TUI Cruises

TUI Cruises is a relatively new member of the cruise line club, joining established operators such as Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line. A European line whose cruises cover much of the globe, TUI Cruises has an ethos of tasteful relaxation, offering a euro-centric take on worldwide luxury cruising. Its signature ship, the Mein Schiff Cruise Ship, demonstrates this to the full—it was built with the baby-boom generation in mind, and consequently you're more likely to find calm spaces and relaxing eating arrangements than razzmatazz shows and top-hat dining while taking a cruise on the ship.

Mein Schiff (yes, that's right: My Ship) is actually a new iteration of the Celebrity Galaxy. TUI Cruises pumped $62 million into the shell of the Galaxy, transforming it into the ship you see today: an ultra sleek and up-to-date cruise liner. The renovation focused on both inside and out. The hull of Mein Schiff Cruise Ship, emblazoned with words reminiscent of happy cruise vacations, is as distinctive as you're likely to see on any cruise liner traveling the oceans, while the interior is similarly striking, calling to mind luxurious resort hotels, as this TUI cruise line ship is rated as four-star accommodation.

On board, you'll find everything you'd expect from a top-notch cruise line, including various exceptional spa treatment options, a golf simulator, a volleyball court, yoga classes, a library, and even a Nintendo Wii corner. The ship's cabins are equally impressive, and you'll find a good range of price levels and configurations, including many family options, to suit your needs. Overall, the ship can cater to 1,914 passengers at any one time.

TUI Cruise Line prides itself on its eating options, which are many and diverse, with restaurants and buffets specializing in healthy eating, Italian cuisine, Spanish tapas, and meaty BBQ indulgences. These eating options all share one thing in common: There is no dress code, ensuring everyone is on par and totally relaxed.

TUI Cruise Line is in roughly the same area of the market as Costa Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line, which both aim to supply laid-back and nonhierarchical cruise vacations. It does differ significantly, however, in the fact that its target market is German speakers: German is the primary language on board the Mein Schiff Cruise Ship. Equally, this is a cruise line that is interested in plying new routes, with itineraries including such unconventional ports of call as Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg; and the Faroe Islands, alongside more standard stops with cruises around the Mediterranean and Caribbean. TUI Cruise Line operates in the Mediterranean and Nordic seas during the summer season, and in the Caribbean in the winter, where it stops at such ports as St. Maarten, Barbados, St. Lucia, and Guadeloupe.

The TUI Cruise Line fleet is small in comparison to other lines, but that is not to say TUI Cruises is a small-time company. The opposite is true, as its holding company, TUI AG, also owns Thompson Cruises, which is one of the bigger and more established operations plying the seas. TUI is a safe bet, then, for an excellent, well-run cruise vacation.

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