If subzero temperatures and early snowstorms have you hankering to take a cruise, a new report can help you choose the right one.
U.S. News & World Report recently rolled out its annual cruise line rankings for 2020, evaluating 17 operators across half a dozen categories, including best bets for the money and for families.
Disney Cruise Line once again landed the top berth for families, followed by Royal Caribbean and Carnival.
Also for the seventh year in a row, Disney reigns supreme as best cruise line in the Caribbean, according to U.S. News, which provides consumer advice and rankings on myriad topics, from travel and cars to health and education.
The Washington, D.C.-based online publisher computes its results based on a weighted mix of in-house expertise and input from travelers on Cruiseline.com, among other things. The analysis covers 17 of the most popular ocean cruise lines.
Ocean cruisers wanting the most bang for their vacation buck will find it on Royal Caribbean, U.S. News said about the line known for adrenaline-pumping amenities such as ziplines, rock climbing walls and ice skating rinks at sea. Celebrity and Norwegian came in a respective second and third in that category.
Topping the list in two categories is Viking, a brand that historically has been more closely associated with plying European rivers. Viking expanded into ocean cruising in 2015 with the debut of its 930-guest Viking Star. Growing at a rapid clip ever since, its ocean fleet is expected to total 16 vessels by 2027.
Viking ranked No. 1 in the luxury category, followed by the high-end lines Seabourn and Crystal, and was crowned best cruise line for couples, again with Seabourn and Crystal trailing in its wake.
Press materials announcing the latest rankings gave a shoutout to Viking's adult-focused environment and "luxurious and romantic amenities, such as fireplaces in each ship's common area and private verandas in every stateroom."
Two of the six categories were broken down by region: the ever-popular sailing spots of the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.
The pricier cruise lines dominated the Mediterranean. Seabourn ranked No. 1, with Crystal second and Viking third.
In the Caribbean, the aforementioned Disney snagged gold, followed by Royal Caribbean and Seabourn.