Top 3 Affordable Cruises from the World’s Top Ships

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Best Affordable Cruises
Best Affordable Cruises

U.S. News ranks 119 Best Affordable Cruises based on an analysis of reviews and health ratings. Celebrity Infinity is the top-ranked ship overall. But you can filter your search based on price, region, traveler type and brand to find the best ship and itinerary for you.

Celebrity Infinity

Celebrity Infinity
Celebrity Infinity

Launched in 2001 and most recently refurbished in 2015, Celebrity Infinity received updated suites, an Italian steakhouse and the fleet’s first rooftop terrace. Other highlights of the ship include venues like the Cellar Masters wine bar, a martini bar and Qsine, an interactive restaurants complete with iPad menus.

The ship offers a total of nine dining venues that range from a casual grill to four specialty restaurants which require reservations and an additional fee. While recent cruisers felt that specialty dining was worth the cost, many noted that food quality was hit or miss in the main dining room.

When it comes to activities and entertainment, Infinity offers something for cruisers of all ages. Kids ages 3 to 17 can head to organized clubs while adults can relax at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub or learn new skill through the enrichment courses.

As for accommodations, cruisers can choose from four lodging options: Inside, Ocean View and Veranda staterooms and Suites. All cabins are outfitted with flat-screen TVs, small sitting areas and 24-hour room service. During the 2016-17 season, Celebrity Infinity offers itineraries to Alaska as well as Central and South America.

Regal Princess

Regal Princess
Regal Princess

Unique features – including the largest top-deck pool of any Princess ship – make Royal Princess stand out among competitors. On the 3,560-passenger ship, which first debuted in 2014, guests can expect attentive service thanks to a low passenger-to-crew ratio with 1,346 staff onboard.

Plus, there are plenty of onboard diversions, from golfing at an indoor driving range to walking on the SeaWalk – a glass-enclosed walkway extending over the ship’s edge. While adults sip cocktails at one of the ship’s four lounges, kids and teens can enjoy age-appropriate programming at the youth clubs. Come nightfall, the whole gang can come together for a meal at one of the three main dining rooms, two specialty restaurants (additional fees apply) or six laid-back eateries.

In terms of accommodations, all cabins come appointed with minifridges and satellite TVs. While Interior cabins measure 166 to 175 square feet, larger Balcony staterooms occupy 222 square feet and offer 41-square-foot private balconies. The ship also features Mini-Suite category rooms that offer two flat-screen TVs, bathtubs and furnished balconies. Though the majority of recent cruisers praise Royal Princess for its quality service, some do lament the ship’s poorly designed layout, describing public spaces as easily crowded.

Celebrity Millennium

Celebrity Millennium
Celebrity Millennium

The 2,158-passenger Celebrity Millennium debuted in 2000, and thanks for a refurbishment in May 2016, the ship is one of the most innovative in the fleet. The renovation saw remodels to the Penthouse and Royal suites as well as updates to the Interior, Ocean View and Veranda category cabins. Also, AquaClass staterooms were added in 2012 and include extras like upscale bath amenities and complimentary access to the AquaSpa Persian Garden.

When it comes to dining, Celebrity Millennium offers nine restaurants, including four specialty spots. Most notable is the RMS Olympic Restaurant that’s exclusive to the Millennium and features wood paneling from the original RMS Olympic – the sister ship to the infamous Titanic. Other options include the new Tuscan Grille steakhouse and Qsine, an interactive restaurants with iPad menus (both require an extra fee). The ship also offers an array of bars and lounges including the popular Cellar Masters wine bar.

While the ship offers programming for children, most of the activities are geared toward adults with onboard enrichment that includes language lessons, art classes and Zumba. The recent renovation also brought a rooftop terrace with an outdoor movie screen to the ship.