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New rankings: World's best cruises

Story highlights

  • Bargain prices mean now is best time to take a cruise vacation, says U.S. News & World Report
  • Crystal Cruise's "Symphony" takes top spot for best luxury cruise ship rankings
  • Singles should book Silversea's "Silver Spirit"

Recent tragedies and negative publicity be damned, millions of vacationers still love cruise ships.

In North America alone, the cruise industry projection for 2013 is 17.6 million passengers, up from 17.2 million last year, according to Cruise Lines International Association.

Globally, the number is more than 20 million.

For would-be cruisers who just can't deal with choice overload, U.S. News and World Report has ranked the best cruise lines and ships according to traveler type.

More: 7 super extravagant U.S. cruises

The magazine calls Celebrity Cruises' "Reflection" the world's "Best Affordable Cruise," and says the recent publicity hits across the industry have translated into bargain prices for passengers.

Crystal Cruises' "Symphony" is the top pick for "Best Luxury Cruise."

"The Crystal Symphony's calling card isn't only its delectable cuisine or its stylish staterooms," says the report. "Seafarers opt for this vessel year after year for its superior service and stimulating onboard entertainment."

The magazine based its rankings on traveler ratings from data collected in collaboration with Cruiseline.com, opinions from travel experts and official safety evaluations.

The top cruises by category are summarized below. See the comprehensive rankings here.

Best Cruise Lines

Best Cruise Line for the Money: Royal Caribbean International
Best Cruise Line for Families: Disney Cruise Line
Best Cruise Line for Romance: Crystal Cruises
Best Cruise Line in the Caribbean: Disney Cruise Line
Best Luxury Cruise Line: Crystal Cruises

Best Cruise Ships

Best Affordable Cruise: Celebrity "Reflection
Best Luxury Cruise: Celebrity "Symphony"
Best Cruise for Couples: Crystal "Symphony"
Best Cruise for Families: "Disney Dream"
Best Cruise for Groups: Silversea "Silver Shadow"
Best Cruise for Singles: Silversea "Silver Spirit"

Best Cruises by Region

Alaska: Silversea "Silver Shadow"
Caribbean: Crystal "Symphony"
Europe: Crystal "Symphony"
Mediterranean: Silversea "Silver Spirit"
Mexico: Holland America "ms Statendam"
Pacific: Crystal "Symphony"

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