Stern's Guide to the Greatest Resorts of the World, Stern's Guide to the Cruise Vacation, Stern's Guide to European Riverboats and Hotel Barges, and The Indispensable Guide to Foreign Words and Phrases--by Steven B. Stern (Sponsored by Stern's Travel Guides, Ltd.)
The ships are divided into four market categories based on per diem prices for average cabins, on-board costs, and the economic class of passengers the cruise line seeks to attract:.
Category A (black stars) being the most expensive--Deluxe.
Category B (crisscrossed stars) being the next most expensive--Premium.
Category C (diagonal stars) being the middle-priced market--Standard.
Category D (white stars) being the least expensive--Economy.
The ships are then rated on a six-point system, six+ stars being the highest. Only ocean-going cruise ships are rated. Ships better than one category, but not quite up to the next will have a "+" after the number of stars. No ratings are given for barges and most riverboats.
Six Stars: Excellent
Five Stars: Very Good
Four Stars: Good
Three Stars: Fair
One &Two Stars: Have no Expectations..
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