Best Cruise Ship for Entertainment (2016)


Gone are the days when cruise ships were merely a way to get from Point A to Point B. Our 10 winners of the title Best Cruise Ship for Entertainment are attractions unto themselves, with enough entertainment options to keep passengers occupied through countless days at sea.

  • Regal Princess

    Regal Princess
    Princess Cruises

    The Princess Theater aboard Regal Princess is the largest theater in the fleet. Within, passengers are treated to two big productions, Fiera and Bravo, as well as a variety of other live acts. A poolside screen on the Lido deck screens movies, sporting events and concerts under the stars (with free fresh-popped popcorn), while the Princess Live! TV studio presents comedy shows, cooking demos, concerts and destination lectures.
    Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

  • Costa Deliziosa

    Costa Deliziosa
    Costa Cruises

    The whimsical Costa Deliziosa is all about laid-back entertainment, and the evening offerings shine especially bright. The three-level Teatro Duse hosts the big musical productions, while movie buffs can catch 3D movies with extra special effects in the 4D Cinema Etoiles. There's also a giant screen on the pool deck and a Grand Prix racing simulator.
    Photo courtesy of Costa Cruises

  • Carnival Breeze

    Carnival Breeze
    Carnival Cruise Lines

    Carnival's "Fun Ship" mentality makes it no surprise that Breeze is a winner in the entertainment arena, especially for kids and teens, who have things like Seuss at Sea and Hasbro, The Game Show and the 3D Thrill Theater to enjoy. There's plenty on offer for adults too: live concerts, Punchliner Comedy Club, cooking demos and live musicals by Playlist Productions.
    Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

  • Crystal Serenity

    Crystal Serenity
    Crystal Cruises

    Entertainment doesn't always look the same on the Crystal Serenity, and that's part of its charm. Entertainment options cater to themed sailings, where enrichment programs might include lectures on maritime history on a Pacific crossing or yoga classes on a Mind, Body and Spirit sailing. The Hollywood Theater screens classic and second run films (with popcorn of course) and the Galaxy Lounge hosts Broadway-style productions. Live music on board is always top notch.
    Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises

  • Carnival Sunshine

    Carnival Sunshine
    Carnival Cruise Lines

    Entertainment on the "Fun Ship" Sunshine takes many forms. Active passengers have a spread of outdoor games and activities at SportSquare. Hasbro, The Game Show and Suess at Sea keep kids and teens entertained, while the Punchliner Comedy Club offers up laughs. What really sets Sunshine apart are its rotation of themed shows, each performed in front of a digital backdrop courtesy of the ship's new ultra-HD graphics system.
    Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

  • Allure of the Seas

    Allure of the Seas
    Royal Caribbean International

    Guests aboard Allure of the Seas look forward to sea days – the ship is loaded with so much to do. Adventurers can zip line, rock climb, sky dive and surf. Nighttime entertainment includes thrilling high dive feats at the outdoor AquaTheater, ice skating shows, a 3D movie theater and performances of the Broadway hit Mama Mia!
    Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

  • MSC Divina

    MSC Divina
    MSC Cruises

    Inspired by Sophia Loren, MSC Divina brings elegance to just about everything it offers, including its entertainment. The two-level Pantheon Theater hosts a variety of big productions, including an unusual pirate-themed acrobatics show. Younger passengers (and the young at heart) enjoy an arcade at Virtual World and an F1 Simulator at sea.
    Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises

  • Disney Dream

    Disney Dream
    Disney Cruise Line

    Since Disney came to cruising from the entertainment industry, it's really no surprise that its fleet excels in this field. Aboard the Disney Dream, live productions include Disney's Believe, Villains Tonight! and the guest-favorite The Golden Mickeys – a red carpet tribute to the films of Walt Disney. The Buena Vista Theater screens the latest Disney releases, sometimes in 3D. Passengers of all ages enjoy Disney's themed deck parties, like Pirate Night, that include fireworks at sea.
    Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line / Matt Stroshane, photographer

  • Viking Star

    Viking Star
    Viking Ocean Cruises

    Viking Star, the Viking line's first foray into ocean cruising, already impresses with its entertainment lineup, much of which centers on the destinations where the ship calls. The main theater combines traditional cruise ship productions with culturally relevant performances, while two on-board movie theaters show both first-run films and destination-centric classics. The ship's enrichment program helps bring to life destinations through a range of immersive experiences.
    Photo courtesy of Viking Cruises

  • Oasis of the Seas

    Oasis of the Seas
    Royal Caribbean International

    When Oasis of the Seas debuted as the largest ship in the world, it was a game changer for entertainment. The three-level Opal Theater hosts performances of CATS, but the real highlight is the innovative AquaTheater, where onlookers watch divers, gymnasts and synchronized swimmers perform mighty impressive feats set to music. Daily activities abound, and with arcades, surf simulators and zip lines, guests have to work hard to be bored.
    Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

The top 10 winners in the category Best Cruise Ship for Entertainment are as follows:

  1. Regal Princess - Princess Cruises
  2. Costa Deliziosa - Costa Cruises
  3. Carnival Breeze - Carnival Cruise Lines
  4. Crystal Serenity - Crystal Cruises
  5. Carnival Sunshine - Carnival Cruise Lines
  6. Allure of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International
  7. MSC Divina - MSC Cruises
  8. Disney Dream - Disney Cruise Line
  9. Viking Star - Viking Ocean Cruises
  10. Oasis of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

10Best Local Experts and Editors picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Doug Parker (Cruise Radio), Fran Golden (USA TODAY), Gene Sloan (USA TODAY) and Stewart Chiron (The Cruise Guy) were chosen based on their extensive experience with the cruise industry.

Also nominated for the title of Best Cruise Ship for Entertainment were the Anthem of the Seas, Celebrity Reflection, Disney Fantasy, Disney Wonder, Liberty of the Seas, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway and the Queen Mary 2.

Congratulations to all of our winning cruise ships!

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AlertThe Experts

Doug Parker

Doug Parker

Doug Parker

Fran Golden

Fran Golden

Fran Golden

Gene Sloan

Gene Sloan

Gene Sloan

Stewart Chiron

Stewart Chiron

Stewart Chiron