The 5 Best Large-ship Ocean Cruise Lines

The best large-ship cruise lines, according to Travel + Leisure readers, prove that, when it comes to entertainment on the high seas, bigger is definitely better.

For the 2022 World's Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure adjusted the cruise categories to reflect changes in the industry and travelers' experiences. Ship categories are now based on the number of cabins, and the large-ship category now covers ships with 800 to 1,499 cabins. Several previous large-ship awardees, including Viking Ocean Cruises and Seabourn, have moved to the midsize-ship category.

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated individual cruise ships on their cabins and facilities, food, service, itineraries and destinations, excursions and activities, and value. Those assessments were combined to generate results for the cruise lines in six categories, including river cruising.

A Disney cruise ship on open water
Courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

In the No. 2 spot is the venerable line Cunard, with its three ocean liners. T+L readers applauded the classic décor and elevated onboard atmosphere. "We love everything about this ship," wrote one fan who sailed on the Queen Mary 2. "We have both crossed the Atlantic and cruised in the Caribbean on the QM, and the experience is always outstanding."

Celebrity Cruises, with ships that include the state-of-the-art Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex, claims the No. 3 position. Said one reader who cruised on Apex: "Amazing ships. Perfect size for my family." A sister ship, Celebrity Beyond, debuted in April 2022. Celebrity also tops this year's mega-ship awards category with its larger Celebrity Reflection.

Holland America Line, celebrating 75 years in Alaska in 2022, is in the No. 4 spot. "Food is excellent, crew is friendly and attentive; and cabins are large compared to other cruise lines," one voter wrote. Royal Caribbean International, with its smaller 1990s ships such as Enchantment of the Seas and Vision of the Seas, comes in at No. 5.

Impressively, all the top lines that readers chose as the best cruise lines for large ships are WBA Hall of Fame honorees. Read on to find out why Disney Cruise Line is the crème de la crème.

1. Disney Cruise Line

A grand staircase on board a Disney cruise ship
Courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

There's nothing like watching a child's eyes light up when they meet Mickey and Minnie, or Elsa from Frozen, or Spider-Man. But the amusement-park-level attractions, carefully orchestrated kids' programming, entertainment, and family dining on Disney ships are also big wows. Perhaps most noteworthy, though, is that these ships manage to cater to both families with kids and adults sans kids. Grown-ups get separate hangout spots such as an adults-only nightlife area, pool, and specialty dining venues. "Excellent for families and for singles," one T+L reader said. "Best memories," said another. The line's four ships are back in service, but that's not all fans have to look forward to as the line's much-anticipated fifth ship, Disney Wish, debuted in early July.

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 89.55

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2. Cunard

The Grand Lobby staircase on board a Cunard cruise ship
Courtesy of Cunard

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 88.18

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3. Celebrity Cruises

The Retreat sun deck on board the Celebrity Millennium cruise ship
Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 86.56

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4. Holland America Line

A suite on board the Holland America Rotterdam cruise ship
Courtesy of Holland America Line

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 85.43

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5. Royal Caribbean International

Aerial view of Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas cruise ship
Michel Verdure/Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 81.26

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