You may not have heard but the www.CRUISE.co.uk team were very pleased last year to have once again been named the World’s Leading Cruise Community (as well as the World’s Leading Cruise Travel Agent of course!).
December marked the sixth time that we’d been awarded the prestigious title in the World Travel Awards and we couldn’t be prouder of that fact.
However, we obviously couldn’t have done it without you!
Therefore we decided to put together the www.CRUISE.co.uk Cruise Community Awards to truly honour our community of dedicated cruisers. We knew there was already a lot of cruise awards out there but we wanted to do something that really looked at the things that cruisers really cared about. Because honestly, is anyone really bothered if the ship they’re cruising on was once voted Best Midsized Family Friendly Ship In The Canaries for 2014?
But… Knowing which ship serves the tastiest burgers, the cheapest beer or offers the best night’s sleep at sea? Now that’s something that could really help people!
It was with that thought in mind that the www.CRUISE.co.uk Cruise Community Awards were born!
We ran the poll through most of November and all of December, giving you all a chance to vote for your favourite cruise lines in a variety of categories and we’re now happy to confirm the winners… As chosen by you!
We’ll get to the individual awards in a minute but to kick-start things we’d like to offer a massive congratulations to Royal Caribbean and name them the winner of the People’s Choice Award 2016, having won nearly double the gold medals of anyone else!
Well done Royal Caribbean, clearly the UK loves you!
So without any more ado we get onto the individual categories…
Best Burger At Sea
We all know cruise lines are famous for the amazing five star food they serve up on a daily basis but sometimes you just get a hankering for some fast food, don’t you?
If you’ve ever been on a cruise and just been desperate for a burger our Cruise Community recommend you head to Royal Caribbean’s Johnny Rockets for a mouth-watering treat.
Johnny Rockets is a traditional burger bar found on all Royal Caribbean ships serving up a traditional taste of Americana with burgers, hotdogs, onion rings, fries and milkshakes all available for a small cover charge.
Best Beer On-Board
Cool, crisp, full of flavour (and cheap)! Are we the only people that like to check out which beers a cruise line stocks before we book? The cost (or taste) of the beer might not be your main deciding factor (at least we hope not!) but it’s still something that needs considering!
Well never fear, we’re now happy to report that the public have voted and the cruise line that serves the best beer is officially P&O!
Best At Towel Animals
Who doesn’t like coming back to their cabin and finding an artistically crafted towel animal waiting for them? There’s some amazingly talented cabin stewards out there who go that extra mile for their guests.
Dare we say it though… some seem to be just a bit better at it than others?
Congratulations then to Royal Caribbean for having the most talented staff when it comes to towel art sculptures!
If you’ve a secret passion for towel animals you can see a lot more of them here…
Best For Breakfast
Ah the great breakfast debate. This one transcends cruising, transcends oceans and continents to become a global debate!
Just which is the best breakfast? The Full English? The American pancake stack? A light continental?
Well we decided to get to the bottom of it once and for all and posed the question to our cruise community and they voted overwhelmingly for P&O… a traditionally British cruise line.
Fairest Tipping Policy
Tipping… wow, this one’s even worse than the breakfast debate for dividing cruisers! It’s not helped by the cruise lines numerous different policies when it comes to tipping. Should you do it in person? Should you pay in advance? Let the cruise lines automatically add it to your bill?
Who knows what the best option is?
Well… you do, obviously!
That’s why we asked you to vote for which cruise line you thought had the fairest tipping policy. Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) all three spots, Gold, Silver and Bronze, went to British cruise lines with P&O taking the top spot, Thomson taking Silver and Fred Olsen being awarded Bronze.
Staying in touch with each other has never been more important to people whether it be via text, Facebook, Skype or Twitter (and don’t even get us started about putting all your holiday snaps on Instagram!)
The problem is that the internet has always been notoriously slow on a cruise ship (you are in the middle of an ocean after all) which has frustrated people in the past.
In recent months various cruise lines have taken steps to rectify this with several different innovations and new technologies.
We wanted to see if any of it had made any difference though so we asked you which cruise line had the best Wi-Fi and it was the innovations Royal Caribbean implemented on their new Quantum class of ships that had impressed the most.
Best Waterslide At Sea
It seemed that it was only a while ago that there weren’t any waterslides on cruise ships… these days they’re on practically every new ship that’s released!
But which is best? We had to find out!
NCL scored heavily in this category with their slides taking both the Gold and Bronze awards, with the Epic Plunge taking Gold and the new Freefall on Breakaway and Getaway taking Bronze!
Best Cruise Line For Kids
Parents have always taken their children on cruises but it’s only in recent years that the ships have become fun filled palaces that can live up to a child’s imagination. Kids clubs, water slides, swimming pools, rope courses… ships have it all these days!
Now whilst there are lots of cruise lines out there purporting to be family friendly we wanted to find out just which was the public’s favourite.
Best Karaoke Night
Karaoke. You either love or hate it. Do you take part or just watch in amusement from the side-lines? Many cruise lines offer karaoke but whilst some will take over a bar for a night with a small machine others will have dedicated bars to this… umm… entertainment form?
Best For Sun Worshippers
This was a complicated one to access, with people being asked to vote on both the kind of destinations their favourite cruise line visited and the number and availability of sunbeds once they got somewhere warm.
Smoothest Check In
Even the worst delay checking in for your cruise will only ever hold you up by an hour or three but there’s no denying that it can put a dampener on the start of your cruise… It’s just so frustrating isn’t it?
Whilst sometimes a delay will be unavoidable it can’t be denied that some cruise lines have the process a lot more organised and streamlined than others.
Best Nights Sleep At Sea
There’s a lot of factors that go into a good night’s sleep when you’re on a cruise ship from the softness of the mattress and pillows, the cotton thread of the sheets, the air condition/heating, engine vibrations and just the ambient noise in general.
Whilst many cruise lines claim to offer a great night’s sleep we polled our cruise community to find out who can really claim to offer the best night’s sleep.
Most Cheerful Staff
It’s the little things that matter and a smile or a joke from your barman can go a long way from making a great cruise an unforgettable cruise.
Widest TV Channel Selection
Whilst most people don’t go on a cruise to watch hours and hours of T.V, it is nice to be able to catch a movie if you fancy an early night or just want to relax on a sea day.
The problem is that whilst some cruise lines have state of the art T.Vs with digital libraries of movies and shows to watch others still rely on satellite connections to bring you your TV fix… with mixed results!
Without a doubt cruising is one of the most social holidays you can take, with many people making lifelong friends along the way. With that aspect of cruising being so important we decided to find out just which cruise line has the nicest passengers.
Best Formal Nights
What would a cruise holiday be without a formal night? Whilst it’s true in recent years that many cruise lines have become less formal in order to appeal to a wider market others are still flying the flag of formality and up holding some of the best of cruising’s traditions.
Best Cruise Line For Adults
Cruising is an inclusive kind of holiday and by that we mean it doesn’t matter what age you are, there’ll be something for everyone. That being said however sometimes it is nice to get away from the kids sometimes… whether you’re a teacher looking for a break from work or a parent/grandparent needing a bit of ‘you’ time.
Now most ships offer adult only areas whilst other go so far as to only admit people over the age of eighteen but which cruise line does it best do you think?
When we put it to our Cruise Community they nominated P&O by an easy margin; and it’s no surprise with three of the ships, The Adonia, Arcadia and Oriana being exclusively adult.
And that was our last award! What do you think?
Well… Actually, not quite. That was the last award as voted for by you but we’ve one more award to give. Whilst they didn’t actually win any awards this year we’ve a feeling that it will be a very different story next year…
Do you agree with the award winners?
Let us know in the comments below…
(Or come back next year to vote!)