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About ak1004

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  1. If the price drops after the final payment, is it possible to get one of the perks (OBC, unlimited internet etc.)? My TA says that from her practice, Celebrity only offers room upgrades, never perks. I know that nothing is guaranteed, and they owe me nothing after the final payment, but was anyone able to get any free perk instead of room upgrade?
  2. I have no doubt that Silversea, Oceania and Regent have to be rated significantly above Celebrity. I also don't think Celebrity should be ranked above Princess and HAL - they provide very similar level of overall experience. But yes, we know the power of good marketing - both Viking and Celebrity are ranked higher than you would expect. Still doesn't explain the big difference between Oceania and Azamara. I'm pretty sure that pricing plays a big role as well. If you asked people to rank ignoring pricing, I'm pretty sure Regent and Silversea would be ranked much higher. But people expect from those lines much more than carnival or Royal.
  3. This is very true. Sometimes I was reading reviews on the cruise we were on, and I just kept asking myself: was it the the same cruise? But then again, this should apply equally to all ships and all lines. Doesn't explain why "average" Oceania or Regent reviewers are so much more negative than "average" Azamara or Viking reviewers.
  4. I doubt this is the case. Take a look at some of the 1 star reviews. I didn't see a single one mentioning not enough food. And even if this was true, it should apply to all small ships. Oceania R ships get average of ~3.8 while Azamara SAME R ships get 4.35? It just doesn't make sense.
  5. Exactly. You need to start somewhere.
  6. Did some more digging, and it looks like relatively low Oceania ratings were skewed by the smaller ships. Riviera/Marina got both 4.12 average ratings, but four other ships all got under 4. Insignia was the worst, with 3.61 average rating. Nautica 3.98, Sirena/Regatta 3.80. btw, this is consistent with Berlitz ratings, where Riviera/Marina got 1599/1594, Sirena/Regatta 1398, Nautica/Insignia 1393. Viking also gets very high marks from Berlitz (1690 area), Crystal gets ~1680.
  7. We are in the same boat. While food is acceptable on lines like Celebrity or Princess, Oceania is simply in a different league.
  8. 100% agree. But this should be true for all lines. Still doesn't explain how Oceania average is so much lower than Azamara and Viking, and how in the world Regent gets average rating similar to Carnival.
  9. Of course. But that means that the food is NOT the same on all ships. Some people would say that 4-5 venues on Azamara is enough for them because they are very high quality, other would prefer to have more choices and go on a big ship. My point was that different ships offer different options in terms of quality, number of venues, diversity of the food etc. and it's absurd to say that food is the same on all ships.
  10. Yes - but this might be the case for any new ship. When Azamara introduced their third ship (Pursuit), the initial reviews were absolutely terrible. The first review mentioned: "The officers are very arrogant and aloof and only acknowledge repeat passengers. My husband complained about a few things but they didn't take any notice because we are only 2nd time passengers. My husband discussed this with a lady from the clique and she openly boasted how they would "listen to her" if she complained !! I have never experienced such an atmosphere and unwelcome feeling aboard a ship." We sailed on the same ship few months later (it was our first Azamara cruise) and didn't feel anything even close to what this reviewer described. I fact, we spoke to the captain on few occasions, and on disembarkation the captain and other officers were standing at the gateway and personally said good buy to each guest. This ship average ratings are still around 3.5. While not perfect, it is far from 3.5, in my opinion. But then again, the reviews are the best you have - till you have a personal experience. And yes, you should learn how to read them and which reviews to ignore. But with most lines having thousands of reviews, I would think that the averages should somehow reflect the reality. For some lines (including Oceania), they just don't make sense.
  11. This is simply not true. And it's not about opinions - it's about facts. There are HUGE differences in quality, quantity, variety etc. between different lines. Some Royal ships have over 30 different food venues, while Azamara have only 4-5. You have almost unlimited black caviar on Crystal - try to get in on Celebrity or Princess. Actually I read a LOT of bad reviews from suite guests. A Carnival inside passenger who spent less than $1,000 in his cruise might be very happy about the deal he got. But Regent guest who spent 20-30k in a suite will have completely different expectations. Here is one example. "For $25K we expected way more".
  12. This might be true. But even cruise critic "expert" reviews sometimes don't make sense. For example, they rate the Oceania Insignia 4 out of 5, but Celebrity Reflection 5 out of 5. Royal Allure is also 5 star. Marina and Riviera are 4.5. To me this is absurd.
  13. I'm completely with you. We did only one Oceania cruise so far, but for us, it was almost perfect, and definitely fits our needs in areas that are important to us.
  14. No why should I? An average is still an average, no matter if it's based on 1,000 reviews or 10,000 reviews. At the end of the day, the only opinion that matters is yours. However, nobody can try them all, so before trying a line (or a ship), we read feedback from other people. Yes, there are always extremes that should be ignored (like the latest Riviera review), but if the number of reviews is big enough, the average should reflect the quality more or less. In this case, it just doesn't. One possible explanation I can see is that the more expensive the line is, the higher the expectations, and people measure value for money. In other words, if Regent cruises cost like Celebrity, I'm sure the average was close to 5. Since they are so expensive, every small detail matters, and people really looking for perfection in those lines. This however doesn't explain the huge difference between Azamara/Viking and Oceania, that are similarly priced most of the time and are expected to be pretty close. Personally I can say that Oceania and Azamara provided us the best cruise experience so far, as expected, compared to Celebrity/Princess etc. But we would still prefer Oceania in almost every aspect.
  15. After reading the last Riviera review, I decided to compile a list of cruise lines with average review rankings. Here is the list: Viking 4.59 Azamara 4.36 Crystal 4.28 Seabourn 4.19 Celebrity 4.15 Oceania 3.99 Royal 3.99 Holland 3.97 Princess 3.94 Silversea 3.92 Regent 3.92 Carnival 3.92 Cunard 3.91 NCL 3.76 Costa 3.28 Few comments: I was surprised to see Viking and Azamara getting the highest marks. I always considered Oceania, Viking and Azamara being in the same category, but below the "luxury 4". Crystal and Seabourn marks are not surprising (although I expected them to be ranked above Viking and Azamara), but Silversea and Regent?? same as Carnival? And Oceania same as Royal, and below Celebrity? The difference between 3.99 and 4.15 might not seem big, but considering that most lines are in 3.90-4.30 range, it is pretty significant and very surprising, at least to me. I would put Celebrity close to Princess and Holland. Thoughts?
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