2011 Editor's Picks Awards -- U.K.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best New Ship: Carnival Magic

    Carnival Magic really captured the imagination of U.K. cruisers during its inaugural Mediterranean season in 2011. The huge SportsSquare with its outdoor gym and high ropes course, the family-friendly dining, particularly the Cucina del Capitano trattoria, and the RedFrog Pub, with its own-label beer and spicy Caribbean snacks are all relatively simple but spot-on innovations.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best New River Ship: Uniworld's S.S. Antoinette

    S.S. Antoinette, Uniworld's first-ever new-build, is one stylish riverboat. Its whimsical and daring interior design, and lush cabin appointments, were modeled after Marie Antoinette's France. Its amenities, unusual for ships on Europe's rivers, include a cinema with surround sound, indoor lap pool and plush nightclub.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best for Luxury: Seabourn Cruise Line

    Seabourn has scored another hit this year with the launch of Seabourn Quest, the third in its 450-passenger Odyssey-class. Particularly noteworthy is the fantastic Seabourn Square, a combination library, coffee shop, deli and social hub; The Club, a chic night-time venue with an outdoor pool; and overall, the impeccable attention to detail in the line’s cuisine, service and upscale yacht-like ambience.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best for First-Timers: P&O Ventura

    Ventura presents a comfortable, relaxed, stress-free introduction to cruising. The ambience is family-friendly and relatively informal but the ship itself is glitzy and contemporary enough to wow any cruising cynic without intimidating. A wide variety of voyages from Southampton minimises any travel hassle, too.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best for Cruising with Kids: Royal Caribbean

    With brand partnerships with family-friendly companies like DreamWorks and Fisher Price and an astonishing range of onboard activities, both active and creative, Royal Caribbean offers a superbly well-rounded family cruise experience.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best Itineraries: Cunard Line

    Cunard continues to push the boundaries on its world cruise itineraries, bringing its three Queens into new and exciting ports, particularly in the southern hemisphere, with circumnavigations of both Australia and New Zealand over the next two years. Outside world cruise season, the line offers an eclectic mix of transatlantic voyages, mini-cruises, European voyages from Southampton and a fly-cruise programme in the Mediterranean.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best for Adventure:Star Clippers

    Star Clippers successfully combines the romance of authentic tall ship sailing with a constantly-evolving mix of soft-adventure itineraries. It's ventured to Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua among other exotic spots, and is now experimenting with off-the-beaten-track Baltic in 2012, dropping anchor in remote bays and islands along the Swedish coast as well as the big cities.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best River Cruise Line:Viking River Cruises

    Viking River Cruises has always been a well-respected line whose stand-out quality was the breadth of its itineraries in Europe, Russia, Egypt and China. Couple that with a new emphasis on contemporary ship design and an aggressive revamping of its fleet, and Viking becomes the best in the business.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best Value for Money: Voyages of Discovery

    Easy on the wallet but strong on culture, with a superb onboard speaker programme and adventurous itineraries in an unpretentious setting, Voyages of Discovery will only go from strength to strength with the introduction of a second ship in 2012.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best for Fly-Cruises:Thomson Cruises

    One of Thomson’s great strengths is its extensive fly-cruise programme, bringing Mediterranean, Baltic, Red Sea and Caribbean cruising within easy reach of holidaymakers living in cities from Aberdeen to Durham, Cardiff and Leeds.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best for Dining: Oceania Cruises

    Not only does Oceania’s superb alternative dining come at no supplement, but it’s consistently excellent. The restaurants actually look like upmarket shoreside bistros and extra touches like an olive oil menu here and a proper cheese trolley there simply add to this class act. Better still, there’s no compromise on the outstanding cuisine in the elegant main dining room on each ship.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best Buffet: Oceania Marina

    Oceania has successfully created a gourmet marketplace in Marina’s Terrace Café, as opposed to the canteen style into which many lines fall. Hot and cold tapas, pizzas from the oven, giant paellas, grilled-to-order meats and fish and decadently rich breakfasts on the sunny aft deck make this a place to linger over a meal at any time of day.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best Alternative Restaurant: The Verandah, Queen Elizabeth

    Cunard’s nostalgic venture back the Golden Age of cruising, when The Verandah on the original Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary was the most stylish restaurant at sea, has paid off in spades. The sumptuous cream-and-gold décor aside, chef Jean-Marie Zimmerman’s classic French dishes are exquisite.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best for Entertainment: Cunard Line

    Cunard constantly sets new and enjoyable challenges to guests in its onboard entertainment, from RADA drama workshops to 2011’s introduction of song writing courses guided by award-winning musicians. The non-participation entertainment is innovative, too, from the new 3D cinema on Queen Mary 2 to the ambitious ‘Slice of Saturday Night’ musical revival on Queen Elizabeth.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best for Healthy Cruising: Celebrity Cruises

    Celebrity’s focus on offering a wide range of healthy dishes in formal restaurants and more casual venues like the AquaSpa Café makes it easier to stay on a wellness track, even when faced with the usual cruise temptations.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best for Solo Cruisers: Fred. Olsen

    With more than 300 single cabins of varying size across its four-ship fleet, a gentleman host programme for single dancers and singles’ events on board, Fred. Olsen remains the line most committed to keeping the solo traveller happy.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best Suites: Oceania's Marina

    Marina's lavish Owner’s Suites, spanning the entire width of the ship, exude style and sumptuousness. They’re the first seagoing venture of Ralph Lauren Home, with decadent bathrooms and sensuous surfaces of marble, suede, velvet and polished wood as well as plentiful toys in the form of baby grand Yamaha pianos, iPads and Bose sound systems.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best Cabins: Holland America Line

    It’s the extra touches that turn Holland America's standard cabins into a luxurious experience: custom-designed beds, TV's with built-in DVD players, soft robes, Egyptian cotton towels, proper make-up mirrors, powerful showers, Elemis bath goodies, decent hairdryers and fresh fruit.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best Shore Excursions: Noble Caledonia

    A cruise on Noble Caledonia's boutique ship, Island Sky, includes virtually all shore excursions, and, in many cases, offers a choice. Tours are intelligently delivered, often including superb lunch in a local restaurant, and in the many unusual destinations visited by the ship, present an immersive and seamless introduction to the local culture.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best Guest Speakers: Voyages to Antiquity

    Voyages to Antiquity’s hard-working guest speakers, all academics or experts in their field, deliver in-depth talks every day on board to an attentive and well-informed audience. They join guests for meals and accompany the tours to add fresh perspective to the line’s Mediterranean (and in 2012, Asian) cruising area, making themselves an integral element of the cruise.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best For Honeymooners: Princess Cruises

    Princess has been synonymous with romance since the days of The Love Boat and remains a top choice for honeymooners, thanks to the many romantic touches on board, not least Movies Under The Stars; The Sanctuary, a luxurious, adults-only retreat; and a host of cosy bars and alternative restaurants on each ship.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best For Wine-Lovers: Celebrity Solstice-class

    The enormous wine tower gracing one end of the light and airy main dining rooms on Celebrity’s four Solstice-class ships is a sure sign that this is a line that takes its wine seriously. As well as the extensive wine list, there’s a huge range of wines by the glass and regular on-board tastings.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best Cruise Ship Bar: The Glass House, P&O Azura

    Jolly Olly Smith’s exuberance and passion for wine are apparent throughout Azura’s stylish The Glass House, a bar/wine-pairing grill for which the TV presenter has tracked down unusual but affordable wines to taste by the glass, accompanied by irreverent but informative descriptions. The knowledgeable bartenders make this a fun place to hang out, chat and learn about the wines.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best U.K. Port of Call: Newcastle

    Gateway to the historic North East of England, with top sights including Hadrian’s Wall, the Cities of Durham and York and the ‘Harry Potter’ castle, Alnwick, Newcastle offers cruise visitors a friendly and efficient welcome and a wide range of inspiring, well-packaged excursions.

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    2011 Editors' Picks Awards Winner
    Best U.K. Departure Port: Southampton

    Southampton goes from strength to strength as Britain’s most popular departure port, with constant improvements to its infrastructure and more promised. The friendly welcome at both check-in and disembarkation is living proof of the huge importance of the cruise industry to the city.

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