The Disney Fantasy copped the award as the Best Large Ship and one of three in any class to receive a 4.9 rating. *MCT photo
The Disney Fantasy copped the award as the Best Large Ship and one of three in any class to receive a 4.9 rating. *MCT photo

If you love cruising and haven’t found your way over to cruisecritic.com, you should as it is a wealth of independent information.

Besides, the articles written by staffers, the forum are also helpful if you want questions answered. One of the best parts of the forum is you usually don’t get the nutters you might find on other blogs or forums.

Wednesday, Cruise Critic released its Readers Choice Awards. The awards cover a multitude of topics such as best ships (listed by large, mid-size and small), best cabins, best for families, best by destination, best for value and so on.

The Disney Fantasy copped the award as the Best Large Ship and one of three in any class to receive a 4.9 rating.

The Celebrity Eclipse weighed in at number 2 at 4.8 along with Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas.

Celebrity had four of the top 10 large ships, Royal Caribbean four and Disney two. I’ve been on three of the award winners — Eclipse, Oasis of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas. I’ve never been on a Disney ship, and since I don’t have any children, that might be a tad awkward if I did, but they have a great reputation.

Holland America Lines’ Noordam was the Best Mid-size Ship with a 4.6 rating. HAL’s Osterdam and Westerdam also made the list. The Ocean’s Marina was second with a 4.6 and the Thomson Dream was third, also at 4.6.

Azamara had the top two ships in the Small Class with the Quest and the Journey, both of which were rated 4.9.

Disney dominates the list of Best for Families with the top four all belonging to that line, but Royal Caribbean also has four ships in the top 10.

Disney’s Fantasy and Dream were the top two ships for Best Service both with 5.1 ratings with spots three to six belonging to Celebrity (Silhouette, Equinox, Solstice and Eclipse) and Royal Caribbean taking spots seven through 10.

For Best Dining, Celebrity flips the script on Disney with the Reflection and Solstice taking the top two spots before the Disney Fantasy breaks in at number three. Celebrity also had four more ships in the top 10 make it the foodies’ choice.

If you are careful with your money and want to get what you pay for, and more, the Best Value Ship was the Celebrity Eclipse followed by the Celebrity Solstice. The Carnival Elation was number three and the line had three ships in the top 10. Celebrity’s Equinox and Silhouette were also in the top 10.

Disney’s Fantasy and Dream were one and three for Best Entertainment. Four Royal Caribbean ships were listed in the top ten and three from Norwegian Cruise Lines.

HAL had the top two ships, the Volendam and Westerdam for Alaska cruises.

There is a lot of competition in the Caribbean market and four different cruise lines placed in the top four with Disney’s Fantasy on top followed by the Celebrity Solstice, HAL’s Noordam and Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas.

Carnival had three in the top four for Bahamas cruises but Disney’s Dream was number one.

For all the rankings go to Cruise Critic.

Carnival Triumph

As a follow from last week, a reader sent me a link with regard to how badly Carnival’s public perception has suffered since the fire disabled the ship leaving people without any running water so they had to do their number twos in red bags.

The saying ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’ but I’d have to disagree. Carnival’s perception has taken a beating from the public dipping from a buzz score of six (which isn’t great to begin with) to -43.

So just how bad is that? It’s perception drop is being compared to BP after the oil spill in the gulf and Toyota’s myriad of problems with vehicles in 2010.

If you want the full article go to www.brandindex.com and type in Carnival.