The 4 Best Cruise Lines in Australia (Unbiased Reviews)

Note: Our website is reader-supported, that means we may earn a commission on any products purchased through outside retailers (at no extra cost to you).

If you’re looking to explore Australia from a different perspective, then a cruise through its beautiful coasts is exactly what you need! But to enjoy your onboard experience to the fullest, you need a cruise line that fits your holiday style and, of course, your budget!

Since we believe that there’s a cruise out there for everyone, we’ll be helping you find the best cruise line in Australia to satisfy your cruising appetite!

The following are reviews of the top 4 cruise lines in Australia, each with pros and cons so you can pick the most suitable candidate.

Top 4 Cruise Lines in Australia Summary

Princess Cruises

Pros

  • Anytime and traditional Dining options
  • Watch a giant LED screen from poolside
  • Award-winning chefs
  • Discovery Camp for kids and teens
  • Lotus Spa and The Sanctuary for adults only

Cons

  • Not the most affordable option

Best for: Overall

Royal Caribbean

Pros

  • Perfect for families seeking a high-energy holiday
  • A lot of action-filled activities including swimming pools, water slides, zip lines, simulated skydiving, rock climbing, and skating on an ice rink.
  • Dynamic dining options ranging from casual hot dogs to sophisticated meals at The Grande Restaurant.
  • Many stateroom choices, with a Royal Suite Class option that grants you service from a personal butler

Cons

  • Not ideal for romantic getaways

Best for: Family fun

Carnival Cruise Line

Pros

  • Award-winning programs designed for kids of all ages
  • Over 45 onboard activities
  • Wide range of dining options from BBQ to sushi.
  • Exciting waterpark

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer extensive family activities like other competitors

Best for: activities

P&O Cruises

Pros

  • A very affordable cruising experience
  • Casual, laid back vibes
  • Great for families
  • Lots of value for money
  • Salt Grill restaurant by chef Luke Mangan

Cons

  • Mediocre quality services

Best for: budget

Cruise Lines in Australia Reviews

Princess Cruises – Best Overall

Some Princess Cruises destination options in Australia

Whether you’re planning a special gateway with your significant other, taking your family for a voyage experience, or joining your friends for a fun break, Princess Cruises has got you covered.

Offering all the traditional aspects of a cruise but with a modern twist, you’ll definitely enjoy being on board any of the Princess Cruises ships, with their various styles of services and overall decent price tags.

Review

Princess Cruises has ships based in Australia both seasonally and year-round to bring you a wide range of cruises fit for every occasion. You get to explore different aspects of a cruise whether onboard or onshore.

The programs offered by Princess Cruises allow you to learn about fascinating cultures from local experts while enjoying amazing festivities originating from countries across the globe.

This is possible through the company’s long-standing relations with ports worldwide, which enables them to bring passionate speakers so you can see your destination through local eyes.

As for entertainment, get ready to experience Hawaiian ukulele, the ancient haka dance, and a Hong Kong variety show when you cruise through the different ports.

Besides theatre pieces, music, and dancing, the culinary options are simply wonderful. Princess Cruises teamed up with award-winning chefs to offer you their exclusive cuisines, only you won’t have to make reservations months in advance!

You get to indulge in chef Curtis Stone’s delicious SHARE™ menu, dine at the prestigious restaurant La Mer™ of chef Emmanuel Renaut, or get a taste of the “Duck Master” chef Richard Chen’s mouth-watering recipes.

Princess Cruises also has onboard activities for all ages. In partnership with Discovery™, Princess offers the Discovery Camp which includes centers designed for toddlers, older kids, and teens. For parents and grown-ups, they can spend time away from everything else in the adult-only oasis, The Sanctuary.

Additionally, Movies Under the Stars lets you pick a spot poolside to watch all sorts of movies and shows on a huge 27-meter theater screen.

Destinations across the ports of Australia include Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Fremantle. Top Princess Cruises ships that you may come across in Australia are Dawn Princess, Emerald Princess, Sun Princess, Golden Princess, Sea Princess, and Majestic Princess.

The average price per night for an Australia cruise is $144.

Pros

  • Anytime and traditional Dining options
  • Watch a giant LED screen from poolside
  • Award-winning chefs
  • Discovery Camp for kids and teens
  • Lotus Spa and The Sanctuary for adults only

Cons

  • Not the most affordable option

Royal Caribbean – Best for Family Fun

Some of the Royal Caribbean cruise line destinations in Australia

Royal Caribbean is the name that comes to mind when we think about family fun.

Not many companies know how to make a cruise enjoyable for the whole family, you know, with the combination of adults and kids of different ages, but not Royal Caribbean.

These guys get it, offering local and international Australia cruises, with services and entertainment programs tailored for both familial and individual needs.

Review

A cruise on board any of the Royal Caribbean ships is certainly like no other. 50 years into the business, this company is still pushing the boundaries of traditional cruising to give you, and your family, an adventure of a lifetime!

If Royal Caribbean guarantees one thing, it’s that you’ll never get bored on their cruise! Besides the usual holiday activities, you’ll be able to do stuff that belongs on your bucket list.

You can enjoy swimming pools, water slides, zip lines, simulated skydiving, rock climbing, running track, skating on an ice rink, and dazzling shows inspired by broadway. All of this is possible even before reaching your destinations.

For action-seeking family members, there are tons of activities to get your adrenaline pumping. In addition to taking flight on the RipCord skydiving simulator, you can catch a wave on the FlowRider surfing simulator. You can also ride the first-ever carousel on water, or even join a circus school!

When parents or adults feel like winding down, Royal Caribbean steps up offering blissful massages, wraps, and facials at Vitality Spa. The Vitality Fitness Center also has state of the art equipment to help you stay in shape, and let’s not forget the yoga classes designed to keep your mind at peace.

Moreover, your kids won’t have anything to complain about no matter their age thanks to the cruise Adventure Ocean youth programs, which includes endless activities for children aged 6 months up to 17 years.

As for the food, Royal Caribbean doesn’t fall short. All of the company’s ships are well-equipped to impress foodies of all preferences. From world-class chef Jamie Oliver’s family-friendly Italian cuisine, all the way to the exotic treats of Japanese dishes at Izumi, there’s definitely a way to satisfy your tastebuds.

With 27 ships covering the entire globe, the top ships you may see in Australia are Ovation of the Seas, Legend of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, and Voyager of the Seas.

The average price per night for an Australia cruise is $115.

Pros

  • Perfect for families seeking a high-energy holiday
  • A lot of action-filled activities including swimming pools, water slides, zip lines, simulated skydiving, rock climbing, and skating on an ice rink.
  • Dynamic dining options ranging from casual hot dogs to sophisticated meals at The Grande Restaurant.
  • Many stateroom choices, with a Royal Suite Class option that grants you service from a personal butler

Cons

  • Not ideal for romantic getaways

Carnival Cruise Line – Best for Activities

Some of the Carnival cruise line destinations in Australia

When a cruise line calls its fleet the “Fun Ships”, then you know they’re dead serious about delivering you a seriously fun-packed adventure. Carnival promises its passengers endless entertainment that easily fits kids, grown-ups, families, friends, or anyone really!

The company isn’t new to this idea either, with ships providing activity-filled cruise vacations since 1972. Carnival continues to thrive with the recent addition of a 3rd ship to join ones already sailing around Australia and the South Pacific.

Review

Carnival takes pride in never allowing you to hear the words “Are we there yet” on board any of its ships. No, they don’t hand out earplugs while boarding, but they do offer more than 45 activities accessible almost 24/7 so you won’t actually have the time to get bored!

If you’re a fan of outdoor adventures, you’ll be pleased to know that Carnival has plenty of under the sum activities to keep you entertained.

You can go for a spin (or a dozen) on the ocean’s fastest and steepest waterslide, Carnival’s Twister Waterslide™. Or, you take a plunge down a 10-meter vertical drop on Green Thunder.

Of course, kids won’t be forgotten. They can play around and get soaked in the mini racer slides or make use of the huge tipping bucket in the water wonderland SplashZone.

Carnival also offers a state of the art gym, fully set with the latest fitness equipment to help you burn, firm, and sculpt. There are even yoga classes, a boot camp, and an outdoor jogging track with breathtaking ocean views.

Additionally, you can shoot some hoops, dodge some balls, or score some goals thanks to the featured multi-purpose Sports Court. There’s also a 9-hole Mini-Golf Course if you don’t feel particularly physical.

After all the hard work of having fun (why can’t it always be like that?), you may want to kick back and relax. You can have some time to yourself in your own private balcony, or reconnect with your partner in the child-free Serenity™ retreat and order your favorite cocktail.

A crowd favorite aboard Carnival ships is, of course, the Spa Carnival which has all sorts of massages, pedicures, and facials to give you some well-deserved care. You may also want to break a sweat in the sauna & steam room or relax poolside while basking in the sunshine.

When it’s time for the whole family to have some fun together, you’ll find numerous activities in this department too! From game shows against other guests, life-sized board games, and creating family portraits, all the way to crafting art, watching movies under the stars, and dominating an arcade.

Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend were the only 2 Australian ships of the company. But starting from December 2019, a new addition joined the fleet with the name of Carnival Splendor.

The average price per night for an Australia cruise is $150.

Pros

  • Award-winning programs designed for kids of all ages
  • Over 45 onboard activities
  • Wide range of dining options from BBQ to sushi.
  • Exciting waterpark

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer extensive family activities like other competitors

P&O Cruises – Best for Budget

Some destinations and activities prvoided by the P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises is a line that highly focuses on value for money. It’s the largest Australian cruise line, attracting both locals and foreigners alike. It offers a family-friendly atmosphere with laid back vibes and prices.

Review

If you’re looking for a unique adventure that’s easy on the wallet, then there’s no better choice than P&O Cruises.

However, this doesn’t mean the fun is limited. You still get to enjoy a wide range of activities including pools, rock climbing,  a flying fox, a walk the plank event, as well as evening shows.

Also, there are organized family activities, a lot of bar options, and extensive kids programs to cater to children of various ages. The rooms and accommodation are rather enjoyable, with amazing full-ocean views and access to all means that’ll make you feel at home.

As for the food, it’s good but not too special to win any gourmet awards, or at least not yet. Chef Luke Mangan is the first celebrity chef to create a restaurant at sea. He teamed up with P&O cruises to offer you the chance of dining in Salt Grill aboard any of its fleet ships (extra fees are charged though).

P&O Australia isn’t the same as P&O Cruises UK, so don’t get them confused. The latter is far more luxurious, operating ships called Oriana and Arcadia. On the other hand, top P&O Cruises ships in Australia are Pacific Dawn, Pacific Eden, and Pacific Explorer.

The average price per night for an Australia cruise is $107.

Pros

  • A very affordable cruising experience
  • Casual, laid back vibes
  • Great for families
  • Lots of value for money
  • Salt Grill restaurant by chef Luke Mangan

Cons

  • Mediocre quality services

Wrapping Up

So, what’s the best cruise line in Australia? Well, based on activities, food, services, and of course, value for money, we just have to pick the Princess Cruises!

From its exquisite dining options at world-class cuisines and poolside theatre experience, all the way to kid’s Discovery Camp and adults-only Sanctuary, Princess Cruises definitely has everything you need to make your next holiday on the water memorable.