If your social media pages haven't been inundated with dire predictions about the state of the world today, then you're probably already in your underground bunker waiting for what seems like our inevitable demise. For most of us, we're still trudging along our regular 9 to 5, hoping everything that we've been seeing on the news lately isn't as bad as they say. Maybe Donald Trump is just a puppet for the real powers that be and that they're using him to purposely drive a wedge between people so eventually we're all so out of control that the government has to step in, ("for our own good") and implement Marshall Law. And what if secretly, Melania sees all this and is secretly planning a revolution of the people, going down in history as the female immigrant rebel who became America's hero! (I knew those brownies I just ate tasted funny).
My point is, now more than ever, people need an excuse to get away. But not everyone can just go gallivanting around the world so, there needs to be an article about something that can momentarily swoosh you away from the doom and gloom you see on your computer screen. Maybe an article that can transport you to tropical beaches and exotic islands, where the wifi is iffy so for once, you're not getting phone notifications every single minute. It would be even better if that article could also take you to paradise in 15 of the most luxurious cruise ships in the world.
Well lucky you, you are reading that very article right now! So put on a bad Hawaiian shirt, grab a margarita and let's get out of here already.
15 Silver Shadow
If you think all cruise ships are named after badly-written erotica, then clearly you've never heard of Silver Shadow. The Silver Shadow sounds like a superhero straight out of Marvel Comics. But this amazing ship, equipped with, casinos, a champagne bar, a beauty salon, an outdoor golf driving range, heated salt water pool, a cigar club, poolside grill and bar, a multi-tiered show lounger and ..(breath)...long story short, when it comes to cruise ships, the Silver Shadow is JACKED to the decks with amenities. And like many brooding comic book heroes, the Silver Shadow has a little bit of a shady past that just makes this ship even more intriguing than the rest of the other pansy cruise ships it's surrounded by. The Silver Shadow once collided with another ship in Vietnam. There was some damage to the container ship but otherwise, Silver Shadow was fine and continued on to its voyage to steal your girl 90 minutes later.
14 Allure of the Seas
If luxury cruise ships were WWE wrestlers, Allure of the Seas would be like the Brock Lesner of the bunch. While Allure of the Seas is probably not the number one ship on this list, it's certainly the largest. Allure of the Seas is the world's largest passenger ship and cost 1.2 billion to build. It has 16 decks and has a max of 5400 passengers. This boat is so beefy that they break the boat down into "neighborhoods" and these floating neighborhoods are surrounded by a dance hall, a theater, a skating rink, a central park, a Starbucks, 25 restaurants and more. Replace the dance hall with a 7-11, at least 10 of those restaurants with Taco Bells and put some bums in the central park and it sounds exactly like my neighborhood! Ah, who are we kidding? No one really lives in neighborhoods like these. The neighborhoods on Allure of the Seas is like some make-believe place you see on t.v., only this neighborhood IS for real and takes you to places like St. Thomas and the Bahamas. And good news, even though it's large in size, it's cruises are one of the most affordable!
13 Viking Star
The Viking Star from Viking Ocean Cruises, may not be the largest cruise ship on this list and that's okay, because they designed it that way. While most luxury cruise ships can hold thousands of people, the Viking can only accommodate 930 guests so the ship's atmosphere is less like a city and more like a small town. But for a "small town," the Viking Star offers big city class while taking you to amazing locations like Greece, Italy and Croatia. If you choose the Viking Empire Ocean Cruise, you'll be exploring the seas like the wanna-be Nordic you are, for 50 glorious, work-free, days, visiting 18 countries and 36 ports. You might want also want to book the Explorer Suite while you're on this mega cruise because, not only do you get to stay in a room that's over 700 square feet WITH a veranda and a luxury king sized bed, it also comes with a mile long list of extras and perks such as three guaranteed reservations at each specialty restaurants, complimentary laundry, dry cleaning and shoe shining, a mini-bar STOCKED daily with alcohol, juices and snacks, a welcome bottle of champagne, and so much other fancy stuff, that we'd pay just to have a vacation in the room.
12 Disney Dream
Do you think having kids cramps your luxury cruise ship style? Well thanks to Disney, your little scamps won't get in the way of your dreams to go on a relaxing cruise. The Disney Dream is a luxury cruise ship that's fun for both adults and kids, kind of like a Hollywood nanny only it doesn't end in an embarrassing divorce. The Disney Dream offers fun and affordable three, four and five day cruises that will take you and your fancy pants family to the Bahamas. On the way there, adults can go to one of their 11 bars and lounges, there's a 9 hole mini golf course, digital sports simulators, hot tubs, pools, etc. And you don't have to feel bad for getting some time for yourself because once the kids get on this boat, you're going to have to force them to hang out with your boring adult self, especially when there's age appropriate play areas from age three to seventeen and amazing things like the "Aqua Duck" that's a slide that basically whips you all around the ship. Think of the Disney Dream as an investment into the future, because the kind of memories you'll be giving your kids when they get on the Disney Dream are the kind of memories you can use to guilt them into taking care of you in your old age.
11 Crystal Esprit
The Esprit is one of the smaller cruise ships on this list with a passenger to crew ratio of 62 to 91. But even though the Esprit is small in size, it still has major luxury accommodations just like the big cruise ships only there's not as many people you have to rub shoulders with in the hot tub. There's several dining areas, a patio cafe, butler service, free flowing champagne, and caviar. There's a fitness center you can work off all the food you've eaten and there's also shops,as well as a spa. The Crystal Esprit has their very own portable marina packed with wakeboards, paddle boards, ocean kayaks, jet skis and snorkel gear. The Crystal Esprit even has their very own, on board personal submersible if you're feeling all Jacques Cousteau on your vacation and get the urge to go on an underwater exploration. The Crystal Esprit offer 7 to 14 day cruises to Italy, Croatia, Greece Dubai, etc. and since it's small, it can get to places that big ships can't. You can explore remote, unknown islands and lay out on large, deserted beaches that are so empty, you can reenact Tom Hank's fire scene in the movie, Castaway.
10 Oasis of the Seas
If you think luxury cruise ships are just shiny floating malls and hotels, then you probably haven't been on the paradise that is the Oasis of the Seas. Because if you have, then you probably took a nice leisurely stroll around their football field sized park with 12,000 trees and plants surrounding you, something that your local mall or hotel can't give you. So yeah, NATURE is one of the many amenities this boat can brag about. Oh is NATURE not enough for you Mr. Outdoor Manly Man? Well then put your herculean strength to the test on two rock climbing walls, cool off by catching the wave on their two Flowrider Surf Simulators then dry off by taking a brisk run on their 600 meter running track, go on the zip line and finally, cap the day off by relaxing in their full service spa. For most of us, the only exercise we'll be doing is taking advantage of Oasis' 21 dining options because what kind of freak goes on vacation to WORK OUT? Order a steak and sit your butt down you weirdo.
9 Crystal Serenity
If you opted to take a cruise around the world and ended up on Crystal Serenity, it wouldn't take you long to realize that you're the passenger of one bad ass cruise ship. The Crystal Serenity has beautiful penthouse cabins, two tennis courts, and a Lido deck that's probably larger and more glamorous than most of our houses, decked out in lush comfortable sofas, and a dining deck overlooking the ocean. Don't want your long vacation to turn your mind into mush? Don't panic, Crystal Serenity has got your intellectual back with the their Creative Learning Institute. They offer classes on a variety of different subjects such language classes (that you could try out on your next port!) digital film making courses, just to name a few, all taught by professors. And if you're looking to bump up your first class trip to a first classier one, Crystal Serenity now offers "Crystal Adventures." One of the adventures includes an overnight stay in Monaco during the Grand Prix where there are VIP grandstand seats saved just for you, with a catered lunch and later, free flowing Dom Perignon at the after party in the Amber Lounge. Is Crystal Serenity a cruise ship or heaven? It might be both. The only suggestion we have for Crystal Serenity is that they need to live up to their romance novel title and hire Fabio to be their captain.
8 Seabourn Encore
This is another ship that's probably not as big as the rest of the cruise ships on this list, but still packs a huge wow factor for anyone who goes on board. The Seabourn Encore was intended to feel like your very own luxury yacht, only it's a lot less expensive and probably twice as glamorous. Start digging under your couch cushions and underneath your car seats because you just need a paltry 11,699 dollars to get on board the Seabourn. You can book a room with a veranda with an ocean view for a 16 day trip to New Zealand and Australia. Buying your own yacht doesn't come with a staff member for each guest like the Seabourn does. On Seabourn there's always someone nearby to help you with anything you need and since Seabourn is purposely small, the staff isn't overworked and hiding behind a smile that says, 'welcome' but eyes that say, 'don't ask me for anything unless you have a fat tip in your hand you POS."
7 Queen Mary 2
Let's ignore the fact that the name, "Queen Mary 2" sounds more like a Melissa McCarthy straight to DVD comedy than the name of a luxurious cruise ship because despite its somewhat cheesy name, the Queen Mary 2 is one pinky up above the rest of the 'common' cruise ships. It was named after a Queen after all and it was built by British Naval Architects. British. As in royal. As in what this boat is with it's remodelled and remastered interior. When you walk into the grand lobby of this boat, it's so fancy you'll immediately feel how Jack from Titanic must have felt when he snuck into the fancy party with Rose. The Queen Mary 2 is a transatlantic ocean liner with so much to do on the boat, like shopping, dancing, wine tasting, pubs, that hopefully you won't forget that along with all the boat activities, there's still a whole new world to explore outside of the boat in ports of call of Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. You can be King of the World like Jack, minus the pesky icebergs.
6 Norwegian Epic
When the word "epic" is part of a cruise ship's name, it kind of sets itself up for big expectations by anyone who gets on it and the Norwegian Epic not only meets your impossible expectations but goes way beyond it. And no, they didn't pay me to say that, but I wouldn't turn down a free cruise if they offered to me as a thank you for talking them up (cough cough) because with all the places you can see and all the things you can do on the Norwegian Epic, the cruises it offers all sounds ...well, EPIC. From 20 day transatlantic cruises that take you to places like Jamaica, Bermuda and Spain to shorter jaunts like a 7 day European cruise to Morocco, Italy, and the Canary Islands - whatever cruise you decide to go on, when you're on the Norwegian Epic you'll be taken there in a ship that has rooms like "The Haven" with floor to ceiling windows, so you can see the sun rising and setting from your king sized bed or living room. Call the concierge and have the butler bring you up some champagne to sip as you enjoy the ocean breeze on your own private deck.
The MS Riviera has 15 decks, 625 staterooms, ten different dining areas, bars, lounges, a culinary center, a spa, a casino, a fitness center, swimming pool and hot tubs. If they told us they also put chocolate eggs filled with gold on our pillows every morning we'd believe them, because when it comes to being a luxury cruise ship, the MS Riviera is nailing it and then some. They claim it's your "home away from home" but looking at the pictures of the Riviera, I'd make it "my home after I run away from my home," because the only amenities that my home offers is a fat guinea pig in a too small cage, overflowing laundry baskets 24/7 and saggy couches. I'd much rather be in the MS Riviera where there is 24 hour staff on hand, just in case you wake up at 3:00 a.m. and decide what you need right now is a fresh, hot robe and a bucket of fried chicken. Okay, so we don't actually know if they would do that on the MS Riviera because we've never actually been on this spectacular ship and with requests like that, we probably never will.
The Mervagilia (meaning 'wonder' in Italian), doesn't have as many voyages as most of the other cruise ships on this list. In fact, the Mervagilia hasn't even gone anywhere. However, when it takes off for its maiden voyage from Barcelona in June, 2017, it'll will officially world's largest ship by passenger capacity (able to accommodate over 5,000 passengers!). It'll have twice as more entertainment areas than most ships, a water park and a promenade that will have a 5,167 square foot LED screen that will give the indoor promenade a digital sky, capable of transmitting events, sunrises, and sunsets because unfortunately, when you look at the sky in real life, you can't get it in HD. Mother Nature needs to step up her game because Mervagilia is raising the bar. The Mervagilia's first trip will be as romantic as its name. The lucky first passengers will be treated to a 7 day cruise to Marseille, Genoa, Naples, Messina and Valleta.
3 Freedom of the Seas
A water park! A 3D theater AND an outdoor movie screen! An ice skating rink! A pool fed by a waterfall! A boxing ring! Adult-only whirlpools! And (gasp!) a 24 hour pizza venue. FINALLY. You can eat a pepperoni pizza at all hours of the day in shorts and flip flops with no one there to judge you. This sounds like the stuff dreams are made of and this very dream can come true if you book a cruise on MS Freedom of the Seas. It is one of the largest passenger ship ever built with 15 passenger decks and a crew of over 1300 to cater to every one of your over-indulgent needs. Most of the suites on Freedom of the Seas have their very own private balcony. The Royal Suites has its own whirlpool bathtub and grand piano, the Family suite is over 1200 square feet with four bedroom and bathrooms. If you have your very own entourage (ie: the in-laws came along), have no fear! You and your crew can stay in the Presidential Family Suite that can accommodate up to 14 people.
2 Silver Whisper
If a grand resort, a five star restaurant, and a hoity toity hotel had a wild, drunken romp in a hot tub, and had an oops baby, that baby would be the Silver Whisper ship. Another small luxury cruise liner that can hold their own among the giant cruise ships. Not only do they have everything that other cruise ships have, like a pool bar and grill, a spa, an internet cafe, a casino, rooms with marble floors, etc. The Silver Whisper also offers one of the longest, most mind blowing cruise itineraries out there. Got a couple hundred thou to burn? Join the Silver Whisper on their World Cruise. A 121 day journey that starts from Los Angeles and stops at 21 countries and 60 ports. The cheapest ticket to this adventure is $57,750 per person. People? Ew. Do you have to go with other people? Of course you don't! For a bargain price of 1.5 million dollars you and a friend can get picked up in your London abode by helicopter, where you will be served Beluga Caviar that costs over 6,000 dollars per kilogram and tea that's so rare, it costs over $3,000 per kilogram. You'll travel to and from the U.S. in a private Boeing business jet while a Michelin-starred chef prepares a 10-course tasting menu, and will be transferred via Rolls Royce Phantom. And you're not even on the boat yet! Once you get there, you'll stay in the Royal Suite and be taken on a private, world cruise for 115 days.
1 Seven Seas Explorer
Vacations usually last around a week to a month. Or in my case, it lasts as long as a hot bath because vacations cost a lot of money and kiwi lime bath bombs cost like twenty bucks. And more often than not, after we get back from a vacation, we usually want to go on another one a few days later because vacations just don't last long enough. Most of us don't have enough vacation days stocked up at work to do a vacation longer than the allotted two weeks they give us. But imagine if you will, another you in an alternate universe. You don't have vacation days because you're stinking rich for no reason, so you don't work and you can take a vacation as long as you want. In this universe, you're probably taking a 137 night, world cruise around The Seven Seas Explorer from Regent Seven Seas Cruise. It's one of the most luxurious cruise ships ever built with marble floors, glass chandeliers made from Czech crystals, with rooms peppered in fine art. And since money is no option, you'll probably be navigating the world all while staying in the Regent Suite, where the bed costs approximately $90,000. Wow. Your alternate universe self is ballin! Is he single?