New York-Themed Ship Takes Top Honors in Cruise Awards

PHOTO: A view of the Norwegian Breakaway is seen in this May 8, 2013 file photo in New York City.
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Someone call Kelly Clarkson, because "Breakaway" is topping charts again -- Norwegian Breakaway, that is.

The 4,028-passenger, New York-themed ship featuring its own Geoffrey Zakarian restaurant, a shortened version of the Broadway show "Rock of Ages," and a hull designed by psychedelic artist Peter Max, among other attractions, was honored with the title of Best New Ship 2013 in the Cruise Critic Editor's Picks Awards.

"Over the past year, our editors have covered every major ocean and river cruise line in the world -- around 75 cruise lines, representing more than 400 ships," said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic, who announced the winners of the awards' 18 categories. "This list represents the ships and lines that we feel have gone above and beyond this year."

For the third year in a row, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line won Best Entertainment. Its entire fleet offers Broadway performances of "Hairspray" and "Chicago," as well as ice skating and aerial shows.

Disney Cruise Line won in two categories: Best for Families and Best Shore Excursions. The latter can range from family archeological digs in Athens to cigar rolling in Nassau. Disney, besides operating the cruise line, also is the parent company of ABCNews.com.

Other notable awards included Best Dining, which went to Oceania.

"In a crowded category, Oceania sets itself apart with ships that offer fantastic dining variety and exceptional quality," said Colleen McDaniel, managing editor of Cruise Critic. "The line's open-seating restaurants include Asian Red Ginger, French Jacques and Italian Toscana -- all at no charge. La Reserve is a gourmand's dream, with its seven-course meals and Wine Spectator-developed pairing at an additional fee."

But if spirits are more your speed, you may want to check out the Martini Bar on Celebrity Cruises, which took home Best Cruise Ship Bar.

"Celebrity's Martini Bar is equal parts great cocktail and evening entertainment," said McDaniel, alluding to the Tom Cruise-style juggling displays behind the bar. "Bartenders at the frost-coated bar know a lot about mixology and are willing to show off their skills, flipping bottles and pouring a dozen drinks at once."

Cheers to that.

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