When you're thinking about taking a cruise, there are a lot of things to consider, including cruise ship ranking. How others rate a particular ship can help you decide on your cruise line, destination and the length of your trip. This is especially true if the quality of the ship is your number one priority.
Where to Find Cruise Ship Rankings
You can find printed lists of cruise ship rankings in publications like Cruise Travel. If you'd rather just look online, there are several different sites that you can visit. Here is an abbreviated list.
This site has rankings for 21 different cruise lines, including Viking, Windstar, Carnival and Celebrity. The rankings are presented in an easy to scan table format. They include consumer ratings on overall quality and a score based on the following factors: tonnage, year built, length, beam, capacity, country of registry and speed. If you click on the name of a specific ship, you can read individual customer reviews, as well as a more detailed description of the vessel.
This San Diego based travel agency offers a less technical version of cruise ship rankings. While some of the ratings are taken from travel guides, others are just the opinion of people who work at the agency. Though, to be fair, these are some of the people who have the most experience with different cruise ships, and they also hear the opinions of their clients. The ships are ranked from one "pretty bad" to six "best of the best." Twenty cruise lines are featured, but some of the ships are listed together, sharing a ranking spot.
This website is designed as a resource for people planning cruises. It has a lot of content generated by users, including ship rankings. You can see a listing for each ship at a glance, along with the average star rating from people who have taken a cruise on that ship. Click on the ship's name to read the complete text of reviews. Unlike the first two sites, this one does not provide much detail about the ships themselves. It has very detailed reviews, though, which may be more important to you.
If you're looking for ship rankings based on very specific aspects related to cruising, this is the site for you. It has categories like top cabins, top dining services, top fitness centers and even top public restrooms. It also has a listing of the best 10 ships in overall quality, as ranked by sites users. Ratings of each ship are displayed using icons, so you can easily compare one ship to another. The site also offers official Cruise Critic reviews of the ships, as well as the user submitted reviews.
Using the Rankings
Reading through all of the rankings available can be a bit overwhelming. To use these sites effectively, you'll probably want to narrow your choices to a few ships before you get started. However, if your top priority is to find the ship that is the highest rated overall, you can go ahead and search and compare. Just be aware that with a high ranking, it's likely cruising on that ship also comes a fairly high price.