Below are the cruise lines, airlines, hotels and products that we feel are worthy of special recognition in 2016. Awards are based upon cruise lines, ships, hotels, resorts, attractions and other travel-related products that we personally experience during the calendar year.
CRUISE LINE AWARDS
Best Luxury Cruise Line - Silversea Cruises
We have been extremely privileged to sail with Silversea many times over the years and, our assessment of the cruise line has not changed. When it comes to pure luxury and personal service, Silversea is as good as it gets. In January, we had the opportunity to sail on Silver Shadow for 14 days in Southeast Asia. Read our review.
Best New Large Ship - ms Koningsdam - Holland America Line
Holland American still refers to their new Koningsdam as a "mid-size" ship, but in our book, any ship that can carry 2,950 guests is BIG. Nevertheless, because of an intelligent design, the new ms Koningsdam does not feel big like some ships this size. We love this new ship because of HAL's attention to amazing entertainment and inventive dining options. Read our review.
Best Small Ship Cruise Line - Windstar Cruises
Windstar has always had an excellent reputation as a quality small ship cruise line, best known for its fleet of small sailing vessels. Recently, Windstar expanded its fleet by acquiring three motor yachts: Star Pride, Star Legend and Star Breeze. We recently had the opportunity to spend 9 days aboard Star Breeze and are convinced that, based on our experience, Windstar is the clear leader in small ship cruising. Read our review.
Best European River Cruise - ms Grace - Tauck River Cruises
It would not be fair to compare Tauck River Cruises to other European river cruise lines. Tauck brings 5-star luxury to the European rivers with their fleet of ships, one of the newest of which is ms Grace. When you want a true luxury experience on the rivers of Europe, Tauck River Cruises delivers. Read our review.
Best River Cruise Accommodations - Veranda Suite - Viking River Cruises
European river boats are not usually recognized for having big, roomy accommodations. Well, that has all changed now that Viking River Cruises offers a Veranda Suite on its fleet of Viking Longships. We found the two-room Veranda Suite to be a worthwhile upgrade for those seeking the ultimate in comfort while sailing the calm rivers of the Danube (or, whichever river your Viking Longship sails). The Veranda Suite delivers a level of comfort and style normally only found in suites on ocean-going vessels. Read our review.
Best Dining - ms Koningsdam - Holland America Line
Holland America's newest ship shows a real commitment to innovative cuisine. Our Dinner at The Culinary Arts Center was one of the most memorable dining experiences we have had...anywhere. The chef actually placed micro greens on our salads using tweezers! Read our review.
Best Entertainment - ms Koningsdam - Holland America Line
It only took four days aboard Holland America's new ms Koningsdam to realize that this ship is revolutionizing cruise line entertainment. The Lincoln Center Stage, World Stage and B.B. King's Blues Club are just three of the venues that guests can enjoy, and they can enjoy all of them on the same evening! Read our review.
Best Pre-/Post-Cruise Hotel in Miami - Trump National Doral
This is the second year in a row that a Trump-branded hotel has been recognized by the editors of CruiseReport.com. We have reviewed many properties in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area but none, so far, have been able to compare to the Trump National Doral. Great suite accommodations, four championship golf courses, tennis, a spa to which few in the world can compare, great dining options and a very attractive pre-/post-cruise program, make this our pick for the Best in Miami for 2016. Read our review.
BEST Island Tour - LucianStyle Segway Tour - St. Lucia
We are big fans of Segway tours and have enjoyed many such tours in cities throughout Europe. However, we have never done an off-road Segway tour, that is, until now! The Sunset Segway Tour and Beach BBQ was one of the most interesting Segway tours we have ever done, and we can highly recommend it to our followers who are cruising to St. Lucia. Read our review.
BEST Travel Service - Luggage Forward - Luggage Delivery Service
We have used Luggage Forward's luggage shipping service multiple times and continue to be impressed with the efficiency and level of service. There are many advantages to having your luggage shipped directly to the cruise ship (and back home at the end of your cruise), not the least of which is not having to hassle with airline baggage handling. Read our review.
BEST New Product - Skyroam™ WiFi Hotspot
Cruise ships are notorious for having poor Internet service, even when in port! Enter Skyroam, a portable WiFi Hotspot device that lets you connect to the Internet from just about anywhere in the world! Read our review.
BEST Travel Technology - Aperturent.com Camera/Lens Rental
When we decided to get some wide-angle shots during our 2016 river cruise assignments, we were faced with the added expense of purchasing a pricey new wide-angle lens. Enter Aperturent.com, a company that rents digital camera gear, including lenses! For a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new wide-angle lens, we were able to rent a lens for two weeks. We were very impressed with the variety of camera gear they offer, and the service was top-notch. Read our review.