Carnival Sunshine wins Best Mid-Sized Ship in Readers' Choice awards

Winning ship carries 3,000 passengers

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, nominated by a panel of cruising experts and voted by 10Best readers as the best in the industry, strike a balance between big ship amenities and small ship service.

  • Carnival Sunshine
    Carnival Cruise Lines

    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 Lines

  • Coral Princess
    Princess Cruises

    Built to navigate the Panama Canal, the 2,000-passenger Coral Princess blends an intimate atmosphere with attentive service for a cruising experience that’s laid back and welcoming, even for first timers. Included dining options range from the traditional buffet to Crafted by Curtis Stone, and guests have a number of specialty restaurants to choose from. Onboard activities include a Sports Court, Vegas-style shows and the ScholarShip@Sea enrichment program.
    Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

  • Queen Mary 2
    Cunard Line

    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 Line

  • Radiance of the Seas
    Royal Caribbean International

    With a 2,466-guest capacity, Radiance of the Seas is small by Royal Caribbean standards. But the mid-sized ship is still packed with features. Guests will find nine dining options, 10 bars and lounges, a nine-hole miniature golf course, rock climbing wall, solarium, spa, fitness center, three pools, three hot tubs, a sports court, video arcade, outdoor movie screen and a cinema.
    Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

  • 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 Silhouette
    Celebrity Cruises

    Introduced in 2011, the 2,886-passenger Celebrity Silhouette boasts themed dining venues, a grassy outdoor deck area and more attractions than its other Solstice-class sister ships. The ship also features an impressive art collection, martini bar, cook-your-own steakhouse and the serve-yourself Cellar Masters wine bar.
    Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

  • Disney Magic
    Disney Cruise Line

    Disney, the masters of entertainment, bring their A game aboard Disney Magic, with live stage shows like Twice Charmed: An Original Twist on a Cinderella Story and Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic. Daily activities might include bingo, family game shows, karaoke or a Pirate Night deck party complete with fireworks at sea. Select sailings offer a Marvel Day at Sea.
    Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

  • Celebrity Eclipse
    Celebrity Cruises

    The luxurious and upscale Celebrity Eclipse has room for 2,850 passengers. The ship launched in 2008 with many firsts, including a real grass lawn, glass-blowing studio, an Apple store at sea and the innovative Qsine restaurant.
    Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

  • 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

  • Eurodam
    Holland America Line

    Launched in 2008, the 2,104-passenger Eurodam from Holland America offers excellent dining, entertainment and cultural enrichment options for a mid-sized ship. Onboard features include B.B. King’s Blues Club, Billboard Onboard, America’s Test Kitchen workshops, BBC Earth Experiences and computer instruction in a Microsoft digital workshop. There are also two pools and sports courts for outdoor recreation.
    Photo courtesy of Holland America Line

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

  1. Carnival Sunshine - Carnival Cruise Lines
  2. Coral Princess - Princess Cruises
  3. Queen Mary 2 - Cunard Line
  4. Radiance of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International
  5. Koningsdam - Holland America Line
  6. Celebrity Silhouette - Celebrity Cruises
  7. Disney Magic - Disney Cruise Line
  8. Celebrity Eclipse - Celebrity Cruises
  9. Celebrity Edge - Celebrity Cruises
  10. Eurodam - Holland America Line

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Don and Heidi Bucolo (EatSleepCruise.com), Carrie Finley Bajak (CruiseBuzz.net), Danielle Fear (Cruise Miss), Sherry Laskin (CruiseMaven.com), Jason Leppert (Popular Cruising), Chris Owen, Doug Parker (Cruise Radio) and Ming Tappin (Your Cruise Coach) were chosen for their knowledge of the cruising industry.

Congratulations to all these winning cruise ships.

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Don and Heidi Bucolo

Don and Heidi Bucolo

Carrie Finley Bajak

Carrie Finley Bajak

Danielle Fear

Danielle Fear

Sherry Laskin

Sherry Laskin

Jason Leppert

Jason Leppert

Chris Owen

Chris Owen

Doug Parker

Doug Parker

Ming Tappin

Ming Tappin