Call to plan a cruise: 1-877-978-2693
with a cruise advisor
- #1Cunard Line#1 in Best Cruises from Brisbane
Launched in 2007 and most recently updated in May 2017, Queen Victoria features all the hallmarks of the Cunard line (personalized customer service and elegant entertainment options geared toward an older crowd), plus upgraded staterooms, new Britannia Club dining, a revamped sun deck and more. With a passenger capacity of roughly 2,000, Queen Victoria is Cunard’s smallest ship.
Queen Victoria features Cunard's standard upscale accommodation options, including Queens Grill and Princess Grill suites. The ship also offers Single cabins designed for solo travelers. All cabins feature amenities like minifridges and flat-screen TVs. Suites include walk-in closets and bathrooms with tubs.
When it comes to dining, Queen Victoria offers six options ranging from casual fare at Lido to contemporary French cuisine at the specialty Verandah Restaurant (for an extra fee). The ship also offers a variety of activities and entertainment options, including lectures, fitness classes and spa treatments.
In the evenings, guests can participate in themed galas or enjoy theatrical productions and live music. Keep in mind that there is an elegant dress code for nighttime activities. Some may find this a hassle, though many recent cruisers were pleased with this extra air of sophistication that's typically absent on other ships.
- #2Princess Cruises#2 in Best Cruises from Brisbane
Thanks to a recent refurbishment in July 2018, the 2,000-passenger, 924-crew-member Sun Princess has features that set it apart from the rest of the fleet, including an exclusive seafood venue, a specialty restaurant by award-winning chef Curtis Stone, new boutiques and a revamped entertainment lineup.
Another selling point: the accommodations. About 70 percent of the ship's exterior cabins are outfitted with balconies, and all cabins offer standard amenities like minifridges and satellite TVs. Those who opt for Mini-Suite and Suite category room receive more space and extras like bathtubs and multiple TVs. Most recent cruisers found the ship's accommodations clean and comfortable.
Outside of their cabins, guests can relax by the pool or with treatments at the spa. Other activities include duty-free shopping, lectures and hands-on cooking lessons through the ship's Discovery at SEA program. There are also special centers designed specifically for kids and teens between the ages of 3 and 17. When it’s time to dine, guests can choose from two main dining rooms and a number of casual or specialty eateries. Past cruisers praised the cuisine options.
- #3Cunard Line#3 in Best Cruises from Brisbane (tie)
Originally launched in 2004, the Queen Mary 2 underwent a major update in 2016 to introduce redesigned public spaces and restaurants, renovated staterooms and suites, additional spaces and kennels for those traveling with pets (the only ones at sea) and a complete exterior facelift.
The 2,691-passenger Queen Mary 2 is Cunard’s flagship, and it is known for its frequent transatlantic crossings and luxury cruising experience. Recent passengers rave about the upscale cabins, which range from Single staterooms designed for solo passengers to Princess Grill and Queens Grill cabins that offer extra perks, such as exclusive dining venues and butler service.
When travelers aren't in their cabins, they can participate in enrichment programming, visit the ship's planetarium, read in the largest library at sea and more. In the evenings, cruisers can enjoy shows at the Royal Court Theatre or musical acts in various venues across the ship.
Queen Mary 2 offers six dining venues, including two specialty restaurants, as well as six bars and lounges. Overall, past cruisers were impressed with the specialty restaurants, while the main dining rooms received mixed reviews.
In 2018-19, Queen Mary 2 completes Transatlantic crossings and sails to a variety of destinations in the Caribbean, Europe and the Far East.
- #3Princess Cruises#3 in Best Cruises from Brisbane (tie)
Last updated in April 2018, Golden Princess provides its 2,600 passengers with a bevy of new features, including a piazza-style atrium, the child-free Sanctuary retreat, a poolside movie screen and more. Cruisers can expect a high level of service thanks to the low crew-to-guest ratio (the ship features 1,100 staff members). Although the ship offers youth clubs for kids ages 3 to 17, most of the entertainment and activities on board are geared toward adults.
Still, most previous cruisers complimented the selection and quality of the cuisine at the 11 dining venues, which range from three main dining rooms to casual fares like burgers and pizza. The ship is outfitted with four specialty venues, including fresh seafood at the Crab Shack and Italian specialties at Sabatini's.
Another major selling point is the ship's cabins. Interior staterooms occupy between 158 and 162 square feet, and they come outfitted with flat-screen TVs and minifridges. Larger Mini-Suites and Suites span 323 to 932 square feet and include two flat-screen TVs, a furnished balcony and a fully equipped bathroom with tubs and showers.
- #3Princess Cruises#3 in Best Cruises from Brisbane (tie)
Debuted in 1998, the 2,000-passenger Sea Princess offers the refined setting and stylish details of its Sun-class siblings, complete with a four-tier atrium and marble accents. Thanks to its most recent refurbishment in November 2017, the ship also features modern amenities like an adults-only retreat and a massive outdoor movie screen.
Sea Princess offers programming tailored to youngsters, including age-appropriate youth clubs. While kids are occupied, adults can relax in the library, attend a lecture series or receive treatments at the spa.
When it's time to dine, cruisers can choose from two main dining rooms, three casual eateries, a specialty steakhouse and New Zealand Natural Ice Cream. Another high point for past cruisers: the accommodations. About 70 percent of all outside cabins offer balconies, and all staterooms are appointed with flat-screen TVs and minifridges. Guests staying in Club Class staterooms will enjoy special touches like expanded menu options and priority embarkation and disembarkation.
In 2018-19, Sea Princess departs from a variety of ports for sailings in Australia and the Pacific, as well as world cruises.
- #6Princess Cruises#6 in Best Cruises from Brisbane
Originally built to cater to the Chinese market, Majestic Princess debuted in April 2017 and offers year-round cruises out of Shanghai. However, the ship also sails throughout Australia and New Zealand for the 2018-19 season. Welcoming 3,560 guests and 1,346 crew members, Majestic Princess touts new features not available on any other Princess ship, including two specialty restaurants with dinner menus created by Michelin-starred chefs.
Beyond the ship's specialty restaurants, passengers can dine in three main dining rooms and grab snacks and beverages at a handful of casual eateries, including a lobster and dim sum bar.
Similar to the rest of the Princess fleet, this ship houses the Lotus Spa, a casino, a fitness center, a sports and pool deck, and the SeaWalk – a glass-paneled walkway that stretches 28 feet beyond the ship's edge. Majestic Princess also features several bars, lounges and theaters. One of the ship's most noteworthy performances is the Watercolor Fantasy Show, a choreographed water show set to music.
Majestic Princess offers a variety of lodging types, with Interior cabins measuring between 158 and 162 square feet and Suites spanning 460 to 932 square feet. Though cabin sizes vary, all feature flat-screen TVs, minifridges and desks.
- #7Holland America Line#7 in Best Cruises from Brisbane
Last updated in 2016, ms Maasdam can carry up to 1,258 passengers and 569 crew members. Traveling with fewer guests means there are more spots in onboard learning programs like BBC Earth Experiences and the popular Digital Workshop, powered by Windows. Plus, you'll likely find fewer crowds at the pool deck and in the Greenhouse Spa. While the ship does offer youth clubs for kids, most activities are geared toward adults. For 2018 and 2019, Holland America Line introduced the new EXC In-Depth Voyages aboard the ms Maasdam, which explore fascinating corners of the world over 12 to 32 days.
Dining options on ms Maasdam range from steaks and seafood at the Pinnacle Grill to pasta dishes at the Canaletto Restaurant to vegetarian and low-carb plates at the Rotterdam Dining Room. Interior cabins are appointed with sofas and flat-screen TVs, while travelers who upgrade to Lanai staterooms receive private balconies. For more luxury, splurge on one of three suite categories, which include whirlpool baths and access to a private lounge area (in Neptune suites).
- #8Cunard Line#8 in Best Cruises from Brisbane
Launched in 2010 as the newest Cunard ship, Queen Elizabeth can carry up to 2,081 passengers. With 1,005 crew members on board, the ship puts an emphasis on personalized attention. Past cruisers said everyone from the wait staff to the room stewards provide five-star service.
Guests can choose from a number of lodging options, including unique single staterooms for solo travelers, special Queens and Princess Grill suites, Britannia Club and Britannia cabins. Some room categories offer extra space and access to exclusive dining venues. All cabins are outfitted with standard amenities such as room service, flat-screen TVs and minifridges.
Daytime activities include watercolor painting classes, dance lessons, fencing classes, afternoon tea and outdoor garden parties. While children's programming is provided, recent cruisers note that entertainment is decidedly adult, with evening galas and chic lounges.
Queen Elizabeth offers four main dining rooms that vary by cabin type, as well as a specialty restaurant and alternative dining at the Lido buffet. In the evenings, passengers can grab a nightcap at one of multiple bars and lounges.
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.