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The best cruises for first-timers, families and excursions in 2017

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Disney, Viking and Celebrity cruise ships have emerged the top-rated brands by cruisers around the world. 

If you’re thinking about sailing the high seas for your big vacation this year, consider checking out the results of the latest Cruisers’ Choice Awards, which collected ratings and reviews from cruisers over the last 12 months.

In the seventh edition, a trio of cruise brands emerged the big winners along different categories, including large, mid-size, small-mid, and small ship class. 

The Disney Dream cemented its reputation as the gold standard in cruising, taking the title of best overall large ship for the third year in a row. 

The ship was also named best for cabins, service, public rooms and shore excursions. 

The Disney Magic took the title of best overall ship in the mid-size category and was also named the best cruise ship for families. 

Cruisers without small children and first-time cruisers, meanwhile, may want to check out the Viking Star, which was named the best ship for first-timers. 

Unlike larger ships, the Viking Star is destination-focused, with port-intensive itineraries and longer than average calls that frequently drop anchor overnight, reads a staff review. 

That also means fewer onboard amenities like casinos, organized activities and entertainment. The minimum age to sail is 16. A Nordic spa, however, is available and features a thalassotherapy pool, steam room, hot tub, sauna, and “snow grotto.” 

The ship also won titles like best value, dining and cabins in the small-mid category. 

The Celebrity Xpedition also won six awards in its class (small ship), including best overall, best value and shore excursions. 

The awards are based on reviews submitted for cruises taken in 2016. Cruise Critic is the leading online cruise community with more than 160,000 reviews. 

Here are some of the winners: 

Best Cruise Overall 
Disney Dream (Large) – Disney Cruise Line 
Disney Magic (Mid-Size) – Disney Cruise Line 
Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises 
Celebrity Xpedition (Small) – Celebrity Cruises 

Best Cruise Ships for Dining 
Celebrity Reflection (Large) – Celebrity Cruises 
Marina (Mid-Size) – Oceania Cruises 
Viking Star (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises 
Wind Surf (Small) – Windstar Cruises 

Best Cruise Ships for Entertainment         
Allure of the Seas (Large) – Royal Caribbean International     
Celestyal Crystal (Mid-Size) – Celestyal Cruises           
Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises 
Silver Shadow (Small) – Silversea Cruises 

Best Cruise Ships for Service 
Disney Dream (Large) – Disney Cruise Line 
Marina (Mid-Size) – Oceania Cruises 
Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises 
Paul Gauguin (Small) – Paul Gauguin Cruises   

Best Cruise Ships for Shore Excursions 
Disney Dream (Large) – Disney Cruise Line
Celestyal Crystal (Mid-Size) – Celestyal Cruises 
Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises 
Celebrity Xpedition (Small) – Celebrity Cruises 

Best Cruise Ships for Value            
Norwegian Sky (Large) – Norwegian Cruise Line 
Celestyal Crystal (Mid-Size) – Celestyal Cruises 
Viking Star (Small Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises 
Celebrity Xpedition (Small) – Celebrity Cruises 

Best Cruises for Families 
Disney Magic – Disney Cruise Line   

Best for First Timers 
Viking Star -Viking Ocean Cruises



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