2022 Member Choice Awards: Cruise Ship Overall Onboard Experience

Presenting the Member Choice Award winners for best cruise ship overall experience. - Photo by Canva

The onboard cruise experience looked a little different for travelers this past year. Cruisers learned to navigate measures like social distancing, mask-wearing, and sanitization processes while onboard. In addition, crew members and ship staff made it their goal to provide a fun, quality, and a safe travel experience for all passengers.  


At Cruiseline.com, we’ve culled thousands of reviews that our members submitted for cruises last year to pull the top rankings across all cruise ships for categories of onboard experience. These ratings make up our picks for the 2022 Member Choice Awards for the best ships for food and dining, onboard activities, and service/staff. Without further ado, the winners are…

Best Ship for Food & Dining 

Celebrity Edge at Sea. - Photo by Celebrity Cruises

Dining was one of the elements of cruising reported by our members, which they missed the most during the pause in sailing. This past year cruise lines had to learn how to provide the quality food and beverage experience guests expected in a safe manner. Several modifications were implemented, the most noticeable being the elimination of self-service buffet options. The majority of ships instituted crew-served systems. In addition, they also had to modify dining capacities and revise spaces for social distancing. Overall, cruise lines and shipboard staff exceeded cruisers’ expectations regarding food and dining.

The 2022 Member Choice Award winners for best ships for food and dining are: 

  1. Celebrity Edge - 4.776
  2. Celebrity Summit - 4.707
  3. Symphony of the Seas - 4.682
  4. Freedom of the Seas - 4.633
  5. Norwegian Escape - 4.631

Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean ships solidly took the top spots in the food and dining category. The top-ranked ship, Celebrity Edge, moved up from the number three spot in this category from our 2020 Member Choice Awards. This ship received high marks for its 30+ restaurants and bars. In addition, the ship boasts guest's favorite Edge-class eateries like Le Petite Chef, Blu, Raw on Five, and the Magic Carpet Restaurant. Coming in at number three in this category was the largest cruise ship in the world (in 2021), Symphony of the Seas. This Royal Caribbean ship received high marks for its 21 included and specialty eateries, such as El Loco Fresh, Wonderland, Coastal Kitchen, 150 Central Park, and Izumi.  

Want to Experience the Best in Dining? Check Out All Cruises on Celebrity Edge

Best Ship for Onboard Activities

Freedom of the Seas - Photo by Royal Caribbean International

There was no shortage of fun with the onboard activities of the ships that returned to the high seas. Many guests could experience onboard amenities like water slides, rock-climbing walls, thermal suites, and more without navigating crowds at reduced capacities. 

The 2022 Member Choice Award winners for best ships for onboard activities include: 

  1. Freedom of the Seas - 4.537
  2. Oasis of the Seas - 4.525
  3. Celebrity Summit - 4.505
  4. Symphony of the Seas - 4.443
  5. Allure of the Seas - 4.441

Freedom of the Seas came in at the top of the pack as ranked by our members. Although this is an older Royal Caribbean ship, the vessel received an “Amplified” refurbishment in March 2020, just before operations paused. Freedom of the Seas sailings that departed after the makeover received top marks from our members. Stand-out features include extreme activities like FlowRider Surf Simulators, glow-in-the-dark laser tag, and two high-speed waterslides, dropping nearly three stories. 

Just behind Freedom of the Seas was another Royal Caribbean ship, Oasis of the Seas. This Oasis-class ship ranked high with members this past year for its fun activities, including an escape room and Splashaway Bay, the biggest aqua park at sea. 

Bring On the Fun! Check Out Cruises on Freedom of the Seas

Best Ship for Service & Staff

Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Edge - Photos by Celebrity Cruises

Across the board, our members who returned from cruises in 2021 returned with high marks and compliments for their excellent service on their voyage. Most notable is how many members reported the crew's excitement in receiving passengers back on board once again. Crew members this past year were not only tasked with ensuring guests have a great experience but also continually cleaning ships to ensure a safe experience.    

The 2022 Member Choice Award winners for the best ship for service and staff include: 

  1. (TIE). Celebrity Edge - 4.899 and Celebrity Summit - 4.899
  2. Norwegian Bliss - 4.891
  3. Serenade of the Seas - 4.882
  4. Norwegian Escape - 4.872

Celebrity Cruises ships’ Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Summit came in for a tie for the number one spot in this category. Celebrity Summit is a returning favorite in this category, making number three in our 2020 Awards. Kudus to the officers, staff members, and crew on these two ships - your efforts were well-recognized by cruisers!         

Coming right in at the number two spot for top service and staff this year was Norwegian Bliss. This extra-large-sized Norwegian Cruise Line ship ran at a reduced capacity, allowing guests onboard extra attention from crew and staff. 

Explore All Cruises on Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Summit 

Did you cruise last year? Write us a review of your sailing and let us know below if these ships were your top picks for the best onboard experience.
See More 2022 Member Choice Awards:

2022 Member Choice Awards: Best Cruise Lines

2022 Member Choice Awards: Best Ships Overall and Best New Ships

2022 Member Choice Awards: Cruise Line Onboard Experience


Join the discussion

Did you cruise last year? What ships are you planning to sail in 2022?

1 Comment

Posted by goseniors

I recently took a cruise that ended in Southhampton. The cruise line dropped us off at the airport and I spent 3 hours getting covid tested to return to the USA. This caused me to miss my flight and get home at 3AM!! Don't recommend cruises (at least on Princess) that end in a foreign country!

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