Which are the best luxury cruises?

The answer probably depends as much on the cruiser as it does on the cruise line and ship. That’s because “luxury” is subjective.

In a collaborative post on GettingonTravel (GOT), our contributors took a stab at naming the “Best Luxury Cruises for Boomers.” Each named a different cruise that “floated their boat.”

Glancing at the GOT selections, it’s evident that the term “luxury” defies a single definition.

When it comes to cruising, passengers have a range of preferences and priorities. Among their considerations: ship size and number of passengers; stateroom size and in-cabin amenities; appeal of public spaces; quality of onboard programs; excellence of food and beverages: types of dining venues; availability of health, beauty and spa services; itineraries and choices of shore excursions; and standards of personal service (professionalism, helpfulness, friendly attitude, etc.). Some lines do a better job than others offering products that address many different aspects of luxury.

Best New Luxury Ship, Viking Orion

Best New Luxury Ship, Viking Orion

And most cruisers, especially those approaching retirement or already retired, are especially mindful of the value of a voyage in relation to its costs. So, what’s actually included in “all-inclusive” pricing is also a major concern.

The best luxury cruises go beyond the minimum of what is expected on mass-market cruises.

Over the years, the number of ocean and river ships has been growing, and increasingly, cruise lines are differentiating their products to capture different segments of the market. Both cruisers and cruise lines recognize that the adventurous cruiser interested in exhibition cruising is different from the cruiser who sails primarily to visit world-class ports and enjoy fine dining onboard. For some proportion of luxury travelers, destinations and itineraries trump everything else.

Cruise Critic Best Luxury Ships

Cruise Critic just announced its 2018 Editors’ Picks Awards—organized according to ocean, river and luxury cruising. Worth noting, in each category (including luxury cruising), Cruise Critic selected a range of subcategories that reflects the diversity of interests of today’s cruisers.

Here are the Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks of “Best Luxury Cruises:” 

  • Best Luxury Cruise Line: Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • Best New Luxury Ship: Silversea Cruises’ Silver Muse
  • Best Ship Refurbishment: Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Symphony
  • Best for Adventure: Silversea Cruises
  • Best Cabins: Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • Best Dining: Oceania Cruises
  • Best Enrichment: Seabourn Cruise Line
  • Best Itineraries: Azamara Club Cruises
  • Best for Romance: Windstar Cruises
  • Best Service: Crystal Cruises
  • Best Shore Excursions: Azamara Club Cruises
  • Best for Solo Travelers: Crystal Cruises
  • Best Spa: Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Best Value for Money: Viking Ocean Cruises

For more information, see: Cruise Critic Editor’s Picks Awards

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