Last updated: 05:07 PM ET, Fri September 30 2016

A Shootout of the Best Premium Cruise Lines

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship Celebrity Cruises Jason Leppert September 23, 2016

A Shootout of the Best Premium Cruise Lines

Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

In the premium category of cruise travel you have the Celebrity Cruises, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line and Holland America Line brands, and the competition is tight. So, we thought we would put the four of them head to head to see which win in our six review categories below.

Design ~ Winner: Cunard Line

The Solstice-class from Celebrity is a fine example of modern exterior architecture and fantastic boutique interiors, and Holland America is showing the best of old-school and new-school with its latest Koningsdam. But Cunard and Disney are hard to beat for their vintage looks, the former of which wins for the Queen Mary 2 alone as the only genuine ocean liner, structurally built to withstand repeat transatlantic crossings, operating today.

READ MORE: Onboard Life: Celebrity Cruises' Qsine Specialty Restaurant

Accommodations ~ Winner: Celebrity Cruises

All the ships in this category offer comfortable cabins and suites, and Disney will always be a leader for being the first to offer family-friendly staterooms with split bathrooms, which have since been adopted by Holland America. However, Celebrity Cruises was one of the first lines to offer more thoughtful storage and spacious private bathrooms extending to larger showers on the Solstice and beyond, and that started a favorable trend industry-wide.

Activities ~ Winner: Disney Cruise Line

These days, keeping activities simpler on the likes of Celebrity, Cunard and Holland America with fewer elaborate attractions can make for a refreshing change of pace, particularly when it draws the attention back to the destination itself, but Disney does such a fine job of pleasing all ages with the greatest variety, that it’s hard to top its ability to offer as much or as little as you could possibly want to do.

Dining ~ Winner: Holland America Line

Food is a hallmark of cruising in general and historically Celebrity and Holland America in particular, and Cunard and Disney are very close in quality to both. But with its esteemed multi-chef Culinary Council crafting exquisite meals and its dedication to guest cooking instruction onboard, Holland America takes the cake for serving the best cuisine among its competitors.

READ MORE: Holland America Line Partnering with America’s Test Kitchen

Entertainment ~ Winner: Disney Cruise Line

Every premium cruise line continues to up its game in the entertainment arena, but as an entertainment company first and foremost, Disney sets the bar in this category and the industry overall. Its narrative approach, talented casts of singers and dancers and use of every theatrical technique give the line’s live shows lots of heart, and its in-house first-run film screenings only add to the list of benefits.

Service ~ Winner: Disney Cruise Line

It’s truly difficult to single out one winner in the area of service as each line excels at delivering its product via dedicated crew, but Disney does tend to come across the most friendly of the bunch, especially when Mickey and Minnie are on hand to bring a smile to everyone’s faces.

Overall ~ Winner: Disney Cruise Line

While you absolutely cannot go wrong with Cunard, Celebrity or Holland America, especially if any one of those is better suited to your personality, Disney Cruise Line does have an undeniable magic touch when it comes to delivering an outstanding cruise vacation, which also makes its premium pricing easier to swallow.