The Best Cruise Ships of 2017

Dentist’s Money Digest

Choosing the right ship for you makes a big difference in sailing the cruise of your dreams. Cruise Critic’s 2017 Cruisers’ Choice Awards ranked the Disney Dream as the best overall large cruise ship and the Viking Sea as the best overall small to mid-size ship. Find out how the other major cruise lines ranked.

Princess Cruises

Cruise Critic analyzed its users comments to rank cruise ships, categorizing the ships by size. Image courtesy Dentist’s Money Digest

Disney Cruise Line won the top spot in eight categories in Cruise Critic’s 2017 Cruisers’ Choice Awards.  Viking Ocean Cruises, which launched its first ocean cruise ship in 2015, ranked number one in 10 categories. The cruise review site analyzed its users’ comments for 2016 voyages to rate cruise ships.

“With these awards, we consolidate the thousands of reviews submitted to Cruise Critic each year and honor those lines that received the best ratings from cruisers,” said Colleen McDaniel, Cruise Critic’s senior executive editor. “Reviews are incredibly helpful insights for those planning a cruise but also highlight the remarkable experiences and levels of service that people encounter every day on a cruise.”

Cruises float out great vacations if you choose the best destination, line and ship. Yes, ships within the same line vary. They differ by age, size, amenities, and services. Newer ships tend to feature new amenities to lure passengers. That could be a celebrity chef restaurant, Broadway-style musical, or action-packed activities such as ziplines, ropes courses, and wind tunnels. Sometimes, cruise lines reinvigorate older ships by adding special programs for kids or water parks.

Then, consider size. Large ships carry more than 2,000 passengers. Those ships come with crowds and queues but often variety in dining and entertainment. The cruise can be a more personal experience on a smaller ship since the crew and dining staff can get to know you and your preferences. Upscale, smaller ships tend to feature better food than the mega-ships but less variety in entertainment.

Cruise Critic analyzed reviews based on four ship size classes. Large ships carry more than 2,000 passengers; mid-size ships carry 1,200 to 1,999 passengers; small to mid-size vessels carry 400 to 1,199; and small ships carry fewer than 400 passengers. Consider Cruise Critic’s rankings as guidance — not gospel — when deciding on your next voyage.

CRUISE CRITIC’S 2017 CRUISERS’ CHOICE AWARDS

Best Cruise Overall
· Large ship: Disney Dream, Disney Cruise Line

· Mid-size ship: Disney Magic, Disney Cruise Line

· Small to mid-size: Viking Sea, Viking Ocean Cruises

· Small: Celebrity Xpedition, Celebrity

Best Cruise Ship Cabins
· Large ship: Disney Dream, Disney Cruise Line

· Mid-size ship: Marina, Oceania Cruises

· Small to mid-size: Viking Star, Viking Ocean Cruises

· Small: Star Legend, Windstar Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Dining
· Large ship: Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Cruises

· Mid-size ship: Marina, Oceania Cruises

· Small to mid-size: Viking Star, Viking Ocean Cruises

· Small: Star Legend, Windstar Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Entertainment
· Large ship: Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International

· Mid-size ship: Celestyal Crystal, Celestyal Cruises

· Small to mid-size: Viking Sea, Viking Ocean Cruises

· Small: Silver Shadow, Silversea Cruises

Follow Candyce H. Stapen on Twitter: @FamilyiTrips

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