The Best Cruise Lines For 2019 - Members' Choice Awards

2019 cruise line awards best lines
Which lines should be on your 2019 wish list? - Photo by Royal Caribbean International

Last year, Cruiseline.com members submitted over 30,000 verified reviews for cruises sailing from the Caribbean to the South Pacific and everywhere in between. We used this massive collection of valuable input to determine the cruise lines you should be looking into for your 2019 adventures.

Best Overall Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean (4.32 / 5)

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Runners-Up
2. Carnival Cruise Line - 4.32 / 5
3. Celebrity Cruises - 4.31 / 5
4. Disney Cruise Line - 4.28 / 5
5. Princess Cruises - 4.26 / 5

After coming out on top for three years straight, Celebrity was finally overtaken by Royal Caribbean for the honors of Best Cruise Line. The competition had always been close since Celebrity claimed the title from Royal in 2016, but Royal’s recent efforts—including Symphony of the Seas, the new largest cruise ship in the world—were enough to put the line known for their “go big or go home” approach to cruising back on top.

As dramatic as Royal’s victory was, perhaps the biggest surprise here was Carnival’s strong second-place finish. After years of not even placing in the top 5, they surged forward and beat out upscale lines like Celebrity and Princess, nearly winning it all in the process. Their strong showing is at least in part due to the excellent reception of their new ship, Carnival Horizon, which is already averaging an excellent 4.3+ rating after 474 reviews.

 

Best Cruise Line For First-Timers: Royal Caribbean (4.52 / 5)

royal caribbean best cruise line first timers awards

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Runners-Up
2. Celebrity Cruises - 4.522 / 5
3. Carnival Cruise Line - 4.46 / 5
4. Princess Cruises - 4.39 / 5
5. Norwegian Cruise Line - 4.30 / 5

After dominating the First-Timers category with wins in 2015, 2016 and 2017, Royal Caribbean was ousted by Disney in 2018. This year, Disney failed to place while Royal just barely reclaimed the top spot by one one-thousandth of a point. Princess and Carnival swapped their third and fourth-place spots, while Norwegian knocked off Holland America to move up to fifth.

 

Best Line For Singles & Friends: Celebrity Cruises (4.39 / 5)

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Runners-Up
2. Royal Caribbean - 4.37 / 5
3. Carnival Cruise Line - 4.34 / 5
4. Holland America - 4.30 / 5
5. Princess Cruises - 4.29 / 5

Celebrity’s refined yet relaxed style made it the preferred line of single and solo cruisers for the second year in a row. Royal Caribbean and Carnival also made significant gains: Royal moved up from fifth to second, while Carnival finished third after not ranking at all last year.

With Norwegian’s continued focus on single travelers and a large number of Studio staterooms on their newest and biggest ships, we were surprised they didn’t rank.

 

Best Line For Couples: Celebrity Cruises (4.37 / 5)

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Runners-Up
2. Royal Caribbean - 4.36 / 5
3. Carnival Cruise Line - 4.33 / 5
4. Cunard - 4.29 / 5
5. Holland America - 4.28 / 5

Despite being known as a line that puts kids first, last year Disney won a surprise upset victory in the Best Line for Couples category. The feat proved difficult to replicate, however, with Disney failing to rank in the top 5 and Celebrity reclaiming its top spot, adding to its wins from 2017 and 2016 wins. Royal Caribbean also made a notable step forward as the moved from fifth to second, just one one-hundredth of a point behind Celebrity.

 

Best Line For Families With Young Children: Disney Cruise Line (4.39 / 5)

disney cruise line best families kids award

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Runners-Up
2. Princess Cruises - 4.39 / 5
3. Royal Caribbean - 4.30 / 5
4. Carnival Cruise Line - 4.27 / 5
5. MSC Cruises - 4.22 / 5

Despite falling in several other categories, Disney continues to be the undisputed best line for kids, handily winning the category with the largest margin we’ve seen so far. Celebrity fell dramatically from second place last year, failing to rank at all. Princess, Royal and Carnival each moved up one slot, while MSC made notable gains to take the #5 slot.

 

Best Line For Families With Teens: Royal Caribbean (4.36 / 5)

royal caribbean best cruise line teens award

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Runners-Up
2. Celebrity Cruises - 4.34 / 5
3. Carnival Cruise Line - 4.31 / 5
4. Disney Cruise Line - 4.28 / 5
5. Princess Cruises - 4.27 / 5

Royal Caribbean’s focus on keeping cruisers active is often overwhelmingly popular with restless teens, which is why we we had to double check our numbers last year when Disney came in first while Royal barely squeezed onto the board with a fifth-place finish. Things seemed to normalize this year, with Royal, Celebrity and Carnival claiming the top three spots, and Disney falling to number four.

 

Best Line For Large Groups: Celebrity Cruises (4.37 / 5)

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Runners-Up
2. Royal Caribbean - 4.35 / 5
3. Holland America Line - 4.289 / 5
4. Carnival Cruise Line - 4.288 / 5
5. Princess Cruises - 4.27 / 5

Celebrity again demonstrated its multi-generational appeal by repeating their 2018 win in the Best Line for Large Groups category. MSC fell from #2 to unranked, while Royal showed more improvements by moving from fourth to second.

The following lines were considered: Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Celebrity, Princess, MSC, and Holland America.

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