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Travel + Leisure names best cruise lines of 2007

SmarterTravel

Every year, Travel + Leisure selects the top 10 large-ship and small-ship cruise lines. The magazine’s readers judged the lines on cabin quality, food, service, itineraries/destinations, activities, and value. For 2007, the winning lines—Crystal (large) and SeaDream Yacht Club (small)—are not surprise finishers. However, I find the rest of the list to be more revealing.

Travel + Leisure made [% 13516 | | Crystal %], [% 9668 | | Regent Seven Seas %], and Oceania its top three large-ship lines. These luxury and upscale lines offer elegant accommodations and fine cuisine, so it’s no wonder they can beat out the likes of [% 11986 | | Carnival %] and [% 12025 | | Norwegian %], who didn’t even make the top 10.

More interesting to me is that family-friendly [% 13509 | | Disney Cruise Line %] came in fourth, beating out luxury-line [% 9732 | | Cunard %] (of Queen Mary 2 fame) and premium lines such as [% 14665 | | Celebrity %] and [% 9823 | | Holland America %]. Perhaps Disney’s dedication to creating equal space for kids and adults, as well as new expanded itineraries, bumped it up from sixth last year to fourth this year. Interestingly, [% 15420 | | Royal Caribbean %] was the only true mainstream line to make the list.

On the small-ship side, SeaDream Yacht Club, which is known for its intimate and romantic cruises, beat out [% 11070 | | Seabourn %] and [% 16844 | | Silversea %], last year’s number one and two. It seems like the smallest ships are now quite big with Travel + Leisure’s readers. SeaDream ships can only carry 110 guests at double occupancy, making Seabourn’s 208 and Silversea’s 296 to 382 look downright huge.

The rest of the list is populated with a mix of big names ([% 11985 | | Windstar %]), river cruises (Avalon Waterways), and newbies (Majestic America Line, which scored big despite its [% 2362069 | | Alaska crash %] this spring). It doesn’t seem quite right to put these very different cruise lines in the same category, and potential cruisers should certainly take these rankings with a grain of salt.

Remember, too, that Travel + Leisure caters to an affluent readership. We smarter travelers appreciate the finer things in life, but perhaps we value value a little more than the people who voted in this poll.

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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