In our never-ending quest to bring you the very best cruise information, we traveled all over the globe in 2013.
SUMMARY OF OUR EDITORS' CHOICE AWARDS FOR 2013
Our awards are based on actual sailings aboard the ships and cruise lines listed below during the 2013 calendar year. Categories are based on service areas that we feel deserve special recognition.
- Best Large Ship Luxury Cruise Line - Crystal Cruises - Crystal Serenity - This award is for any luxury ship with a guest capacity of 700 or more. 5-Star service, excellent accommodations, great dining choices, and a new 'all-inclusive' policy, combine to make this our pick as the best luxury line for 2013. Read review.
- Best Accommodations - Crystal Cruises - Penthouse w/Veranda on Crystal Serenity - Unquestionably, the Penthouse w/Veranda on Crystal Serenity was not only the best accommodations for 2013, but perhaps the best stateroom we have every occupied on any cruise ship. Read review.
- Best Enrichment Series - Crystal Cruises - Crystal Serenity - Crystal Visions - The variety and quality of the lecture series, combined with personal improvement programs such as Computer University @ Sea makes Crystal an easy pick. Read review.
- Best Alternate Dining - Crystal Cruises - Crystal Serenity - Silk Road - Silk Road is not just the best Asian restaurant at sea, but one of the best in the world. The Nobu-inspired cuisine is a hit and the sushi bar is the icing on top. Read review.
- Best Cruise Director - Crystal Cruises - Crystal Serenity - Gary Hunter - For more than 30 years, Gary Hunter has been working on cruise ships. There is no substitute for experience. It is obvious that Gary loves his job. Read review.
- Best Pre-Cruise Website - Crystal Cruises - CrystalCruises.com - The great experience on Crystal begins with a website that allows guests to pre-book spa treatments, restaurant reservations, shore excursions and more. Best of all, the website displays each day of the cruise and the dress code for the day. Read review.
- Best Room Service - Crystal Cruises - Penthouse w/Veranda - Who says dining en-suite has to be restricted to a small, unappetizing menu? When you book a Penthouse w/Veranda or above on Crystal, you can order dinner from any restaurant menu on board. Do you want the mushroom soup from Prego? How about sushi from Silk Road? All you have to do is ask. Read review.
- Best Shore Excursions - Swan Hellenic - MV Minerva - Not only are the shore excursions on Minerva well executed, they are included in the cruise fare! Read review.
- Best All Inclusive Value - Swan Hellenic - MV Minerva - Even though beverages are not included in your cruise fare, the fact that gratuities and shore excursions in every port are included makes Swan Hellenic the best all-inclusive value. Read review.
- Best New Small Ship - Paul Gauguin Cruises - Tere Moana - We were very impressed with this small ship. Great crew, great dining, small and intimate ship. That's what we look for in a small ship experience. Read review.
- Best Way To See The Greek Isles - Paul Gauguin Cruises - Tere Moana - We did two Greek Isles cruises back-to-back on two different cruise lines. Paul Gauguin had the better itinerary and ports-of-call, hands down! Tere Moana is the best way to see the Greek Isles. Read review.
- Best Small Ship Luxury Cruise - SeaDream Yacht Club - SeaDream I - Our 2013 sailing on SeaDream I confirmed that this is still an amazing small ship luxury cruise line. Read review.
- Best Internet Service At Sea - SeaDream Yacht Club - SeaDream I - Here's a surprise. During our 7-night Greek Isles cruise we experienced the best Internet connection and speeds of any cruise line...ever. Read review.
- Best Columbia & Snake River Cruise - Un-Cruise Adventures - S.S. Legacy - We have sailed the Columbia & Snake Rivers on other cruise lines, but Un-Cruise has the best way to see this beautiful part of the USA. The included excursions make this a big value over other cruise lines. Read review.
- Best Way To See Istanbul - Private Tours By Arif Yasa - Istanbul is one of the greatest cities in the world, and one that is best seen by foot. A walking tour with an English-speaking guide is one you will remember for a lifetime. Arif met us at our hotel and we had a great time walking to many of Istanbul's most famous landmarks. Read review.
- Best Way To See Athens - Athens Custom Taxi Tours - Forget sitting in a motor coach with 45 other people riding around Athens. For about the same price, you can have your own private guide. We have known Dimitris for years and can highly recommend his private taxi service. Whether you need a transfer from the airport, or a full day tour of Athens, Dimitris will take care of you. Read review.
- Best Way To See Barcelona - Barcelona Segway Tour - If your cruise embarks/disembarks in Barcelona, or if you are simply stopping there for the day, forget the ship's lame shore excursions. Do something different and exciting! Barcelona is the perfect city to explore by Segway. Read review.
- Best Luxury Hotel - King George Palace, Athens - If you are looking for unmatched luxury and service, make sure to book your pre-/post-cruise stay at the King George. It is our pick for the best luxury hotel for 2013. Read review.
DISCLAIMER: Travel Awards typically come from surveys from travel magazines or websites
from cruise enthusiasts. Many, if not most, who vote for their favorite cruise line
may have never sailed with another cruise line. Having little or no
basis for comparison, how valuable can these awards really be? Even our
Editors' Choice Awards are subject to scrutiny since we can only bestow
an honor on a cruise ship or line which we have personally experienced.
So, when you read this article announcing our Editors' Choice
Awards, realize that they are based solely on our personal experiences
and observations during that year.
Originally posted on January 2, 2014