Berlitz Ranks Top Cruise Ships for 2015

Royal Caribbean Oasis and Allure of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas ranked top family cruise ships by Berlitz. Photo: Royal Caribbean

The 30th anniversary edition of “Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2015” guidebook, written by British author Douglas Ward has been released this month (Insight Guides). His very popular and highly rated guide is considered by many to be the Bible of all cruise ship guides. In the 2015 edition, Ward evaluated 270 ships world-wide, more than double the number from when he started in 1985.

There’s a reason Ward has a true sense of what works and doesn’t on a cruise ship. He has been meticulously evaluating cruise ships for most of the last four decades and has taken over 1,000 cruises in that time. His evaluation has grown to over 400 separate items on each ship.


Douglas Ward evaluating cruise ship for Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ship 2015" guide. Photo: Insight Guides

Douglas Ward evaluating cruise ship for “Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ship 2015” guide. Photo: Insight Guides

So which cruise line gets the top ranking for 2015? That distinction goes to Europa 2 from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, garnering 1,860 points out of a possible 2,000, the highest score ever in the history of the Berlitz guide. Both Europa2 and its sister ship, Europa (which had a score of 1,851), received the top five-star-plus rating, the only two cruise ships to do so.


“Both are beautiful ships to sail aboard, with an  outstanding amount of space per passenger ratio, much light through the high windows, an excellent and high-class culinary choice and attentive and unobtrusive service,” said Douglas Ward.

Top Large Ships, 2,001-6,500 passengers (All four-star-plus)

1. Mein Schiff 3 (German line TUI Cruises)
2. Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 (Grill Class)
3. Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth

Top Mid-Size Ships, 751-2,000 passengers

1. Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity (five-star)
2. Crystal Symphony (five-star)
3. Oceania Cruises’ Riviera (four-star-plus)

Top Small Ships, 251-750 passengers

1. Europa 2 (five-star-plus)
2. Europa (five-star-plus)
3. Silversea Cruises’ Silver Whisper (five-star)


Ward also ranked cruise ships based on certain features. Here are a few of them:

Top Five Family Ships
  1. Allure of the Seas/Oasis of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)
  2. Disney Dream/Disney Fantasy
  3. Mein Schiff 3
  4. MSC Preziosa
  5. Norwegian Breakaway/Norwegian Getaway
Top Five Large Resort Ships (2,000-6,500 passengers)
  1. Mein Schiff 3
  2. Queen Mary 2
  3. Queen Elizabeth
  4. Queen Victoria
  5. Celebrity Reflection
Five Best Cruise Lines for Foodies
  1. Crystal Cruise
  2. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
  3. Oceania Cruises
  4. SeaDream Yacht Club
  5. Silversea Cruises

Comments are closed.