Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Win Big at Inaugural Cruise Critic Australia – Editors’ Pick Awards
RCL Cruises Australia’s trifecta of cruise lines have taken out a bevy of wins at the inaugural Cruise Critic Australia Editors’ Pick Awards, adding to the company’s extensive award collection.
Royal Caribbean International has claimed three awards, including Best New Ship with the all-new Ovation of the Seas,Best Entertainment, and the coveted and highly contested Best for Families.
Already considered one of the most awarded cruise lines sailing in Australian waters, Celebrity Cruises has taken out the gongs for Best Dining and Best Suite.
Meanwhile boutique Azamara Club Cruises – which only debuted in the region in January this year – has been awardedBest Shore Excursions.
“Cruise Critic is considered the world’s leading cruise review website, with a highly engaged and vocal online cruise community. It is an honour to be recognised in these prestigious awards, and testament to the quality of our offering for cruisers in Australia” said Adam Armstrong, managing director, RCL Australia.
RCL’s biggest and most exciting season yet kicked off last weekend with the arrival of Australia’s highest rated cruise ship* Celebrity Solstice on 8 October 2016, followed very soon after by Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas on 9 October 2016.
Seven ships in total will sail down under during the summer, including the newest, biggest and most technologically advanced ship to ever be homeported in the region, Ovation of the Seas. South Pacific sisters Voyager of the Seas andExplorer of the Seas also join Ovation of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Celebrity Solstice homeported in Sydney, while Legend of the Seas will sail her last season from Brisbane.
Rounding out RCL’s local deployment will be the debut of Azamara Club Cruises’ second 690-guest ship in February 2017, Azamara Journey, fresh from a multimillion dollar makeover.
Cruise Critic Australia’s editor Louise Goldsbury said: “Australians love to cruise and we’re seeing cruise lines send some of their best ships to our region, reflecting the increase in popularity. With more selection than ever before, we launched our Australian Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards to highlight the top cruise lines and help travellers narrow down their options to plan their next cruise.”
Cruise Critic Australia Editors’ Pick Awards
Best New Ship: Ovation of the Seas
Cruise Critic says: Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas takes local cruising to the next level, introducing Australians to simulated skydiving, robotic bartenders, dodgem cars, roller-skating, an aerial observation pod and dozens of new bars and restaurants at sea. At night, Broadway-style theatre and high-tech shows blow the competition out of the water. As Australia’s largest and newest ship, Ovation is a convincing case that bigger may be better.
Best for Families: Royal Caribbean International
Cruise Critic says: From its baby nursery to teen clubs, Royal Caribbean’s big ships and exceptional youth staff cater to kids of all ages. Adventurous and creative activities, themed parties, supervised dinners and nightly parades keep them occupied all day and night. The whole family can also enjoy free shows, games and sports, such as surfing and ice-skating.
Best Entertainment: Royal Caribbean International
Cruise Critic says: When it comes to the wow factor and technical wizardry, Royal Caribbean nails it. Shows range from multisensory spectacles and Tony Award-winning musicals to aerial performances in the atrium. The line’s smaller Sydney-based ships have Broadway-style theatre and ice spectaculars starring professional skaters. For kids, the promenade parades and dining with DreamWorks characters create captivating and priceless moments.
Best Dining: Celebrity Cruises
Cruise Critic says: From the spectacular and complimentary main dining room to the French, Italian and Asian specialty restaurants, Celebrity dishes up some of the best meals at sea. A recent addition is Luminae for suite passengers, raising the bar once again. Aside from the food, the decor and service are superb.
Best Suites: Celebrity Cruises
Cruise Critic says: Exclusive access to private bars and restaurants, butlers and in-suite meal service are among the basic perks of Celebrity’s spacious, stylish suites. A standout is Celebrity Solstice’s Penthouse, with a separate dining room for eight, baby grand piano, huge bathroom and extra inclusions like free drinks, laundry and internet.
Best Shore Excursions: Azamara Club Cruises
Cruise Critic says: Azamara’s ships often dock in ports until late evening or overnight, allowing for more immersive excursions, after-dinner tours and free nighttime events. In some destinations, passengers can leave the ship for two or three days on guided excursions that include meals, activities and hotel accommodation. Shorter tours and behind-the-scenes experiences with small groups are other specialities.
* Celebrity Solstice is the highest rated ship in Australia according to the Berlitz Guide and was awarded Best Cruise Ship – Domestic 2015 at the AFTA National Travel Industry Awards.