One of our favorite things about the end of the year? The plethora of Best & Worst lists which are released. This week, the folks at Cruise Critic unveiled their 2017 Editors’ Picks Awards, with a virtual armada of ships from a variety of cruise lines being recognized in categories ranging from Best Suites to Best New Ship.
The Best of the Best
“More now than ever, there really is a cruise for every interest,” says Cruise Critic Senior Executive Editor Colleen McDaniel. “You can sail to remote areas of the world aboard a small expedition vessel, or in the comfort of a luxury ship complete with spa treatments and gourmet food. You can travel to the Caribbean on a brand-new ship with bells and whistles like water parks and bumper cars, or on a five-masted sailing ship. The options are endless, and this list highlights the lines that have stood out as the best of the best over the past year.”
So which ship walked away with the coveted Best New Ship of 2017 award? Despite stiff competition, that went to the MSC Seaside, which has only just entered service. (It will be interesting to see how well the ship does not only in future rankings, but as reviews begin to come in from passengers getting to experience Seaside first hand!) This is definitely an important win for both the ship and MSC, which is pushing hard to become a major player in the American market.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Disney Cruise Line was declared Best For Families (for the second year in a row), both because of the wide variety of activities designed to keep kids occupied and the adults-only spaces where parents can get a little alone time. The line also won Best Entertainment
Carnival Wins Best Value
Elsewhere, Carnival Cruise Line was declared by the editor’s to be the Best Value for the Money. (This is a tough nut for anyone else to crack, given that Cruise Critic has bestowed this honor on Carnival for the past four years running based in part on the line’s affordable fares). Carnival also won the first-ever Best Service category. “Crew don’t just remember your name or stop to chat,” wrote the editors. “They get it right the first time, and if they don’t, they work harder to make sure it’s right every time after that.”
Shore Excursions, Refurbs & More
If you’re getting off the ship to go exploring, the editors at Cruise Critic believe that Celebrity offers the best shore excursion options. “Experiences you’d normally only find on luxury lines… have been added, giving cruisers more ways to explore the destination,” they wrote. Celebrity was also named Best For Romance, with The Lawn Club (available on their Solstice Class ships) “one of the most romantic innovations at sea.”
Holland America’s Westerdam received the Best Ship Refurbishment award thanks to “an extensive makeover that introduced new and revitalized spaces, while still preserving the ship’s traditional feel.” Holland America was also declared to have the best cruise ship dining.
Where’s The Party?
Looking to get your groove on after the sun goes down? The editors declare Norwegian Cruise Line to have the best nightlife thanks to shows like Rock of Ages, theme nights (including the legendary Glow party) and the number of bars and lounges in which to party hardy. And the line’s innovative solo cabins and Studio Lounge complex earned them the distinction of being named the best line for solo cruisers.
Do you agree with the editor’s choices? Which ships or lines would earn your top marks in the various categories?