2022 Member Choice Awards: Best Cruise Lines

Presenting the 2022 Member Choice Awards for the best cruise lines. - Photo by Canva

Cruising this past year looked slightly different as lines adapted to combine the fun and exciting parts of sailing with new health and safety protocols. Across the board, cruise lines of all types had to learn a balancing act of providing an experience for guests that was fun, quality, and safe. 

 

We pulled the thousands of reviews that Cruiseline.com members submitted in the months that sailing resumed in 2021 to create our rankings of the best overall cruise lines for the year. These selections make up our 2022 Member Choice Award winners in the categories of: mainstream cruise line, premium cruise line, luxury/river cruise line, best line for first-time cruisers, best line for couples, and the best cruise line for families. 

Best Mainstream Cruise Line 

Photos by Royal Caribbean International

This category encompasses picks of the top mainstream cruise lines that received the top rankings by our members this past year. The category received the bulk of the reviews for the year, as these lines had the most ships return to the seas. 

The 2022 Member Choice Award winners for best mainstream cruise line are: 

  1. Royal Caribbean - 4.504
  2. Disney Cruise Line - 4.482
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line - 4.431
  4. Carnival Cruise Line - 4.388
  5. MSC Cruises - 4.356

Keeping its title as top member choice award winner for the best cruise line is Royal Caribbean. The Cruiseline.com community scored Royal Caribbean highly this past year for how the line provided an overall cruise experience and how they were able to adapt to the ‘new age’ of cruising. Year over year, Royal Caribbean consistently ranks high with members for activities and amenities that are perfect for travelers of all ages. This past year, Royal Caribbean resumed sailing ships worldwide, allowing us to capture a significant amount of reviews from our members. 

Disney Cruise Line earned the number two spot in the top mainstream cruise line category. Disney received top marks from members for dining options, cabins, and entertainment. Due to COVID restrictions, Disney ships were sailing at much lower capacities allowing even more personalized service for guests. Our number three member choice in this category, Norwegian Cruise Line, brought eight vessels back in service last year. The line received great reviews for its implementation of health and safety protocols and outstanding onboard experiences. 

Want to sail on the top-ranked mainstream cruise line? Explore all cruises from Royal Caribbean

Best Premium Cruise Line

Photos by Celebrity Cruises

Members choosing to sail with a premium cruise are typically drawn to upscale dining offerings, elegant shipboard decor, personalized service, smaller vessels, and various onboard activities. With a higher price tag, these ships come with several special perks and included experiences. 

The 2022 Member Choice Award winners for best premium cruise line are: 

  1. Celebrity Cruises - 4.535
  2. Princess Cruises - 4.495
  3. Virgin Voyages - 4.489
  4. Holland America Line - 4.488

Celebrity Cruises was our members' top choice of premium cruise lines. Celebrity was the first line approved to resume cruising from the U.S. in June 2021 and has since resumed ships sailing from various ports across the world. This past year, Celebrity implemented a new Always Included pricing model, which adds drinks, tips, and wi-fi as part of the cruise fare.  

In the number two spot in the premium category for the year was Princess Cruises. Princess ranks high in the premium category for its variety of ship sizes, upscale cabins, dining options, and quality service. The line began to welcome guests back, offering Alaska cruises this past July. In total, Princess brought eight of its vessels back into service in 2021. 

Making its debut in the Member Choice Awards at number three in the premium category is cruise line newcomer Virgin Voyages. The line’s first ship, Scarlet Lady, made its debut in the U.S. from its homeport at PortMiami back in November. Its next ship, Valiant Lady, will debut in the U.S. in late 2022. As Virgin Voyages begins to sail more cruises and brings more vessels into its fleet, we expect the line to receive even higher ratings in the future. 

Want to cruise on the top premium cruise line? Explore all Celebrity Cruises sailings

Best Luxury/River Cruise Line

Photo by Oceania Cruises 

We combined our member ratings to create the best luxury or river cruise line award based on the similarities between the two types of lines. Both luxury and river lines offer smaller vessels, upscale programming, similar onboard activities, and lower crew-to-guest ratios. Luxury and river cruise lines were great picks this past year as their ship’s smaller sizes allow for fewer passengers onboard.  

The 2022 Member Choice Award winners for best luxury/river line include: 

  1. Oceania Cruises - 4.204
  2. AmaWaterways - 4.158
  3. Viking Cruises - 4.017
  4. Silversea Cruises - 3.798
  5. Regent Seven Seas - 3.788

Luxury line Oceania Cruises came in at the top slot for our best in the luxury/river line category. Oceania’s small and medium-sized ships consistently received high rankings for overall service, dining, and onboard offerings from our community. This past August, the luxury line resumed sailing, offering Northern European cruises from Copenhagen. In October, it subsequently resumed sailing in the Greek Isles and then in the Caribbean from Miami in December. 

River cruise operator AmaWaterways solidly captured second place. AmaWaterways received high marks from community members for the overall quality of the fleet’s vessels and the onboard and onshore programming offered by the cruise line. The cruise line resumed operations this past July, with a number of its European river cruise vessels returning through the course of the year. Coming in at number three in the category was Viking Cruises. Viking’s small, elegant ocean vessels received high marks for onboard enrichment programming, service quality, cabins, and included excursion options.  

Sail in luxury this year! See all Oceania Cruises

Best Cruise Line for First-Timers

Photo by Royal Caribbean International 

With enhanced health and safety measures on ships, many travelers decided to take their first cruise in 2021. After a vacation-less 2020, consumers were itching to get out and travel in 2021, and cruise lines were offering great deals on sailings. These factors brought a lot of new first-time sailors to cruising last year. These rankings come from our members who self-described themselves as ‘first-time cruisers’ in their reviews. 

The 2022 Member Choice Award winners for Best Cruise Line for First-Timers are: 

  1. Royal Caribbean - 4.563
  2. Carnival Cruise Line - 4.374
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line - 4.274
  4. MSC Cruises - 3.871
  5. Celebrity Cruises - 3.740

If you’ve never gone on a cruise ship before, you may be shocked by all of the activities you can try in only a few days. Our member’s top three picks, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian Cruise Line, are returning winners for this category. For first-time sailors, all three of these lines offer something for everyone in a casual environment. They all offer a bit of everything - over-the-top activities for kids, adult spaces like relaxation areas and casinos, great entertainment options, and various eateries. So any one of these lines makes for a perfect pick for first-time sailors looking to get a taste of cruising life. 

Find a Deal on a Norwegian Cruise Line Sailing

Best Cruise Line for Couples

Photo by Royal Caribbean International 

These awards represent member review rankings from travelers who described sailing as a ‘couple’ in 2021. This category combines elements such as dining experience, adult-focused activities, entertainment, and more, that couples typically look for on a cruise. 

The 2022 Member Choice Award winners for the best cruise line for couples are: 

  1. Royal Caribbean - 4.568
  2. Celebrity Cruises - 4.558
  3. Holland America Line - 4.520
  4. P&O Cruises - 4.489
  5. Disney Cruise Line - 4.485

As in years past, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity lead the pack when it comes to the quality of the cruising experience for couples. Royal Caribbean is an excellent option for couples who love fun shipboard activities and want their ships to have relaxing, romantic adults-only spaces. Celebrity Cruises’ unique onboard ship options like wine tastings, romantic restaurants, mixology classes, and numerous adult-only areas consistently make it a top pick for couples. Holland America Line came just in at the number three spot in the couples category. The line’s wide variety of entertainment venues, like the Rolling Stone Rock Room and Lincoln Center Stage, got high marks from couples looking to unwind and enjoy live music. 

Explore All Celebrity Cruises Sailings

Best Cruise Line for Families

Photo by Royal Caribbean International 

We combined the ratings of all members who described cruising as a family this past year to create this award category. It represents the top-performing cruise line for kids and teens programming and the line’s overall experience for families. These rankings included elements essential for family travelers like dedicated children’s/teen spaces, various onboard activities and how well the cruise line could cater to travelers of all ages. 

The 2022 Member Choice Award winners for the best cruise line for families are: 

  1. Royal Caribbean - 4.448
  2. Carnival Cruise Line - 4.413
  3. Princess Cruises - 4.376
  4. Silversea Cruises - 4.350
  5. Disney Cruise Line - 4.339

It's important to note that health protocols from cruise lines and the CDC precluded some travelers of younger ages from cruising for this year's top family line category. In addition, some traditional family-oriented programming, like kids and teen clubs, were changed to comply with safety measures. Our awards represent the data we received this past year and may look different from past years.

Sail with Carnival Cruise Line in Summer 2022

 

See more 2022 Member Choice Awards:

2022 Member Choice Awards: Best Ships Overall and Best New Ships

2022 Member Choice Awards: Cruise Line Onboard Experience

2022 Member Choice Awards: Cruise Ship Overall Onboard Experience

 

 

 

 

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