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- #1Viking Ocean Cruises#1 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles (tie)
Like its four sister ships, Viking Sun – which began sailing in November 2017 – carries 930 passengers and 550 crew members. One of the ship's highlights is its all-veranda accommodations. Cabins range from 270-square-foot Veranda Staterooms to the 1,448-square-foot Owner's Suite. All accommodations include flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi access, stocked minibars and bathrooms with heated floors. Those who choose an upgraded room receive additional perks, such as priority reservations at the spa and specialty restaurants.
Onboard dining options include Manfredi's Italian Restaurant, the internationally focused World Café and the poolside Aquavit Terrace. Guests can also visit the main restaurant for a menu that changes daily.
When it comes to ship activities, guests can receive treatments at the spa, lounge by one of two pools (including an infinity pool on the stern of the ship) or mingle with other passengers in The Viking Living Room. In the evenings, entertainment includes live performances in the theater and movies in one of two cinemas.
- #1Seabourn Cruise Line#1 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles (tie)
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.
- #3Seabourn Cruise Line#3 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles
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.
- #4Crystal Cruises#4 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles
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.
- #5Celebrity Cruises#5 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles (tie)
The 2,218-passenger Celebrity Millennium debuted in 2000 and was fully refurbished in February 2019. The renovation added brand-new staterooms, updated the ship's design and technology, debuted a new lounge area and more.
When it comes to dining, Celebrity Millennium offers eight restaurants, ranging from the Tuscan Grille steakhouse to Qsine, an interactive restaurant with iPad menus (both require an extra fee). The ship also offers an array of bars and lounges, including the popular Cellar Masters wine bar.
While the ship offers programming for children, most of the activities are geared toward adults. Onboard enrichment includes language lessons, art classes and Zumba lessons. The ship also features a rooftop terrace with an outdoor movie screen.
- #5Norwegian Cruise Line#5 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles (tie)
Built in 2017, the 3,804-passenger, 1,821-crew-member Norwegian Joy was refurbished and redeployed to Alaska in 2019. Accommodation options include Inside, Oceanview and Balcony staterooms, as well as Suites, Concierge rooms (which come with concierge service) and The Haven cabins (which include 24-hour butler service and private sundecks).
There are five inclusive dining options and eight specialty venues on board, the latter of which offer cuisines from Japan, France and Italy. Complimentary restaurants include the ship's three main dining rooms; The Local, a 24-hour pub; and the Garden Café, a casual spot with floor-to-ceiling windows that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Cruisers will find plenty of things to do on board, from shopping at duty-free stores and luxury boutiques to watching stand-up comedians and full-scale productions like the Broadway musical Footloose. The ship also offers a spa, laser tag, a racetrack, a casino, mini-golf, a fitness center, two aqua parks and more.
- #5Oceania Cruises#5 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles (tie)
As part of Oceania's fleetwide revamp, Regatta was completely redesigned in September 2019. 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, plus all-new furnishings and marble bathrooms.
The 684 passengers 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. All-new plant-based menu items are also available.
- #5Princess Cruises#5 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles (tie)
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.
- #5Regent Seven Seas Cruises#5 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles (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 Serene Spa & Wellness center 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 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.
- #10Princess Cruises#10 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles
Emerald Princess, which debuted in 2007 and was recently updated in April 2019, is one of the largest ships in the fleet. It carries up to 3,080 passengers and 1,200 crew members, and it offers balconies in 80 percent of its exterior cabins. Recent cruisers describe the accommodations as sleek and spacious.
While groups can opt for a Family Suite for more square footage, those who splurge on Suite category cabins are granted perks like specialty dining and priority disembarkation at ports. All cabins come equipped with flat-screen TVs and minifridges. What's more, as of August 2020, each guest aboard Emerald Princess will receive an OceanMedallion wearable device to unlock his or her stateroom, make onboard payments, track down friends and family and more.
Activities include duty-free shopping boutiques, the Lotus Spa and a photography studio. In the evenings, theater shows, outdoor movies and multiple lounging areas keep cruisers entertained. The ship also offers age-appropriate youth clubs; in fact, the Camp Discover Youth & Teen Centers were refreshed during the refurbishment. With four pool areas, seven whirlpool spas, the newly reimagined Sanctuary and an abundance of dining venues – including seven specialty restaurants – the ship rarely felt crowded (according to most passengers). Guests will be especially fond of the new Steamers Seafood restaurant and Planks BBQ venue.
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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