Cruisers' choice: Best cruise ships of 2017

Story highlights

  • Award-winning Viking has only been offering ocean cruises for two years
  • Disney won fewer awards this year but still brings home a hefty total

(CNN)It didn't take long for Viking Ocean Cruises to crush the competition.

The company, which is already established in river cruising, launched its first ocean cruise ship in 2015 to wide acclaim.
    The company dominated the 2017 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards, winning awards in 10 categories. 
    Viking Sea won best overall ship in the small-mid size ship category, best entertainment, best service, best fitness, best public rooms and best shore excursions. Its sister ship Viking Star won for best dining, best cabins, best value and best for first-time cruisers in the same size category.
    Viking is known for its excellent service and inclusive pricing.
    "The Cruisers' Choice Awards are particularly important because they are based on reviews submitted to Cruise Critic over the past year and directly reflect the experiences people had on their cruise," said Colleen McDaniel, Cruise Critic's senior executive editor. 
    "This means that you can not only see the ships that won, but also find out why. Reviews offer a really good starting point for planning a cruise, to help you to narrow down your choices."
    The awards are based on consumer reviews and ratings by members of the Cruise Critic website.

    Disney's appeal goes beyond children

    Disney Cruise Line took eight awards this year, a drop from its dominating total of 11 awards in 2016. But the Disney awards demonstrated the appeal of the cruise line beyond child-centered travel.
    Disney Magic did win the award for best overall ship for families, but most of the company's awards were not for family appeal. Magic won for best overall ship in the midsize ship category, while the larger Disney Dream won for best overall large ship for the third year in a row.
    The Dream also won for best service, best public rooms, best cabins and best shore excursions, while the Fantasy won for best fitness and recreation.
    Disney's Oceaneer Club and Lab features a Magic PlayFloor for kids.
    Celebrity Xpedition, the Celebrity Cruise Line ship based in the Galapagos, won six awards in the small ship category: best overall ship, best embarkation, best fitness, best public rooms, best value and best shore excursions.
    The awards are given in four ship categories, based on passenger capacity. Large ships carry 2,000 or more passengers; midsize ships carry 1,200 to 1,999 passengers; small-mid size ships carry 400-1,199 passengers; and small ships carry fewer than 400 passengers.

    2017 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards

    Best Cruise Overall
    Disney Dream (large) -- Disney Cruise Line
    Disney Magic (midsize) -- Disney Cruise Line
    Viking Sea (small-mid) -- Viking Ocean Cruises
    Celebrity Xpedition (small) -- Celebrity Cruises
     
    Best Cruise Ship Cabins
    Disney Dream (large) -- Disney Cruise Line
    Marina (midsize) -- Oceania Cruises
    Viking Star (small-mid) -- Viking Ocean Cruises
    Star Legend (small) -- Windstar Cruises
     
    Best Cruise Ships for Dining
    Celebrity Reflection (large) -- Celebrity Cruises
    Marina (midsize) -- Oceania Cruises
    Viking Star (small-mid) -- Viking Ocean Cruises
    Wind Surf (small) -- Windstar Cruises
     
    Best Cruise Ships for Embarkation
    Celebrity Reflection (large) -- Celebrity Cruises
    Celestyal Crystal (midsize) -- Celestyal Cruises
    Pacific Princess (small-mid) -- Princess Cruises
    Celebrity Xpedition (small) -- Celebrity Cruises
     
    Best Cruise Ships for Entertainment         
    Allure of the Seas (large) -- Royal Caribbean International    
    Celestyal Crystal (midsize) -- Celestyal Cruises          
    Viking Sea (small-mid) -- Viking Ocean Cruises
    Silver Shadow (small) -- Silversea Cruises
                    
    Best Cruise Ships for Fitness & Recreation              
    Disney Fantasy (large) -- Disney Cruise Line
    Marina (midsize) -- Oceania Cruises
    Viking Sea (small-mid) -- Viking Ocean Cruises
    Celebrity Xpedition (small) -- Celebrity Cruises
     
    Best Cruise Ships for Public Rooms
    Disney Dream (large) -- Disney Cruise Line
    Marina (midsize) -- Oceania Cruises
    Viking Sea (small-mid) -- Viking Ocean Cruises
    Celebrity Xpedition (small) -- Celebrity Cruises
     
    Best Cruise Ships for Service
    Disney Dream (large) -- Disney Cruise Line
    Marina (midsize) -- Oceania Cruises
    Viking Sea (small-mid) -- Viking Ocean Cruises
    Paul Gauguin (small) -- Paul Gauguin Cruises
     
    Best Cruise Ships for Shore Excursions
    Disney Dream (large) -- Disney Cruise Line
    Celestyal Crystal (midsize) -- Celestyal Cruises
    Viking Sea (small-mid) -- Viking Ocean Cruises
    Celebrity Xpedition (small) -- Celebrity Cruises
     
    Best Cruise Ships for Value           
    Norwegian Sky (large) -- Norwegian Cruise Line
    Celestyal Crystal (midsize) -- Celestyal Cruises
    Viking Star (small-mid) -- Viking Ocean Cruises
    Celebrity Xpedition (small) - Celebrity Cruises
     
    Best Cruises for Families
    Disney Magic -- Disney Cruise Line
     
    Best for First Timers
    Viking Star -- Viking Ocean Cruises