The big winners at the Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards
Cruise Critic is one of the most comprehensive cruise review sites in the industry, with expert opinions on each and every ship and plenty of areas for passengers to leave their personal opinions. It has become one of the most user-friendly sites for both seasoned cruise passengers and holiday-makers looking to test the waters for the first time.
Every year, Cruise Critic’s international team of editors collaborate to recognise the lines and ships that they believe have excelled above and beyond their competitors in any particular field. The Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards are announced every December and make for an interesting read. So, without further ado, we take a closer look at some of the winners from the Ocean, River and Luxury sectors.
Best New Ship | MSC Meraviglia
2017 saw the industry introduced to a range of new and exciting ships and there were plenty of contenders for the award of ‘Best New Ship’. This year, the accolade went to a ship that sparks the beginning of a new direction for a line with bold ambitions. MSC Cruises’ MSC Meraviglia – with its top-notch dining venues, dazzling LED ceiling, and Cirque du Soleil shows – picked up the special accolade for 2018. As one of the largest ships in the world, this dynamic and bold move from MSC Cruises gives us a positive flavour of what we may be able to expect in the years to come.
Best Dining | Holland America Line
Choosing one ship over another for its culinary offering is a near-impossible task as there are so many worthy contenders. This year, however, it was decided that the award should go to Holland America Line. Across the fleet, all dining venues have received huge reinvestment and the quality of the food has somewhat quietly been elevated. There are seafood brasseries, an enhanced room service menu, and a superb steakhouse to try and all of which offer great value. Furthermore, on board Koningsdam, you can enjoy new-to-fleet venues such as the Asian-inspired Tamarind.
Best Entertainment | Royal Caribbean
It is safe to say that you will never get bored on board any of Royal Caribbean’s ships – with each offering a unique range of amenities and dazzling show performances. Whether you are trying your hand at sky-diving, catching a wave on the surfing simulator, zip-lining across the ship or cooling off in the water park – Royal Caribbean can offer it all. In terms of performances, what you will witness on board is worthy of being in the West End. Onboard Harmony of the Seas, you will be able to see Grease, while Hairspray will be returning aboard the new Symphony of the Seas next year.
Best River Line | Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
It says something special when you receive the accolade for Best River Cruise Line two years in a row and Uniworld has done just that. Each of the fleet’s 19 vessels has been individually designed and built to stand out from its competitors. The onboard design is quite literally stunning and it isn’t just the aesthetics that will please you either. With exceptional dining, cabins complete with four-poster beds, and personal butlers catering to your every need – you will be left feeling truly spoilt.
Best New River Ship | Crystal Bach
Since Crystal Cruises announced their vast plans for expansion, the line has continued to impress and this is no exception within the river cruise sector. Crystal Bach was the first addition to the line’s river fleet and the vessel boasts 220 – 750 square-foot suites complete with king-size beds and floor-to-ceiling windows. The ship offers features including a covered swimming pool and a stunning glass-domed Palm Court, while guests can enjoy a crew to passenger ratio that is better than 2:1.
Best Luxury Cruise Line | Seabourn
The luxury sector is one of the fastest-growing areas of the cruise industry as a whole, with Regent Seven Seas, Crystal Cruises, Seabourn and Silversea set to be joined by new players including Virgin Voyages and Ritz Carlton. One of the most active luxury lines this year has been Seabourn and this was recognised after the line was awarded as the Best Luxury Cruise Line for 2017. The collaboration between celebrity chef, Thomas Keller, and designer, Adam D. Tihany, has worked wonders aboard the stylish Seabourn Encore. But it is the warm and friendly service that is delivered across the fleet that keeps passengers returning time and time again.
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