Sitting down to pick the right cruise for your next vacation is like going to a speed-dating event. You can't take all day getting to know someone, but you need to figure out whether your personalities match. In cruise parlance, that translates to the fact there are tons of lines from which to choose -- but who's got the time to winnow out the mismatches?
While cruise lines try to persuade travelers they can offer an all-things-to-all-people onboard experience, we're increasingly seeing them carve out distinctive lifestyle niches. Still, picking the perfect ship -- like choosing the perfect love match -- is tricky. Even the same line can offer different experiences based on the age and size of a ship and the destination and time of year you're sailing.
Which line best matches your personality? Here's a cheat sheet to get you started. We recommend reading reviews, asking questions on our message boards and chatting with knowledgeable travel agents to further narrow down the choices.