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- #1Disney Cruise Line#1 in Best Cruises to Mexico
The 2,713-passenger Disney Wonder first debuted in 1999 and was updated in fall 2016, rolling out new family-oriented amenities and entertainment offerings like meet and greets with Disney characters and Frozen, A Musical Spectacular.
The ship offers plenty of onboard activities, with 10 designated family areas, six youth clubs and seven adults-only spaces. While younger passengers play at age-appropriate clubs, grown-ups can relax at the adults-only Quiet Cove Pool. Infants and toddlers in swim diapers are limited to specified kids' wet play and splash areas (this is a requirement by the United States Public Health Service, not a Disney-specific rule).
In terms of dining, Disney Wonder offers six options, including one adults-only specialty restaurant. At night, adults can unwind and enjoy After Hours, a section of the ship that features three nightclubs and lounges.
Like the majority of the ship, staterooms are designed with families in mind. Interior staterooms can accommodate up to four passengers, while larger Suites can sleep up to seven. All cabins come equipped with flat-screen TVs, seating areas and classic Disney designs. Recent cruisers noted the expensive cost of a trip on the Disney Wonder, but most felt the quality of service was top-notch.
In 2018-19, Disney Wonder departs from a range of ports, including Galveston, Texas, Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida, Canada and California. It sails to destinations in Alaska, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal and more.
- #2Holland America Line#2 in Best Cruises to Mexico
Originally launched in 2008 and updated in late 2015, ms 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 ms 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.
- #3Holland America Line#3 in Best Cruises to Mexico (tie)
Borrowing its name from the former city of New Amsterdam (now known as New York City), this 2,106-passenger member of the Holland America fleet launched in 2010 and is famous for its extensive art collection valued at more than $3 million. Guests can admire works from Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein through a complimentary self-guided iPod tour.
Passengers can also pass the time by the pool or in the Greenhouse Spa, while more enriching programs include the new America's Test Kitchen, the BBC Earth Experiences and photography classes in the Digital Workshop, powered by Windows. While the ship offers youth clubs for kids ages 3 to 17, most activities are geared toward adults.
When it comes to dining, guests can choose from seafood at the popular Sel de Mer French restaurant, New York Pizza on the pool deck, Asian delicacies at Tamarind and more. Several casual eateries and the main dining rooms are included at no extra cost.
Meanwhile, staterooms range from Interior cabins to expansive Signature, Neptune and Pinnacle Suites, all of which are equipped with Sealy Premium Euro-Top mattresses and flat-screen TVs.
- #3Norwegian Cruise Line#3 in Best Cruises to Mexico (tie)
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 2018-19, 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.
- #3Princess Cruises#3 in Best Cruises to Mexico (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 and last refurbished in 2015, the ship 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.
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. These include three main dining rooms, four specialty restaurants and four casual eateries.
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.
- #6Carnival Cruise Line#6 in Best Cruises to Mexico (tie)
The 2,054-passenger Carnival Inspiration was last refurbished in 2016 (it originally launched in 1996) to include more "Fun Ship 2.0" features, such as the BlueIguana Tequila Bar and Guy's Burger Joint. It is set to receive another update in mid-November 2018.
The ship appeals to multiple traveler types, with a variety of activities and amenities ranging from the Punchliner Comedy Club and six bars and lounges to a mini-golf course, video game arcade and WaterWorks water park. During the day, younger guests can participate in age-appropriate kids clubs while parents relax and sip cocktails at the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat.
When it’s time to dine, guests can choose between two main dining rooms, a coffee bar and the Lido buffet, which offers everything from pizza to salad. However, passengers won’t find any specialty dining venues. Past cruisers gave mixed reviews of the food quality.
Carnival Inspiration offers fewer cabin categories than newer Carnival ships, but cruisers can still choose from Interior, Ocean View and Suite category accommodations. All cabins come appointed with flat-screen TVs and 24-hour room service.
- #6Princess Cruises#6 in Best Cruises to Mexico (tie)
First launched in 1998, the 2,600-passenger Grand Princess underwent a renovation in December 2016 to include newly remodeled restaurants, youth clubs and a new Movies Under the Stars poolside screen. Other onboard amenities include the adults-only Sanctuary, duty-free boutiques and educational programs through the Discovery of SEA program.
The ship houses a total of 12 dining venues, including three main dining rooms, four specialty venues and a variety of casual eateries serving classics like burgers and pizza. Come nightfall, passengers can enjoy musicals in the theater and cocktails in their pick of lounges.
The recently refurbished accommodations are outfitted with amenities like flat-screen TVs and minifridges. Though only 76 percent of exterior cabins offer private balconies – a lower percentage than other ships in the fleet – guests describe cabins as comfortable and spacious. Plus, thanks to a nearly 2-to-1 guest-to-crew ratio (the ship features 1,150 crew members), past cruisers describe the onboard service as attentive and friendly.
- #6Princess Cruises#6 in Best Cruises to Mexico (tie)
Like its sister ship Regal Princess, unique features like a top-deck pool and the SeaWalk (a glass-paneled walkway that stretches 28 feet beyond the ship's edge) make Royal Princess stand out among competitors.
The 3,560-passenger ship debuted in 2013 and was last refurbished in late 2016. Onboard activities include an indoor driving range, duty-free boutiques and educational programming through Discovery at SEA. Younger passengers can participate in age-appropriate youth clubs while adults play games in the casino or sip cocktails at one of multiple lounges.
When it's time to dine, passengers can choose from three main dining rooms, four specialty restaurants or several casual eateries. In terms of lodging, all cabins are appointed with minifridges and flat-screen TVs. While Interior cabins measure between 158 and 162 square feet, larger Balcony staterooms offer 214 to 222 square feet.
- #9Norwegian Cruise Line#9 in Best Cruises to Mexico
Norwegian Star – capable of carrying 2,348 passengers and 1,031 crew members – was recently refurbished in 2018 as part of The Norwegian Edge program. The ship now offers the Spice H2O adult-only escape, where guests can sip cocktails in their lounge chairs by day and party under the stars by night. Norwegian Star also includes the fleet's first 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar and the beloved 24-hour O'Sheehan's bar and grill.
Beyond its adult spaces, this Norwegian ship is well-suited for multigenerational travel. Kids' needs are satisfied thanks to youth clubs, teen lounges and pools, while adults can relax at the Mandara Spa or play casino games. At night, the entire gang can enjoy a number of onboard performances and a myriad of meal options available at the ship's 13 restaurants.
In terms of lodging, Star's Inside and Oceanview cabins range from 142 to 159 square feet. For even more space, guests can opt for a Balcony, Mini-Suite or Suite category cabin.
- #10Carnival Cruise Line#10 in Best Cruises to Mexico
First launched in 2008 and last updated in early 2016, Carnival Splendor lacks the "Fun Ship 2.0" upgrades that passengers love. That said, the ship still offers classic amenities like the Cloud 9 Spa and the popular Serenity Adult-Only Retreat. For more active guests, activities include volleyball, mini-golf and the Twister waterslide. Adults can grab a drink at one of the multiple bars, while kids and teens can participate in age-appropriate youth programs.
In terms of lodging, guests can choose from Interior or Ocean View cabins for a compact but budget-friendly option, or spring for a Balcony or Suite stateroom for more space to sprawl out. All cabins offer 24-hour room service and flat-screen TVs.
In the evening, families can grab a meal at one of the four dining venues, including a specialty steakhouse (for an extra fee), before taking in a movie at the Seaside Theater. Keep in mind that with more than 3,000 passengers and 1,150 crew members on board, the ship doesn't offer the same level of personalized service as other ships within the fleet.
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.