formula 1 simulator


Norwegian Cruise line is renowned for its ‘Freestyle Cruising’ programme, a more relaxed approach to dining and entertainment which has been copied by the others.


  • Flexible and traditional mixture on board, appealing to everyone
  • Extensive entertainment programmes – live bands, shows, DJ’s, comedy
  • Multiple dining options including a ‘chocoholic’s buffet’
  • ‘Education’ courses including beer tasting and photography


The biggest cruise line catering to the British market, P&O ships offer 2 week cruises from Southampton most of the year. There are 6 ships offering different experiences. Some are modern and innovative, some are more traditional, all aiming at the midmarket cruise passengers. Some are adult only. Definitely check the personality of your ship before you book!


  • Speciality restaurants by celebrity chefs Gary Rhodes and Marco Pierre White
  • Good for first time UK cruisers
  • Family friendly - Ventura has a circus school and childrens characters Noddy and Mr Bump
  • New ship Azura has open air spa, Indian fine dining from famous chef Atul Kochhar and a wine tasting bar with Olly Smith


A large cruise line with 16 ships sailing the globe, Princess ships are amongst the most contemporary and diverse.


  • Anytime dining – flexible dining options
  • ‘Scholarship at Sea’ programme offering courses in cooking, computers, photography
  • ‘Movies under the stars’ on a giant LED screen above the pool
  • Nintendo Wii tournaments and Internet cafes

Royal Caribbean

A market leader since the 1960’s, Royal Caribbean are the second largest cruise line in the world and offer some of the most popular cruises. They have continued to build bigger and better than everyone else, and have recently launched OASIS of the Seas which is the biggest cruise ship in the world.


  • Oasis of the Seas – 5400 passengers, 220,000 tons, a park on board with grass and trees!
  • Facilities include rock climbing, an ice rink and in line skating
  • Childrens clubs and activities one of the best
  • Alternative eateries giving lots of choice

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