UK cruise passengers name 2018 top ships

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The winners of the 2018 Cruise Critic UK Cruisers’ Choice Awards were announced today. The awards name the most popular cruise ships of the year, based entirely on UK reviews posted to the Cruise Critic website. The site boasts the largest online cruise community in the world with more than 350,000 cruise reviews, covering approximately 500 of the most popular cruise ships.

Adam Coulter, UK Managing Editor, Cruise Critic said: “The UK Cruisers’ Choice Awards marks an important date in the cruise industry’s calendar, highlighting the cruise ships that UK travellers rank as particularly outstanding – from excellent service, amazing entertainment to the best dining experiences, cabins and shore excursions. Our members play an invaluable role in helping to inform and guide other cruisers and first-time travellers to find and choose the best cruise ships for their ideal holiday, and indeed, we couldn’t have this authoritative awards programme without them.”

Large-Ship Category

In the Large Ship category, Royal Caribbean was the top-rated cruise line across most categories, winning six top position awards and three second place awards. The line’s mega-ship, Oasis of the Seas was voted Best Overall, Best Entertainment and Best Shore Excursions. The ship was also named Best for First Timers across all size categories.

The line’s Brilliance of the Seas scooped the top ranking for Best Service, and Freedom of the Seas secured the Best Fitness & Recreation award. Oasis of the Seas boasts two rock climbing walls, a carousel, a FlowRider surf simulator, a basketball court, mini-golf course, table tennis area and a short zipline.

Celebrity Cruises won the highest ranking for Best Embarkation and Best Public Rooms, along with Best for Families across all size categories; whilst Cunard, whose Queen Elizabeth was ranked second Best Overall, secured pole position in the Best Cabins category.

Norwegian Spirit won the coveted Best Dining and Best for Value awards.

Mid-Size Ship Category

Another big winner, this time in the Mid-Size ship category was Marella Cruises, formerly Thomson Cruises. The cruise line’s Marella Spirit secured four top awards, including: Best Overall, Best Service, Best for Value and Best Shore Excursions. Brits seem to love the fact that all tips are included in the price of the fare, which bypasses the often confusing mandatory tipping culture on international ships.

Cunard scooped another Best Cabins award, this time for Queen Victoria, as well as the Best Public Rooms accolade. One of the ship’s signature features is the stunning three-tier Grand Lobby with its unique artwork, sweeping staircase and sculpted balconies. The centerpiece of its Royal Arcade on Deck 3 is a custom-built, chiming pillar clock by English clockmaker Dent & Co. – clockmaker to Queen Victoria, whose most famous work is Big Ben in London.

Fred. Olsen’s Balmoral was favoured to win the Best Entertainment award. The ship’s daytime activities are numerous with everything from port lectures and enrichment seminars to line-dancing classes on offer on sea days.

Small-Ship Category

Hurtigruten’s newest ship, Spitsbergen, specifically adapted to reduce fuel emissions and consumption, stole the show in the Small Ship category, winning five top ranking awards for Best Overall, Best Cabins, Best Service, Best Shore Excursions and Best for Value.

Viking Ocean Cruises also continues to impress cruisers with its 2016-launched Viking Sea, which landed three top accolades for Best Dining, Best Embarkation and Best Public Rooms. All meals are complimentary, including specialty restaurants and all menus include heart-healthy options as well as vegetarian choices. The Chef’s Table menu is themed to a certain region or food style, such as Chinese, Norwegian or sweet and salty and menu rotates to a different theme every three days.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Line proved popular again for entertainment, winning the Best Entertainment also in the Small-Size ship category.

The UK Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards are awarded in three ship classes, based on passenger capacity (Large: 2,000+ passengers; Mid-Size: 1,200 to 1,999 passengers; Small: 1,200 or fewer passengers) and are calculated using the ratings submitted with each Cruise Critic member review.

This year’s UK winners include:

Best Cruises Overall

Oasis of the Seas – Royal Caribbean International (Large)
Marella Spirit – Marella Cruises (Mid-Size)
Spitsbergen – Hurtigruten (Small)

Best Cruise Ship Cabins

Queen Elizabeth – Cunard Line (Large)
Queen Victoria – Cunard Line (Mid-Size)
Spitsbergen – Hurtigruten (Small)

Best Cruise Ships for Dining

Norwegian Spirit – Norwegian Cruise Line (Large)
Rhapsody of the Seas – Royal Caribbean International (Mid-Size)
Viking Sea – Viking Ocean Cruises (Small)

Best Cruise Ships for Embarkation

Celebrity Reflection– Celebrity Cruises (Large)
Marella Discovery – Marella Cruises (Mid-Size)
Viking Sea– Viking Ocean Cruises (Small)

Best Cruise Ships for Entertainment

Oasis of the Seas – Royal Caribbean International (Large)
Balmoral – Fred. Olsen Cruise Line (Mid-Size)
Boudicca – Fred. Olsen Cruise Line (Small)

Best Cruise Ships for Fitness

Freedom of the Seas – Royal Caribbean International (Large)
Queen Victoria – Cunard Line (Mid-Size)
Viking Sea – Viking Ocean Cruises (Small)

Best Cruise Ship Public Rooms

Celebrity Silhouette – Celebrity Cruises (Large)
Queen Victoria – Cunard Line (Mid-Size)
Viking Sea – Viking Ocean Cruises (Small)

Best Cruise Ships for Service

Brilliance of the Seas – Royal Caribbean International (Large)
Marella Cruises – Marella Spirit (Mid-Size)
Spitsberger – Hurtigruten (Small)

Best Cruise Ship Shore Excursions

Oasis of the Seas – Royal Caribbean (Large)
Marella Cruises – Marella Spirit (Mid-Size)
Spitsbergen – Hurtigruten (Small)

Best Cruise Ships for Value

Norwegian Spirit – Norwegian Cruise Line (Large)
Marella Spirit – Marella Cruises (Mid-Size)
Spitsbergen – Hurtigruten (Small)

Best Cruises for Families

Celebrity Reflection – Celebrity Cruises

Best for First-Timers

Oasis of the Seas – Royal Caribbean International

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