Doug Ward's 2012 Berlitz Guide Debuts

There are plenty of cruise "contests" in various publications, but Ward's Berlitz Guise is the most influentual Cruise Guide anywhere

Announcing: Eagerly-awaited Ratings From 2012 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships

It is the cruise industry's version of the Oscars & Emmys rolled into one - renowned cruise expert Douglas Ward's ratings of 285 ships in 2012 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships.

For the 27th year, Ward--who has spent some 5,700 days at sea --bases his meticulous ratings on criteria including each ship's accommodations, food, service, entertainment, cleanliness, excursions & general value. "Despite cruise-company claims that theirs has been named the 'Best Cruise Ship', there really is no suchthing," Ward writes. "Only what's right for you."

Ward's ratings, compiled independently & unsubsidized by sponsorship, base its Berlitz stars on points for an unbiased appraisal of what's best & worst in the world of cruising.

In 2012 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships, Ward classifies the top 10 as 'small' or 'boutique'. Europa, a 'Small Ship' of Hapag Lloyd Cruises, has earned top honors for the 12th year and is again the only vessel in the exclusive 5-star Plus 'club', with 1,852 out of a possible 2,000 points. Seabourn's ships scoop a remarkable 6 of the 10, while SeaDream grabs the top 2 slots in the Boutique Ships category.

The Rankings

Top 3 Ships in each category - Points out of 2,000

Large (Resort) Ships (1,600 passengers +)1 Queen Mary 2 (Grill Class) 1,702 points2 Queen Elizabeth (Grill Class) 1,690 points3 Queen Victoria (Grill Class) 1,671 points

Mid-Size Ships (600 - 1,600 passengers)1 Crystal Serenity 1,717 pointsTie (2) Crystal Symphony & Marina 1,701 points

Small Ships (200 - 600 passengers)1 Europa 1,852 points2 Seabourn Quest 1,787 points3 Seabourn Odyssey 1,786 points

Boutique Ships (50 - 200 passengers)1 SeaDream II 1,788 points2 SeaDream I 1,786 points3 Hanseatic 1,746 points

2012 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships is available October 19, 2011 ($24.99) at Barnes & Noble, Amazon,, & wherever fine books are sold. The Berlitz Cruise Ships 2012 App is sold at iTunes App Store ($9.99) & allows cruisegoers to scroll through all 285 ships with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

APA Publications, a Langenscheidt company, publishes the Insight Travel Guides and Berlitz Travel and Language Learning titles - with over 500 titles covering countries, regions, cities, and a complete range of language learning products. ( ) ( ).

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