Windstar Cruises

DISNEY CRUISE LINE introduced the 4,000-passenger ship Disney Dream in 2011 and sister ship Disney Fantasy this year. The company’s four ships visit Alaska, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and the Mexican Riviera with its famous characters, outstanding entertainment, 3-D movies, children’s programs, and an adults-only lounge and restaurant.

Top 5 Small/Midsize Ships

1. Windstar Cruises
(800) 258-7245,

2. Crystal Cruises
(888) 799-4625,

3. Regent Seven Seas Cruises
(877) 505-5370,

4. Seabourn Cruise Line
(800) 929-9595,

5. Oceania Cruises
(800) 531-5658,
For those who love a classical style of cruising, HOLLAND AMERICA LINE is formal and traditional. The 15 ships in the fleet sail in Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, the Baltic, Canada/New England, South America, Hawaii, Asia, Australia, and the Pacific. The ships boast culinary classes, computer schools, and alternative restaurants.

This year’s Editors’ Mention for Large Ships goes to CUNARD LINE, with its refined British style of cruising featuring high tea, ballroom dancing, a full theater, an enormous library, and a pub. Queen Mary 2 includes itineraries between New York and Southampton, U.K., while Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth feature cruises in the Mediterranean, Baltic, and North Sea, among other exotic itineraries.

WINDSTAR CRUISES is the top choice for Small/Midsize Ships, perhaps due to its high-quality food and service, in-depth itineraries, and laid-back style of cruising. The motorized sailboats include Wind Surf, which carries 312 passengers, and the 148-passenger sister ships Wind Spirit and Wind Star, which sail in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Europe, and on transatlantic voyages.

CRYSTAL CRUISES’ elegant ships, the Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, boast guest lecturers, enrichment programs, and excellent entertainment on itineraries that include Europe, the Baltic, Panama Canal, and the Pacific. The company recently changed to an all-inclusive policy with all beverages and gratuities included in the fare.