November 20, 2012 | By Dan Askin | Comments Off on The Best New Cruise Ship of 2013?
Wild swings in the vote. Furious campaigning. Baseless character assassinations.
The occasion: Deciding which of 2013’s marquee new-builds cruisers would prefer to sail.
It’s between the 3,600-passenger Royal Princess
and the 4,028-passenger Norwegian Breakaway
, two buzzworthy prototypes launching next year. Will it be Princess’ quiet, big-ship elegance or Breakaway’s NYC-inspired exuberance?
After a week and nearly 5,400 votes cast, Norwegian Breakaway holds a comfortable 16-point lead, 58 percent to 42 percent. The highly caffeinated ship, which will debut in April, was down by a similar margin after a day of voting. The poles flipped as Norwegian zealots came out in droves, encouraged by a “get out the vote” status update on NCL’s Facebook page.
Meanwhile, Cruise Critic’s side-by-side platform comparison chart
offered insights into each ship’s cabins, dining, bars, entertainment and sun deck amenities. Renderings of the ships’ splashiest spaces and an itinerary run-down were also included to help readers make an educated choice.
But we’re not naive: This new ship battle is also a popularity contest.
“Anything by Princess beats NCL … any day,” John said, without having set foot on either ship.
“Definitely NCL — in my view no other cruise line comes close,” said Zelda, who has so far been unable to travel into the future to review each contender.