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- #1Disney Cruise Line#1 in Best Cruises from Miami
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 "Rapunzel's Royal 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 2018-19, 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.
- #2Azamara Club Cruises#2 in Best Cruises from Miami (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.
- #2Crystal Cruises#2 in Best Cruises from Miami (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.
- #2Regent Seven Seas Cruises#2 in Best Cruises from Miami (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.
- #2Viking Ocean Cruises#2 in Best Cruises from Miami (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.
- #2Seabourn Cruise Line#2 in Best Cruises from Miami (tie)
Seabourn Quest, which launched in June 2011, is one of the smallest ships in Seabourn's fleet. It can fit up to 458 passengers and about one crew member for every cruiser. It is virtually identical to the Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Odyssey.
Seabourn Quest differs from the line's newer ships in terms of accommodations, as it offers some Ocean View Suites with porthole windows instead of verandas. However, all cabins still come equipped with amenities like flat-screen TVs, designer toiletries, personalized stationery, Egyptian cotton linens and in-suite bars stocked with your preferred refreshments.
Outside your suite, you can enjoy a range of pursuits, such as spa and salon treatments, free fitness classes, a nine-hole putting green and two swimming pools. Additionally, Seabourn Quest offers complimentary water sports equipment rentals at its Watersports Marina in select destinations.
Once you've worked up an appetite, sit for a meal at one of the ship's four restaurants, including the main dining room and The Grill, a steakhouse helmed by Michelin-starred chef Thomas Keller. And for evening entertainment, you'll have access to a variety of bars, plus a casino, a dance club and the Grand Salon, where cabaret performances, comedy shows and more are hosted nightly.
- #7Seabourn Cruise Line#7 in Best Cruises from Miami
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.
- #8Regent Seven Seas Cruises#8 in Best Cruises from Miami (tie)
After undergoing a massive refurbishment in late 2016, Seven Seas Voyager boasts updated decor throughout the ship. The ship features all-suite accommodations outfitted with flat-screen TVs, private balconies and marble bathrooms. The roughly 700-passenger Seven Seas Voyager employs 447 crew members, ensuring an excellent crew-to-guest ratio and a high standard of service.
While onboard, passengers can lounge poolside or receive treatments at the Canyon Ranch Spa. After working up an appetite, guests can dine at one of the ship’s six venues, including the Prime 7 steakhouse and the French-inspired Chartreuse. As with all Regent Seven Seas ships, specialty dining is included in the cruise fare.
When nighttime rolls around, guests can try their luck at the casino, catch a stage production at the Constellation Theater or savor a nightcap at one of four lounges and bars.
- #8Royal Caribbean International#8 in Best Cruises from Miami (tie)
The 6,680-passenger Symphony of the Seas is the newest ship in Royal Caribbean's Oasis fleet. This massive ship – which set sail in 2018 and is the largest cruise ship in the world – has 2,200 crew members and features 18 decks packed with activities.
For heart-pounding fun, travelers will find a surf simulator, an indoor ice skating rink, two 40-foot rock walls, a zip line and a 10-story slide. Meanwhile, relaxation seekers can unwind in the spa, sip cocktails made by robotic bartenders or stroll through the Central Park-inspired neighborhood.
Onboard snacks and meals are served at more than 15 quick-service and sit-down eateries. The Main Dining Room is where the ship's traditional, complimentary dinners are provided nightly, but specialty options like a steakhouse, a bistro and a Johnny Rockets outpost are also available. What's more, cruisers can dine at Jamie's Italian, a restaurant helmed by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
After filling up on gourmet fare, passengers can retreat to their cabins, all of which include work desks, flat-screen TVs and minibars. Guests can choose from 258-square-foot Interior Staterooms, some of which have virtual balconies with real-time views of the ocean, or opt for upgraded cabins with furnished balconies and up to 2,367 square feet of space. Select suites also feature two bedrooms, whirlpool tubs and dining rooms.
- #8Viking Ocean Cruises#8 in Best Cruises from Miami (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.
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.