February 13, 2018
(5 a.m. EST) -- The most popular cruise ships -- based on consumer reviews shared on Cruise Critic over the past 12 months -- were revealed today in Cruise Critic's 8th annual Cruisers' Choice Awards.
Among the lines with winning ships are Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line in the Large category; Oceania Cruises and Celestyal Cruises in the Mid-Size category; Viking Ocean Cruises, which swept the Small-Mid category; and Windstar Cruises and Silversea Cruises in the Small category. This year's awards were determined by reviews submitted for cruises taken during 2017, and are broken up into four categories, based on ship size: Large (2,000-plus passengers), Mid-Size (1,200 - 1,999), Small-Mid (400 - 1,199) and Small (fewer than 400).
Did your favorite make the list? See the full list of the 2018 Cruisers' Choice Award winners.
Celebrity Cruises snagged the most awards in the Large ship category, with Celebrity Equinox -- the line's ship based in the Caribbean year-round -- winning Best Overall, Best Dining, Best Public Rooms and Best Service. Celebrity Silhouette won Best for Value, while being praised for its wide range of dining and entertainment options onboard.
Also in the Large category, Royal Caribbean came away with four awards; Harmony of the Seas won Best Cabins, Best Embarkation and Best for Fitness, while Allure of the Seas -- whose headliner, "Mamma Mia!" ranks as one of our favorite shows at sea -- took Best Entertainment.
Carnival Breeze was named Best for Families and Best for Shore Excursions.
In the Mid-Size category, luxury line Oceania Cruises picked up the most awards. Riviera won Best Overall, Best Cabins, Best Dining, Best for Fitness & Recreation and Best Public Rooms. This is the fourth consecutive year the line was awarded in all five categories.
Celestyal Cruises' Celestyal Crystal won two awards in the Mid-Size category: Best Shore Excursions and Best for Value. The ship sailed Cuba year-round, but will be redeployed to sail in the Mediterranean later in 2018.
Viking Ocean Cruises swept the Small-Mid category, winning every category but one, for a total of nine awards. Viking Sea was named Best Overall, Best Cabins, Best for Fitness & Recreation, Best Shore Excursions and Best for Value; while Viking Sky was named Best Entertainment and Best Public Rooms; and Viking Star was named Best Dining and Best Service.
Viking Sea was also named Best for First Timers.
In the Small category, Windstar Cruises won four awards -- all for different ships in its fleet. Star Pride was named Best Cabins and Star Legend named Best Public Rooms; meanwhile the line's four-masted sailing ships Wind Star and Wind Spirit won Best Service and Best for Fitness & Recreation, respectively.
Silversea Cruises won three awards in the Small category -- Best Overall, Best Shore Excursions and Best for Value -- for its 100-passenger Silver Galapagos, which offers all-inclusive year-round cruises to the Galapagos Islands.
"What's fun to see in this year's list of winners is the wide range of ships awarded as the best of the best," said Colleen McDaniel, Senior Executive Editor of Cruise Critic.
"You have two of the largest ships at sea, alongside luxury yachts and small expedition ships that sail to some of the most far-flung destinations across the globe. As different as these ships are, the common thread is the exceptional ratings they received from actual guests. Whether you're looking for a mega ship or a more intimate vessel, a port-heavy itinerary or laid-back beach escape, this list is a fantastic resource to guide you to a ship perfectly suited to your needs."
See which lines and ships Cruise Critic's team of international editors voted the best for 2017, in the 10th annual Editors' Picks Awards.
--By Gina Kramer, Editor