Cruising has been suspended for the foreseeable future due to our current global health crisis. Many of us have had upcoming cruises cancelled and remain uncertain of just when we will be able to step back onboard a cruise ship. Some are even questioning if they will ever cruise again. We remain optimistic that the cruise industry will rebound, and we can’t stop thinking about our next cruise. When? Where? What Ship? So, to help get over our cruise blues, we asked that Cruisers Share Their Favorite Cruise Ships to help spread this love for cruising.
Cruisers Share Their Favorite Cruise Ships
Lavanya is a travel writer from New York and her vote for favorite cruise ship goes to Viking Jupiter. We had the pleasure of sailing with Lavanya on this ship last year and have to agree that Viking Jupiter provides such a luxurious and enriching cruise experience.
“My husband Scott and I really enjoyed our Viking Homelands cruise last year with Viking’s latest ocean cruise ship, the Viking Jupiter. It was just the right size for us– under 1000 cruisers– and it was adults only. The cruise stopped in ports along the Baltic Sea on the way to St. Petersburg in Russia. Spending two full days exploring the cultural capital of the Russian Federation was a dream come to for us. We never thought we could experience the grandeur of Peterhof Palace and Gardens in person or walk among the restored mosaic masterpieces of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. The cruise ship itself was a work of art, with an awe-inspiring Wintergarden calling to us with its Scandinavian trellised canopy representing the Tree of Life and the Nordic-themed Explorer’s Lounge that boasted a planetarium at the upper level. We had incredible things to see both onboard and on the shore. It was definitely a trip to remember.”
Lavanya and her husband posing in front of the beautiful Viking Jupiter
Jeff and Leah from Kansas can be found on Instagram for some great cruise ship photos. Their vote for favorite cruise ship goes to Norwegian Encore for a very good reason. We sailed on the christening cruise for Norwegian Encore back in November and can’t wait to get back onboard as 3 days were not nearly enough time to fully appreciate this beauty.
“Our very first cruise was on a Norwegian Breakaway-class ship, and we’ve loved that class ever since. After sailing the Bliss during her inaugural year, we followed the entire construction process for the Encore, leading up to our cruise on her in December ’19. All the hype and anticipation paid off – the Encore has so many amazing activities (we love the water slides and go cart track!), and Norwegian’s dining options are our favorites of any cruise line – especially Cagney’s Steakhouse. Above all that, though, the BIGGEST reason Encore is so special to us is because we got engaged while we were aboard! It happened as we were watching the sunset from the aft part of the waterfront deck, and we were both in our happy place! The crew who found out about our engagement helped us celebrate, as well! It all made for the most special cruise memories!”
The lovely Norwegian Encore docked in St. Thomas
Paul, author of the Joy of Cruising, and his wife Cheryl decided to take their granddaughter LaKi on a cruise for her 10th birthday. See why their trip on Harmony of the Seas was so memorable.
“We promised her we were going to the Orlando beaches and waterparks for a few days to celebrate. In the distance the mighty Harmony of the Seas came into view as we approached Port Canaveral. The world’s second largest cruise ship, Harmony was indeed awe-inspiring and immediately captured LaKi’s attention. The beach outing was a fun subterfuge; in reality we had decided to celebrate LaKi’s birthday with a cruise. She loves cruising; this was the 5th cruise we have done with LaKi in the last 4 years. A broad grin took over LaKi’s face as the ruse about the beach became clear; the grin did not disappear for the next eight days!
Harmony of the Seas was all we had hoped for and more. I can’t do justice to the many “gee whiz” features of the ship in a brief post; and, we were amazed by the talent of the performers of both the included aqua shows and ice skating shows. Besides the many highlights of Harmony, it was also our first visit to the newly imagined Royal Caribbean private island Perfect Day at Coco Cay, a $250 million picturesque beach playground with a water park adjacent to the beach, and theme park style eateries replacing the standard private island picnic buffet. LaKi did the Up, Up & Away balloon ride with me; it offered great views and a wonderful vantage point for photos. Here is one I took of my new favorite ship from the balloon!”
Harmony of the Seas docked at Perfect Day at CocoCay
Related Post: Cruisers Share Their Favorite Cruise Destinations
Dana is a travel writer from Vermont who votes Regent Seven Seas Explorer as her favorite cruise ship. We have never sailed with this luxury cruise line but would certainly love to experience a cruise with the brand.
“What’s not to love about “the most luxurious ship ever built”? She is exquisite. Seven Seas Explorer is an all-suite, all-balcony cruise ship. Yes, all-suites! Every luxury from specialty restaurants to onshore excursions are included. So is business class airfare. Plus, their high staff to guest ratio ensures personalized 5-star service throughout your cruise.”
What’s not to love about this pool deck on Regent Seven Seas Explorer?
Michelle and Sebastian from Switzerland vote Carnival Horizon as their favorite cruise ship. We took our first Carnival cruise this year, and there will certainly be more in our future. Be sure to check out Michelle and Sebastian’s Instagram account for some great travel photos.
“We love Carnival since our first cruise in 2013. So far, the Carnival Horizon is our favorite ship. The Sky Ride is amazing! And we spent many hours in the gym. We loved it!”
This photo was taken in beautiful Curacao, Jan. 2019
Fred from Virginia wants to give his vote for favorite cruise ship to MSC Seaside. We were supposed to be cruising with MSC Cruises in May to the brand new Ocean Cay, but it looks like we might need to wait a bit longer for that trip. Be sure to take a peek at all of Fred’s travel photos on Instagram.
“MSC Cruises has created a cruising experience that really scratches the itch for my wife and I. The MSC Yacht Club is an experience that is the best value in luxury cruising on the high seas. The amenities are too many to list here, but my family and I have been in love with the MSC Yacht Club since we first set foot in the Top Sail Lounge aboard the MSC Divina a few years ago. We’ve got three cruises booked with MSC Cruises and can’t wait until this is all over so we can get back on the ocean.”
MSC Seaside sitting pretty in Grand Cayman
Chris from Florida can be found all over Twitter sharing his love for cruising. When asked what his favorite cruise ship was, his response was Mariner of the Seas. We have also been lucky enough to sail on this amplified ship from Royal Caribbean that provides one of the best weekend cruises on the market.
“I love the recent updates to the ship making it fresh again with new features like the Sky Pad, Perfect Storm Water Slides, Laser Tag, Playmakers and more. I also love the special areas on the ship like the Peek a Boo Bridge and the Helicopter Deck. Two quiet areas to go to get away and take in the beautiful views of the sea!”
Chris posing alongside the amplified Mariner of the Seas
Joe from North Carolina picks Celebrity Edge as his favorite cruise ship; although, he admits that he had trouble putting into words just why. We have to agree that Celebrity Edge really ushered in a whole new level of cruising when she debuted. Be sure to check out Joe’s Instagram for plenty of cruise content.
“Celebrity Edge is the first totally immersive cruise I’ve ever experienced, and kind of difficult to put into words. Here is a list of some of my favorite experiences onboard…Eden is a bizarre 3-story space filled with its own characters who entertain and engage guests throughout the day, provide ambient music and perform a very strange stage show at night. The Rooftop Garden is a beautiful and relaxing outdoor space full of live plants on the top deck where you can enjoy live music or a movie under the stars while servers provide food and drink. The Martini Bar is the “atrium” of the ship where the bartenders entertain while mixing high-end cocktails with a 3-story LED chandelier providing a synchronized light show alongside your favorite tunes… And the captain and her officers are known to put on a show here as well. The Club is not just a nightclub, but a 2-story venue for dance and performances by a futuristic cast of characters, wandering around as patrons themselves. The Magic Carpet is the greatest bar at sea. Cantilevered off the side of the ship, it literally hovers overtop of the water from a range of deck heights depending on the time of day.”
The Rooftop Garden on Celebrity Edge
Thomas from Oklahoma casts his vote to Empress of the Seas for its throwback to “old time” cruising. While we have not sailed on Empress ourselves, we do agree that sometimes you don’t need all the bells and whistles of modern cruise ships. Be sure to say Hi to Thomas on YouTube.
“My favorite cruise ship is Empress of the Seas from Royal Caribbean. I’ve sailed her 3 times (twice to Cuba). I enjoy her because she doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that the bigger ships have, and it allows for an ‘old time’ cruising experience. Want to participate in an activity? Cool! Rest on the sun deck? Nice! She has a lot of bars and places to sit. Again, not the biggest ship with all of the fancy stuff, but I enjoyed her.”
Bigger isn’t always better
Ashley from Florida, one of The Traveling Gals, weighs in with another vote for a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. This time, she picks Brilliance of the Seas as her favorite cruise ship. Too many Royal Caribbean ships and not enough time, but we will definitely have to add Brilliance to our list.
“My family and I have gone on this ship multiple times out of Tampa and for whatever reason we always have such a great time on the Brilliance. Even though it is not a big ship, the crew and experience is always wonderful. Because we’ve been on it so many times now, it feels like a second home when we step on-board.”
Ashley’s second home, Brilliance of the Seas
Brian from Nebraska picks Norwegian Escape as his favorite cruise ship. After spending two weeks on this leading lady, it must have been an easy choice. Norwegian Escape definitely ranks high on our list of favorite ships too. Be sure to say Hi to Brian on Twitter.
“While it was tough to choose the Escape, I know it is the right choice. Having been on Allure of the Seas, as well as the Norwegian Bliss, I was fortunate enough to be on the Escape for 2 weeks. This really gave me a chance to get into a routine, and move in. I really fell in love with this beautiful ship and it felt like home. I was legitimately bummed to get off, but I had the opportunity to watch it sail away, and that might be the most heartbreaking thing I have ever experienced, but it was amazing at the same time. The staff was incredible, the food was fantastic, and I still think about the Norwegian Escape several times a week.”
Norwegian Escape sailing away into the sunset
Nick from Florida states his favorite cruise was a 12-day cruise on Anthem of the Seas back in 2015. Given Nick’s cruise record, we can only imagine how difficult it was to narrow down the choices. Check out all of Nick’s cruise photos on Instagram.
“This was a brand new ship sailing from Southampton. Part of the fun was being on a brand new ship visiting brand new ports. We really enjoyed the Dynamic Dining and although this concept is no longer around, some of the dishes are still being served like my favorite the Asian Pork Tacos.”
Nick enjoying the high flying feats on Anthem of the Seas
Kim and Kenzie from Pennsylvania also choose a Royal Caribbean ship as their favorite cruise ship. Their vote goes to Harmony of the Seas. The Oasis-class ships seem to be a popular choice. We have sailed on all four ships in this class and love the neighborhoods and world-class entertainment options!
“My Mom and I have traveled on both Disney and Royal Caribbean ships, and Harmony of the Seas is by far the best. The bar and entertainment venues on the ship are countless and make for a great experience. The main dining room and specialty dining restaurants are fantastic, with innovative cuisine at Wonderland and our Royal Caribbean favorite, Chops Grille. “The Fine Line” aqua show is fantastic and is our favorite aqua theatre show throughout the Royal Caribbean ships. The amount of activities like the Ultimate Abyss slide and Perfect Storm waterslides make for a fun filled sea day. It is impossible to get bored on Harmony of the Seas and that is why it is our favorite ship!”
Harmony of the Seas sitting pretty outside CocoCay, Bahamas
Steve and Ann from Nebraska can be found sharing travel inspiration on their blog Postcard Jar. When it comes to cruising, they love Celebrity Edge. Of course, we can’t blame them. Ironically enough, we actually met this lovely couple while sailing on Celebrity Edge.
“The first time we boarded the Celebrity Edge, we were hooked. With The Retreat for suite guests, Celebrity not only employed the concept of a ship-within-a-ship, they defined it. Offering Retreat guests a private sundeck, spacious, luxurious lounge, private pool bar, and exclusive gourmet restaurant, the Edge and its crew bring luxury to life. It is our happy place, and we can’t wait to go back.”
Steve and Ann posing with Celebrity Edge
Lynn from Toronto, Canada who runs Be Your Own Travel Guide states that Princess continues to be her favorite cruise line even after sailing on ships from other brands including Royal Caribbean, Viking, and Costa Cruises. Specifically, her vote for favorite cruise ship goes to Crown Princess.
“Crown Princess offers many of the amenities that are so dear to the Princess fleet. Skywalker’s Nightclub, Movies Under the Stars, and the Promenade are all coveted spots on the ship. Many also gather at the Calypso Reef and Pool for a bucket of beers. My favourite feature on Crown Princess is the Anytime Dining. No more scheduled dinners, seatmates, or timetables that don’t work for you. You can show up when you’re hungry at one of the restaurants, no questions asked. This is the most valuable feature for those long days in port or if you have a tour that extends past your dining time. The atmosphere on Crown Princess is unmatched. Princess offers a stunning experience in EVERY MOMENT. Leaving the port? Come enjoy some Sailaway tunes on Lido Deck. Just arrived back from a day trip? Stop by for a slice of pizza or a hamburger and fries by the pool. Not yet showtime? Watch a Movie under the Stars with a warm cookie in hand. Every moment is exquisite.
Princess has always attracted a more reserved clientele. There are no belly-flopping competitions here! But you will be far from bored on the ship. Crown Princess has an Art Gallery, enriching presentations by specialists in the field, and destination-based activities that will satisfy your curiosity. I can’t wait to sail with Princess again!”
Crown Princess docked in St. Thomas
Stephanie from Canada votes for Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, Harmony’s older sister. She loves escaping the cold winters for a trip to the Caribbean. Be sure to check out Stephanie’s cruise photos on Instagram.
“So far our favorite ship is Allure of the Seas. Gorgeous ship and we love all the activity we can do onboard. The crew is incredible. The suite life onboard Allure is beyond amazing.”
Allure of the Seas is one of the four Oasis-class ships from Royal Caribbean
Brandon from Georgia loves Carnival Vista and the whole Vista-class of ships. We have only sailed on one Carnival ship, Carnival Panorama, but we had a great time! Hopefully, there will be more Carnival cruises in our near future. Head on over to Twitter to check out Bubba’s Cruise Opinions.
“It’s got a lot of free activities on board like sky ride, ropes course, sports court, water slides etc. The extras like thrill rides and IMAX are reasonably priced, as is the jump park for Panorama. The layout of the ship inside is more spaced out than the Breeze-class with plenty of outside spaces too. The main reason though is all of the quality included food options- more than you can eat in 7 days.”
The stunning Dreamscape in the Atrium on Vista-class ships
The Cruise Line Pictures Instagram account hails from South Carolina and picks Allure of the Seas as his favorite cruise ship as well.
“This ship is by far my favorite simply because of the atmosphere of the ship during my time on board and the amazing crew! I love the care Royal Caribbean gives to its passengers, in my eyes, they’re just the best for families and solo travelers alike.”
Who is dreaming of this view right about now?
Ilana from Montreal, Canada runs the cruise blog, Life Well Cruised. While Ilana admits that she has enjoyed aspects of all her cruises, one of her favorite overall cruise experiences was on the Celebrity Summit. She has cruised on this particular ship three times now, including before and after its revitalization.
“The Celebrity Summit is intimate, while still having areas that feel grand and spacious, like the Main Dining Room, buffet area and theatres and lounges. At about 90,000 tons, this ship still has 3 pools, including the gorgeous and super relaxing adult only thallostherapy pool. We enjoy spending sea days near a pool, and were always able to find a deck chair. This is one of the reasons we enjoy ships that are less large. The cabins and bathrooms are newly decorated in light and airy tones, and even have some conveniences like USB outlets. Finally, food and service were excellent, and the attention to detail on this ship, made sailing on the Celebrity Summit a perfect cruise ship for us.”
The newly revitalized Celebrity Summit
Don and Heidi from Eat Sleep Cruise: Finally, while it was very difficult to pick our favorite cruise ship, we decided to go with Norwegian Bliss. Why? For our overall cruise experience on this ship.
“While there are so many great cruise ships on the market across the brands, each highlighting its own unique features and amenities, our Alaskan cruise on Norwegian Bliss back in 2018 was a great experience for so many reasons. Having taken our first cruise to Alaska just 4 years prior, we never would have thought that we’d return to the region so quickly. This time with friends. Alaska is one of those destinations that is just truly awe-inspiring. From the landscapes, to the wildlife, and the unique excursion options, there is so much to enjoy. Norwegian Bliss is the perfect ship to sail this region. It was the first ship in the Breakaway-Plus class that was built for the US market to feature the Observation Lounge. This forward-facing venue has floor to ceiling windows offering stunning views of the Alaskan scenery. Not to mention, Norwegian Bliss was also the first in the class to offer some great amenities for thrill-seekers like us, including a race track and a dedicated laser tag course, as well as signature entertainment options. We also love NCL’s Freestyle Dining concept and the variety of specialty restaurants like Cagney’s steakhouse and NCL’s first BBQ joint, Q Texas Smokehouse. Oh, did we mention the amazing desserts from Coco’s and the mojitos from the Sugarcane Mojito Bar? In our opinion, the caliber of onboard offerings, not to mention the regionally inspired hull art, makes Norwegian Bliss one of the best ships to cruise Alaska with family or friends!”
The Observation Lounge on Norwegian Bliss
Is your favorite cruise ship included in this post? What features and amenities do you look for in a cruise ship? Drop us an anchor below to share your picks for favorite cruise ship and why.