Whilst the whole idea of cruising is to travel with a touch of style and luxury, going on a cruise doesn’t have to cost the earth. If you know where to look, you can find cruise ships that offer exceptional facilities, first class entertainment and outstanding personal service at very modest prices. And there is a wide variety of cruises to go on. Whether you want to bask in the Caribbean sunshine, explore the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean or go whale watching off the coast of Alaska, there is something for everyone. So, if you are looking for an affordable cruise that doesn’t skimp on the experience, here are today’s best value for money cruise ships.
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For a Cunard style cruise at affordable prices, little can compete with a trip on the P&O Azura. Quintessentially British in style, this cruise has everything the discerning traveller: formal dining, afternoon teas, deck games and even ballroom dancing.
Launched in 2010, the Azura caters for couples, families and for those travelling alone. As you would expect, there are many facilities for your entertainment. The ship boasts twelve bars, a casino, theatres, a spa, a gym and four good sized pools. Children are well catered for, too, with fun activities for all ages.
Outstanding cuisine is a key element of any good cruise and the Azura does not disappoint. With seventeen dining rooms, there is something to tempt every palate, including specialist bistros and gourmet Indian cooking.
The Azura always departs from Southampton and offers two-night city breaks to Bruges and longer cruises exploring the Mediterranean and the Baltic.
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With its elegant fittings and décor, the Star Princess provides exceptional cruising at very reasonable rates. A tad less formal than the Azura, this ship offers a more laid back, American style of cruise.
Its ten dining rooms present delicious menus for all tastes and for all occasions. For formal dining, there’s the luxurious Sabatini's and Crown Grill or, if you’re in a more relaxed mood, you can help yourself at Horizon Court’s 24-hour, informal buffet.
The Star Princess hosts a comprehensive range of facilities and entertainments, including three theatres, an eclectic selection of bars and a nightclub. There are four swimming pools, a tennis court, a gym, a spa and a library.
Currently based on the west coast of the USA, you can treat yourself to whale watching in Alaska, short tours from Vancouver to LA or longer Hawaiian cruises.
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The newest of Celebrity’s fleet, Reflection is a spectacularly fitted out cruise ship offering relaxed travel in modern, art-inspired surroundings. Aimed at families and younger cruisers, it has a sophisticated vibe, first class cuisine and entertainments galore.
With theatres, movie shows, dancing and live music, as well as a gym, a spa, swimming pools, a basketball court, a varied selection of bars and stunning restaurants, you’ll never be at a loss for something to do. One thing you must visit is the Lawn Club: a half acre of lawned, outdoor space where passengers can soak up the sun, relax in a cabana and eat sumptuous lunches under shady canopies.
If you want sun and sophistication at modest prices, the Celebrity Reflection’s cruises to the Caribbean and the Mediterranean might be just what for you’re looking for.
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For well-priced cruises aimed at fun-loving younger people and families, the Carnival Vista has it all. Informal and with the emphasis on enjoyment, there is an abundance of great entertainment and activities.
Whilst the Carnival Vista lacks the opulent décor of the ships mentioned above, it has five-star amenities in abundance. With a 4D Thrill Imax theatre, a sky ride, a water park, a high ropes course, theatres, live music and much, much more, there are endless possibilities for keeping yourself and family entertained.
There’s an amazing array of food and drinks on offer too, including a burger joint, pasta and sushi bars, a pizza parlour, a Mongolian restaurant and even a brewery. As you would expect, dining is generally informal with minimal dress codes.
The Carnival Vista currently offers cruises to the eastern, southern and western Caribbean.
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Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas is another ship that provides informal, entertainment-packed cruises at economical prices. Just like the Carnival Vista, the focus is very much on giving younger cruisers a huge selection of activities and amenities but in somewhat grander surroundings.
Some of the amenities include a rollerblading track, an ice-skating rink, dodgems, a rock-climbing wall and water slides. Like a floating Las Vegas, many of its venues are ingeniously themed. There’s an Art Nouveau theatre, a Venetian solarium pool, a Hollywood style casino and even the Duck and Dog traditional British pub.
There’s a range of international cuisine on offer in the main dining rooms and restaurants, including Mexican, Italian, Japanese and Asian-Fusion, providing a roll call of dishes to suit all tastes.
The Adventure of the Seas provides cruises to the southern Caribbean.
If large and busy cruise ships are not your style, the tastefully decorated Viking Star might be more to your liking. With less than a thousand passengers and cruises to unique destinations, it’s ideal for those who want low-cost, low-key adventure with a touch of class.
Value for money comes in the fact that your fare includes internet access, self-service laundry, room service, free dining in all but one restaurant and unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks with your meals. Your ticket also includes an on-shore excursion in every port.
The ship has a good range of entertainments including theatres, live music, bars and restaurants, fitness rooms, and swimming pools. It is, however, an adult centred cruise (minimum age is 16), so there are no dodgems or water parks.
The Viking Star offers cruises to the Baltic, Mediterranean, Atlantic, Caribbean and even European river cruises.
Whether you are looking for traditional luxury cruises, contemporary fun cruises or go see the world adventure cruises, choosing the right cruise ship makes it possible to achieve your dream holiday without breaking the bank. Hopefully, this post will have shown you six incredible ships all of which offer affordable, high-quality cruises.