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- #1Viking Ocean Cruises#1 in Best Cruises from New York
Launched in April 2016, Viking Sea is the second vessel in Viking's Ocean Cruises fleet. Carrying just 930 passengers, the ship's small size is designed to allow direct access to smaller ports such as Bergen, Norway, and Montreal.
Viking Sea's staterooms range from 270-square-foot Veranda Staterooms to the 1,448-square-foot Owner's Suite. All accommodations include balconies, flat-screen TVs, king-sized beds, complimentary Wi-Fi access and bathrooms with heated floors. Those who splurge on upgraded staterooms receive extra perks like priority reservations for excursions, spa treatments and specialty restaurants.
The ship's facilities include a fitness center, a Nordic spa (complete with a snow grotto), an outdoor gym and yoga area, a theater and a one-of-a-kind infinity pool on the stern of the ship that gives the illusion of swimming in the ocean.
When you work up an appetite, the Viking Sea offers a variety of dining options to quell your hunger. They range from casual Norwegian cuisine at Mamsen's to alfresco dining on the Aquavit Terrace. Recent passengers report a stellar onboard experience, describing the food as delicious, the ship as comfortable and the service as top-notch.
- #2Disney Cruise Line#2 in Best Cruises from New York
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.
- #3Azamara Club Cruises#3 in Best Cruises from New York (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.
- #3Crystal Cruises#3 in Best Cruises from New York (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.
- #5Crystal Cruises#5 in Best Cruises from New York (tie)
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.
- #5Oceania Cruises#5 in Best Cruises from New York (tie)
Oceania's Marina accommodates up to 1,250 passengers and employs 800 crew members, maintaining the personalized service that the line is known for. Last refurbished in 2016, Marina offers signature amenities like the Canyon Ranch Spa, a casino and a 2,000-book library. Onboard entertainment includes nightly live shows, painting and sketching lessons at the Artist Loft and cooking demos at The Culinary Center.
Cruisers can choose from seven dining venues, including specialty restaurants like Jacques (with menus crafted by chef Jacques Pépin) and the Asian-inspired eatery Red Ginger, which recent passengers highly recommend.
Similar to its sister ship, Riviera, cabins range from 174-square-foot Inside staterooms to 2,000-square-foot Suites. Higher category Veranda cabins and Suites come with perks like balconies, access to a Concierge Lounge, in-room iPads and more. All staterooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs, full-size bathtubs, and minibars stocked with soda and bottled water.
- #5Silversea Cruises#5 in Best Cruises from New York (tie)
Fully refurbished in May 2018, the 608-passenger Silver Spirit prioritizes customer service. With 412 crew members on board, it maintains less than a 1-to-2 crew-to-passenger ratio.
The ship's full redesign left it 49 feet longer, enhancing the space around the ship. Guests will also enjoy new decor and increased dining options, with the introduction of Spaccanapoli (Italian), Silver Note (tapas-sized dishes), Atlantide (seafood) and Indochine (Asian), as well as the renovation of La Terrazza. There are a total of eight dining establishments, many of which recent visitors called "superb."
Recent cruisers were also pleased with the all-suite accommodations. All offer ocean views, and 95 percent include private verandas. The spacious suites (ranging from 312 to 1,668 square feet) offer amenities like butler service, minifridges and full baths with separate showers.
The extra space on board also allows for a roomier spa – 8,300 square feet, to be exact. When you're not getting pampered, take advantage of the ship's other activities like fitness classes, casino games and enrichment courses. Come nightfall, unwind in one of three bars, or catch a performance at the Venetian Lounge.
- #8Silversea Cruises#8 in Best Cruises from New York
Built in 2001 and last refurbished in 2017, Silver Whisper can accommodate up to 382 luxury-seeking passengers. With 302 staff members on board and a nearly 1-to-1 crew-to-guest ratio, the ship maintains a higher standard of service than some competitors. The crew members' efficiency and attention to detail earned the ship high marks from many recent cruisers. Silver Whisper is set to receive a facelift to its public spaces and suites in December 2018.
Guests appreciated the all-suite cabins, which range from 287 to 1,264 square feet. More than 80 percent feature private teak balconies. Amenities include walk-in closets, minifridges and full marble baths with separate showers. Silver Whisper offers an array of daytime activities geared toward older travelers, including enrichment courses and afternoon tea, in addition to a casino, a spa, a salon and a pool deck.
Like its sister ship, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper touts four onboard restaurants, including the Relais & Châteaux-affiliated La Dame. Round out a day at sea with a show in the performance theater or at one of the several cocktail lounges.
- #9Princess Cruises#9 in Best Cruises from New York
Unique features – including a glass walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship – make Regal Princess stand out among competitors. Guests can expect quality service on the 3,560-passenger, 1,346-crew-member ship, which debuted in 2014 and was most recently updated in 2017.
Regal Princess offers plenty of onboard activities, from an indoor driving range to a photography studio to educational programming through Discovery at SEA events. While adults sip cocktails at one of the onboard lounges, kids and teens can enjoy age-appropriate youth clubs. Come mealtime, the whole gang can choose between the main dining rooms, a number of specialty restaurants (including Sabatini's Italian venue) and multiple laid-back eateries.
All cabins come appointed with minifridges and flat-screen TVs. While Interior cabins measure between 158 and 162 square feet, larger Balcony staterooms occupy 214 to 222 square feet. The ship also features Mini-Suite category cabins, which offer two flat-screen TVs, bathtubs and furnished balconies.
- #10Holland America Line#10 in Best Cruises from New York
Launched in 2002 and last refurbished in 2017, ms Zuiderdam features an extensive collection of paintings and sculptures by famed artists like Andy Warhol and Frank Lloyd Wright. Additional highlights include America's Test Kitchen, BBC Earth Experiences and the Digital Workshop, powered by Windows. If you're looking to relax on your voyage, head to the line's signature Greenhouse Spa & Salon or The Retreat, a secluded deck with sun beds, private cabanas and a separate bar.
With room for 1,964 passengers and 817 crew members, the ship maintains a 1-to-2 staff-to-guest ratio. Recent passengers said everyone was friendly and attentive, from the bartenders to the room stewards.
Inside and Ocean View staterooms aboard ms Zuiderdam measure between 151 and 233 square feet. All cabins include sofas, coffee tables, chairs and vanities, in addition to a queen-sized bed (or two twin beds). Other amenities include Euro-Top mattresses and flat-screen TVs. Dining venues include the upscale Pinnacle Grill, traditional dining rooms and more.
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.