An Expert's Tips on the World's Best Cruise Ships
for Your Wants and Needs
Want to know the world's best cruise option for honeymooners? The best cruise for seniors? Or maybe the best for active families? Cruise expert and author of Berlitz's Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships, Douglas Ward, recently revealed his top picks in these and other major vacationer categories.
Check out his favorites below. If they don't sound familiar to you, it may be because they don't operate within the U.S. But hey, if it's the world's best, it's likely worth an international flight!
Royal Clipper, Sea Cloud I, Sea Cloud II, WInd Spirit, Wind Star
Ships for Family Cruising:
Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Freedom of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas
Most Romantic Ships:
Hebridean Spirit, Sea Cloud I and II, SeaDream I and II
Ships for Child-Free Cruising:
Arcadia, Artemis, Saga Rose, Saga Ruby, Spirit of Adventure
Ships for Adventure:
Bremen, Hanseatic, Kapitan Khlebnikov
Ships for Seniors:
Ships of Fred Olsen Cruises, Ships of Holland America,
Ships of Princess Cruises
Ships for Casual Cruising:
Ships of Norweigen Cruise Line
Ships for Top Quality Cruises:
Ships for Exotic Voyages:
Ships of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Ships of Silverseas Cruises
Ships with Best Academic Lecturers:
Spirit of Adventure
Ward's choices are culled from his annual exploration of almost 300 ships and the experience of devoting 250 days a year to sampling the cruises themselves. During his "sampling," Ward reviews areas such as accommodations, cuisine, entertainment and spas.
"I've made these choices based on a number of criteria; they are not merely subjective," explains Ward. "They represent the commitment a cruise line has invested over time to a specific operational aspect of a ship. If it has, for example, consistently provided a romantic atmosphere, this has contributed to it becoming a top pick of mine."
Prior to authoring Bertlitz's popular series, dubbed the "industry bible" -- now in its 22nd year of publication -- Ward worked for nine different cruise lines over 17 years in a number of roles: first leading a jazz and dance ensemble, and lastly as a cruise director. Twenty-five years ago, he turned in his microphone for a pen and began writing about cruising.