Travel + Leisure has announced the reader-driven “World’s Best” Awards for 2022, which includes several categories of cruises voted on by readers.
The voting period lasted from October 25, 2021 through February 28, 2022, with votes cast through a variety of sources, including via both digital and print editions of the magazine, social media, and newsletters.
World’s Best Winners
The votes have now been tallied, and the winners are in – the “World’s Best” cruise lines are…
- Mega-ship – These ships are the largest of the large (1,500+ cabins), and offer the widest range of onboard features and amenities to suit all types of cruisers. The winner – Celebrity Cruises.
- Large-ship – Still impressively sized (800-1,499 cabins), these vessels have plenty of variety to choose from for cruisers of all ages and budgets. The winner – Disney Cruise Line.
- Midsize-ship – With fewer staterooms (300-799 cabins), these lines offer more intimate experiences for discerning travelers, but still have abundant amenities. The winner – Viking.
- Small-ship – Smaller vessels (150-299 cabins) have very devoted fans among cruise travelers, and often entertain high levels of loyal, repeat passengers. The winner – Paul Gauguin Cruises.
- Intimate-ship – The smallest vessels (150 or fewer cabins), these ships often visit exotic ports of call inaccessible to larger vessels, but still offer cruise ship luxury. The winner – Quasar Expeditions.
- River Cruise Lines – Designed exclusively for river travel and offering the ultimate in cultural exploration, these ships have a vibe and personality all their own. The winner – Viking.
Other popular cruise lines also featured well in the top rankings, with Virgin Voyages, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, and Norwegian Cruise Line rounding out the mega-ship category, and Cunard Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, and Royal Caribbean International also filling in the large-ship awards.
Awards Based on Capacity
Throughout the voting, readers were asked to rank individual cruise ships in different categories based on ship occupancy, since large and small ships offer very different atmospheres and experiences for passengers.
Depending on the individual ships rated, one cruise line could be represented in multiple categories.
This is especially true with larger cruise line fleets where vessels span tremendous size ranges, such as Royal Caribbean International. The largest Royal Caribbean ship is Wonder of the Seas with 2,867 staterooms (Mega-ship), while the smallest is Grandeur of the Seas with just 996 staterooms (Large-ship).
As all votes for individual ships were tallied, scores were then aggregated for an entire cruise line.
In each category, the scores were tight. Between the mega-ships, just 4.45 points (out of 100) separated first and fifth places. A total of 8.29 points separated the first and fifth places among large ships, and 5.48 points separated the rankings of midsize ships.
Only 2.89 points separated the three named small ship winners, with Windstar Cruises and Seabourn coming in close behind Paul Gauguin Cruises.
More than 15 points separated the 10 lines listed as the World’s Best intimate ships, as well as the 10 river lines ranked.
Ports Also Featured
While Travel + Leisure did not offer a category dedicated exclusively to cruise ports, several popular embarkation ports and ports of call featured prominently in this year’s awards.
Among the 15 Best Cities in the United States, for example, New Orleans, New York City, and San Diego all made the list, while international homeports such as Sydney, Australia; Rome, Italy; Lisbon, Portugal; and Victoria, British Columbia were all highly ranked in their respective regions.
Similarly, rankings of different island destinations revealed popular cruise ports of call, including St. Lucia, Turks & Caicos, Aruba, Bermuda, Bonaire, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Santorini, Maldives, Mallorca, Mykonos, Roatan, the Galapagos Islands, Cozumel, and many more.
Want to know how Cruise Hive’s readers rank cruise ships, cruise lines, home ports, private islands, and more? See our annual Cruise Ship Awards rankings!