7 Best Cruise Lines Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

Since a cruise is basically a package deal, with lodging, food, and entertainment all included in one price, a vacation at sea is often a better value than a land-based getaway – if you choose wisely. To help you make the most of your travel budget, U.S. News ranked the following cruise lines based on a methodology that factors in itinerary affordability, health ratings, and reputation among experts and travelers.

Top 7 Cruise Lines

SaleBestseller No. 1
The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line 2019 (The Unofficial Guides)
17 Reviews
The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line 2019 (The Unofficial Guides)
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Bestseller No. 3
HAWATOUR Portable Travel Elastic Clothesline Adjustable Clothesline with 12pcs Clothespins for Outdoor and Indoor Use (Blue)
1827 Reviews
HAWATOUR Portable Travel Elastic Clothesline Adjustable Clothesline with 12pcs Clothespins for Outdoor and Indoor Use (Blue)
  • Those who understand the trouble of drying clothes when in travel or cost of using a gas...
  • What makes it unique is the black clips that restrain the 12 pieces of clothespins from...
Bestseller No. 4
The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2018 (The Unofficial Guides)
52 Reviews
The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2018 (The Unofficial Guides)
  • Len Testa, Erin Foster, Laurel Stewart, Ritchey Halphen
  • Unofficial Guides
SaleBestseller No. 5
Cruise Lanyard & Key Card Holder [2-Pack] Retractable Reel & Detachable Waterproof ID Holder (Blue and White)
1290 Reviews
Cruise Lanyard & Key Card Holder [2-Pack] Retractable Reel & Detachable Waterproof ID Holder (Blue and White)
  • Fits Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian, Celebrity and all other...
  • These must have cruise ship accessories are essential to keeping your cruise key card safe...
Bestseller No. 6
Cruise Tags Wide Luggage Tags Etag Holders Zip Seal & Steel Loops (6 tags)
129 Reviews
Cruise Tags Wide Luggage Tags Etag Holders Zip Seal & Steel Loops (6 tags)
  • √ Set includes: 6 Luggage Cruising Tags + 7 Steel Locking Wires
  • √ Perfect suit for Princess, Carnival, Costa, P&O, Norwegian, and Holland America...
Bestseller No. 7
Cruise
22 Reviews
Cruise
  • Vertical Entertainment (09/28/2018)
  • Running time: 89 min

How We Analyzed The Best Cruise Lines

Vacation Packages

Each cruise line offers different vacation packages that are good for individual travelers, couples, and families. Vacation packages are provided depending on the season when a guest will book and the destination where they would like to go. Every month or year, new vacation packages are presented to travelers to choose from, which will help them save a good amount of money. Make sure that when choosing a vacation package, you determine what’s included in the fare and its exclusions.

Itinerary

Guests can choose from a number of itineraries offered to them by different cruise lines. Each cruise ship has a specific destination in which travelers must check for them to know where they will book their vacation. The more cruise ships a company provides, the more choices of destinations it gives to travelers. It is essential for travelers to consider the destination and activities that they are looking for it to be easier for them to choose a cruise line. Part of choosing an itinerary is the cruise length, most voyages last three to 10 days or even more.

Atmosphere

Whether guests are traveling alone, with a partner, or with their family, it is important to know the theme of their chosen cruise ship. A cruise line’s atmosphere lets travelers decide if the ambiance matches their preferences, as well as the preferences of whom they’re with. Each cruise line or cruise ship has a specific theme which aims to entertain their guests. Travelers can choose from children, romantic, family, and black-tie themed cruise lines.

Excursions

Cruise lines sponsor excursions for their guests in every destination they visit. Excursions offered by cruise lines vary on the itinerary and the season when a guest has booked. When looking for an excursion, travelers must consider finding companies that include guaranteed first off ship and returns. Some cruise lines offer 24-hour cancellation service with a refund, which will depend on the company’s rules about their reimbursement percentage. We encourage travelers to choose a company that provides a good selection of excursions and has packages offered to small or large groups.
  • Guaranteed First Off Ship
  • Guaranteed Return to Ship
  • Cancel Any Time
  • Refundable

Costs

Considering all of the factors listed in these criteria, everything still comes down to the cost. A cruise vacation may be a bit expensive, but it is an affordable option if you want a multi-destination voyage. Each cruise line differs in prices depending on the accommodation, destination, cruise length, excursions, and other aspects.

Other cruise lines are pricier because of the luxurious amenities and services provided. There are companies that charge their guests an additional fee for specialty restaurants, onboard activities, beverage packages, occasion packages, and other services. Travelers can check out each of the company’s packages and cruise fares by booking online or calling customer service. Take note that vacation packages change each season depending on the cruise line. This means that cost and other services included in the package will likely change.

Some of the factors to consider when it comes to cruise fare are:

  • Staterooms and Suites
  • Specialty Restaurants and Other Dining Choices
  • Beverage Package
  • Excursions
  • Destination
  • Cruise Length
  • On-Board Activities
  • Occasion Packages

Amenities and Services

Every company has unique services and amenities offered to its guests to experience during the length of their stay. Guests should check the amenities provided by their chosen cruise line to know if the company can cover their needs and offer them services that will pamper them during the voyage. Travelers should compare company after company to get a good sense of each cruise line’s offerings.

On-Board Activities

One thing that makes a voyage an unforgettable experience is the onboard activities that suit the different preferences of each guest aboard. Cruise lines must be able to provide an array of activities that will let guests have a good time and make the most of their vacation. Large cruise ships often offer a number of onboard activities great for individuals, families, and couples, while small cruise ships present limited activities to enjoy. 

Some of the common onboard activities that each cruise line offers are:

  • Spa Treatments
  • Sporting Facilities
  • Fitness Centers
  • Enrichment Programs and Classes
  • Bars and Lounges
  • Casino
  • Musical and Live Shows
  • Shopping Boutiques

Dining

Most cruise lines offer a variety of dining choices which range from elegant fine dining to casual dining. Fine dining options cost guests more than the regular food option included in their fare. Other cruise lines include fine dining or all of the dining options available in their cruises, while some companies charge travelers an extra fee for their specialty restaurants. Along with this criterion is the beverage package that is often given to guests by most companies. 

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