Two of the best sources for understanding the current state of the cruise industry are Cruise Critic and Berlitz Guide: Cruising and Cruise Ships. Cruise Critic is a website that is a combination of cruiser reviews and editorial content. In contrast, the Berlitz Guide is a book, over 700 pages, compiled by a guy that travels all year on cruises.
Each has its uses.
When you cruise a lot you hear complaints from other cruisers. It is hard to decipher if those complaints are felt by one or many. Cruise Critic is an amplifier. However, it is hard to compile the complaints by year based on how it is organized. But usually, the reviews are validated in the Berlitz guide. Last year, the complaints were about the diminished quality of Celebrity cruises. Berlitz validated that complaint in this year’s guide by stating that Celebrity is a more refined Royal Caribbean, the quality is not what it was in previous years. Basically, a downgrade.
The newest complaint on Cruise Critic is that the level of service on Crystal has diminished since the company was sold to Genting Hong Kong in 2015. You will not find this in the 2017 Berlitz guide. If it is a valid complaint it should be in the 2018 version of the Berlitz Guide.
Rating of Best Ship for the year
Both Cruise Critic and Berlitz rate the best cruise ships. However, their standard is very different. The Cruise Critic rating is based on reviews from fellow cruisers. It really depends on who is using the site the most. Luxury cruisers are a minority and the ratings from Cruise Critic reflect that. The Berlitz rating is based on the rankings given to each ship and then each cruise line compiled yearly by one author.
Top Resort Ship
Berlitz – Queen Mary 2
Cruise Critic – Disney Dream
Top Mid-Size Ship – Viking Sea
Berlitz – Viking Sea
Cruise Critic – Viking Sea and Disney Magic
Top Small Ship
Berlitz – Europa 2
Cruise Critic – Celebrity Xpedition
Take the time to check out both sources. They will be valuable to planning your next cruise regardless of whether you are a first-time or an experienced cruiser.