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Best Mid-Sized Cruise Ship (2021)

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  • Island Princess

    Island Princess
    Princess Cruises

    The 2,200-passenger Island Princess sails from the California coast. Refurbished in 2017, the ship features a range of classic and specialty dining venues, Discovery at SEA programs for kids, a Vegas-style casino, an art gallery with life auctions, sports courts, movies under the stars and original musical productions.
    Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

  • Carnival Sunshine

    Carnival Sunshine
    Carnival Cruise Line

    Launched in 2013, the 3,000-passenger Carnival Sunshine has many of the same bells and whistles that Carnival is known for but at a manageable size. 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 ultra-HD graphics system.
    Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

  • Queen Mary 2

    Queen Mary 2
    Cunard

    The 2,691-passenger Queen Mary 2 makes regular Trans-Atlantic crossings, which means loads of time at sea, and loads of things to do to fill the hours. A highlight is the Cunard Insights speaker program, with guest speakers ranging from scientists and politicians to novelists or film makers; past guests have included Wes Anderson, Bill Bryson and Roger McGuinn. The ship also boasts Illuminations, the only planetarium at sea, as well as venues for live stage productions and movie screenings.
    Photo courtesy of Cunard

  • Celebrity Edge

    Celebrity Edge
    Celebrity Cruises

    Introduced in November of 2018, the brand new 2,900-passenger Celebrity Edge features one of the best spas at sea, a Magic Carpet venue that changes location and function throughout a cruise, rooftop garden, adults-only solarium and staterooms with Infinite Verandas that transform cabins into open-air spaces. The three-deck glass-encased Eden is a Celebrity first.
    Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

  • Celebrity Apex

    Celebrity Apex
    Celebrity Cruises

    Celebrity Apex, the newest ship in the Celebrity Edge series, carries 2,910 passengers. The vessel includes a three-story Grand Plaza filled with restaurants and bars, Rooftop Garden, terraced pool deck with ocean views and The Magic Carpet, a cantilevered floating platform with a full bar and live music 13 stories above the sea.
    Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

  • Queen Elizabeth

    Queen Elizabeth
    Cunard

    The art deco Queen Elizabeth, the newest Queen in the Cunard fleet, clocks in at 2,081 guests and 1,005 crew for nearly a one to one ratio. Highlights onboard include a signature afternoon tea service, a gin and champagne bar and plenty of sports and enrichment programs.
    Photo courtesy of Cunard

  • Koningsdam

    Koningsdam
    Holland America Line

    The 2,650-guest Koningsdam keeps passengers entertained with a two-story World Stage to Music Walk, as well as a handful of other live music venues. Guests can learn about destinations at Explorations Central, try a new recipe at America’s Test Kitchen, explore the wilds with BBC Earth Experiences or create unique cocktails at Blend. Other amenities include a glass-roofed Lido Deck for under-the-stars movies, family cabins and two pools.
    Photo courtesy of Holland America Line

  • Celebrity Millennium

    Celebrity Millennium
    Celebrity Cruises

    Known for its friendly and attentive service, the 2,158-passenger Celebrity Millennium packs a big punch for a mid-sized ship, with amenities like a Canyon Ranch Spa, rooftop terrace with an outdoor movie screen, a martini bar and a range of popular restaurants. The ship is set to undergo a big refurbishment in 2019, expanding Suite Class areas, redesigning the spa and adding eXhale bedding.
    Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

  • Nieuw Statendam

    Nieuw Statendam
    Holland America Line

    The 2,666-guest Nieuw Statendam takes design inspiration from a musical instrument. There’s plenty to see and do aboard this new ship, from entertainment options like B.B. King’s Blues Club and the Rolling Stone Rock Room to immersive experiences, like a wine blending course with Chateau Ste. Michelle.
    Photo courtesy of Holland America Line

  • Queen Victoria

    Queen Victoria
    Cunard

    After undergoing a multimillion dollar refurbishment in 2017, the 2,081-passenger Queen Victoria now features a larger aft pool deck, new dining room and cafe and upgraded Grand and Penthouse Suites. The elegant vessel offers a wealth of activities, especially on sea days, including bridge classes, lectures, dance workshops, golf-putting tournaments and live music. The ship houses a museum, two pools and plenty of space to relax in the sun.
    Photo courtesy of Cunard

Some cruise ships are like floating horizontal skyscrapers with all the bells and whistles, others feel more like a private yacht. These 10 ships with a capacity between 1,000 and 3,000 passengers strike a balance between big ship amenities and small ship service.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Mid-Sized Cruise Ship are as follows:

  1. Island Princess - Princess Cruises
  2. Carnival Sunshine - Carnival Cruise Line
  3. Queen Mary 2 - Cunard
  4. Celebrity Edge - Celebrity Cruises
  5. Celebrity Apex - Celebrity Cruises
  6. Queen Elizabeth - Cunard
  7. Koningsdam - Holland America Line
  8. Celebrity Millennium - Celebrity Cruises
  9. Nieuw Statendam - Holland America Line
  10. Queen Victoria - Cunard

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning cruise ships!

 
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