Readers Choice

10Best Readers' ChoiceChosen by readers of USA TODAY and 10Best

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    #10 - Mexican Riviera

    Mexico's ruggedly scenic west coast offers popular stops in Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. A Mexican Riviera cruise is especially convenient for those living on America's west coast as there are Mexican Riviera cruises that depart from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.  This cruise route offers great food, beautiful sunsets, and tropical weather.

    Photo courtesy of Aneese/iStock

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    #9 - Bahamas

    The Bahamas have such a diverse collection of offerings that some cruise lines offer Caribbean cruise itineraries that just visit the islands of the Bahamas. While their ship's in port in the family-friendly Bahamas, passengers can swim with stingrays, walk along pristine beaches or spend the day racing down the water slides at world-famous Atlantis resort.

    Photo courtesy of fallbrook/iStock

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    #8 - Baltic

    Baltic cruises sail along northern Europe's Baltic Sea and take in the striking Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Finland.  Often there are stops in  Russia, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Denmark and/or England as well. Those who love big cities enjoy St. Petersburg, Copenhagen and Helsinki as ports of call. 

    Photo courtesy of Oleksiy Mark/Hemera

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    #7 - South Pacific

    The South Pacific is a land of honeymooners, though most anyone enjoys a cruise through the clear, aquamarine waters surrounding the gorgeous islands of French Polynesia, Fiji, Samoa and the Cook Islands.  Scuba diving and snorkeling allows total immersion in a world of colorful fish and coral beneath the surface.  The scenery in the South Pacific is dreamlike.   

    Photo courtesy of Martin Valigursky/iStock

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    #6 - Western Mediterranean

    A Western Mediterranean cruise is a great way for travelers to see a wide range of the most popular sights in Europe, while only having to unpack once. Cruisers can visit the ancient ruins of Italy, tour the vineyards of France, explore the beaches of Malta and marvel at the works of architect Gaudi in Spain.  Cruising this region gives many travelers an idea of which countries most appeal to them for a return visit.

    Photo courtesy of Mapics/iStock

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    #5 - Western Caribbean

    Western Caribbean cruises are very popular since they're easily accessible from ports in the southern United States. Perennial hot spots Jamaica and Puerto Rico lie within this region.  Many Western Caribbean cruises also make stops at ports in Mexico, such as Cozumel and Costa Maya.  This region is warm, close and affordable, a perfect trifecta in many minds.  

    Photo courtesy of Zoonar/Thinkstock

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    #4 - Eastern Mediterranean

    An Eastern Mediterranean cruise offers stops at picturesque Greek Islands, where travelers will delight in seeing blue-domed churches, white washed neighborhoods and laid-back beaches. Eastern Mediterranean cruises also often make memorable stops in Croatia, Turkey and even Africa in the city of Tunis, Tunisia.  This route is exotic without the hassle of a terribly long flight for Americans.  

    Photo courtesy of MatthewBird/iStock

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    #3 - Alaska

    Cruising the passages of Alaska is an incredible way to see America's last frontier. From your ship's deck, passengers watch the passing glaciers and see wildlife while sailing among the icy waters and stop in rugged port towns. While in port , passengers also have many opportunities to learn about Alaska's history and culture.

    Photo courtesy of KentWeakley/iStock

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    #2 - Southern Caribbean

    The Southern Caribbean consists of some of the most sought-after vacation spots in the world. The islands found here offer much contrast, from the arid coastline of Aruba to the green lushness of St. Kitts and St. Lucia.  Cruisers can tour sugar plantations in Barbados or the spice fields of Grenada.  There's also gambling or shopping to fill a day ion some ports of call, while beaches are always an option.

    Photo courtesy of Bertl123/iStock

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    #1 - Eastern Caribbean

    Eastern Caribbean cruises include some of the most popular ports of call:  iconic tropical postcards, all.   St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, has great shopping and tours to some truly beautiful beaches. Duty-free shops also line the streets of St. Martin/St. Maarten.  Puerto Rico, the Turks and Caicos, Dominica and the British Virgin Islands round out this sunny relaxing and romantic region.  

    Photo courtesy of medioimages/Photodisc

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Eastern Caribbean Tops with Readers

Caribbean, Med, Alaska all land coveted spots

Readers have weighed in on their favorite cruise regions, and the bias toward certain areas is strong.  If you're wondering where to plan your next cruise adventure, the voters' opinions might well sway you.   

The winners in the 'Best Cruise Region' contest category for 10Best Readers' Choice are as follows:

  1. Eastern Caribbean
  2. Southern Caribbean
  3. Alaska
  4. Eastern Mediterranean
  5. Western Caribbean
  6. Western Mediterranean
  7. South Pacific
  8. Baltic
  9. Bahamas
  10. Mexican Riviera

Congrats to all these beautiful areas and the destinations within them. We know you'll be seeing lots of happy cruisers on your shores.  

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Meet the Experts

Gene Sloan

Gene Sloan writes about cruising for USA TODAY and oversees several USA TODAY-owned cruise sites, including ExperienceCruise (experiencecruise.usatoday.com). An admitted travel junkie, he has sailed on nearly 100 ships.

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