World’s most popular 2018 cruises and top ships named

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The winners of the 8th annual Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards – naming the most popular cruise ships of the year, based on consumer reviews shared on Cruise Critic over the past 12 months, were revealed today.

“What’s fun to see in this year’s list of winners is the wide range of ships awarded as the best of the best,” explains Colleen McDaniel, Senior Executive Editor of Cruise Critic. “You have two of the largest ships at sea, alongside luxury yachts and small expedition ships that sail to some of the most far-flung destinations across the globe. As different as these ships are, the common thread is the exceptional ratings they received from actual guests. Whether you’re looking for a mega ship or a more intimate vessel, a port-heavy itinerary or laid-back beach escape, this list is a fantastic resource to guide to you to a ship perfectly suited to your needs.”

Large Ship Category

• Celebrity Cruises was this year’s big winner in the Large Ship Category, winning five awards, including Best Overall, Best Dining, Best Public Rooms and Best Service for Celebrity Equinox, and Best for Value for Celebrity Silhouette. Celebrity Silhouette sails a number of itineraries, including the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Baltic and has been praised for its wide range of dining and entertainment options onboard.

• Royal Caribbean International received four awards in the Large Ship Category, including Best Cabins, Best Embarkation and Best for Fitness & Recreation for Harmony of the Seas, and Best Entertainment for Allure of the Seas. Allure of the Seas features a number of chart-topping shows including Mamma Mia! and How to Train Your Dragon performed on ice.

Mid-Size Ship Category

• Oceania Cruises was awarded the most accolades in the Mid-Size Category, snagging five awards for Best Overall, Best Cabins, Best Dining, Best for Fitness & Recreation and Best Public Rooms for its ship, Riviera. This is the fourth consecutive year that the line was awarded in all five categories. Riviera offers Caribbean, Baltic and Mediterranean sailings, and will begin sailing to Cuba in 2019.

• Celestyal Cruises won two awards in the Mid-Size Category for its Celestyal Crystal – Best Shore Excursions and Best for Value. The ship sailed Cuba year-round, but will be redeployed to sail in the Mediterranean later in 2018.

Small-Mid Ship Category

• Viking Ocean Cruises was the runaway winner in the Small-Mid Category, winning in every category but one – Viking Sea was named Best Overall, Best Cabins, Best for Fitness & Recreation, Best Shore Excursions and Best for Value; Viking Sky was named Best Entertainment and Best Public Rooms; and Viking Star was named Best Dining and Best Service. Viking Sea was also named Best for First-Timers across all size categories.

Small Ship Category

• Windstar Cruises won four awards in the Small Category – all for different ships in its fleet. Star Pride was named Best Cabins, Wind Spirit named Best for Fitness & Recreation, Wind Star named Best Service and Star Legend, Best Public Rooms. Wind Star and Wind Spirit are both four-masted sailing ships, while Star Pride and Star Legend are luxury yachts.

• Silversea Cruises won three awards in the Small Category – Best Overall, Best Shore Excursions and Best for Value – for its 100-passenger Silver Galapagos. The ship is all-inclusive and offers year-round Galapagos cruises.
The winners of the 8th annual Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards are awarded in four ship size classes, based on passenger capacity (Large: 2,000+ passengers; Mid-Size: 1,200 to 1,999 passengers; Small-Mid Size: 400- 1,199 passengers; Small: Fewer than 400 passengers.) The rankings are calculated using ratings published with user-submitted reviews on Cruise Critic.

First-place winners include:

Best Cruise Overall

Celebrity Equinox (Large) – Celebrity Cruises
Riviera (Mid-Sized) – Oceania Cruises
Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
Silver Galapagos (Small) – Silversea Cruises

Best Cruise Ship Cabins

Harmony of the Seas (Large) – Royal Caribbean International
Riviera (Mid-Sized) – Oceania Cruises
Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
Star Pride (Small) – Windstar Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Dining

Celebrity Equinox (Large) – Celebrity Cruises
Riviera (Mid-Sized) – Oceania Cruises
Viking Star (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
National Geographic Explorer (Small) – Lindblad Expeditions

Best Cruise Ships for Embarkation

Harmony of the Seas (Large) – Royal Caribbean International
Amsterdam (Mid-Sized) – Holland America Line
Pacific Princess (Small-Mid) – Princess Cruises
Celebrity Xpedition (Small) – Celebrity Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Entertainment

Allure of the Seas (Large) – Royal Caribbean International
Disney Wonder (Mid-Sized) – Disney Cruise Line
Viking Sky (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
L’Austral (Small) — Ponant

Best Cruise Ships for Fitness & Recreation

Harmony of the Seas (Large) – Royal Caribbean International
Riviera (Mid-Sized) – Oceania Cruises
Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
Wind Spirit (Small) – Windstar Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Public Rooms

Celebrity Equinox (Large) – Celebrity Cruises
Riviera (Mid-Sized) – Oceania Cruises
Viking Sky (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
Star Legend (Small) – Windstar Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Service

Celebrity Equinox (Large) – Celebrity Cruises
Amsterdam (Mid-Sized) – Holland America Line
Viking Star (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
Wind Star (Small) – Windstar Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Shore Excursions

Carnival Breeze (Large) – Carnival Cruise Line
Celestyal Crystal (Mid-Sized) – Celestyal Cruises
Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
Silver Galapagos (Small) – Silversea Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Value

Celebrity Silhouette (Large) – Celebrity Cruises
Celestyal Crystal (Mid-Sized) – Celestyal Cruises
Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
Silver Galapagos (Small) – Silversea Cruises

Best Cruises for Families

Carnival Breeze – Carnival Cruise Line
Best for First Timers
Viking Sea – Viking Ocean Cruises