Best Ocean Cruise Line (2016)


What's your perfect cruise? Do you prefer mega ships or intimate clippers? On-board water parks or blissful Italian spas? Overnights in port or long days at sea? There's a cruise line for every taste, and 10Best readers have been voting daily for their favorites for the past four weeks.

  • Carnival Cruise Lines

    Carnival Cruise Lines

    Carnival Cruise Line caters to families and casual cruisers with its fleet of "Fun Ships." On these big ship cruises, passengers have no excuse to feel bored; ships come equipped with water parks, glitzy casinos, live entertainment and a focus on diverse, casual dining, highlighted by a partnership with celebrity chef Guy Fieri to bring Guy's Burger Joint to the fleet. All of this comes at affordable price points.
    Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

  • Princess Cruises

    Princess Cruises

    Princess Cruises' line of large and mega-sized ships sail nearly everywhere big ships can go, and they do so with traditional style and innovative touches. Adults-only deck areas and poolside movie screens were largely Princess innovations, and the fleet's atriums, called Piazzas, pioneered the idea of an atrium gathering place, filled with dining and drinking options.
    Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

  • Viking Ocean Cruises

    Viking Ocean Cruises

    Viking Cruises earned its reputation through its affordable, destination-focused river cruises. With the debut of Viking Star in April 2015, the line made a grand entrance into the world of ocean cruising. All cabins come with balconies and are notably larger than the industry average, and while the ship lacks a casino and kids club, it offers the same destination-intensive programming that made river cruising so popular.
    Photo courtesy of Viking Cruises

  • Costa Cruises

    Costa Cruises

    A heavy hitter in the European cruise market, Costa Cruises brings Italian flare to sea with cuisine by Michelin-Star Chef Fabio Cucchelli, partnerships with high-end Italian brands and one of the best cruise ship spas, Samsara Spa. Cruisers looking for a fun, festive and affordable cruise (featuring Costa's signature toga party toward the end) will find it on this line.
    Photo courtesy of Costa Cruises

  • Crystal Cruises

    Crystal Cruises

    Big ships. Big luxury. Crystal Cruises offers all the benefits of large vessels – restaurant selections, varied entertainment and loads of public areas – with the star service and luxury touches associated with smaller luxury ships. With some of the best passenger-to-staff and passenger-to-ship ratios in the cruising world, guests feel pampered with plenty of elbow room.
    Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises

  • Norwegian Cruise Line

    Norwegian Cruise Line

    Norwegian Cruise Line set itself apart by pioneering the concept of "freestyle" cruising, where passengers are free to do – and more importantly eat – what they want, when they want. The line takes entertainment seriously, and there's a bit of something for everyone: Broadway productions, stand-up comedy from Second City, live DJs and piano bars. Some ships offer solo passenger cabins as well as adjoining cabins for families.
    Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

  • Royal Caribbean International

    Royal Caribbean International

    Royal Caribbean International designed its fleet with the active cruiser in mind. Sure, you can laze away sea days on a deck lounger or ship library, but you can also go rock climbing, sky diving, zip lining, surfing, ice skating or bowling – all at sea. Royal Caribbean operates the two largest ships in the world, with the third set to debut in 2016.
    Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

  • Disney Cruise Line

    Disney Cruise Line

    Those who've never been on a Disney cruise might be tempted to think they're only for families, and while they certainly excel in that arena, they deliver for adults as well. Strong yet subtle theming caters to Disney lovers of all ages, and the live stage productions rank among the best at sea. While grown-ups enjoy the fleet's adults-only areas, little ones participate in a kids program unmatched by anyone else.
    Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line / David Roark, photographer

  • Celebrity Cruises

    Celebrity Cruises

    Celebrity Cruises earns high marks for their spacious accommodations, as well as the money and effort they spend to keep their fleet sleek and modern. While kid- and teen-centric amenities are there, Celebrity really shines with its adult offerings, including above-the-norm alternative restaurants, world-class art collections, upscale boutiques and AquaSpa cabins geared toward the spa-going cruise crowd.
    Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

  • Holland America Line

    Holland America Line

    Holland America Line's fleet of 14 vessels offers a traditional cruising experience with a host of modern touches and amenities to please 21st century cruisers. A highlight of the line's extensive entertainment program is Dancing With the Stars: At Sea, and the enrichment program includes activities like cooking classes and digital workshops. Holland America Line helped pioneer the alternative dining movement.
    Photo courtesy of Holland America Line

The top 10 winners in the category Best Ocean Cruise Line are as follows:

  1. Carnival Cruise Lines
  2. Princess Cruises
  3. Viking Ocean Cruises
  4. Costa Cruises
  5. Crystal Cruises
  6. Norwegian Cruise Line
  7. Royal Caribbean International
  8. Disney Cruise Line
  9. Celebrity Cruises
  10. Holland America Line

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.

Additional nominees for Best Ocean Cruise Line were Azamara Club Cruises, Cunard, MSC Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea Cruises and Windstar Cruises.

Congratulations to all of our winning cruise lines!

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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