Cruising: Cruise Critics Top Choices

For the third straight year, Cruise Critic has honored cruise lines and ships with their Editors’ Pick Awards. For 2010, 20 awards were selected after heated discussions and debated among Cruise Critic’s editorial staff but eventually they chose their winners. Here’s a glance at some of the winners. For a complete list, check out


Best for Evening Entertainment:
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epic

This cruise ship offers some of the craziest entertainment out there. There’s Spice H2O, a beach club for adults with acrobatic aerial stunts performed while you dance below, a vodka-branded ice bar (seriously, an ice bar) which is the only such ice bar at sea, and a dueling piano bar to keep the adults happy. You can also experience performance by The Blue Man Group and Cirque Dreams, concerts and live performances. This cruise ship has cruises in both the Eastern and Western Caribbean, the Western Mediterranean, and a Transatlantic trip between Florida and Western Europe.

Best Shore Excursions:
Disney Cruise Line
The Flying Dutchman

While Disney gives you the chance to make your own port adventure, why would you when you can experience one of their award-winning plans? In Pompeii you can do a guided walking tour of the city. In Aruba you can learn to snorkel, scuba dive or even sail. Cabo San Lucas offers dolphin training. There’s a Tuscan cooking school experience, an afternoon British tea experience, and even Disney’s own private island. Disney has Alaskan cruises, Caribbean cruises, European cruises, Mexican Riviera cruises, Central American cruises and even Transatlantic cruises. No matter which one you choose, you’ll have fun on board and on the ground.

Best for Honeymooners:
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America

The Hawaiian experience aboard the Pride of America is once-in-a-lifetime. The cruise ship offers a 7 day trip around the Hawaiian islands with overnight ports of call in some of the best spots. The cruise begins and ends in Honolulu, Oahu, giving you the chance to shop, swim and climb Diamond Head. If you spend another week here, make sure to get up to the North Shore and to visit Pearl Harbor. Once your on board your ship though, your adventure is just beginning. You’ll land in Kahului, Maui first where you can choose from three different itineraries or take the day to just relax. 2 days later you’ll land over on the Hilo side of the big island. You can visit Volcanoes National Park (I’ve been there and it’s worth a trip) or you can do a helicopter ride of the area. You’ll land on the Kona side of the island the next day followed by an overnight stop on Kauai. These days will be the best time to hit the beach and just relax before you return back to the hustle and bustle of Honolulu.

Best for a Second Honeymoon:
Paul Gauguin Cruises
Fatu Hiva -- PICT3047

Without a familiar corporate name on the Paul Gauguin Cruises I almost completely disregarded their award but the words “French Polynesia” under the description lingered just enough that I had to click. Then I gasped when I saw the words “Moorea” and “Tahiti” and “Bora Bora” being thrown around. Then I saw New Zealand itineraries. Then islands so small and remote my high school geography teacher had never seen fit to teach me about them. When I clicked to see what a port of call could offer me, I saw words like “Aqua Safari: An Underwater Walk” and Dolphins and Parasailing and I was sold. The company that owns the cruise line also owns hotels on several of the islands so if you fall in love with one, you can easily extend your stay. You might never leave.

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I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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