Looking for the perfect cruise? Award-winning journalist and Contributing Editor for Cruise International Sara Macefield offers her expert advice

Q. My boyfriend and I are looking for the perfect cruise that suits us both. We have never been on a cruise before, but we really want to try one. I’m all about onboard indulgence, but he’s more active. Can you recommend a cruise line which caters for both?

If you’re looking for lots to do, opt for larger and newer ships that come with a plethora
of onboard facilities that invariably include impressive spa and wellness areas – perfect for sybarites to enjoy.

Royal Caribbean’s ships have everything from surf simulators and climbing walls to zipwires and sky-dive simulators, while NCL’s newest ship Norwegian Bliss even has a go-kart racing track along with waterslides and laser tag. Both lines boast impressive spas where you can while away hours in thermal suites with thalassotherapy pools, saunas and relaxation areas.

Another American cruise company offering shiploads of action, along with a lively party vibe, is Carnival Cruise Line. Those who prefer to chill can escape to blissful adult-only decks with Balinese sunbeds and pods.

For a more European feel, look into Italian-style MSC Cruises, whose newer ships boast aqua parks, full-size bowling alleys and a host of virtual reality treats where you can race Formula 1 cars or battle with zombies. And with superb Balinese spas and sumptuous luxury Yacht Club private deck areas, complete with their own pools, there’s plenty
to tempt anyone wanting to indulge in la dolce vita.