For the 11th consecutive year, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ 450-passenger MS Europa has been awarded five stars in the Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships. Author Douglas Ward and his team tested more than 270 cruise liners throughout the world and assessed them under six categories: ship, accommodation, cuisine, service, entertainment and cruise experience. In the 2011 edition of the Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships, MS Europa scored 1,853 out of a maximum of 2,000 points. Other high achievers are SeaDream II (1,788 points), Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Odyssey (1,787 points each), SeaDream I (1,786), Seabourn Legend (1,774), Silver Spirit (1,772), Seabourn Spirit (1,770), Seabourn Pride (1,769), Silver Whisper (1,753) and Silver Shadow (1,750). The other three ships operated by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises also rated highly in each of their segments. MS Hanseatic, which was awarded 1,746 points, enjoys third place among the “boutique ships” category (five star), the second expedition vessel MS Bremen was awarded 1,461 points (four star) and MS Columbus attained 1,398 points (three star-plus).

What would you rate as your personal five star cruise experience?