Movies have them. So do television shows, commercials and Broadway plays. What about the cruise lines? It’s time to give recognition to those cruise line players who, day in and day out, feed, house, entertain and transport thousands of passengers all over the world.
And so, I present my 2010 Gold Anchor Awards, to honor specific, significant and perhaps a bit quirky, segments of the major cruise lines of the world.
Here they are; the best of the best on the water.
BEST MOVIE THEATRE with POPCORN
Holland America – Eurodam
BEST OPERA-STYLE PERFORMANCES AT SEA
MSC Cruises – All their newer ships, especially in Europe.
MOST UNUSUAL STATEROOM
Royal Caribbean Freedom Class – Ben and Jerry Suite
BEST VIEWING LOCATION TO WATCH WAVES
Cunard Queen Mary 2 – Deck 2 game tables area corridor
BEST FRENCH FRIES
NCL Epic – O’Sheehan’s Pub – Fries in a basket
BEST PRIVATE POOL DECK
MSC Cruises Splendida, Magnifica and Fantasia Yacht Club
BEST FREE FRUIT SMOOTHIES
Azamara Journey and Quest
BEST MARTINIS (i.e. generous)
Celebrity Solstice, Equinox (and Eclipse) Martini Ice Bar
BEST NOVELTY BREAD
Royal Caribbean “Savory Bites” bread nuggets – Main Dining Rooms
BEST HOMEMADE YOGHURT
Uniworld River Cruises – Lower Danube
BEST WRAP-AROUND PROMENADE
Holland America Eurodam (and Nieuw Amsterdam)
BEST SAILAWAY GET-TOGETHER
Regent Seven Seas “Neighborhood Block Party”
BEST (ONLY) CABINS FOR SOLO PASSENGERS
NCL Epic – at 100 sq ft and no single supplement
BEST ATRIUM ENTERTAINMENT
Princess Cruises Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire
BEST AT OUT-RUNNING SOMALI PIRATES
Tie: Seabourn Spirit and MSC Melody
BEST DANCERS THAT LOOK LIKE DANCERS
Cunard Queen Mary 2
BEST TABLESIDE SPECIALTY DINING PERFORMANCE
Azamara Cruises Oceanliners
BEST LIVE ORCHESTRA
Tie: Cunard and Celebrity
BEST “SECRET” OVERSIZED BALCONIES
Celebrity Millennium Class vessels
BEST “SCARIEST” OCEANVIEW GLASS ELEVATOR
Cunard Queen Mary 2
BEST FREE BICYCLES FOR USE IN PORT
AmaWaterways European River Cruises
BEST PAY-PER-USE THALASSOTHERAPY POOL
Tie: Celebrity Cova Café and MSC Espresso Bar
BEST ONBOARD ART EXPERIENCE
Celebrity Solstice-Class ships’ self-guided iPad tour (s00n!)
BEST-LOVED ONBOARD ENTERTAINERS
Tie: Matt Yee and Perry Grant
BEST KARAOKE – NEARLY 24/7
Carnival Cruise Lines
Applause, applause. There you have it: Cruise Maven’s 2010 Gold Anchor Awards. Yes, I’ve experienced every single one of the mentioned award categories-except outrunning the Somali pirates. Yes, I’m sure there are other cruise lines/ships which deserve recognition. But if I couldn’t vouch for their claim to fame, they weren’t included.
Categories such as excellent service, softest beds, itinerary choices etc. are all covered by the major publications; Conde Nast, Frommers, Fodors, etc. My goal was to shed some light on the more unusual and yet equally important aspects of the cruise experience.
It’s my hope that these little-publicized facts will help you to make an informed decision when planning your next cruise vacation.
Comments and recommendations are welcome!