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- #1Regent Seven Seas Cruises#1 in Best Cruises to the Caribbean
Regent Seven Seas Explorer debuted in 2016, making it the newest ship in the fleet. It's also the largest, welcoming up to 750 passengers. The ship makes service a top priority, with a nearly 1-to-1 crew-to-guest ratio. According to recent cruisers, the crew was friendly and attentive.
Travelers were even more impressed by the all-suite accommodations, which are some of the largest offered among ocean liners. All 375 suites include spacious balconies, marble bathrooms, walk-in closets, interactive flat-screen TVs and unlimited Wi-Fi.
Another high point: the cuisine. Explorer offers eight dining areas that range from the casual Pool Grill to Asian creations at Pacific Rim. As part of 'Regent Experience,' all specialty dining is included in the cruise fare.
Outside the cabins, guests can spend their days participating in cooking demonstrations, lounging by the pool or relaxing in the library. At night, entertainment options include casino games, cocktail lounges and shows in the Constellation Theater. Complaints about this ship are few and far between, though some reviewers felt the entertainment could be more impressive.
The best perk, according to recent passengers? All shore excursions are included. In 2019-20, Seven Seas Explorer sails to destinations in the Tropics, Europe, Australia, the Mediterranean and more.
- #2Seabourn Cruise Line#2 in Best Cruises to the Caribbean
The 458-passenger Seabourn Odyssey began sailing in June 2009 and – like its sister ships – is an all-suite vessel. Travelers can enjoy complimentary Champagne upon arrival, fresh fruit daily and 24-hour room service, plus everyone has access to a personal suite stewardess for additional requests. Each cabin is equipped with a separate living area and bedroom, a stocked bar, a flat-screen television, a walk-in closet and a bathroom with a tub, shower and dual sinks.
The four dining options aboard the Seabourn Odyssey range from casual poolside fare, such as pizzas and salads, to The Grill by Thomas Keller, which serves upscale meals and tasty libations. Post-dinner, travelers can relax with a cocktail at one of the bars or test their luck at the casino. The Seabourn Odyssey also offers nightly entertainment like movies under the stars and dance parties on the boat's deck.
Onboard amenities on this ship include two pools, six outdoor hot tubs, a fitness center, a nine-hole putting green and a spa. The ship also allows cruisers to enjoy water sports equipment like kayaks, paddle boats and Hobie Cat sailboats in select destinations.
In 2019-20, Odyssey sails to a number of ports across the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, as well as some transatlantic voyages.
- #3Celebrity Cruises#3 in Best Cruises to the Caribbean (tie)
Launched in 2012 and last updated in January 2018, the 3,046-passenger Reflection sets itself apart with features like a top-deck Lawn Club and the Game On interactive activity center with flat-screen table games. Another highlight is the Alcoves, where guests can enjoy crowd-free cabana lounging (for an extra fee). The ship is set to receive a full refurbishment in 2023.
And with 11 restaurants and cafes, including seven specialty dining venues, passengers have plenty of choices when it comes to cuisine. As far as cabins go, 85 percent of Reflection's staterooms offer verandas, and the ship offers a wider variety of suite cabins than other Celebrity ships. All cabins come appointed with minibars and flat-screen TVs. Passengers who choose AquaClass suites receive extra perks, such as direct access to the spa and 24-hour butler service.
Recent passengers complimented the ship's layout, citing the pool areas are particularly comfortable and never overly crowded. Thanks to a 2-to-1 guest-to-crew ratio, cruisers can also expect personalized service.
- #3Silversea Cruises#3 in Best Cruises to the Caribbean (tie)
Fully refurbished in May 2018, the 608-passenger Silver Spirit prioritizes customer service. With 411 crew members on board, it maintains less than a 1-to-2 crew-to-passenger ratio.
The ship's full redesign left it 49 feet longer, enhancing the space around the ship. Guests will enjoy dining options like Spaccanapoli (Italian), Silver Note (tapas-sized dishes), Atlantide (seafood), Indochine (Asian) and more. There are a total of eight dining establishments, many of which recent visitors called "superb."
Recent cruisers were also pleased with the all-suite accommodations. All offer ocean views, and 95 percent include private verandas. The spacious suites (ranging from 312 to 1,668 square feet) offer amenities like butler service, minifridges and full baths with separate showers.
The extra space on board also allows for a roomier spa – 8,300 square feet, to be exact. When you're not getting pampered, take advantage of the ship's other activities like fitness classes, casino games and enrichment courses. Come nightfall, unwind in one of three bars, or catch a performance at the Venetian Lounge.
- #3Viking Ocean Cruises#3 in Best Cruises to the Caribbean (tie)
Launched in April 2016, Viking Sea is the second vessel in Viking's Ocean Cruises fleet. Carrying just 930 passengers, the ship's small size is designed to allow direct access to smaller ports such as Bergen, Norway, and Montreal.
Viking Sea's staterooms range from 270-square-foot Veranda Staterooms to the 1,448-square-foot Owner's Suite. All accommodations include balconies, flat-screen TVs, king-sized beds, complimentary Wi-Fi access and bathrooms with heated floors. Those who splurge on upgraded staterooms receive extra perks like priority reservations for excursions, spa treatments and specialty restaurants.
The ship's facilities include a fitness center, a Nordic spa (complete with a snow grotto), an outdoor gym and yoga area, a theater and a one-of-a-kind infinity pool on the stern of the ship that gives the illusion of swimming in the ocean.
When you work up an appetite, the Viking Sea offers a variety of dining options to quell your hunger. They range from casual Norwegian cuisine at Mamsen's to alfresco dining on the Aquavit Terrace. Recent passengers report a stellar onboard experience, describing the food as delicious, the ship as comfortable and the service as top-notch.
- #3Viking Ocean Cruises#3 in Best Cruises to the Caribbean (tie)
The 930-passenger Viking Sky – which debuted in February 2017 – is one of the newest ships in Viking's ocean cruise line. Identical to its four sister ships, Viking Sky receives rave reviews from past passengers for its port-heavy itineraries (cruise fares include one complimentary excursion per port) and luxurious, comfortable staterooms. Cabins offer between 270 and 1,448 square feet of space and include balconies, complimentary Wi-Fi access, flat-screen TVs and bathrooms with heated floors, among other amenities. Those who opt for an upgraded stateroom or suite are treated to additional perks, like priority reservations at the spa and specialty restaurants.
Viking Sky's activities include classes at the fitness center, treatments at the spa and destination-focused lectures. The ship also offers two pools and two whirlpools, including an infinity pool on the stern of the ship. In the evenings, passengers can enjoy live performances in the theater or watch destination-related movies in one of two cinemas.
Guests also have their choice of cuisine, from alfresco dining on the Aquavit Terrace to Manfredi's Italian Restaurant. With 550 crew members on board, the ship maintains a nearly 2-to-1 guest-to-crew ratio.
- #7Celebrity Cruises#7 in Best Cruises to the Caribbean (tie)
The 2,850-passenger Equinox was introduced in 2009 and recently underwent a full renovation in June 2019. It offers a mix of classic Celebrity amenities and unique activities. The ship features 18 premium retail shops, a half-acre Lawn Club and the Hot Glass Show, where professional artists demonstrate glassblowing techniques. Updates include the new Retreat sundeck and lounge, luxurious bedding and all-new amenities.
Recent cruisers appreciated the variety of dining options on the ship, which include 10 eateries ranging from light fare at AquaSpa Café to craft beer and comfort food at the new Comfort Social to a frozen cocktail bar on the pool deck. Other highlights include the Canyon Ranch SpaClub and enrichment programs like cooking demos and dance lessons.
In terms of accommodations, 85 percent of the ship's staterooms offer verandas. Cabin categories include Inside, Ocean View, Veranda and Suite rooms, and all are appointed with flat-screen TVs, 24-hour room service and sitting areas. Suites offer extra perks like afternoon appetizers and butler service. Past cruisers assured that even if you don't splurge on a butler-serviced room, you'll still receive individualized attention, as everyone from the room stewards to the restaurant servers were friendly and helpful.
In 2019-20, the Celebrity Equinox offers a variety of itineraries in the Caribbean.
- #7Crystal Cruises#7 in Best Cruises to the Caribbean (tie)
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 holds 848 guests and has a 1-to-1.7 staff-to-guest ratio.
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, minifridges and bathtubs. Those who choose Penthouse category rooms receive additional privileges, like personal butler service.
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.
- #7Disney Cruise Line#7 in Best Cruises to the Caribbean (tie)
The 2,713-passenger Disney Magic is the oldest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet (it first launched in 1998) but it received some updates in 2018, including the "Rapunzel's Royal Table" dining experience. The ship features family favorites such as the AquaDuck waterslide, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique dress-up shop and Edge, an interactive game center for tweens.
Disney Magic features diverse entertainment, including live shows, an open-air Wide World of Sports deck, three pools and a splash area for children younger than 3. Unique to the Magic is the teens-only Chill Spa. When it comes to dining, the ship offers eight eateries, including an adults-only specialty restaurant and buffet options. Recent cruisers gave the food quality mixed reviews.
In terms of lodging, 70 percent of cabins offer ocean views or verandas. All cabins are outfitted with flat-screen TVs, sitting areas and bathrooms with separate showers and tubs. Suites include extra perks such as concierge service and media libraries. Past cruisers noted that the service on this ship is up to Disney's standards, but so is the price tag.
In 2019-20, Disney Magic sails from Miami, New York City, San Juan, Puerto Rico and a variety of spots across Europe. It completes a number of transatlantic cruises, as well as sailings to the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe.
- #7Disney Cruise Line#7 in Best Cruises to the Caribbean (tie)
Disney’s newest ship, Disney Fantasy, launched in 2012 and underwent a dry dock in 2017 to introduce new features like the Marvel Super Heroes Academy, a "Star Wars"-themed command post and a Tiffany & Co. retail store.
Staterooms are designed with families in mind. Inside staterooms can accommodate up to four guests, and over 85 percent of the ship's cabins have an ocean view or a veranda. All cabins are outfitted with flat-screen TVs, minifridges and iPod docking stations.
Onboard entertainment is just as family-oriented, with Goofy’s Sports Deck activity center, a virtual sports simulator (for an extra fee), nightly live performances and 3-D movies. While younger guests play in age-appropriate youth clubs, adults can relax at the Quiet Cove Pool or enjoy an evening at one of the six adults-only bars and lounges.
When it comes to dining, the ship offers 10 themed dining venues, including two adults-only specialty venues, three main dining rooms and a new ice cream shop, Sweet on You.
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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