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List released: World’s Best Cruise Ships of 2013

October 24, 2013 Cruise, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Who could forget a paint job like that? Norwegian Breakaway, New York City’s largest cruise vessel, boasts a striking mural flowing back from the bow. Giving the mural special sparkle, Norwegian Breakaway has just been named the world’s best new cruise ship.

The choice was made by Cruise Critic, billed as the world’s largest site dedicated to cruise reviews. The Editors’ Picks Awards chooses winners in all sorts of categories, selected by Cruise Critic’s international team of editors. Selections represent the lines and ships editors feel best represent excellence in each of the designated categories.

Norwegian Breakaway made the grade because of features like The Waterfront – an open-air deck perfect for al fresco dining by the sea – and the ship’s New York-themed concept (complete with 27 restaurants). Additionally, the ship offers high-flying ropes and zip line (flying fox in Australian parlance) as well as four waterslides.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises took top spot in the luxury category. The editors liked its  all-inclusive atmosphere, with free unlimited shore excursions, open bar and fine dining options. Critics considered that this made passengers travel together, which in turn made them more likely to bond, creating a Norwegian Breakawaymemorable, friendly social experience.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line took prime honours in the Best Entertainment category – for the third year in a row. The line staged elaborate Broadway shows, including  “Hairspray” and “Chicago,” as well as ice skating and aerial performances.

Carnival Sunshine won the Best Ship Refurbishment category. It invested USD 155 million into turning 17-year-old Destiny into Sunshine. Cruise Critic reckons the refurb is a wonderful job, with Sunshine emerging from dry dock nearly unrecognisable.

The rest, in a nutshell:

Best For Luxury: Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Best for Families: Disney Cruise Lines. This is timely, as Friends of the Earth just placed Disney in top slot as the world’s most environmentally friendly cruise line.

Best Itineraries: Princess Cruises. Princess passengers can spend anywhere from two to 111 days aboard the line’s ships exploring exotic locations.

Best for Adventure: Lindblad Expeditions. In  partnership with National Geographic, Lindblad provides hands-on encounters with nature.

Best Value for Money: Azamara Club Cruises. Service and restaurants are superb, and cruises offer real value. Luxurious as the experience may be, you can still do your own laundry if you choose.

Best Dining: Oceania Cruises. “In a crowded category, Oceania sets itself apart with ships that offer fantastic dining variety and exceptional quality,” says Cruise Critic.

Best Entertainment: Royal Caribbean International. Music, shows, comedy and Broadway productions, high-diving and ice-skating productions, aerial shows and piano bar sing-alongs.

Best Suites: Oceania Cruises.

Best Inside Cabins: Norwegian Cruise Line. Perfect for solo travellers.

Best Standard Cabins: Celebrity Cruises. Bigger than the standard with better amenities.

Best Shore Excursions: Disney Cruise Line. Disney does it again “with an emphasis on experiences you might not find elsewhere: an after-hours visit to St Mark’s Cathedral in Venice or a family archaeological dig in Athens”, Cruise critic says.

Best for Honeymoons: Windstar Cruises. Incredibly romantic.

Best North American Homeport: Vancouver.

Best New River Ship: AmaPrima, AmaWaterways

Best River Cruise Line: Viking Cruises.

The above are the American picks by Cruise Critic. The British picks are a bit different. To look at those, see: www.cruisecritic.com/editors-picks/uk/

Written by : Peter Needham

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