Cruise ships are a wonderful vacation by themselves, for families, or for couples. Cruise ships cater to nearly every type of vacationer and type of activity. Best of all, they do so while traveling the open ocean and ferrying guests to many different new and interesting places in all parts of the world. They are a great value for this reason, but cruise ships can be problematic. The main problem is that once you're on the boat – you're on the boat. There's no way to change your mind about where you're staying, or where you're going like you could with a regular vacation. Instead, you're stuck with the vacation you signed up for.
Cruise ship ratings can significantly alleviate this problem by giving you a great deal of information on the type of cruise you are heading out on and the quality of the cruise. Although a cruise ship company will always advertise how wonderful their services and experience is, this should be taken with a grain of salt. A very large one in fact. Instead, there are many different sources, online and in print, in order to provide a more accurate measure of how a particular cruise is.
Travel agencies that specialize in cruises are a great source to compare different types of cruises. These companies will often have a table of some sort that identifies the different amenities with a cost comparison. These are great in helping you pick a cruise company that might work for your wants and needs. These usually just use the information provided by a cruise line, so they are not necessarily an indication of a good experience. Online travel sites and books often provide a more in-depth description of a cruise. This is done for most of the major lines and usually has a larger degree of accuracy in the quality of the actual experience, so they are worth checking out after you choose a cruise company to make sure you've made a good choice.
Finally, look for message boards where customers can share their own personal experience. These are by no means definitive evaluations of the experience, however they often provide insight missing in larger appraisals made by professional agencies. Readers of these websites should keep in mind that people usually post to websites to complain, so these sites will most likely have negative opinions. A balance between these descriptions and professional descriptions will help you determine what works best for your vacation and save you the trouble of a wasted trip.