It is the cruise industry’s version of the Oscars & Emmys rolled into one – renowned cruise expert Douglas Ward‘s ratings of 285 ships in 2012 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships.
Although the economy has been on a roller coaster ride towards recession, serious discounting has allowed the cruise industry to remain remarkably buoyant, a situation that will continue into 2012, according to Ward.
For the 27th year, Douglas Ward—who has spent some 5,700 days at sea –bases his meticulous ratings on criteria including each ship’s accommodations, food, service, entertainment, cleanliness, excursions & general value. “Despite cruise-company claims that theirs has been named the ‘Best Cruise Ship’, there really is no suchthing,” Ward writes. “Only what’s right for you.”
Ward’s ratings, compiled independently & unsubsidized by sponsorship, base its Berlitz stars on points for an unbiased appraisal of what’s best & worst in the world of cruising.
In 2012 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships, Ward classifies the top 10 as ‘small’ or ‘boutique’. Europa, a ‘Small Ship’ of Hapag Lloyd Cruises, has earned top honors for the 12th year and is again the only vessel in the exclusive 5-star Plus ‘club’, with 1,852 out of a possible 2,000 points. Seabourn‘s ships scoop a remarkable 6 of the 10, while SeaDream grabs the top 2 slots in the Boutique Ships category.
The Rankings – 2012 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships:
Top 3 Ships in each category – Points out of 2,000
Large (Resort) Ships (1,600 passengers +)
1 Queen Mary 2 (Grill Class) 1,702 points
2 Queen Elizabeth (Grill Class) 1,690 points
3 Queen Victoria (Grill Class) 1,671 points
Mid-Size Ships (600 – 1,600 passengers)
1 Crystal Serenity 1,717 points
Tie (2) Crystal Symphony & Marina 1,701 points
Small Ships (200 – 600 passengers)
1 Europa 1,852 points
2 Seabourn Quest 1,787 points
3 Seabourn Odyssey 1,786 points
Boutique Ships (50 – 200 passengers)
1 SeaDream II 1,788 points
2 SeaDream I 1,786 points
3 Hanseatic 1,746 points
2012 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships is available October 19, 2011 ($24.99). The Berlitz Cruise Ships 2012 App is sold at iTunes App Store ($9.99) & allows cruisegoers to scroll through all 285 ships with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships