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- #1Viking Ocean Cruises#1 in Best Cruises to Alaska
Viking's newest ocean ship, which set sail in 2018, can accommodate up to 930 guests. All staterooms on the Viking Orion are equipped with balconies, flat-screen LCD TVs and minibars. Cabins also feature bathrooms with glass-enclosed showers and heated floors.
When it's time to relax, cruisers can head to the spa for a treatment or – for a unique experience – cool their body temperatures down in the snow grotto (where snowflakes fall) before jumping into the sauna or hot tub to warm up. Recent travelers said this spa experience is not to be missed.
The ship is also home to a fitness center, a living room that hosts live entertainment, a library, shops, a salon and two movie theaters. The main pool area is expansive, featuring ample lounge seating, a retractable roof and a poolside bar. At night, the ship screens poolside movies under the stars.
Viking Orion's guests can enjoy meals at several onboard restaurants, including the main restaurant where menus rotate daily. Or, guests can book a private dining room for intimate gatherings. Recent cruisers raved about the service and food quality across the ship. Come nighttime, the ship's theater offers live performances ranging from themed shows to history and art lectures.
- #2Azamara Club Cruises#2 in Best Cruises to Alaska
Like its sister ship, the Azamara Journey, Quest appeals to travelers seeking an intimate, relaxed atmosphere. According to recent cruisers, the 690-passenger vessel is small enough to provide individualized service (thanks to its excellent crew-to-passenger ratio) but large enough to offer multiple dining venues, including two specialty restaurants, a main dining room and three causal venues.
The ship's staterooms were recently refurbished and include flat-screen TVs, minibars and 24-hour room service. Suites offer additional perks, such as 240 free internet minutes and complimentary seating at the ship's specialty dining restaurants. Cruisers can also spend time at the spa and fitness facilities, which previous passengers described as modern and comfortable.
Onboard entertainment includes seminars and wine tastings, among other enrichment programs. At night, passengers can enjoy blackjack in the Casino, watch live performances at the Cabaret Lounge or sip cocktails at one of Quest's multiple bar areas. On top of all that, itineraries that are seven or more nights include a complimentary night experiencing local culture in a port, known as AzAmazing Evenings.
- #3Seabourn Cruise Line#3 in Best Cruises to Alaska
The 458-passenger Seabourn Sojourn debuted in June 2010 and features all-suite accommodations. About 90 percent of the suites offer verandas, and all accommodations provide 24-hour room service, flat-screen TVs, bathrooms with dual sinks and a separate living area and bedroom. What's more, cruisers are welcomed with complimentary Champagne upon arrival and can enjoy a fruit basket that's refreshed daily. A suite stewardess is assigned to each cabin to assist with requests as well. Sojourn is virtually identical to its sister ships, Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Quest.
Outside the rooms, travelers can gamble at the casino, work up a sweat in the fitness center or relax at the spa. Those interested in soaking up the sun can snag a spot by one of two swimming pools or enjoy one of six hot tubs. Cruisers can also fuel their competitive juices with a round of shuffleboard or golf on the nine-hole putting green. When anchored, vacationers in select destinations can take advantage of the ship's water sports equipment, such as kayaks and paddle boats.
There are four dining venues to choose from on the Seabourn Sojourn, including casual and fine dining options. In the evening, cruisers can enjoy cocktails at one of the bars or dance under the stars. The ship's nearly 1-to-1 crew-to-passenger ratio means cruisers should expect exceptional service.
In 2018-19, Sojourn sails to destinations in Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Africa, Canada, Alaska and more. Itineraries are as short as eight days and as long as 72 days. Soujourn is set to begin cruises to various ports in Cuba, including Havana, in October 2019.
- #4Disney Cruise Line#4 in Best Cruises to Alaska (tie)
The 2,713-passenger Disney Wonder first debuted in 1999 and was updated in fall 2016, rolling out new family-oriented amenities and entertainment offerings like meet and greets with Disney characters and Frozen, A Musical Spectacular.
The ship offers plenty of onboard activities, with 10 designated family areas, six youth clubs and seven adults-only spaces. While younger passengers play at age-appropriate clubs, grown-ups can relax at the adults-only Quiet Cove Pool. Infants and toddlers in swim diapers are limited to specified kids' wet play and splash areas (this is a requirement by the United States Public Health Service, not a Disney-specific rule).
In terms of dining, Disney Wonder offers six options, including one adults-only specialty restaurant. At night, adults can unwind and enjoy After Hours, a section of the ship that features three nightclubs and lounges.
Like the majority of the ship, staterooms are designed with families in mind. Interior staterooms can accommodate up to four passengers, while larger Suites can sleep up to seven. All cabins come equipped with flat-screen TVs, seating areas and classic Disney designs. Recent cruisers noted the expensive cost of a trip on the Disney Wonder, but most felt the quality of service was top-notch.
In 2018-19, Disney Wonder departs from a range of ports, including Galveston, Texas, Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida, Canada and California. It sails to destinations in Alaska, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal and more.
- #4Silversea Cruises#4 in Best Cruises to Alaska (tie)
Silversea's largest ship to date, Silver Muse, is the line's newest flagship (it debuted in April 2017). Muse offers nearly a 1-to-1 crew-to-guest ratio, with 411 crew members and space for 596 passengers.
Among the ship's standout features are its spacious all-suite accommodations, which range from 334 square feet to 1,389 square feet. All cabins are serviced by a butler and include Pratesi bed linens, a marble bath with Bulgari toiletries and a picture window or balcony. While all passengers are treated to a complimentary hour of internet per day, those staying in upgraded suites get extras like balconies, multiple flat-screen TVs and interactive media libraries.
When it comes to dining, Silver Muse boasts eight venues that showcase a variety of cuisines, including Italian and Asian, as well as French fare at the upscale La Dame by Relais & Châteaux.
Similar to other ships in the fleet, Silver Muse offers a variety of onboard activities and facilities, including a spa, a pool deck and gym, a casino and several lounges.
- #6Crystal Cruises#6 in Best Cruises to Alaska
On the heels of a dramatic 2017 redesign, Crystal Symphony (first launched in 1995) boasts new open seating and dining areas, new Penthouses and Penthouse Suites, high-tech features and reimagined public spaces. The one thing that hasn't changed is the exceptional customer service Crystal is known for; recent travelers noted the crew was warm, attentive and extremely professional.
The ship offers a variety of activities including fitness programs, musical performances and treatments at the feng shui-inspired spa. All accommodations offer ocean views, flat-screen TVs, mini fridges and bathtubs. Those who choose Penthouse category rooms receive additional privileges, like personal butler service.
New dining options include the Waterside dining room, modern Chinese-inspired fare at Silk Kitchen and Bar and a Marketplace and Churrascaria serving casual buffet breakfast and lunch options by day and Brazilian-style delicacies by night.
For 2018-19, Crystal Symphony cruises to destinations across the world, including ports in the Caribbean, New England and Canada, South America and the Far East. Its departure ports include Fort Lauderdale, Florida, New York, New Orleans and more.
- #7Celebrity Cruises#7 in Best Cruises to Alaska (tie)
Recently refurbished in 2016 (and first launched in 2008), the 2,852-passenger Celebrity Solstice offers a sushi restaurant and the Alcoves retreat (a private cabana area with dedicated attendants) in the Lawn Club. Other daytime activities range from spa treatments to cooking lessons to art classes. Young passengers ages 3 to 17 can also participate in age-appropriate youth clubs.
As far as dining goes, Celebrity Solstice boasts 10 restaurants, half of which are specialty spots that require an extra fee. Guests were pleased with the cuisine variety, and with a nearly 1-to-2 crew-to-passenger ration, the ship makes service a priority.
When it comes to lodging, 85 percent of Solstice's cabins feature verandas. Guests can choose from Inside, Ocean View, Veranda and Suite category cabins, all with amenities like flat-screen TVs, minibars and 24-hour room service. Those who spring for an AquaClass cabin receive additional amenities, like an upgraded room service menu.
- #7Celebrity Cruises#7 in Best Cruises to Alaska (tie)
Launched in 2010 and most recently updated in 2015, the 2,852-passenger Eclipse is one of Celebrity's largest vessels. About 85 percent of Eclipse's accommodations include verandas, and those who splurge on suites and Aqua Class staterooms receive butler service and access to exclusive specialty dining. All cabins offer interactive flat-screen TVs and 24-hour room service.
As far as activities go, travelers can stay active at the Lawn Club, lounge by three pools, participate in cooking classes and shop at a variety of upscale boutiques. In the evenings, cruisers can enjoy theme parties, comedy acts and Broadway-style shows. Meanwhile, kids programming (geared toward guests ages 3 to 17) includes karaoke, Xbox consoles and organized games.
When it comes to dining, past cruisers praised the variety of casual and formal choices. The ship offers 11 eateries, including five specialty venues where reservations are required and additional charges apply. From the room stewards to the restaurant servers, Celebrity Eclipse's staff was also a point of praise among recent guests.
- #9Oceania Cruises#9 in Best Cruises to Alaska (tie)
Oceania Regatta was built in 1998 and last overhauled in 2014. Passengers in Veranda Staterooms and Suites will enjoy verandas and spaces ranging from 216 to 1,000 square feet, while Inside and Ocean View cabins are smaller. No matter which you choose, all staterooms are equipped with minibars, flat-screen TVs and 24-hour room service.
The 684 passengers on board will receive Oceania's signature service, with 400 crew members catering to guests' needs. Recent cruisers noted they rarely encountered crowds in the ship's public areas. The atmosphere aboard Regatta is decidedly adult, as the ship caters to older, affluent cruisers.
Entertainment varies from nightly musical performances to table games at the casino. Dining is also diverse: Regatta offers five venues ranging from the formal dining room to a casual grill. Some recent passengers felt that for the price, the ship could use a facelift. It is set to receive just that in the fall of 2019.
- #9Regent Seven Seas Cruises#9 in Best Cruises to Alaska (tie)
Refurbished in 2018 (and debuted in 2001), the Mariner features new decor and finishings throughout, a completely remodeled library in a new location and a revamped pool deck with an open layout and new tile and teak surfaces. The Canyon Ranch Spa received a new design with light wood accents and pebble-stone tiles, while the fitness and aerobics center offers new equipment. Onboard activities include theatrical productions, casino games and sipping cocktails in one of five lounge areas.
Across the ship, there are seven eateries total. All have been stylishly redesigned, including the Prime 7 steakhouse and the flagship Compass Rose restaurant. The Signatures restaurant was replaced with Chartreuse, a guest favorite aboard other Regent ships that highlights modern French cuisine. During the day, guests can enjoy the expanded lunch offerings at the outdoor Pool Grill or snack at the informal Coffee Connection. As with all Regent Seven Seas ships, specialty dining and shore excursions are included in the cruise fare.
Best of all, the all-suite accommodations have received new beds with plush leather headboards, sitting areas and new artwork. All cabins are outfitted with welcome bottles of Champagne, private balconies, walk-in closets and marble bathrooms.
In 2018-19, Seven Seas Mariner will mostly sail through the Pacific Northwest, between Vancouver, Canada, and Anchorage, Alaska. Additionally, one sailing departs from Vancouver and ends in Los Angeles.
Disclaimers about ship ratings: A ship’s Health Rating is based on vessel inspection scores published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If a ship did not receive a CDC score within 22 months prior to the calculation of its Overall Rating, its Health Rating appears as N/A; in such a case, the ship’s Overall Rating is calculated using the average Health Rating of all CDC-rated ships within the cruise line. All ship Traveler Ratings are based on ratings provided under license by Cruiseline.com.
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