7 most popular cruise ships of 2011

The seven most popular cruise ships of 2011 include the newest, flashiest offerings from Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines and more.

1. Allure of the Seas  – Royal Caribbean

Roni Lehti / AFP – Getty Images

The Allure of the Seas launched in 2010 and has room for 5,400 passengers.

Tonnage: 225,282 

Berths (Double Occupancy/Max.): 5,400/6,360

The 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas builds on the blueprint introduced by its revolutionary older sister, Oasis of the Seas. Both ships feature unique-to-cruising offerings like zip-lining, a plant-filled “Central Park” and a handmade wooden carousel, but Allure added twists of its own, including cruising’s first Starbucks, characters from the DreamWorks army and the Broadway show “Chicago.”

See where Allure of the Seas sails in 2012.

2. Norwegian Epic – Norwegian Cruise Line

Don Emmert / AFP – Getty Images

The Norwegian Epic sails past the Statue of Liberty on her maiden voyage July 1, 2010, in New York Harbor.

Tonnage: 155,873

Berths (Double Occupancy/Max.): 4,100/5,226

Launched in summer 2010, Epic broke the mold in numerous ways, most notably its game-changing Studio staterooms (geared toward solo travelers), its multitude of entertainment options (including Blue Man Group) and controversial translucent bathrooms (alas, you can see right through the smoked glass). Add in more than 20 restaurants, a giant waterpark and one of cruising’s largest spas, and the ship lives up to its name.

See where Norwegian Epic sails in 2012.

3. Carnival Magic – Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival

Carnival Magic, which launched on May 1, 2011, features an onboard waterpark.

Tonnage: 130,000

Berths (Double Occupancy/Max.): 3,690/4,724

From its exclusive Thirsty Frog Red beer to cruising’s first ropes course, the buzz started early on Carnival Magic — the newest addition to the line’s fleet — and has only grown. As a measure of its success, several of the concepts introduced on Magic are spreading to other Carnival ships, including the family-style Cucina del Capitano Italian eatery and the RedFrog Pub (and its iconic suds).

See where Carnival Magic sails in 2012.

4. Oasis of the Seas – Royal Caribbean

Hans Deryk / ASSOCIATED PRESS

When it debuted in 2009, Oasis of the Seas was considered the world’s largest cruise ship.

Tonnage: 225,282

Berths (Double Occupancy/Max.): 5,400/6,296

Oasis of the Seas launched in 2009 as the largest and most innovative cruise ship ever built. In addition to debuting numerous at-sea “firsts,” including an breathtaking outdoor AquaTheater, Oasis represents a revolution in ship design. An open-air corridor carved out along the length of the massive ship creates space for a tropical foliage- and restaurant-filled Central Park and Coney Island-style Boardwalk “neighborhood.”

See where Oasis of the Seas sails in 2012.

5. Celebrity Solstice – Celebrity Cruises

Quentin Bacon / Celebrity Cruises

The Celebrity Solstice Lawn Club is a popular atttraction.

Tonnage: 122,000

Berths (Double Occupancy/Max.): 2,850/3,145

Arguably the most beautiful mega-ship at sea, Celebrity Solstice earns high marks for its whimsical restaurants, trendy lounges and glass-and-light-filled spaces. But Solstice’s most buzzworthy feature has to be its Lawn Club, a top-ship green space where passengers can play bocce, watch a glass-blowing demonstration and simply feel freshly cut grass between their toes. 

See where Celebrity Solstice sails in 2012.

6. Disney Dream – Disney Cruise Line

Disney

The Disney Dream launched on Jan. 26, 2011.

Tonnage: 128,690

Berths (Double Occupancy/Max.): 2,500/4,000

Who’s to argue with a ship boasting something called the AquaDuck? Disney’s first new vessel in more than a decade, Disney Dream set sail in early 2011 and  continues the company’s signature “ocean liner” look, complete with cruising’s first “watercoaster” (i.e., the AquaDuck), an entire deck devoted to youths and the French eatery Remy — at $75 a head, the most expensive for-fee restaurant on a cruise ship.

See where Disney Dream sails in 2012.

7. Ruby Princess  – Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises

The Ruby Princess offers Movies Under the Stars, complete with a poolside big-screen theater.

Tonnage: 113,000

Berths (Double Occupancy/Max.): 3,080/3,763

Ruby Princess showcases all of Princess Cruises’ marquee features, including  Movies Under the Stars, a poolside big-screen theater; the three-deck Piazza, a combination bakery, Internet cafe, wine/sushi/tapas bar; and the adults-only Sanctuary, a mostly shaded top-ship retreat with thick, plush loungers, massage cabanas and a spa menu.

See where Ruby Princess sails in 2012.

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