Carnival Cruise Line Voted Best Cruise Line of 2021

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Carnival Cruise Line has been voted the Best Cruise Line of 2021 in the annual Cruise Ship Awards. It comes as the Miami-based cruise line continues bringing more vessels back into service following the industry-wide pause on operations.

Carnival Cruise Line Best of 2021!

Carnival Cruise Line has come out on top in the annual Cruise Ship Awards and received more votes than any other cruise line in the industry, including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line. Cruise Hive readers have been allowed to cast a single vote for their favorite cruise line, and it’s the final category results to be announced in the biggest award from Cruise Hive yet.

The cruise line is finally back sailing again, with 19 cruise ships currently sailing. During most of 2020 and half of 2021, Carnival could not operate and even had to offload some of its older Fantasy-class vessels during the global cruise suspension.

Carnival Vista became the first in the fleet to restart sailings on July 3, 2021, from Galveston, Texas. Since then, more vessels have returned from multiple homeports across the US. Guests are finally having fun-filled cruise vacations once again, thanks to the cruise line implementing protocols to keep everyone on board safe and dealing with any positive cases.

Mardi Gras Departing Miami
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

Despite some difficult times, Carnival also welcomed its new Mardi Gras cruise ship, taking the cruise line into a new era of environmentally-friendly ships powered by LNG. Other highlights in 2021 include the new newly transformed Carnival Radiance finally completing dry dock and debuting from Long Beach. The cruise line also started rolling out its new red, white and blue livery fleetwide, showcasing the iconic funnel colors.

Carnival will continue to be a popular choice for cruisers as even more ships make a comeback, with the entire US fleet back in service by the end of March 2022. The new Carnival Celebration will also be joining the fleet toward the end of the year as part of Carnival’s 50th Birthday festivities.

Second and Third Place

Carnival Cruise Line was up against many other cruise lines, allowing voters to type in their favorite cruise line to cast their vote. In the second place with the second-highest number of votes came Royal Caribbean International, a cruise line based in Miami, Florida, and been through difficult times just like Carnival.

Royal Caribbean also has 19 vessels back in service, including the new Odyssey of the Seas, which joined the fleet in Summer 2021. After new legislation to temporarily bypass the Passenger Vessel Services Act, the cruise line was also the first to resume in Alaska.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Philip Armitage /

In third place came Norwegian Cruise Line, just coming out on top of Celebrity Cruises. NCL also dealt with the industry-wide pause by ships remaining on hold until the CDC would allow cruises to resume from the US.

Parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio was among the most vocal against the cruise shutdown, but thankfully the cruise line was eventually allowed to resume. There are currently 10 NCL ships back in service, and the entire fleet will be back sailing in Spring 2022.

The 2021 Cruise Ship Awards have been the most popular yet since first starting in 2014. Readers have only been allowed to vote once in each of the seven categories, and any repeat or suspicious votes were not counted. The full results can be checked here, along with all the previous years.

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