Photo by Jason Leppert

I don’t have a favorite cruise line. If you asked my husband Jason what his favorite cruise line is, he would give you the very politically correct answer of: “I love a lot of cruise lines. There are many good fits for different personalities, but I can’t choose one that is the best.” I have wifely privilege so I know the REAL answer, but that’s classified information. You’ll just have to come over for dinner to see which ship model resides on our mantel.

Seeing as I am only the plus-one and not the bonafide journalist, I have a little more leeway to be open about my opinions. But is it still a cop out to say my favorite ship is whatever ship I’m currently on? Since I’m still fairly new to the world of cruising, it’s pretty much true. Every new ship I’m on is a new adventure, and I’m building the database in my mind of what I like, what I don’t like, what are deal-breakers and things I can take or leave.

Here’s what I know so far: I love a brand new ship. One fresh out of dry-dock will also do quite nicely. I don’t like seeing signs of age. This only applies to the ship itself and not my fellow passengers. Personally, I love a good conversation with folks who have been around the sun a few more times than I have.

I hate ugly carpeting. I love lots of food options, even if some of them come with a surcharge. I don’t like using the pool on most lines because it’s too crowded. A balcony is always nice to have but is not a deal-breaker for me. I wish cruise lines would stop calling them tips and just call them a service charge and roll them into the cruise fare up front. I am picky about entertainment; it takes a lot to wow me in that category. I love luxury cruise lines, and every time Jason gets an invitation on one, I will be first in line as his plus-one. My apologies to my mother-in-law.

The most luxurious cruise I’ve ever taken was on Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer. The ship was dripping in crystal chandeliers, and I was equally dripping in sequins. We had a beautiful, large room with a massive bathroom and walk in closet, the food was impeccable, the wine was flowing, and although my daily life is far from luxurious, I quickly became comfortable with the lifestyle onboard. I was a little disappointed and actually a bit offended when I walked in my front door after the cruise had ended and no one was there to hand me a glass of chilled Veuve Clicquot.

But then a few months later, Jason and I celebrated our anniversary onboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista. The fanciest thing in my suitcase was a pair of black pants, we dined on pizza and beer, we laughed until we cried at the off-color adult comedy shows in the Punchliner, and I bought Hot Tamales and Red Vines at the CVS in San Juan to enjoy in the IMAX theater onboard because I’m cheap and didn’t want to pay for candy on the ship.

Those two cruises were as different as night and day, and both were amazing. I would do both again in a heartbeat. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m still young and not totally set in my ways. And I’m not saying I’m doing it the right way – if you’ve found what you love, then by all means stick with it.

For me, I think there’s not just one cruise line for my personality. I think different lines will give me a different type of vacation, and that’s all the better to me! I want to have different experiences, and I don’t want every trip to be the same. I’m comfortable on Regent to Carnival and everything in between.

And now, it’s time for me to pop open a $1 can of sparkling wine from Trader Joe’s and pretend I am drinking Veuve Clicquot. Cheers!

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