by Jason Leppert
Last updated: 12:45 AM ET, Wed December 13, 2017
For the 10th year, reviews and community site Cruise Critic has revealed its Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards as selected by its international staff.
"More now than ever, there really is a cruise for every interest," said Colleen McDaniel, Senior Executive Editor of Cruise Critic, in a press release.
"You can sail to remote areas of the world aboard a small expedition vessel, or in the comfort of a luxury ship complete with spa treatments and gourmet food. You can travel to the Caribbean on a brand-new ship with bells and whistles like water parks and bumper cars, or on a five-masted sailing ship. The options are endless, and this list highlights the lines that have stood out as the best of the best over the past year."
-Best New Ship: MSC Seaside
-Best Ship Refurbishment: Holland America Line Westerdam
-Best for Adventure: Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic
-Best Cabins: Celebrity Cruises
-Best Dining: Holland America Line
-Best Entertainment: Disney Cruise Line
-Best for Families: Disney Cruise Line
-Best Itineraries: Princess Cruises
-Best Nightlife: Norwegian Cruise Line
-Best for Romance: Celebrity Cruises
-Best Service: Carnival Cruise Line
-Best Shore Excursions: Celebrity Cruises
-Best for Solo Travelers: Norwegian Cruise Line
-Best Suites: Royal Caribbean International
-Best Value for Money: Carnival Cruise Line
-Best North American Homeport: Quebec City
Cruise Critic points out that MSC Seaside won Best New Ship of 2017 with its potential to become "one of the best Miami-based ships around."
I have also had the rare chance to sail onboard the ship ahead of its christening, and I must concur with this glowing assessment. It is primed to be a game-changer.
The site also mentions the significance of Celebrity Cruises leading both the Best Cabins and Best for Romance categories just as Disney Cruise Line swept Best for Families as well as Best Entertainment.
I believe Celebrity will maintain each in 2018 with the highly anticipated Celebrity Edge looking to underscore its superiority. Disney is without a doubt a family and entertainment force to be reckoned with outside of the cruise industry, so of course, the company dominates at sea as well.
Carnival Cruise Line impressively took Best for Value for the fourth consecutive year and also this year's new Best Service category for the first time. Initially, you might think that service would be bestowed on a luxury line, but an entire set of awards was reserved just for that market segment.
-Best Luxury Cruise Line: Regent Seven Seas Cruises
-Best New Luxury Ship: Silversea's Silver Muse
-Best Refurbishment: Crystal Cruises' Crystal Symphony
-Best for Adventure: Silversea Cruises
-Best Cabins: Regent Seven Seas Cruises
-Best Dining: Oceania Cruises
-Best Enrichment: Seabourn Cruise Line
-Best Itineraries: Azamara Club Cruises
-Best for Romance: Windstar Cruises
-Best Service: Crystal Cruises
-Best Shore Excursions: Azamara Club Cruises
-Best for Solo Travelers: Crystal Cruises
-Best Spa: Viking Ocean Cruises
-Best Value for Money: Viking Ocean Cruises
AmaWaterways was highlighted by Cruise Critic for receiving the Best River Cruise Line award for the second year running as well as Best for Active Cruisers. The site specifically refers to the line's "continued dedication to innovation" for the big win. That includes its partnership with Adventures by Disney, which itself took Best for Families.
I can personally say that Disney aboard the AmaKristina is an exceptional river experience as only both brands can pull off.
The site also called Uniworld's Joie de Vivre the Best New River Ship as the company's "finest yet" while giving the line the award for Best Service. So far I've only sailed on Uniworld once-aboard the Joie de Vivre, in fact-but the brand and riverboat made a similarly lasting impression on me.
Rounding out the site's river award highlights, Viking River Cruises won a trio of Best for First-Timers, Best Shore Excursions and Best Enrichment. Again, it's hard to disagree as Viking is so ubiquitous that there is plenty of choice for anyone wishing to dip their toes into the river market.
Its tours and programming overall are fantastic.
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