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- #1Silversea Cruises#1 in Best Cruises from Brisbane
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.
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.
In 2019-20, Silver Muse sails to a number of areas in Asia, Alaska, Australia and New Zealand, as well as some transoceanic voyages.
- #2Crystal Cruises#2 in Best Cruises from Brisbane
Crystal Serenity first set sail in 2003, and it emerged from its most recent multimillion-dollar renovation in November 2018. It now welcomes 980 guests (fewer than its previous 1,070-passenger capacity), with the aim of enhancing the ship's personalized service and atmosphere. There is one crew member for every 1.5 guests. Serenity also features better technology (including free unlimited Wi-Fi) and exciting new food options. Dining choices include the Asian-inspired Silk Kitchen and Bar, the Brazilian-style Marketplace and Churrascaria and a new centrally located main restaurant.
The Serenity's updates continue into its cabins, with the addition of 36 new Penthouses and two new Penthouse Suites. All cabins come outfitted with flat-screen TVs, minifridges and bathrooms with tubs. Guests staying in Penthouse category rooms have access to extras like Jacuzzis, nightly hors' d'oeuvres and personal butler service.
Crystal has long garnered high marks from cruisers and critics for its tailored onboard experience. Guests can enjoy a feng shui-inspired spa, multiple bars and lounges and a casino. Additional onboard offerings include shopping boutiques, a sports deck with a driving range and the Computer University@Sea. As of the 2018 redesign, a number of the ship's public spaces, including Palm Court and the Stardust Club, feature new finishes, carpeting and seating areas.
For 2019-20, Crystal Serenity cruises to destinations across the world, such as ports in the Caribbean, Europe, Canada and the Mediterranean. Its departure ports include Barcelona; New York City; Rome and more.
- #3Princess Cruises#3 in Best Cruises from Brisbane
The 670-passenger Pacific Princess, recently refurbished in June 2019, is the smallest ship in the Princess fleet. It caters to travelers looking for quieter, more personalized onboard experiences than those offered on megaships. Past cruisers described the 375-person staff as warm and gracious.
There's plenty of breathing room on board, with seven dining venues (including two specialty restaurants, a buffet, a main dining room and three casual eateries) and three lounges. When it comes to activities, passengers can get treatments at the Lotus Spa, participate in wine tastings, take a dip in the saltwater pool or attend expert lectures as part of the Discovery at SEA program. Come nightfall, cruisers can take in shows at the theater or play games in the casino. That said, youth-oriented programming is limited.
At the end of the night, travelers will retreat to staterooms outfitted with flat-screen TVs and minibars. While Interior cabins measure between 158 and 162 square feet, Mini-Suites occupy a larger 323 square feet and include two flat-screen TVs and sofa beds. Pacific Princess does not yet offer the OceanMedallion wearable device on its sailings.
- #4Princess Cruises#4 in Best Cruises from Brisbane (tie)
Thanks to its most 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. Sun Princess does not yet offer the OceanMedallion wearable device on its sailings.
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.
- #4Royal Caribbean International#4 in Best Cruises from Brisbane (tie)
Launched in 2001 and last updated in 2016, Radiance of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean's smaller ships, carrying up to 2,466 guests and 894 crew members. Many cruisers gave high marks for the ship's service thanks to its nearly 1-to-3 crew-to-passenger ratio. The ship boasts a total of 10 dining venues, including specialty restaurants like Giovanni's Table, a main dining room and large buffet. Dining shipwide received mixed reviews.
Guests praise the onboard entertainment, which includes Broadway-style shows, a casino and an abundance of bars and lounges. Although the ship doesn't boast some of the megaship amenities found on larger Royal Caribbean vessels, it does offer rock climbing, mini-golf and three pools. Kids can also take advantage of age-specific youth programs.
Radiance of the Seas offers four stateroom categories: Interior, Ocean View, Balcony and Suite. Solo travelers can also opt for Studio staterooms, which measure 108 square feet.
- #6Princess Cruises#6 in Best Cruises from Brisbane (tie)
Built in 2004 and recently refurbished in March 2018, the 2,670-passenger Sapphire Princess appeals to travelers looking to sail across Southeast Asia, Canada and Europe. With 1,100 crew members on board, the ship provides a more tailored experience than some of its larger competitors.
The ship's Interior staterooms span 158 to 162 square feet and are appointed with minifridges and flat-screen TVs. Cruisers can also opt for Oceanview and Balcony cabins, as well as Mini-Suite and Suite category staterooms. Club Class rooms offer all the amenities found in Mini-Suites, plus some add-ons like an exclusive dining area and priority embarkation and disembarkation. Sapphire Princess does not yet offer the OceanMedallion wearable device on its sailings.
When it comes to dining, passengers can choose from a total of 14 venues, including five main dining rooms, four specialty restaurants and several casual eateries ranging from a poolside pizzeria to burgers and fries.
Activities are equally diverse, ranging from wine tastings to spa treatments to educational lectures through the ship's Discovery at SEA program. In the evenings, Sapphire Princess offers activities like poolside film screenings, dancing at the top-deck Skywalkers Nightclub and games in the casino.
- #6Princess Cruises#6 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. Sea Princess does not yet offer the OceanMedallion wearable device on its sailings.
In 2019-20, Sea Princess departs from a variety of ports for sailings in Australia and the Pacific, as well as world cruises.
- #8Princess Cruises#8 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 2019-20 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. Majestic Princess does not yet offer the OceanMedallion wearable device on its sailings.
- #9Cunard Line#9 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 2,061, plus 981 crew members, 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.
- #10Cunard Line#10 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.
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