If thinking of booking a cruise, then take a look at the best ships in the business. Cruise Critic, the world’s largest cruise reviews site, has named the top cruise shops of 2017.
The award for ‘Best New Ship’ on the ocean went to MSC Cruises’ 4,475-passenger MSC Meraviglia, which debuted in June. It was commended by editors for innovations such as introducing Cirque du Soleil at sea, and the exclusive suite-class Yacht Club. MSC Cruises (above) also won the ‘Best for Families’ award for the first time ever.
The awards are selected by a global panel of impartial cruise experts from Cruise Critic, to highlight the best ocean, river and luxury cruise lines across dozens of categories.
Adam Coulter, Cruise Critic’s UK Managing Editor, said: “With more Brits than ever before trying a cruise for the first time, it’s evident that a holiday at sea is becoming a more compelling proposition.
“These awards combine our editors’ impartial cruise expertise, based on first-hand experiences and industry knowledge, to ultimately help travellers select the best cruise choice for them, from the myriad of amazing options now available.”
Marella (formerly Thomson) Cruises, above, whose fares include all tips and service charges, as well as alcohol drinks on some of its ships, was awarded ‘Best Value for Money’. Celestyal Cruises won a new award for 2017 – the ‘Best for Service’ award.
Another new accolade for 2017, ‘Best for Solo Travellers’, went to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. It also won the coveted ‘Best Itineraries’ award.
Other ocean cruise line award winners included Celebrity Cruises, which kept its awards for ‘Best Cabins’ and ‘Best Shore Excursions’. While sister company, Royal Caribbean, also held onto two of its titles – for ‘Best Entertainment’ and ‘Best Suites’.
River’s Crème da le Crème
Retaining its 2016 titles for ‘Best River Cruise Line’ and ‘Best for Luxury’, the judges felt that Uniworld’s Boutique River Cruise Collection, above, brought the atmosphere of opulent hotels to the rivers. Uniworld also took the new 2017 award for ‘Best for Service’.
Avalon secured the ‘Best Cabins’ accolade for installing window-facing beds with memory foam mattress toppers and a choice of pillows. It additionally took the “Best for Active Travellers” award.
In the luxury awards, Seabourn held onto the title for ‘Best Luxury Cruise Line’. Judges were especially bowled over by Seabourn Encore, with its sumptuous, yacht-like feel and finest boutique hotel ambience. Seabourn also, once again, secured the ‘Best Enrichment’ award.
The ‘Best Dining’ award went to Crystal for its imaginative menus and quality range of restaurant offerings. The line also secured the ‘Best for Service’and ‘Best for Solo Travellers’ awards, as well as the ‘Best Ship Refurbishment’ accolade for Crystal Symphony.
Viking Ocean Cruises, above, was once again handed awards for ‘Best Value for Money’ and ‘Best Spa’.
Southampton Port kept the ‘Best UK Departure Port’ title for the ninth year in a row. Guernsey took the award for ‘Best UK & British Isles Port of Call’.
Here’s the full list of winners:
2017 Cruise Critic UK Editors’ Picks Awards (Ocean):
Best New Ship: MSC Meraviglia
Best Ship Refurbishment: Cunard – Queen Victoria
Best for Adventure: Hurtigruten
Best Cabins: Celebrity Cruises
Best Dining: Holland America
Best Entertainment: Royal Caribbean
Best for Families: MSC Cruises
Best Itineraries: Fred. Olsen Cruise Line
Best Nightlife: Norwegian Cruise Line
Best for Romance: Celebrity Cruises
Best Service: Celestyal Cruises
Best Shore Excursions: Celebrity Cruises
Best for Solo Travellers: Fred. Olsen Cruise Line
Best Suites: Royal Caribbean
Best Value for Money: Marella (formerly Thomson) Cruises
Best UK Departure Port: Southampton
Best UK & British Isles Port of Call: Guernsey
2017 Cruise Critic UK Editors’ Picks Awards (River):
Best River Cruise Line: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Best New River Ship: Crystal Cruises – Crystal Bach
Best for Active Cruisers: Avalon Waterways
Best for Adventure: Pandaw River Cruises
Best Cabins: Avalon Waterways
Best Dining: AmaWaterways
Best Enrichment: Viking River Cruises
Best for Families: Tauck
Best Itineraries: Viking River Cruises
Best for Luxury: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Best Service: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Best Shore Excursions: Tauck
Best for Solo Travelers: Pandaw River Cruises
Best Value for Money: Amadeus River Cruises
2017 Cruise Critic UK Editors’ Picks Awards (Luxury):
Best Luxury Cruise Line: Seabourn
Best New Luxury Ship: Silversea – Silver Muse
Best Ship Refurbishment: Crystal Symphony
Best for Adventure: Silversea
Best Cabins: Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Best Dining: Crystal
Best Enrichment: Seabourn
Best Itineraries: Silversea
Best for Romance: Windstar
Best Service: Crystal
Best Shore Excursions: Azamara Club Cruises
Best for Solo Travelers: Crystal
Best Spa: Viking Ocean Cruises
Best Value for Money: Viking Ocean Cruises
For the full details of this year’s winners, see the 2017 Cruise Critic UK Editors’ Picks Awards.