Long considered a reputable source of travel rankings and knowledge, U.S. News Travel has released their lists that detail what they think are the best cruises out there in a variety of categories. They also revealed their overall methodology for these rankings. They’re comprised of an Expert Rating, a Traveler Rating and a Health Rating. The Traveler Rating is compiled from user reviews on Cruiseline.com and makes up fifty percent of the overall rankings. Expert Rating accounts for 30 percent and looks at an “editors’ analysis of a ship’s atmosphere, facilities, activities, cabins, cuisine and service.” Finally, Health Rating makes up 20 percent, and is drawn from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ratings.
Using these metrics, the site ranked cruise lines by the following categories: Best Affordable Cruises, Best Family Cruises, Best Couples Cruises, Best Caribbean Cruises, Best Mediterranean Cruises and Best Luxury Cruises. While this doesn’t account for every type of cruise out there, it’s a worthy overview that will definitely serve a majority of travelers.
In the Affordable category, Royal Caribbean came in at first with Celebrity and Norwegian right behind. Based on the rankings, Royal Caribbean seemed to fare a bit better with travelers than critics. The Family category saw Disney at number one (what family wouldn’t be delighted to spend vacation with their lovable characters?) with Royal Caribbean appearing again in second and Carnival in third. For Couples, Viking reigns supreme. Disney once again takes the mantle in the Caribbean category, and Seabourn wins the title of best Mediterranean cruise line. Finally, Viking won the spot for best luxury cruise.
Something that becomes quickly apparent from looking through these lists is that there is a great deal of overlap. When one cruise line does exceptional in one category, they’re often ranked high in another. Using a combination of these lists could be super helpful if you’re looking to book, say, a luxurious Mediterranean cruise.
These lists are certain to serve as really useful shorthands for people looking to book a trip at sea, but make sure to keep in mind that there are definitely nuances that these lists may not capture. While some people may think one cruise line is the best luxury cruise, this may not be the case for you. Make sure to figure out what is most important for you on your vacation, and let that guide you to making your decision. Also, let’s not forget that we over here at Allaboutcruisesandmore.com offer some friendly Cruise Line Profiles that you can check out if you want a quick summary on some of the biggest cruise lines out there. We think that these are a great way to efficiently understand different cruise lines. We aren’t biased or anything….