Travel + Leisure Readers' 5 Favorite Mega-ship Ocean Cruise Lines of 2024

These are T+L readers’ favorite mega-ship ocean cruise lines in our annual "World’s Best Awards" survey for 2024.

<p>Courtesy of Virgin Voyages</p>

Courtesy of Virgin Voyages

Cruises are back as one of the world’s leading vacation choices. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), nearly 7% more people cruised in 2023 than 2019, with the upwards trend expected to continue in 2024 and through 2027. Mega-ships, defined by Travel + Leisure as those with 1,500 or more cabins, are once again filled with gleeful travelers enjoying a vast variety of latest-greatest amusements designed for all ages and tastes. Value pricing too is for all comers, with a variety of accommodations, food, activities, and entertainment included in your cruise fare.

How Voting Works

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Over 186,000 T+L readers completed the 2024 survey. A total of more than 700,000 votes were cast across over 8,700 properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).

For the cruise category, respondents were asked to rate individual ships; the results were combined to generate scores for cruise lines in different categories based on number of cabins.

Ships were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Cabins/facilities

  • Food

  • Service

  • Itineraries/destinations

  • Excursions/activities

  • Value

For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.

What Readers Loved

Repeating its position in the No. 2 spot in the World’s Best Awards survey, Celebrity Cruises gets raves for cuisine and friendly crew. “Hands down the best food of any cruise we have been on,” said one reader who sailed on Celebrity Edge. “Le [Grand] Bistro for lunch is not to be missed.”

Impressing travelers in the No. 3 position was Princess Cruises, gaining praise from multigenerational families and also from couples spending some alone time: “My fiancé and I found the cruise to be very romantic and would love to take another cruise,” said one reader. Repeating in the No. 1 position for mega-ship ocean cruise lines was Virgin Voyages, designed specifically for adults, no kids allowed.

The Winner

Virgin Voyages

<p>Courtesy of Virgin Voyages</p>

Courtesy of Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages guests praised Richard Branson’s three adults-only ships as some of the best experiences at sea. On board, there’s a cheeky approach to cruising, with no holding back on adult fun. “Sailors,” as guests are called, can get inked at the tattoo parlor, play drinking games at the Korean BBQ joint, and work out in a slightly naughty 1980s-style fitness class, when not attending lively parties on the open decks. Big spenders can play rockstar in RockStar Suites. “One of the best cruise ships I have ever sailed on,” said one delighted T+L reader. “Food was excellent, ports of call were unique, entertainment was different. Positive onboard vibe.”

"One of the best cruise ships I have ever sailed on. Food was excellent, ports of call were unique, entertainment was different. Positive onboard vibe."

T+L Reader

The Full List

1. Virgin Voyages

Reader Score: 89.71

2. Celebrity Cruises

Reader Score: 85.85

3. Princess Cruises

Reader Score: 82.58

4. Norwegian Cruise Line

Reader Score: 80.90

5. Royal Caribbean International

Reader Score: 80.81

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