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Your guide to Cruise Week at the 2020 TPG Awards

Dec. 14, 2020
7 min read
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Welcome to Cruise Week of the 2020 TPG Awards! Today marks the start of our fourth and final week for this year's awards, and we have a full slate of content for our readers — along with additional ways for you to participate. Throughout the week, we're diving deep into the cruise industry and will consider what the future holds for those of you waiting to take to the high seas in 2021 and beyond.

And, of course, this week will end with our final, culminating event to wrap up the entire awards: TPG's Night of Giveaways! This is your chance to show off your knowledge from following along throughout the four weeks, so register here — then be sure to stay connected here on site and across our social channels to increase your chances at coming out on top.

If you missed any of the prior content, check out our guides to Airlines Week, Credit Cards Week and Hotels & Destinations Week for more information.

Sign-up for the biweekly cruise newsletter so you don't miss out on anything related to cruising!

Read on for more details on what we have on tap this week.

Monday

As we did in previous weeks, we'll get things started by announcing our four readers' choice award winners: one each for the best large-ship, midsize-ship and small-ship cruise line, and then one for the best cruise loyalty program. This is the first year we've included cruises as part of the reader-voted honors, so stay tuned for that announcement shortly — and feel to review the airline, credit card and hotel winners from earlier weeks.

Today will also bring the first of many stories from Gene Sloan, as he takes a look at the newest cruise ships of 2020 — all of which were either slated to start sailing right when the pandemic hit or have since hit the water (without actual passengers, of course).

Gene will also serve as our host for the week on social media, so he'll kick things off on Instagram — including our last custom AR filter of the awards. Try it for yourself, and then tag us (@thepointsguy) when you share on your own account for a chance to take home some TPG swag — right in time for the holidays!

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The most exciting event today, however, is our Instagram Live with Captain Kate McCue, who commands the Celebrity Edge — and went viral earlier this year with a much-deserved schooling of an internet troll. Hosted by TPG's Summer Hull, this is sure to be a fantastic conversation, so be sure you're following @thepointsguy on Instagram so you don't miss out.

We're chatting with Captain Kate McCue on Instagram today at noon Eastern Time. (Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)

And as always, feel free to follow along to the full #TPGAwards2020 conversation on Twitter, where you can share your thoughts on all of the content launching throughout the week — especially whether you agree or disagree with the readers' choice award winners.

Tuesday

On Tuesday, we'll hand out our first (of four!) editors' choice awards — for the best new cruise-ship cabin. Our editorial team took a look at all of the luxurious accommodations on new vessels and selected the one that stands above the rest. You'll start longing to get back on a cruise with this selection.

We're also thrilled to be hosting a Facebook Live with TPG contributor and former Carnival cruise director Matt Mitcham at noon Eastern Time. Gene and Matt will talk about what they've been up to over the last several months as well as what they're looking forward to as cruising returns. Even if you've never set foot on a cruise ship before, you may change your mind after listening to this conversation.

Related: Ask the cruise director: What’s your best advice for first-time cruisers?

Wednesday

Which cruise line will take home our award for innovation? Find out on Wednesday, Dec. 15! (Image by Daniel Piraino/EyeEm/Getty Images)

As we hit the middle of the week, we'll hand out our second editors' choice award, this time for Innovation in Cruising (as we've done with airlines, credit cards and hotels in previous weeks). And Gene will also publish his deep-dive article into what the future of cruising might look like as we sail past COVID-19 in the months to come.

I'll also be back to host our fourth (and final) Facebook roundtable of the 2020 TPG Awards, welcoming several colleagues as we dissect the four readers' choice honorees. We have some opinionated personalities joining this week, so tune in for what is sure to be a lively conversation. (You can review similar discussions from Airlines Week, Credit Cards Week and Hotels & Destinations Week for a preview of what's to come).

Thursday

Thursday brings our third editors' choice award of the week, as we'll honor the best new cruise destination for 2021. And we'll wrap up our "Spotlight on Safety" series with a closer look at the steps cruise lines are taking to ensure passenger safety once sailings restart in earnest — though there's still uncertainty as to when that will actually take place.

Then, at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time, we'll launch our final, culminating event of the 2020 awards: TPG's Night of Giveaways! You'll have the opportunity to win some fantastic prizes — including a round-trip, business-class flight on Etihad Airways, a seven-night stay in a Category 1–7 Hyatt property or a two-night cruise on MSC Seashore out of Miami in November.

To participate, just join the webinar and compete in our virtual trivia, showing off everything that you remember from the four weeks of the awards. If you're not already signed up, be sure to do so now! Capacity is limited, so register before it's too late.

Friday

On our final day of the 2020 TPG Awards, we'll hand out our last editors' choice award to the cruise line with the most innovative new attraction on one of its ships. Gene will also launch his guide to the most anticipated new ships of 2021 and we'll give out a special honor: the Lifetime Achievement Award to a deserving cruise-line executive.

Finally, our social team will launch our last interactive quiz on Instagram Stories, testing your knowledge about the major cruise lines we covered during the week.

Bottom line

We're thrilled to launch our fourth (and final) week of the 2020 TPG Awards, and as you can see, there's a ton of cruise-related content and engagement opportunities on the way. If you're just visiting for the first time, be sure to review what you missed during Airlines Week, Credit Cards Week and Hotels & Destinations Week — and then register for TPG's Night of Giveaways for a chance to win some amazing prizes.

Featured graphic by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy

Featured image by (Graphic by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees