Zagat Survey rates cruise lines – picks Cunard as “top overall”

After years of reviewing hotels, nightlife, bars and restaurants, the Zagat Survey has started publishing results of its first cruise line survey.

To generate reliable results, the survey asked cruise passengers for their opinion of cabins, service, facilities, activities and of course dining. The results were split into three categories – large ships, mid size ships and small ships (under 200 passengers). In total, over 22,700 cruise trips were used to reach a conclusion.

The winner of the “best overall” category was Cunard Line. Given the rich tradition of top class service on the Cunard ships, it should come as no surprise that they took the top spot. In the individual categories, Cunard won in the dining and facilities categories, and took the second spot in activities, right behind Disney.

Cunard Line has been crossing the Atlantic since 1840 and currently operates two ships – the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria. In October of next year, the brand new Queen Elizabeth will join the fleet.

More on the results of the Zagat cruise line survey can be found here, and a PDF with the complete results is here.

Los Angeles Slowing the Fast Food Nation?

Perhaps you’ve noticed that many trends in the U.S. either start in California or New York and then work their way slowly towards the center. Fashion and food come to mind. Once, I wrote an article on fall fashion in Ohio and did a bit of research by talking to designers and buyers to find out what will trickle to the Midwest from the runways in Milan and Paris. Basically, I was told, designers pick up on trends that will sell in New York and California and then from those will see what will sell in Ohio, but often the designs are more subdued versions.

Here’s a trend that might be starting in Los Angeles that I don’t envision getting many Ohions fired up any time soon. In some parts of Los Angeles the number of fast food restaurants has become so alarming that there is a proposed moritorium on new fast food joints in South Central LA . According to those that want to slow down, it’s hard to eat healthy when fast food is almost at every corner. The debate about whether government should regulate food choices is on. There are some that say if the only options in the neighborhood are fast food, then how are people to eat healthier? (see article) Perhaps, it’s not the fast food that is really the problem, it’s the not enough choices.

Of course, not all fast food is exactly the same. My LA fast food favorite is Astroburger where the garden burgers make me feel healthier with each bite. The Zagat Survey, Los Angeles lists four other fast food favorite options. One of them is In-N-Out Burger that has several locations. The hamburgers in this photo by jslander on Flickr are from one of them.