Travel: Best Ships, Relais & Chateaux, New Great Wolf Lodge – ABC News

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CRUISECRITIC.COM BEST SHIPS has announced the winners of its annual cruisers’ choice awards, based on ratings submitted with reviews from passengers published on the site.

Disney Cruise Line won 11 first-place awards, nine in the large ship category. Disney Dream was named best overall large ship, best for families, best cabins and best public rooms. Disney Cruise Line also won best entertainment and best service for Disney Dream in the large ship category and for Disney Wonder in the mid-ship size.

Viking Star was the only new ship named to the list of winners, named best for first-timers, and in the small ship category, winning for best cabins and best public rooms.

Oceania’s Marina ship won best dining in the mid-size category and its Riviera ship won best cabins and best fitness and recreation in mid-size.

Carnival Freedom won best value for money, the third year in a row that Carnival Cruise Line has won that award in the large ship category, with Carnival Liberty winning it the past two years. Holland America Maasdam won best value among mid-size ships, along with best overall and best for embarkation. Island Windjammers’ Sagitta, a ship carrying just 24 passengers, won in the small ships category for best value for money and best dining.

Celebrity Xpedition won best overall in the small ship category.



Relais & Chateaux has added eight new properties to its collection of 540 independently owned hotels and restaurants in 64 countries.

Properties admitted to the hospitality membership association are selected on the basis of an inspection system with more than 300 criteria, emphasizing superior cuisine among other things. Many of Relais & Chateaux’s boutique hotels are also historic properties.

New members for this year include three in the United Kingdom — Midsummer House in Cambridge, Idle Rocks in St. Mawes and Llangoed Hall in Brecon, Wales.

Also admitted for 2016: Saison in San Francisco, Rockpool in Sydney, Australia, Villa Rene Lalique in Wingen-sur-Moder, France, Les Cols in Olat, Spain, and La Bamba de Areco in San Antonio de Areco, Argentina.

Saison boasts three Michelin stars, Midsummer House has two and Les Cols has two.



Great Wolf Lodge is opening its first California property.

The resort, with a 100,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, is located in Garden Grove, in Southern California’s Orange County, a few miles from Disneyland and a short drive from Los Angeles, San Diego and John Wayne Airport. This is Great Wolf Lodge’s 13th property.

The new lodge includes seven dining options, all-suite accommodations, a kids’ spa, laser tag and a bowling alley.

The first Great Wolf Lodge opened in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, in 1997. The company’s next new location will open in late 2016 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Travel: Best Ships, Relais & Chateaux, New Great Wolf Lodge – ABC News