NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- It is the cruise industry's version of the Oscars & Emmys rolled into one - renowned cruise expert Douglas Ward's ratings of 285 ships in 2012 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships.
For the 27th year, Ward—who has spent some 5,700 days at sea --bases his meticulous ratings on criteria including each ship's accommodations, food, service, entertainment, cleanliness, excursions & general value. "Despite cruise-company claims that theirs has been named the ‘Best Cruise Ship', there really is no suchthing," Ward writes. "Only what's right for you."
Ward's ratings, compiled independently & unsubsidized by sponsorship, base its Berlitz stars on points for an unbiased appraisal of what's best & worst in the world of cruising.
In 2012Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships, Ward classifies the top 10 as ‘small' or ‘boutique'. Europa, a ‘Small Ship' of Hapag Lloyd Cruises, has earned top honors for the 12th year and is again the only vessel in the exclusive 5-star Plus ‘club', with 1,852 out of a possible 2,000 points. Seabourn's ships scoop a remarkable 6 of the 10, while SeaDream grabs the top 2 slots in the Boutique Ships category.
Top 3 Ships in each category – Points out of 2,000
Large (Resort) Ships (1,600 passengers +)
1 Queen Mary 2 (Grill Class) 1,702 points
2 Queen Elizabeth (Grill Class) 1,690 points
3 Queen Victoria (Grill Class) 1,671 points
Mid-Size Ships (600 – 1,600 passengers)
1 Crystal Serenity 1,717 points
Tie (2) Crystal Symphony & Marina 1,701 points
Small Ships (200 – 600 passengers)
1 Europa 1,852 points
2 Seabourn Quest 1,787 points
3 Seabourn Odyssey 1,786 points
Boutique Ships (50 – 200 passengers)
1 SeaDream II 1,788 points
2 SeaDream I 1,786 points
3 Hanseatic 1,746 points
2012 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships is available October 19, 2011 ($24.99) at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powells.com, & wherever fine books are sold. The Berlitz Cruise Ships 2012 App is sold at iTunes App Store ($9.99) & allows cruisegoers to scroll through all 285 ships with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
APA Publications, a Langenscheidt company, publishes the Insight Travel Guides and Berlitz Travel and Language Learning titles - with over 500 titles covering countries, regions, cities, and a complete range of language learning products. (www.insightguides.com) (www.berlitzpublishing.com).
SOURCE APA Publications