2011 Best Cruise Lines

Each year we see picks for the best ships, best dining, best kids clubs, etc. with many industry guides and reviewers.  We have seen two of these picks so far this year – Cruise Critic and Conde Nast Traveler.  So how did your favorites do?

Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks 2011

  • Best New Ship – Disney Dream
  • Best New River Ship – Uniworld’s S.S. Antoinette
  • Best for Luxury –  Seabourn’s Odyssey
  • Best for First-Timers –  Princess Cruises
  • Best for Families – Royal Caribbean
  • Best Itineraries – Azamara Club Cruises
  • Best for Adventure – Lindblad Expeditions
  • Best River Cruise Line – Viking River Cruises
  • Best Value for Money – Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Best for Dining – Celebrity Cruises
  • Best Alternative Restaurant – Celebrity’s Qsine
  • Best Buffet – Norwegian Cruise Lines
  • Best for Entertainment – Royal Caribbean’s Oasis and Allure
  • Best for Healthy Cruising – Celebrity Cruises
  • Best for Spa Lovers – Seabourn’s Sojourn & Quest
  • Best for Solo Cruisers – Norwegian Epic
  • Best Suites – Oceania’s Marina
  • Best Standard Cabins – Disney Cruise Line
  • Best Inside Cabins – Disney Dream
  • Best Shore Excursions – Holland America
  • Best for Enrichment – Crystal Cruises
  • Best for Honeymoons – Princess Cruises
  • Best for Wine Lovers – Celebrity Solstice-Class
  • Best Cruise Ship Bar – Carnival’s RedFrog Pub
  • Best U.S. Cruise Port – New Orleans

Conde Nast Traveler – Gold List 2011

Rather than selecting one best in each of a number of categories, Conde Nast Traveler gives an overall score for each of their picks based on itineraries, cabins, service, food, design, activities and excursions.  The scores were averages to get the overall score.  Our list shows the cruise line name, overall score and top category.

  • Abercrombie & Kent – Overall Score 83.7 (Itineraries 96.0)
  • Crystal Cruises – Overall Score 92.3 (Service 95.5)
  • Cunard Line – Overall Score 86.4 (Itineraries 89.9)
  • Disney Cruise Line – Overall Score 90.3 (Service 96.1)
  • Grand Circle Small Ship Cruises – Overall Score 87.1 (Itineraries 94.7)
  • Oberoi – Overall Score 84.7 (Tie for Itineraries and Service 94.1)
  • Oceania Cruises – Overall Score 86.6 (Itineraries 94.9)
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises – Overall Score 91.0 (Service 95.1)
  • Seadream Yacht Club – Overall Score 86.6 (Service 94.4)
  • Silversea Cruises – Overall Score 85.2 (Service 92.1)
  • Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection – Overall Score 83.8 (Itineraries 92.0)
  • Windstar Cruises – Overall Score 84.3 (Service 93.2)
  • Yachts of Seabourn – Overall Score 93.4 (Service 97.9)

Conde Nast Traveler: 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards

We think that this review is the best representation however as it is your choices for the best of the best.  Travel editors don’t always have the same opinions as those of us who travel for a vacation.  Those who voted assigned a rating of excellent, very good, good, fair and poor for a variety of criteria.  Each reviewer’s total score is calculated and then the average of all responses is calculated.

Small-Ship Lines

  • Seabourn – 91.8
  • Silversea – 88.5
  • Windstar 85.8
  • Seadream Yacht Club – 84.5
  • Lindblad Expeditions – 78.0

Medium-Ship Lines

  • Crystal Cruises – 93.0
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises – 91.6
  • Disney – 89.8
  • Oceania Cruises – 86.0
  • Azamara Club Cruises – 84.7
  • Cunard – 84.2
  • Holland America – 81.5
  • Celebrity – 79.9
  • Princess – 79.8
  • Royal Caribbean – 76.3

Large-Ship Lines

  • Celebrity – 87.7
  • Princess – 80.9
  • Royal Caribbean – 78.9
  • Carnival – 70.9
  • Norwegian Cruise Line – 64.3

River Lines

  • Uniworld Boutique River Cruises – 90.3
  • Grand Circle Travel – 86.1
  • Viking River Cruises – 84.8
  • Avalon Waterways – 78.9
  • AmaWaterways – 68.5

Porthole Cruise Magazine 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards

  • Best Small Ship (under 500 passengers) – Seabourn Quest
  • Best Medium-Sized Ship (between 500-2000 passengers) – Nieuw Aterdam
  • Best Megaship (at least 2000 passengers) – Allure of the Seas
  • Best Tall Ship – Wind Surf
  • Best River Cruise – Viking River Cruises
  • Best Value-for-the-Money Line – Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Best Luxury Line – Seabourn Cruise Line
  • Most Family-Oriented Line – Disney Cruise Line
  • Best Expedition Cruise Line – Lindblad Expeditions
  • Most Romantic Cruise Line – Windstar Cruises
  • Best Eco-Friendly Cruise Line – Royal Caribbean International
  • Best Short-Duration Cruise – Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Best Shore Excursions – Holland America Line
  • Best One-Day Cruise – Discovery Cruise Line (no longer in operation)
  • Best Private Island – Half Moon Cay
  • Best Adventure Cruise Line – Royal Caribbean International
  • Best Onboard Activities – Royal Caribbean International
  • Best Onboard Educational Programs – Cunard Line
  • Best Main Dining Room Cuisine – Celebrity Cruises
  • Best Alternative Restaurants – Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Best Casinos – Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Best Computer Facilities – Holland America Line
  • Best Spa Facilities – Celebrity Cruises
  • Best Onboard Shopping – Princess Cruises
  • Best Medical Facilities – Holland America Line
  • Best Children’s Programs – Disney Cruise Line
  • Best Service – Silversea Cruises
  • Best Entertainment – Disney Cruise Line
  • Best Onboard International Experience – MSC Cruises
  • Best Theme Cruises – Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Best Adults-Only Onboard Options – Crystal Cruises
  • Best Website – Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Best Accommodations – Seabourn Cruise Line
  • Best Facilities for Physically Challenged Passengers – Holland America Line
  • Best Caribbean Itineraries – Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Best Canada/New England Itineraries – Holland America Line
  • Best Mexican Riviera Itineraries – Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Best Alaska Itineraries – Holland America Line
  • Best Central America Itineraries – Holland America Line
  • Best Hawaii Itineraries – Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Best South America Itineraries -Oceania Cruises
  • Best Mediterranean Itineraries -Costa Cruises
  • Best South Pacific Itineraries -Paul Gauguin Cruises
  • Best North Europe Itineraries – Princess Cruises
  • Best Trans-Atlantic Itineraries -Cunard Line
  • Best Asia/Pacific Itineraries – Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • Best Africa/Middle East Itineraries -Costa Cruises
  • Best World Cruise Itineraries -Cunard Line
  • Best Bermuda Itineraries -Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Best Australia/New Zealand Itineraries -P&O Cruises

There are other awards out there and we chose to focus on just a few.  Keep in mind that these awards are all based on opinions of other cruisers or travel editors.  “Mileage may vary”.  There are so many cruise ships and cruise lines available though there is bound to be one that is just right for you.

What is your favorite cruise line? 

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by ted granoski on December 25, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    msc , after 47 cruises I rate this line by farn the worst of them all.

    Reply

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