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- #1Celebrity Cruises#1 in Best Cruises from Seattle (tie)
Recently refurbished in 2016 (and first launched in 2008), the 2,850-passenger Celebrity Solstice offers a sushi restaurant and the Alcoves retreat (a private cabana area with dedicated attendants) in the Lawn Club. Other daytime activities range from spa treatments to cooking lessons to art classes. Young passengers ages 3 to 17 can also participate in age-appropriate youth clubs. The ship will receive its next full refurbishment in late 2021.
As far as dining goes, Celebrity Solstice boasts eight restaurants, half of which are specialty spots that require an extra fee. Guests were pleased with the cuisine variety, and with a nearly 1-to-2 crew-to-passenger ration, the ship makes service a priority.
When it comes to lodging, 85 percent of Solstice's cabins feature verandas. Guests can choose from Inside, Ocean View, Veranda and Suite category cabins, all with amenities like flat-screen TVs, minibars and 24-hour room service. Those who spring for an AquaClass cabin receive additional amenities, like an upgraded room service menu.
- #1Holland America Line#1 in Best Cruises from Seattle (tie)
Originally launched in 2008 and updated in late 2015, Eurodam carries up to 2,104 passengers and 876 crew members.
The ship’s 11 decks include five cabin categories: Interior staterooms (141 to 284 square feet), Ocean View and Verandah staterooms, and Signature and Neptune Suites. All cabins come equipped with plush Euro-Top mattresses and flat-screen TVs. Suites received updates to the furniture, carpeting and bathrooms, as well as a USB outlet on the bed's headboard and a Bose Bluetooth speaker.
Recent cruisers of Eurodam were pleased with the versatile selection of nine dining venues. Most notably, the ship offers Tamarind, which serves exotic fare from Southeast Asia, China and Japan.
Daytime activities range from the new America's Test Kitchen to the BBC Earth Experiences. More active pursuits include two swimming pools and sports courts. In the evenings, passengers can sip cocktails at one of the bars or lounges or take in a show at the Lincoln Center Stage or B.B. King's Blues Club.
- #1Norwegian Cruise Line#1 in Best Cruises from Seattle (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.
- #1Oceania Cruises#1 in Best Cruises from Seattle (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.
- #1Princess Cruises#1 in Best Cruises from Seattle (tie)
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. Each guest aboard Regal Princess now receives an OceanMedallion wearable device to unlock his or her stateroom, make onboard payments, track down friends and family and more.
- #6Princess Cruises#6 in Best Cruises from Seattle (tie)
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.
- #6Princess Cruises#6 in Best Cruises from Seattle (tie)
With offerings like movie screenings beneath the stars and massages at the adults-only Sanctuary, Ruby Princess is a good choice for couples. Debuted in 2008, the ship was most recently refurbished in October 2018 to add new top-deck dining options like Slice Pizzeria and Coffee & Cones. Ruby Princess holds 1,200 crew members and 3,080 guests.
In terms of lodging, 80 percent of exterior cabins are appointed with balconies, and all rooms come equipped with flat-screen TVs and minifridges. While Interior cabins range from 158 to 162 square feet, Balcony category cabins offer more space and Pullman beds to accommodate extra guests. As of January 2020, each guest aboard Ruby Princess will receive an OceanMedallion wearable device to unlock his or her stateroom, make onboard payments, track down friends and family and more.
Reviewers are complimentary of the ship's onboard programming and amenities. Activities include a nine-hole putting course, duty-free shopping boutiques and enrichment opportunities through the Discovery at SEA program. Dining is just as diverse, with a total of 11 venues to choose from. Come nightfall, travelers can try their luck at the casino, see a show in the theater or dance until the wee hours at the top-deck nightclub.
- #8Norwegian Cruise Line#8 in Best Cruises from Seattle
Launched in April 2018, Norwegian Bliss carries 4,004 passengers and 1,716 crew members. Cabin layouts range from one-person Studios to The Haven villas, penthouses and suites, which offer private sun decks, king-sized beds and 24-hour butler service. The ship also features staterooms and suites with complimentary access to the Thermal Spa Suites.
Onboard entertainment options are plentiful on Norwegian Bliss. In addition to enjoying standard ship amenities like pools, a miniature golf course and kids clubs, cruisers of all ages can spend days at sea zipping around the race car track, playing laser tag, riding the arcade's virtual rollercoaster and more. Meanwhile, adults will love gambling in the casino, catching a performance at the theater, and sipping cocktails in the ship's 16 bars, nightclubs and lounges.
When it's time to eat, cruisers can order room service or grab a complimentary bite in one of three Main Dining Rooms, the buffet restaurant or the 24-hour pub. Guests staying in The Haven accommodations can also dine in The Haven Restaurant. An additional 13 coffee shops, quick-service eateries and a la carte restaurants that serve specialty cuisines like Mexican, Italian and Texas-style barbecue are available as well.
In 2019-20, Norwegian Bliss departs from ports in Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, for sailings throughout Alaska, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Panama, Mexico and the Pacific Coast.
- #9Carnival Cruise Line#9 in Best Cruises from Seattle (tie)
Thanks to a major refurbishment in March 2019, Carnival Freedom features a Bonsai Sushi Express, a rebranded deli, a new WaterWorks waterpark (with a 203-foot-long slide), an aerobics room within the gym and a new mini-golf course. The 2,980-passenger vessel also features all of the “Fun Ship 2.0” amenities, including Guy’s Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina, thanks to an earlier revamp.
While parents relax at the Serenity adults-only retreat, children ages 2 to 17 can enjoy age-appropriate youth clubs. Other family-friendly activities include the interactive Hasbro, The Game Show and the Seuss at Sea program. Recent guests note that shows at the Punchliner Comedy Club can be a bit raunchy, so they may not be appropriate for children.
Food options are also versatile, including two main dining rooms, a steakhouse, and the Lido Deck which offers everything from pizza to the popular Mongolian Wok.
As far as cabins go, cruisers can choose from Interior, Ocean View, Balcony or Suite category rooms, all of which offer flat-screen TVs and 24-hour room service. Recent passengers note that thanks to the 3-to-1 passenger-to-crew ratio, service is above par.
- #9Norwegian Cruise Line#9 in Best Cruises from Seattle (tie)
Norwegian Sun is one of the fleet's smallest ships, with a capacity of 1,936 passengers and 906 crew members, yet reviewers made note of its generously sized cabins. Occupying between 145 and 191 square feet, Inside and Oceanview staterooms are larger than those on newer Norwegian ships. A 2018 refurbishment added updates like the Los Lobos Cantina and the Bliss Ultra Lounge, both part of The Norwegian Edge program.
Cruisers have 14 dining venues to choose from, including eight specialty restaurants ranging from French fare to a sushi bar. The ship features an art gallery, a golf driving net, an expansive pool area and a full-service spa. In the evening, a collection of bars, entertainment venues and a casino jockey for cruisers' attention. Norwegian Sun is also a hit with families thanks to its children's pool, arcade and age-appropriate youth clubs.
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