With an Arctic blast expected to affect some 232 million people across much of the U.S. this week, now is a good time to start planning your next vacation.
And if you're looking for a departure from the usual trains, planes and automobiles, make sure to check out U.S. News & World Report's 2019 cruise rankings. The publication evaluated 176 ships in 17 cruise lines across six categories, measuring factors like amenities, cost and family-friendliness to help travelers determine which cruises might be best for them. Split into six categories, the rankings are a great guide for anyone planning to sail the high seas.
For those exploring the world on a tight budget, Royal Caribbean International ranked as the best cruise line for the money. The line combines affordable itineraries with amenities like zip lines, ice skating rinks and numerous dining options. Celebrity Cruises came in second while the No. 3 spot went to Norwegian Cruise Line.
If you're willing to spend more money, Viking Ocean Cruises ranked No. 1 for luxury. Each ship's common area has a roaring fireplace, and the private verandas on every stateroom are sure to give travelers plenty of privacy. Seabourn Cruise Line and Crystal Cruises ranked as the second and third most luxurious cruises, respectively.
And when it comes to the best cruise lines for couples, the same three brands dominated, with Viking Ocean Cruises offering plenty of romantic amenities and an adult-focused environment, followed by Seabourn Cruise Line and Crystal Cruises.
For families, Disney Cruise Line came in first, which should come as no surprise since its ships are tailored specifically to children and families to create a magical experience. Other family-friendly lines include Royal Caribbean International, which came in second, and Carnival Cruise Line, which ranked third.
The rankings also looked at the best cruise lines by region. While the report notes that cruise lines are beginning to add more unique sailing locations, like Antarctica, Madagascar and the Galapagos Islands, the rankings covered two popular destinations: the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.
In the Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line topped the list for the seventh year in a row, followed by Royal Caribbean International and Seabourn Cruise Line.
In the Mediterranean, Seabourn Cruise Line ranked first, followed by Crystal Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises.