Announces 2016 Members' Choice Cruise Awards

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Verified Reviews Determine Best Ship, Most Controversial Ship, and Best Cruise Lines for Entertainment, Dining, Onboard Activities and Much More, the largest source of verified cruise reviews, today announced its 2016 Members’ Choice awards, culled from more than 14,000 cruise reviews submitted by its members in 2015. Casting votes for what they liked and didn’t about a variety of aspects from their cruise line experiences, these results are a true pulse poll from real passengers, 80 percent of which are verified through travel agent partners., the only site to verify that reviewers actually sailed on the ships they rate, asked members to not only vote on their overall cruise experience, but also all major attributes onboard. As a result, in addition to awards for Best Cruise Line and Best Ship, experience awards such as Best Line for Service, Best Line for Dining and Best Line for Entertainment were handed out.

Traveler type (e.g. couples, families) was also evaluated to recommend the best voyages for all kinds of cruisers, including categories like Best Line for First Timers and Best Line for Families while preferred itineraries were named with Best Embarkation Port, Best Private Island – and more.

The 2016 winners were determined across eight mainstream cruise lines: Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International and Cunard.

Out of 17 awards, Celebrity Cruises also earned five top spots for Best Cruise Line, Best Line for Couples, Best Line for Inside and Oceanview Cabins. Disney Cruise Line also won five including Best Ship, Best Line for Families, and Best Line for Balcony Cabins.

"Since we collect detailed information from our verified reviews, such as traveler type, ratings for service, cabins and individual ports, we are able to determine which lines and ships are really great for certain experiences,” said Faraz Qureshi, general manager of “In addition to the typical awards, this year we added Most Controversial Ship and Most Improved Line. There really is a cruise for everyone. The trick is to get on the right line and ship and we hope our awards will help consumers do that."

Three top awards were named in each category; real member reviews are quoted below. A full list of winners is available at

2016 Winners

Best Cruise Line
#1 Celebrity Cruises – “Celebrity is the ONLY line I will use. They blend upscale, comfortable, busy, restful, sumptuous, and fun.”
#2 Royal Caribbean International
#3 Disney Cruise Line

Best Ship (Overall Rating)
#1 Disney Dream – “A Dream Cruise! A wonderful experience the best part was when my eight year old nephew looked at me with the biggest smile on his face and said "this is the best thing ever! :)" I knew then my mission was accomplished!”
#2 Freedom of the Seas
#3 Oasis of the Seas

Best New Ship    
#1 Norwegian Escape (Norwegian Cruise Line) – “This ship is incredible; I think NCL has it right with the design. No feeling of crowding at all, even with over 4,000 passengers. The Waterfront is a great idea, the restaurant choices are very diverse, and all are fantastic, lots of onboard activities, different bars and shows. Rooms are very quiet and the ship is very smooth.”

Most Controversial Ship    
#1 Carnival Ecstasy – “BEST VACATION EVER! There was something to do every second of every minute of the day for everyone; not to mention endless food. The staff was super friendly, fun and everyone knew our names. The kids absolutely loved it! It was such a wonderful experience that as soon as we arrived home, I booked our next cruise with Carnival immediately.”
“I wanted to jump ship. The decor was something out of the 80’s; it looked like we had just walked into a sleazy motel which hadn’t been cleaned in decades. Our room was tiny and there was hair and stains all over our sheets. The water in our sink came out completely black the first time we turned it on. A plumber arrived about 10 minutes later but the damage was done, I knew that I had dumped money down the drain and that I was doomed for the next four days.”
#2 Norwegian Epic
#3 Carnival Fascination

Best Line for First Timers
#1 Royal Caribbean International – “For years my wife and I shied away from cruises, but, for our 50th Wedding Anniversary, we decided to experience a five day cruise to Bermuda. One of the best traveling experiences ever! Everything about the cruise was fantastic from boarding, the stateroom, the staff, food, on-board activities, and the most misconceived experience of all, the debarking. Would heartily recommend Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas to anyone.”
#2 Norwegian Cruise Line
#3 Carnival Cruise Lines

Most Improved Line    
#1 Holland America Line – “The service on this ship was perfect. Our rooms were always ready whenever we returned during the day, the meal choices were amazing and delicious, the staff were friendly and caring, and the entertainment variety was excellent.”
#2 Disney Cruise Line
#3 Cunard

Best Line for Onboard Activities
#1 Royal Caribbean International – “Never had a chance to get bored. Loved every minute just wish I could have stayed awake 24 - 7 so I could have enjoyed everything. Didn't want to miss a thing.”
#2 Disney Cruise Line
#3 Norwegian Cruise Line

Best Line for Entertainment
#1 Norwegian Cruise Line – “The majority of the shows were AMAZING. The Cirque du Soleil show and Burn the Floor were worthy of a $100 admission. The Dueling Pianos artists exhibited a huge repertoire of hundreds of songs.”
#2 Royal Caribbean
#3 Disney Cruise Line

Best Line for Dining
#1 Disney Cruise Line – “No matter how good you've heard the food is, up it by 10 points!”
#2 Celebrity Cruises
#3 Cunard

Best Line for Service
#1 Disney Cruise Line – “We had some great staff in the dining rooms - Jusuf from Turkey and Kalek from Indonesia. The theatre staff were welcoming and very helpful when it came to getting the wheelchair into the theatre.”
#2 Celebrity Cruises
#3 Holland America Line

Best Line for Ship Quality
#1 Disney Cruise Line – “Loved the ship a very classic and sleek design. They did a wonderful job on keeping it ship shape.”
#2 Celebrity Cruises
#3 Cunard

Best Line for Couples
#1 Celebrity Cruises – “My husband and I usually cruise with Royal Caribbean. On the advice of a friend who is a travel agent, we booked Celebrity Reflection Aqua Class just to try something new. It was beyond our expectations from the greeting with champagne and fruit in our room, to daily iced tea and water bottles, and finally Blu restaurant. I'd cruise, adult style, on Reflection again and again. If you want to relax in elegant surroundings with gourmet dinners you've got to try it yourself.”
#2 Disney Cruise Line
#3 Cunard

Best Line for Families with Children
#1 Disney Cruise Line – “Our family had such a wonderful time. We have a 10 year old and a 2 year old there was plenty for both to do. The staff was amazing and extremely accommodating.”
#2 Royal Caribbean
#3 Carnival Cruise Lines

Best Line for Oceanview Cabins
#1 Celebrity Cruises – “This was the best part of the cruise - Enjoyed the room and the steward did an outstanding job.”
#2 Carnival Cruise Lines
#3 Princess

Best Line for Balcony Cabins
#1 Celebrity – “Cabins were very large by cruise ship standards and had two separate washrooms - one with a sink and a toilet one with a sink and a shower. It made getting ready for dinner so much easier.”
#2 Carnival
#3 Cunard

Best Line for Suites
#1 Holland America Line – “We were in the Neptune Suite and I felt that we were treated like royalty. ... I really appreciated the electronic upgrades, the new flat screen Ultra HD tv was especially liked by my grandson. The room was beautiful and all the suite amenities such as laundry, high tea every afternoon, and of course, the excellent service of the two concierges in the Neptune Lounge.”
#2 Royal Caribbean International
#3 Princess Cruises

Best Line for Inside Staterooms
#1 Celebrity Cruises – “This was our first time in an inside cabin. It was large and in a very convenient place. There were night lights in the room and the bathroom which were nice since there was no window. And the service was wonderful.”
#2 Disney Cruise Line
#3 Princess Cruises

Best Continental U.S. Port for Embarkation and Debarkation
#1 Seattle, Washington – “The BEST we have ever experienced in 45+ years of cruising!”
#2 Port Canaveral, Florida
#3 Boston, Massachusetts

Best Caribbean Port
#1 Philipsburg, St. Maarten – “I did like St. Maarten better than St. Thomas. It seemed cleaner and more modern. Also, lovely scenery on our trip to Maho Beach and back.”
#2 Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
#3 George Town, Grand Cayman

Best Private Island
#1 Castaway Cay (Disney Cruise Line)
#2 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (Holland America Line)
#3 Labadee, Haiti (Royal Caribbean International)

About launched in December 2012 as an independent, objective guide to cruises. With over 94,000 cruise reviews and 87,000 port reviews to date, the site simplifies the task of choosing a cruise with unbiased opinions from fellow passengers. Unlike other cruise communities, guarantees the authenticity of thousands of verified reviews, and uses member opinions to rank the best cruises, ships and itineraries. The site also partners with top publishers such as US News & World Report to bring simplified search and verified cruise reviews to their audiences. In addition, develops and powers Ship Mate Cruise App, the largest mobile app for cruisers with over one million downloads. Ship Mate gets travelers excited for their cruise by providing a forum to meet others on their cruise, learning about and tracking their ship, and sharing photos with the community. For more information and to join the conversation, visit:

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