The Best Cruise Lines of 2017

U.S. News ranks the cruise lines best suited for families, couples, budget travelers and more.

By Gwendolyn Shearman, Staff WriterNov. 15, 2016
By Gwendolyn Shearman, Staff WriterNov. 15, 2016, at 12:01 a.m.
View all in one page
1 of 7
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Credit

(Courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises)

Which cruise is right for you?

According to the Cruise Lines International Association, the largest cruise industry trade organization in the world, a rising number of travelers are choosing cruise vacations. The association predicted that 24 million people would take their vacations to the sea in 2016, and that number is only expected to increase in 2017. As demand heightens, so do travelers' cruising choices. To help you wade through the options and determine which cruise line best caters to your needs and budget, U.S. News evaluated 15 top ocean liners, using health scores and expert and passenger ratings, among other factors. Read on to find out which cruise lines came out on top.
Aerial Celebrity Eclipse
Credit

(Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)

Best Cruise Lines for the Money

Celebrity Cruises debuts as the No. 1 Best Cruise Line for the Money in 2017. Though its fleet is smaller than some of its competitors, Celebrity's ships offer personalized service and an average ship capacity of fewer than 2,700 passengers. Plus, the line offers big-ship amenities, such as outdoor movie screens and children's programming, while keeping rates as low as $100 per person, per night. Royal Caribbean International comes in at No. 2 and Norwegian Cruise Line ranks No. 3 on the Best Cruise Lines for the Money list.
Next:

Which cruise is right for you?

According to the Cruise Lines International Association, the largest cruise industry trade organization in the world, a rising number of travelers are choosing cruise vacations. The association predicted that 24 million people would take their vacations to the sea in 2016, and that number is only expected to increase in 2017. As demand heightens, so do travelers' cruising choices. To help you wade through the options and determine which cruise line best caters to your needs and budget, U.S. News evaluated 15 top ocean liners, using health scores and expert and passenger ratings, among other factors. Read on to find out which cruise lines came out on top.

Best Cruise Lines for the Money

Celebrity Cruises debuts as the No. 1 Best Cruise Line for the Money in 2017. Though its fleet is smaller than some of its competitors, Celebrity's ships offer personalized service and an average ship capacity of fewer than 2,700 passengers. Plus, the line offers big-ship amenities, such as outdoor movie screens and children's programming, while keeping rates as low as $100 per person, per night. Royal Caribbean International comes in at No. 2 and Norwegian Cruise Line ranks No. 3 on the Best Cruise Lines for the Money list.

Best Cruise Lines for Families

For the fourth consecutive year, Disney Cruise Line tops the list of Best Cruise Lines for Families. The line's character deck parties and specialized kids clubs are sure to please the younger crowd, while exclusive adults-only areas give parents a place to unwind after a day of activities. Other family favorites include the No. 2-ranked Royal Caribbean International and the No. 3-ranked Carnival Cruise Lines.

Best Cruise Lines for Couples

If you're hoping to sail away with your sweetheart, look no further than Crystal Cruises, which is this year's No. 1 Best Cruise Line for Couples. Twosomes can take advantage of all-inclusive stateroom amenities, such as feather beds, Frette terry cloth robes and complimentary wine and spirits. Plus, you can up the romance factor by splurging on couples spa treatments and specialty private dining. Other high-ranking cruise lines for romance include Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, which rank as the No. 2 and No. 3 Best Cruise Lines for Couples, respectively.

Best Cruise Lines in the Caribbean

Disney Cruise Line also claims the Best Cruises Line in the Caribbean title. Not only does Disney travel to more than 15 Caribbean destinations, its ships also sail to its own private island – Castaway Cay in the Bahamas. Cruisers can choose from itineraries to other popular ports of call in places such as Cozumel, Mexico, Jamaica and Puerto Rico, as well as lesser-known islands, including Grenada and Curaçao. Celebrity Cruises takes the No. 2 spot and Crystal Cruises sails in at No. 3 on the Best Cruise Lines in the Caribbean ranking for 2017.

Best Cruise Lines in the Mediterranean

Celebrity Cruises is the No. 1 Best Cruise Line in the Mediterranean for 2017. The line's mid-size ships sail to beloved European destinations, including Santorini, Greece, and Naples, Italy. After exploring popular Mediterranean ports of call, cruisers can dine at upscale eateries, which offer everything from French fare to juicy steaks, before retiring to their accommodations. Regent Seven Seas Cruises takes the No. 2 spot and Oceania Cruises claims the No. 3 spot on the Best Cruise Lines in the Mediterranean ranking for 2017.

Best Luxury Cruise Lines

Those looking to indulge should consider booking a vacation with the No. 1 Best Luxury Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises. Crystal provides a nearly 1-to-1 passenger-to-crew ratio, which means travelers can expect personalized service. Plus, more than half of the staterooms on the line's two ocean-going ships offer private verandas. What's more, those staying in penthouse suites receive personal butler service. Other luxurious lines include Regent Seven Seas Cruises, which takes the No. 2 spot, and Oceania Cruises, which claims the No. 3 spot on the Best Luxury Cruise Lines list.
1 of 7

Gwendolyn Shearman, Staff Writer

Gwen Shearman is an Editor/Digital Producer for the Travel section at U.S. News where she ...  Read more

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

April 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

April 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

April 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

April 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

April 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

March 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

March 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

March 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

March 14, 2019