With more than 70 percent of the world covered in water, it’s hardly a surprise that the cruise industry is the fastest-growing travel sector: according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) a record 23 million passengers are expected to set sail this year, to nearly 1,000 ports around the world. Even firmly avowed “noncruisers” are donning their proverbial water wings and boarding cruise liners to venture across the seven seas.
Related: Great All-Inclusive Cruises
But with more than 60 cruise lines sailing the world’s waterways, it can be difficult to decide which ship is the right fit for you. That’s why we ask T+L readers to consider the staterooms, restaurants, itineraries, ports of call, service, value, activities, and onboard nightlife when ranking their favorite cruise lines.
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Whether they’re Mega-Ship Ocean liners, transporting more than 2,200 passengers, Large Ships (still holding 600 to 2,199), or more modest Small-Ship Ocean cruises (carrying less than 600 passengers) all the best dazzle readers with on-board entertainment, chic accommodations that rival even some of the best landlocked hotels, and exotic, hard-to-reach ports of call.
Related: T+L’s Best Cruises Guide
Updated interiors and outrageous amenities up the ante in the perpetual arms race between cruise lines to prove who has the biggest, broadest, most impressive ship on the high seas. And the effort pays off. Here, our readers sound off on the world’s best cruise lines. Ahoy!