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2014 UK Editors' Picks Awards

2014 Editors’ Picks for Cruise Critic
Editors' Picks Awards
The Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards are chosen by Cruise Critic's international team of editors, based on the lines and ships they feel best represent excellence in each of the designated categories. Awards announced November 2014.
US
UK

Best New Ship

Quantum of the Seas Quantum of the Seas cruise Believe the hype: The most eagerly-anticipated ship in years delivers - and then some. From the ease of boarding, to the smart wristbands, the breathtaking technology in Two70 and the bionic bartenders; plus the North Star, bumper cars and simulated sky-diving, Quantum of the Seas genuinely heralds a new era for cruising.

Read our review of Quantum of the Seas

Best Refurbishment

Thomson Cruises Thomson Cruises cruise As part of its Platinum programme, Thomson Cruises has invested in a series of thoughtful and well-executed upgrades across its fleet in the last few years. This year, new balcony cabins on Spirit, Celebration and Majesty have made the ships more modern and added a new dimension to the enjoyable at-sea experience British passengers have come to expect from the line.

Read our review of Thomson Cruises

Best for Luxury

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Regent Seven Seas Cruises cruise Regent is the only line at this end of the ultra-luxury scale that truly delivers all-inclusive luxury. Unlimited shore excursions, flights, pre-cruise hotel nights, beverage packages (including premium wines and fine spirits) and specialty restaurants -- it's all included. Plus, recently announced, there's unlimited Wi-Fi for cruisers in top suites.

Read our review of Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Best for Families

P&O Cruises P&O Cruises cruise On P&O's four family-friendly ships, kids facilities are outstanding. The Reef Club has four different rooms for different ages, each packed with fun stuff that ranges from a soft play area and climbing equipment to a disco for teens. Warm and friendly staff organise activities such as scavenger hunts, pool games and drama workshops.

Read our review of P&O Cruises

Best Itineraries

Voyages of Discovery Voyages of Discovery cruise The whole ethos of this line and its 540-passenger ship, MV Discovery, is exploration. Longer stays and land-based itineraries allow passengers to get up-close and personal in ports. The ship travels all around the world, and half the destinations we haven't even heard of: Antsiranana, Dar es Salaam, Paramaribo, Iles du Salut ...

Read our review of Voyages of Discovery

Best for Adventure

Hurtigruten Hurtigruten cruise Hurtigruten defines and excels at adventure cruising. Watch glaciers calve in Greenland, whales breach in Antarctica. Dive into icy seas or dog-sled in Tromso. Look for polar bears in Spitsbergen, or spend the night in an ice hotel in the far north of Norway as you watch the Northern Lights form above your head.

Read our review of Hurtigruten

Best Value for Money

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines cruise Fred offers a more traditional cruise experience at a great value - from two-for-one offers and drinks cheaper than UK pub prices, to tips that are lower than most in the industry. It also has great offers for solo passengers, with double cabins available at solo prices.

Read our review of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Best Dining

P&O Cruises P&O Cruises cruise Marco Pierre White, Atul Kochhar, James Martin, Eric Lanlard. The list of celebrity and Michelin-starred chefs associated with P&O is long, and it shows in the cuisine. The White Room on Ventura is the standout, but MPW has a number of other restaurants fleetwide. Kochhar's East on Ventura and Sindhu on Azura are simply outstanding.

Read our review of P&O Cruises

Best Entertainment

Royal Caribbean International Royal Caribbean International cruise Royal Caribbean smartly uses every inch of public space onboard to pack in everything from bumper cars to Broadway productions. The big, brash new ships get headlines for simulated skydiving and ice skating productions, but passengers on its smaller ships love entertainment options that include atrium aerial shows and piano bar sing-alongs.

Read our review of Royal Caribbean International

Best Suites

Celebrity Cruises (Solstice Class) Celebrity Cruises cruise Celebrity's Solstice Class is all about attention to detail, and this is evident in its suites, especially on Reflection. There are a number of different types of suites -- Signature, Celebrity, Royal and a stunning Reflection Suite and Penthouse Suite -- and in response to demand, Celebrity also added 34 AquaClass Spa Suites to Reflection.

Read our review of Celebrity Cruises

Best Cabins

Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Cruises cruise Celebrity's Solstice Class offers passengers a wide choice of cabins (14 types), from standard insides and oceanviews via Concierge Class and AquaClass, the latter in prime locations and offering spa access and exclusive use of Blu restaurant. For families, ships have 268 connected cabins and four Family Veranda cabins at a spacious 575 square feet.

Read our review of Celebrity Cruises

Best Shore Excursions

Azamara Club Cruises Azamara Club Cruises cruise The recent exclusive concert at Liverpool Cathedral is a good example of Azamara's 'AzaMazing' evenings, which really are money-can't-buy experiences. Others may include an exclusive evening with the Three Tenors, watching an elephant dance show at a temple in Yangon or a private tour of an aristocratic home in Buenos Aires followed by a private tango show.

Read our review of Azamara Club Cruises

Best for Romance

Princess Cruises Princess Cruises cruise Princess has always catered well in the romance department. You can order a four-course lobster dinner with Champagne delivered to your balcony or pop the question on video during Movies Under the Stars, and now the line has just launched an online honeymoon registry, allowing wedding guests to choose romantic packages for them during their cruise.

Read our review of Princess Cruises

Best Cruise Ship Bar

Cunard's Commodore Club (QM2) Cunard Line cruise There's something magnificent, particularly in high seas, about peering out toward endless ocean, sometimes watching the sunset, sometimes a pod of whales or dolphins, or watching a storm approach from the horizon in this wonderful front-of-ship bar. White-gloved waiters serve cocktails to order; there is an adjacent cigar bar, and a pianist plays in the evenings.

Read our review of Cunard Line

Best UK Port of Call

Liverpool Liverpool cruise Much of what Liverpool has to offer cruise-ship visitors is right in the city center, alongside the waterfront where ships dock. The revitalized Albert Dock houses numerous restaurants and attractions -- like the Beatles Story museum -- and the adjacent billion-pound Liverpool One retail park is the UK's largest open-air retail complex.

Read our review of Liverpool

Best UK Departure Port

Southampton Southampton cruise The UK's biggest port once again held onto the top spot in Europe, with total passenger numbers including 'day visits' climbing 7.5% to 1.64 million in 2013. The city has also made vast improvements to the roads leading to Ocean Terminal, making it much easier to get to the ships.

Read our review of Southampton

Best New River Ship

Emerald Star and Emerald Sky Emerald Waterways cruise Europe's newest river cruise line made quite a splash in 2014. Emerald Waterways' Emerald Star and Emerald Sky offer a modern, innovative option for European river cruising without breaking the bank. Coolest innovation: a dual-purpose area that transforms from an indoor heated pool with retractable roof during the day to a cinema at night.

Read our review of Emerald Waterways

Best River Cruise Line

CroisiEurope CroisiEurope cruise This family-owned French river cruise company is no newcomer, but it has certainly expanded its horizons this year and become more internationally focused. In 2014, CroisiEurope has introduced newer and nicer ships and canal barges, added interesting new itinerary options in Europe, expanded the fleet in Southeast Asia and included free drinks during the high season. C'est bon!

Read our review of CroisiEurope
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