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- #1Azamara Club Cruises#1 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles (tie)
The 690-passenger Azamara Journey attracts travelers who like large-ship amenities and enriching onboard programs (think a guest lecture series, culinary demonstrations and sommelier-led wine tastings) without the crowds. Plus, with 408 crew members on board, Journey offers a higher level of personalization than a megaship. While the recently refurbished staterooms are appointed with minibars, flat-screen TVs and new decor, suites include extras such as 240 free internet minutes and complimentary seating in the ship's specialty dining restaurants.
Cruisers have plenty of food options to choose from, including three causal eateries, a main dining room and two specialty restaurants – all of which recent cruisers praise. The ship also offers a complimentary cultural immersion program on sailings of seven or more nights (known as AzAmazing Evenings), new entertainment options like live theatre shorts and Broadway entertainment, a spa and a fitness center. Journey was revitalized in early 2016 to include the latest technology and an updated interior design.
- #1Crystal Cruises#1 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles (tie)
Crystal Serenity first set sail in 2003, and it emerges 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. Serenity also features better technology (including free unlimited Wi-Fi) and exciting new food options. New 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, mini fridges 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 2018-19, Crystal Serenity cruises to destinations across the world, such as ports in the Caribbean, the Atlantic Crossing, the U.S. West Coast, Northern Europe, Hawaii and the Mediterranean. Its departure ports include Miami, Lisbon, Los Angeles and more.
- #1Regent Seven Seas Cruises#1 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles (tie)
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 2018-19, Seven Seas Explorer will depart from Miami, Los Angeles and ports in Europe. Cruises sail to destinations in Africa, the Tropics and Panama Canal, Europe, the Mediterranean and South America. Seven Seas Explorer also completes transatlantic journeys during this time period.
- #1Viking Ocean Cruises#1 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles (tie)
When it debuted in 2015, the Viking Star was the fleet's first ocean liner. Welcoming up to 930 passengers, the Viking Star stands outs for its staterooms, which are all outfitted with a veranda. Cabins range from 270-square-foot Veranda Staterooms to the 1,448-square-foot Owner's Suite, which offers a dining area that can seat six, an ocean view dry sauna and a boardroom that seats 12, among other amenities.
Beyond their rooms, passengers will find a spa, several shops, a theater that hosts live performances and lectures, two cinemas for screening movies and two pools, including a glass-backed infinity pool cantilevered off the stern.
There are eight dining options to choose from, all with no additional charge or fee. For fine dining, there's The Restaurant, Manfredi's and The Chef's Table, which touts a multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings. For a more casual atmosphere, passengers can stop at Mamsen's for Norwegian deli-style eats or the Wintergarden for afternoon tea, among others.
In 2018-19, Viking Star sails to destinations in Europe, the Mediterranean, Cuba and more.
- #5Seabourn Cruise Line#5 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.
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.
- #6Viking Ocean Cruises#6 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles
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.
- #7Crystal Cruises#7 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles
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.
- #8Celebrity Cruises#8 in Best Cruises from Los Angeles
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 from Los Angeles (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 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 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.