Readers' Poll: Best Cruise Lines of the Caribbean | Best Island Cruise Ships | Islands

Readers' Poll: Best Cruise Lines of the Caribbean

Casinos. Spas. Grand buffets. The biggest cruise lines in the world deliver them all, but does that make them the best cruise options? We asked our readers to name their top 5 cruise lines serving the Caribbean. You might be surprised which line of smaller ships made the list.

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Best Caribbean Cruise Lines: Princess

5th Place Readers' Choice Winner: Princess

The iconic line (of Love Boat fame — there, we said it) may be better known for its Alaska and Pacific itineraries, but it still covers plenty of Caribbean ground. From quick getaways to the line's private resort on Eleuthera in the Bahamas to 20-day odysseys that visit ports both well-traveled (St. Thomas) and off the beaten path (Dominica), Princess offers a diverse array of itineraries in an elegant, upscale package befitting the line's regal name.

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Princess

Best Caribbean Cruises: Disney

4th Place Readers' Choice Winner: Disney Cruise Line

If you love the House of Mouse, you won't be disappointed in the Ship of Mouse — Disney's legendary attention to detail and service reaches its zenith on its four classic ocean liners. Yes, you'll see Mickey and friends, Pixar favorites and the ubiquitous princesses, but the real magic is in the line's innovative, only-from-Disney touches, including a virtual porthole in interior staterooms, a fireworks show at sea and an animated dinner starring … you.

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Disney

Best Caribbean Cruises: Windstar

3rd Place Readers' Choice Winner: Windstar

Think of the romance of sailing the ocean blue, and chances are the ship you just conjured in your imagination has a mast and billowing sails. If it's also built and appointed like a yacht, you might actually be looking at Windstar Cruises poster — but don't be fooled by the ships' luxe feel, the ambience is decidedly laid-back and the experience is exotic, even in the well-traveled Caribbean. And for those who prefer power to sail, the line recently added the Star Pride to its four-ship fleet.

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windstar

Best Caribbean Cruises: Carnival

2nd Place Readers' Choice Winner: Carnival

Carnival's single-minded determination to corner the market on fun — they're "Fun Ships," after all — has seen the party-hearty line roll out its "Fun Ship 2.0" initiative across the fleet, with upgrades to onboard restaurants and bars and new entertainment options, including fully interactive versions of popular board games and comedy clubs curated by George Lopez. And with 20+ ships, there are precious few Caribbean destinations that Carnival doesn't visit.

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Carnival

Best Caribbean Cruises: Royal Caribbean

1st Place Readers' Choice Winner: Royal Caribbean

When it comes to action and innovation, few lines rival Royal Caribbean's enviable list of unique onboard offerings and behemoth-sized ships. Rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks and surf simulators are standard on the larger ships, and the line will up the ante next year on the Quantum of the Seas with a skydiving simulator, roller-skating rink and flying trapeze classes. To top it off, Royal Caribbean has both its own island in the Bahamas and a private stretch of coast on Haiti.

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Royal Caribbean

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