2017 Ranking: Sail Away on Vacation with the Top Rated Cruise Lines

Has life gotten a bit too complicated, frustrating, or mundane for you? Does sailing the crystal-clear seas with a drink in your hand seem more appealing than showing up to work every morning? Well, with different cruise lines, that thought can become a reality.

When reading cruise line reviews, you can see the various destinations that they travel to. Do you want to sit on white sand beaches in the Caribbean? Well, Caribbean cruise lines will allow you to do that. If the Mediterranean is more your style, there are cruise line companies that set sail for those waters as well.

The bottom line is, if you need a vacation, the best cruise lines can provide an experience that you, your family, or your partner will remember forever. From elegant dining rooms and ocean-view balconies to creative entertainment shows and stops in famous port throughout the world, cruise line companies deliver.

You are not alone in wanting to take a cruise, either. Cruises generate billions in revenue every year, which just lends more credibility to the top cruise lines. The real trick is finding the top rated cruise lines to sail away on.

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Cruises range from accommodations and destinations to price and ports of leave, and it can be hard to determine what the right one is for you. There are cruise line rankings to consider, but just because one gets strong cruise line ratings does not mean that it is the right fit for you.

It is easy to become overwhelmed with different options when considering cruise line ratings. If you read too much into these overall cruise line rankings and don’t stop to take the time to thoroughly compare cruise lines, you might make the wrong decision.

With the state of your vacation on the line, it is important to choose the right cruise line. Some are better for couples, some are better for families, and some are not worth the lofty price tag. When you are going to compare cruise lines, you likely have questions, including:

  • How much should you read into overall cruise line rankings?
  • If a cruise line has good cruise line ratings, does that automatically make it a good fit for you?
  • What features should you focus on when doing a cruise lines comparison?
  • What are the best rated cruise lines?

Throughout this 2017 article, we will answer the questions you have surrounding different cruise lines. We will explain what to look for when you are doing cruise line reviews. Finally, we will provide a detailed review of the six best top rated cruise lines.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Cruise Lines Review

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the top cruise lines below to go directly to the detailed review section for that cruise line review):

Top 6 Best Cruise Lines | Brief Comparison & Ranking     

Best Cruise Lines

Best for


Carnival Cruises


Alaska, Hawaii, Europe, Caribbean, & Mexico
Celebrity Cruises


Asia, Caribbean, & Europe
Crystal Cruises


Asia, Panama Canal, Caribbean, Europe, & South America
Disney Cruises


Europe, Alaska, Caribbean,  & Canada
Regent Seven Seas


Africa, Alaska, Mediterranean, & Caribbean
Royal Caribbean Cruises


Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, & Australia

Table: Top 6 Best Cruise Lines Comparison | Above list is sorted alphabetically

Detailed Overview: What to Look for in the Best Rated Cruise Lines

When you are looking for a cruise, chances are that you read through many cruise line reviews that all point you in different directions. While some cruises are a good fit for some people, that doesn’t mean they are the best cruise lines.

Choosing the right cruise can almost be considered an art form. However, you need to know what you are looking for in a cruise lines comparison before you really begin your search. It is important to know what features you want in a cruise because only then will you know the perfect cruise lines review when you see it.

Top Rated Cruise Lines

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Without an idea of what you want, the search process for top rated cruise lines can seem overwhelming. That is why when you are looking at cruise line companies, it is important to consider the following:


One of the first things that people look at when booking cruises is the cost. It is important when doing cruise lines comparisons that you have a set budget in mind. This helps you weed out different cruise lines that don’t fit in your specified budget range.

Ports of Leave

Cruises leave from all over the world, but there are distinct ports that many cruise lines leave from. It is important to consider where cruise lines leave from, as you will need to purchase transportation to get to the port. This can affect your budget, so it needs to be considered when you compare cruise lines costs.

Destination / Ports Along Route

If you have specific destinations in mind, you will want to look at the itinerary that individual cruise ships list. Some ships go to the Caribbean, some to Alaska, and some to the Mediterranean. Even with the same general location in mind, different cruise lines will stop at different ports.

On-Ship Entertainment

One thing that you will want to consider, especially if you have children, is what type of entertainment and attractions are available on the ship. The best cruise lines will have multiple bars and lounges, pools, waterslides, theater shows, and even things like bowling alleys to keep guests entertained.


When you are looking at a cruise line, be sure to get a glimpse of what the rooms look like. It is important to remember that you are on a ship, which means standard rooms are smaller. If you want more space, you will need to upgrade your room.

When you are looking for the best cruise lines, it is important to go through cruise lines comparisons. Be sure to have an idea of what the ideal cruise looks like to you, before going into the search process.

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Advisory HQ’s Selection Methodology

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Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Cruise Lines Review

Below, please find the detailed review of each different cruise line on our list of top cruise lines. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these best rated cruise lines to score so highly in our selection ranking.

Carnival Cruises Review

Carnival Cruises is one of the best cruise lines that we stumbled across when doing our cruise lines reviews.

The cruise line has 24 ships that depart from different cities throughout the United States, such as Seattle, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. This variety is great for people who live in different areas of the country, because it can cut down on transportation costs.

If you are looking for the top rated cruise lines that also offer a variety of destinations, Carnival Cruises is a good fit. They travel to the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, and even Mexico. You can also vary your trip from two to fifteen days, which is a great feature.

With many different onboard amenities and a variety of cruise line itineraries to choose from, Carnival is great for families that need options and entertainment. There are a few drawbacks to the cruise line, though, as the ships can feel a bit crowded and any off-boat excursions will cost you extra. 

Celebrity Cruises Review

Celebrity Cruises is another one of the best cruise lines to consider during your search. The cruise line offers a good value for what you pay, and they get great cruise lines reviews for the exquisite cuisine they offer onboard.

There are many U.S. departure ports, like Honolulu, Seattle, and Miami. Throughout 2017, Celebrity Cruises will be sailing to many popular locations, including Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. The duration of voyages spans from two to eighteen days, so Celebrity can accommodate many travelers’ time constraints.

What makes this one of the top rated cruise lines is the size difference in ships. Their larger ships can hold upward of 2,500 passengers, while ships like the Celebrity Xpedition transports only 100 passengers for a more intimate feeling.

Though they have great activities for kids and teenagers, there are a few drawbacks. Taxes and port charges are not included in prices, nor are shore excursions. Also, if you are not in a Penthouse, Signature, or Reflection suite, you will need to purchase a beverage package.

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Crystal Cruises Review

Crystal Cruises is another one of the top rated cruise lines. They offer cruises to many destinations, such as the Panama Canal, Europe, the Caribbean, South America, and even Southeast Asia.

If you are looking for a variety of lengths, also note that voyages can last up to 99 days! The shorter trips are 7 days, so if you don’t have a full week off work, Crystal Cruises might not be one of the best cruise lines for you to take.

Another benefit of Crystal Cruises is the great passenger-to-crew ratio, which ensures that you have great service during your travels.

One thing to note is that Crystal Cruises only boasts two cruise ships, the Serenity and Symphony. Each of these ships is impressive in design, with a casino, salon, fitness center, and spa. When it comes to cuisine, the ships also get strong cruise lines reviews.

Disney Cruises Review

Disney Cruises range from three to twelve days and can take you to a variety of destinations, like Alaska, Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe. Disney is one of the best cruise lines for families with younger children.

When you are doing cruise lines comparisons, you will note that meals, non-alcoholic drinks, and entertainment on the ship are actually covered in the cruise price. Disney Cruises also offers spacious cabins.

One of the main drawbacks is that there are very few adults-only activities on the ships. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, this might not be one of the best cruise lines to consider. 

However, if you are looking for family activities, Disney ships will not disappoint. There is Disney-inspired entertainment like character meet and greets, pools, youth clubs, and even spas that make this one of the top rated cruise lines.

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Review

If you are looking for a cruise line that gets great cruise lines reviews, then Regent Seven Seas Cruises is a line to consider. The cruise line has four ships, the Navigator, Mariner, Explorer, and Voyager, which travel to destinations throughout the world, like Africa, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and even Alaska.

The great thing you’ll notice when doing your cruise lines comparisons is that the Regent Seven Seas Cruises offer impressive suite accommodations and have only two passengers per crew member. This ensures that you will have superior service and leave agreeing with the positive cruise lines reviews that other guests leave.

Another benefit of sailing with Regent Seven Seas, is that shore excursions are complimentary. This means that what you pay upfront is what you will pay total for these best rated cruise lines. Round trip airfare, ground transportation, dining, and all beverages – even alcoholic ones – are all covered in the cost.

The only drawback with Regent Seven Seas Cruises is that they are costly, no matter what time of year it is.

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Royal Caribbean Cruises Review

Royal Caribbean Cruises currently offers cruises to 77 different countries and 269 destinations. This variety makes them one of the best cruise lines sailing the seas. If you want to visit Alaska, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, or simply the Caribbean, Royal Caribbean Cruises has you covered.

The itineraries offered by the numerous ships range from three nights to 24 nights. Another thing you’ll want to note when doing a cruise lines comparison is the variety of sizes Royal Caribbean ships come in. From ships that accommodate 6,000 passengers to those that hold just over 2,300 passengers, there is a variety.

While there are many onboard attractions and entertainment options, some passengers don’t appreciate beverages and special amenities costing extra.

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Conclusion – Top 6 Best Cruise Lines Comparison

The thought of hopping on a cruise and sailing to various ports certainly sounds appealing, doesn’t it? With a drink in your hand, you can let the sun soak in as your worries fade away. With the top rated cruise lines, this can soon become a reality.

The only drawback to a cruise is that there are so many options to choose from. It’s not as simple as flying into a city and choosing where to stay and where to explore afterward.

When you choose a cruise, you are selecting where you are leaving from, what room you will be staying in, how long you will be going for, and every stop you will be making along the way. Talk about pressure!

Cruise Lines Review

Image source: Pixabay

Though it can be overwhelming trying to choose the perfect cruise, there are some tips that can help you make the right decision. When you are doing cruise lines comparisons and reading cruise lines reviews, it is important to remember the following:

  • Determine who is going with you: Do you want a cruise line that is great for couples, singles, or families?
  • Determine a budget: What is your budget? Pick a price that you are comfortable paying and stick with your budget.
  • Determine a general sense destination: Do you want to head up to Alaska, sail the Caribbean seas, or head over to the Mediterranean?
  • Determine a duration: How long are you looking to cruise for? Five nights, seven nights, eleven nights?

Once you have the basics narrowed down, you can narrow your search to look at things like accommodations, ship attractions, entertainment, and dining options. 

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