Now is the time to start planning for your 2021 cruise. If you have never cruised before you will experience something new and exciting. If you are a seasoned cruiser, you know that your next cruise will provide another exciting vacation.
What cruise line should I cruise in 2021? Every cruise line, even every cruise ship, has their own personality. There are dozens of cruise lines that have hundreds of ships. Here are a brief selection of some the best known cruise lines.
Carnival Cruise Lines is the flagship brand of Carnival Corporation that own 9 cruise brands. The line uses the marketing tag  of “the Fun Ships”. This is a great cruise ship for families. The line does have some European cruises, however, most of the sailing are in North America. Carnival operated 28 ships.Explore Carnival Cruises
Costa Cruises lines is one of the Carnival brands. Costa started as an Italian line and retains that atmosphere aboard their  ships. They have 12 ships and the majority of the sailings are in Europe and the Mideast. They do have some sailings in the Caribbean and South America as well as a round the world cruise.Explore Costa Cruises
Cunard Cruises is another of the Carnival Brands. However, Cunard is one of the oldest passenger service lines in the  world. Cunard can trace its history back to 1840 when it started to provide passenger and mail service between New York and London. Cunard became known for its first class service. While over 300 ships have sailed under the Cunard, today there are only two luxury cruise ships, Queen Mary II, and the Queen Victoria.Explore Cunard Cruises
Disney Cruise Line is the floating companion of Disney World and Disney Land. The line currently has 4 ships with a 5th ship in  construction. Disney primarily sails in the Caribbean but does have sailing to Alaska, the Pacific coast, Europe, Panama Canal and Mexican Rivera.Explore Disney Cruises
Holland America Line, a Carnival brand, is an upscale brand. It fits in a niche between the “mass market” brands and the luxury  brands. HAL is known for its outstanding dining and comfortable staterooms. While popular with families, it does see a more mature clientele. Holland America Lines operates 15 ships.Explore Holland America Cruises
Princess Cruises, a Carnival brand, is an early cruise line that help ignite passion for cruises. The “Love Boat” television series  that aired from 1977 to 1987 was filmed on Princess cruise ships. The introduction of the Enchanted Princess in 2021 will bring the current fleet to 19 ships. They are found worldwide but has most of their cruises in the Caribbean, Pacific Coast and Alaska.Explore Princess Cruises
Royal Caribbean International is a general market cruise line that attracts many families as well as couples. Measured in gross  tonnage, the cruise line has the largest cruise ship in the world, Symphony of the Seas. That ship has over 6,500 passengers. The line also owns the next three largest ships. Most of the lines sailing is in the Caribbean. In 2019, the cruise lines private island, Coco Cay, received over ten million dollars in development.Explore Royal Caribbean Cruises
Where to go? The world is mostly water. This leads to many places to cruise. Here are some of the most common destinations for cruises:
Alaska: If you love nature this is the place for you. Available in the summer months.Explore Alaska Cruises
Panama Canal cruises can be full crossings or partial crossings. A full crossing takes  you from one coast to the other through the entire canal system. A partial crossing is generally from the Caribbean side through the locks to Lake Gatum. The ship will cruise the lake, turn around and pass back to the Caribbean sea.Explore Panama Cruises
Where to start? Sometime where you wish to start from will determine where you go. Here are some popular ports to start your cruise.
Baltimore Maryland was the first East Coast port outside of Florida. The first few  years only a few sailings were done from the port. The popularity of sailing from there lead multiple cruise line to sail from here, and they now sail year-round. Overnight you can go from winter weather to time for a swim suit.Explore Baltimore Cruises
Los Angeles is the primary port for sailing to the Mexican Rivera.Explore Los Angeles Cruises
The year 2021 will be very interesting for cruises. Many of the cruise lines have increased the number of sailing from secondary ports, allowing potential cruisers more choices for departures. 2021 cruises will include over a dozen new ships. The year will also see two well respected brands entering into the cruise line industry.
In April 2021, Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Empire will have the first sailing of the Scarlet Lady. The Scarlet Lady is a new shipped owned by Virgin's new company Virgin Voyages. The cruise ship was designed for adults. Virgin Voyages is marketing to an adult only segment, who do not want the distractions that children often cause. The ship is upscale with a wide range of dining options. The Scarlet Lady will have a home port in Miami and will have a mix of 3 day, 4 day and 7 day cruises. Some sailing will stop at the “Beach Club”, a private resort the cruise line built on Bimini island in the Bahamas. Bimini Island is a popular destination for those who enjoy deep sea fishing as well as a popular yachting destination. However, it is not visited by any other large cruise lines. The Scarlet Lady will be followed by sister ships in 2021 and 2022.
Ritz-Carlton is the best known luxury hotel brand in the world. Just the name alone brings forth a vision of elegance and service unmatched anywhere else. Ritz-Carlton will start sailing in 2021 with the introduction of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. As the name implies, the ships of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will not be like the mega ships of other cruise lines that will hold over 6,000 passengers. These will be yacht style, small capacity vessels that measure just 190-meters and carry only 298 passengers. There will be 149 suites, each with its own private terrace. Food onboard will be the best at sea featuring a restaurant by Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, the three Michelin-starred restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg. The collection is planned for 3 sister ships, the first sailing in June 2021. The name of the first ship is Evrima, a word of Greek origin meaning “discovery”. Year 2021 cruises for the Evrima will be in Europe until September. Then she will do some sailings in Canada and the US north-east before heading to the Caribbean for the winter and into 2021.
MSC cruises is not a new cruise line but is one that may not be familiar to many North American cruisers. That will change in 2021. MSC is one of the leading cruise lines in Europe. In 2019, the cruise line started to expand its North America operations increasing the number of sailing from the US east and west coast. Cruisers will see more MSC cruise ships and see them year round. In years past, MSC had only 1 ship in the Caribbean, and that was in the winter. This year, 4 MSC ships will be sailing from Miami. There will also be an increase in marketing. One feature the cruisers on MSC ships can look forward to is Ocean Cay- MSC Marine Reserve. Ocean Cay is a private island developed for passengers of their ships. A number of cruise lines own or operate private islands for their guest. However, Ocean cay is different. Many of the private islands have been developed into huge water-parks and extensive support buildings. Ocean Cay is a 95 acre paradise that was once an abandon sand mine. The white sand of the area is highly prized for private beaches and golf courses, and the cay was one location where it was extracted. MSC cleaned up the island, landscaped it with local plants and build an Eco-friendly facility on the island. The area around the island has been declared a marine reserve.
The addition of thousands of new berths (cruise talk for beds on a ship), cruise lines are expanding the number of sailings from most ports. In the past, nearly all the cruises departed from Miami. As the number of cruise ships increased beyond what the Miami port could handle, cruise line built facilities in other Florida locations. Popularity of cruises was also increasing in Europe and North Americans started to look at European cruises as well. As traffic increased even more, the cruise industry found that many people were not taking cruises because of the hassle of getting to the ships. Cruise ships started to sail from other locations that were easier for the potential cruiser to get to. While Florida still has the majority of sailings, today you will find many locations to sail from.