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Best "Luxury" non-luxury Cruise Line

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So my wife and I have been cruising for over 20+ years. (Maybe been on 25 cruises.) When we started back in the early 90's, I would have to say, cruising was a wonderful experience. We started way back on Royal Caribbean which was a bit "upscale" at the time, but we did other lines as well. There were midnight buffets, great food with lobster almost every day if you wanted it. There was ice carving, and they even had live bands on board. If you were going to the Caribbean and they had a Caribbean band on board.

 

So fast-forward 20+ years to today, and a cruise on any of the "mainstream" cruise lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity, and Norwegian) compares to those old cruises of the past like a dinner at Luby's compares to dinner at the Bellagio buffet. So much so that my wife and I have given up cruising for now.

 

I do believe what we are looking for is available in one of the "luxury" lines, but after researching this a bit, I'm still not sure which one. We really don't want "luxury" as we don't want pampering, but just a casual fun environment, with reasonably good food, a band or two, some nightly entertainment, and typical guests under 90. (Were in our 50's)

 

So what cruise line do you think fits us best? Does this even exist anymore?

 

We are exploring Crystal, Oceania, Viking Ocean, and Regent Seven Seas but are open to any if its a better fit. So middle-aged crowd, better food, non-stuffy environment, some entertainment, maybe some enrichment/destination lectures, etc.?

 

We don't care about alcohol, casinos, and art auctions.

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Also look at Hapag-Lloyd Europa 2 which would tick the boxes you've listed. My family's current preferred ship.

 

I can't recommend from personal experience but given the lines you've listed, I wouldn't see why you shouldn't look at Seabourn as well.

 

Would presume by your "casual" fun comment, you've ruled out Silversea for dress code.

 

Regent's clientele will skew older than your age - not to say that's a problem. Trivia especially can be lively and entertaining.

I'd just be concerned about the perceived value given the comparatively high cost to support "included" alcohol since you've said it is not important to you. To a degree the quality of excursions being included may vary depending on the region.

 

Which leads to a follow up question - where are you looking to cruise? Standard or Expedition ship?

Answers may vary depending on destination.

For example, there are many posters I respect who love the Paul Gauguin and if I was looking to cruise Polynesia it would be top of my list to investigate.

 

I'd recommend you spend some time on each of the individual boards to get a flavor of the current successes and concerns of each line's clientele. Within a week you should get a feel for the temperature of a group as well as how you feel about certain posters' content and whether or not you think your opinions may be concordant.

Alas - since Hapag-Lloyd hasn't been granted a board you may not visit a line specific site but there are several helpful posters who will answer those questions if you start a dedicated thread.

 

The research can be a part of the fun of a cruise.

Good luck.

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if you do not need "drinks "Oceania is an option as the drinks and wines are onerous on that line and a 18 % service charge.

 

Silversea is still rather formal but entertainment is very low - that aspect is not so good on Oceania neither

 

Maybe Crystal is an option and as you never did a cruise on Crystal before they went to all inclusive - you will not see the changes ... it is still good however it was far better before all inclusive.

But the basic cabins are rather small - recently Crystal made a lot of promotions.

 

Entertainment on Seabourn is also not great .

 

On Oceania the soda's are free , on the other 3 it is all inclusive ( basic wines and drinks )

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I recommend that, if you don't already have one, you find a goof TA who knows each of these lines well and can guide you to what best suits your needs. Nothing beats a good professional because all you will get here on CC is opinions.

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Agree with wripro. A TA that specializes in upper premium and luxury cruise lines can be invaluable.

 

In terms of age, short itineraries and itineraries during the summer skew younger (and there will be children onboard if school is out) while longer cruises skew older. I am not aware of a luxury cruise line (other than luxury yachts) where the average age would be below 50-55.

 

We have sailed Regent and Silversea (luxury) and Oceania (premium plus). As mentioned, Silversea is much more formal while Regent is "Elegant Casual" (no jeans or shorts after 6:00 p.m.). Oceania permits "dress jeans" in their MDR and short, jeans or whatever in their buffet restaurant in the evening.

 

We haven't tried Crystal due to the small suites and they had/have set seating or open dining by reservation. Note: One of their two ships will have open seating either this month or next month and the other ship will do the change next year. We won't be trying Europa 2 because there are few English speaking passengers and it is aimed towards families which likely means more children on board. They are also the only "luxury" cruise line that is not all-inclusive.

 

While we do not drink a lot, we don't like signing for everything and therefore prefer luxury cruise lines that include alcohol. We sail Regent frequently because they are the most inclusive luxury cruise line (including international business class air, most excursions, pre-night hotel for guests in most suite categories, etc.). Again, the age on some cruisers skew older. We will be doing a cruise to the Amazon on Regent in November and, due to the type of area that we will be in, the cruise will likely have more people in their 50's and 60's that are fit.

 

The one thing that I feel the luxury cruise lines miss in terms of what you are seeking is "fun" in terms of entertainment, up to date music and dancing. These cruise lines tend to attract people that have "been there - done that" and want a quieter, more serene environment. There is music and dancing but the tunes are more classic (but do include Beatles, etc. -- just not hip hop or loud music that seems to be the trend right now).

 

Regent has a lot more going on than trivia and bingo -- on sea days, the Cruise Director has various games going on - some silly and fun and it is the younger folks (your age) that tend to participate. We hear a lot of laughter when those games are going on.

 

Again, a TA could give you the right perspective as those of us on CC do tend to post about our favorite cruise lines and our views may be sightly skewed in that direction.

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I'd recommend you spend some time on each of the individual boards to get a flavor of the current successes and concerns of each line's clientele. Within a week you should get a feel for the temperature of a group as well as how you feel about certain posters' content and whether or not you think your opinions may be concordant.

 

I wish it were always true. Certain participants on the Oceania board are different from the friendly feel you get on the ships. It's our favorite line marketed to North American customers: good food, casual dress code, all non alcoholic drinks included.

 

All our long cruises have attracted older passengers doesn't matter which line. The lines mainly marketed to speakers of other languages tend to have a younger clientele. Expedition cruises, Hurtigruten, and the Aranui5 as well.

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Look at the Paul Gauguin out of Tahiti. Spectacular location in the South Pacific. Designed and built for the region. True Polynesian feel. All inclusive including alcohol (we also don't drink). No formal nights. Great food. Small, intimate ship with no more than 320 passengers. All age ranges but well traveled and most in the 50 - 60 age range (some honeymooners are always sailing). When looking at land based options in the region the ship is actually economical.

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Look at the Paul Gauguin out of Tahiti. Spectacular location in the South Pacific. Designed and built for the region. True Polynesian feel. All inclusive including alcohol (we also don't drink). No formal nights. Great food. Small, intimate ship with no more than 320 passengers. All age ranges but well traveled and most in the 50 - 60 age range (some honeymooners are always sailing). When looking at land based options in the region the ship is actually economical.

But a very limited itinerary. Once you've done Tahiti, unless you want to return, the Paul Gauguin doesn't sail anywhere else.

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This is what I would do.

 

Go to each of the websites for the cruise lines you mentioned. You will learn a lot from them. Study the diagrams and study what they emphasize. Look at specific itineraries.

 

Pick up a copy of the book updated on Ocean Cruising written by Douglas Ward and published by Berlitz. It is available on Amazon.Com

 

It provides a two to three page writeup on each ship. I find it to be very helpful. It will also include statistics about each ship.

 

Read Cruise Critic reviews. There will never be 100% consensus so go with what I call the 80/20 issue which I used at work. Until I have experienced something myself if 80% of the people say something is positive or negative about a cruise line and/or ship I accept it as fact until I experience it myself.

 

If you have friends who have sailed any of these lines talk with them since they know you.

 

As Wripro mentioned as did TravelCat2 find a TA who specializes in Luxury Cruising and most importantly doesn't just know the products but has sailed on each of the luxury cruise lines. I find this to be very helpful.

 

In the end, you won't know for sure until you experience it yourself. So do the homework and then make a decision.

 

I do not believe that one size fits all because if they did everyone would prefer one ship or cruise line over the other and that is not the case. I also believe that for some itineraries that some lines/ships work better then others.

 

Keith

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I would ask yourself, what type of cruising are you interested in? There are more brands and ships than ever.

I agree that the Princess of 2000 is nothing like it is today. Most of the mainstream lines are not what they were.

I would agree that the book mentioned above provides a very good overview and jumping off point, it’s a quick way to get exposure to many brands.

I need to get over the fact that stuff is included that doesn’t matter for me, I don’t drink, and prefer to do my own excursions. I am happy not to have casinos. I am intrigued by Viking, which has a very clean elegant look. Hopefully they will expand their itineraries, as that is what drives my choice.

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You might also look at a premium line like Windstar. It ticks all the boxes you've asked about except nightly entertainment. Depending on the cruise destination perhaps a bit older than 50 but much less than 90 - generally active (their two smaller sail ships don't have elevators - the larger sail ship and the 3 motor yachts do), adventurous, nice people. Not at all stuffy - smart casual in the evenings.

 

They have one night each cruise where they bring on local entertainment and one night with a crew show. Other than that there are two duos who play in two of the bars/lounges each evening but no shows. The ships can go into ports that larger ships can't use.

 

For more entertainment, you could try Crystal. They have a lot of entertainment and enrichment (shows every night, often 2 or 3 lectures each day) On shorter cruises all nights are smart casual. On longer cruises, they have a black tie optional evening.

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We're looking forward to an upcoming cruise with Viking Oceans. I think we're in for a special experience with Viking Oceans. Love their open, spacious decor and outside areas; casual. Haven't tried Windstar... some day. We enjoy Azamara, but balcony cabins are small, and their rates have gone up a lot.

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I am also looking for a new cruise line. We were on Celebrity in a suite and found they downgraded the butler service, the concierge in Michaels Club, Michaels Club, and Lumanae all downgraded from previous experiences.

 

We are looking for the private lounge for drinks, dining room with an upgraded menu from the main dining room with the same waiter each night and the butler services we had received on previous trips. We did book another Celebrity cruise, however, when looking at the pricing, we are thinking we could do better on another line.

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We just returned from a Celebrity cruise (in a suite) and all I can say is 'never again'... We'll either go back to Hapag Lloyd or try Crystal next.

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We are looking for the private lounge for drinks, dining room with an upgraded menu from the main dining room with the same waiter each night and the butler services we had received on previous trips. We did book another Celebrity cruise, however, when looking at the pricing, we are thinking we could do better on another line.

 

What you are describing is the ship within a ship concept which works on large cruise ships.

 

In my experience, on a relatively small luxury ship, you do not need a private lounge for drinks because the entire ship works like a private club. Our most luxurious ship so far has been the Europa 2, but we were not in one of their suites with butler. We had the same waiters because we chose to eat in their section of the dining room. The food was of superior quality in all dining venues. No place was ever crowded because the space-passenger ratio is very generous. The price reflects all of the above, but I haven't compared it to Celebrity's Aqua class.

You could try one of Oceania's suites with butler (not concierge).

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So my wife and I have been cruising for over 20+ years. (Maybe been on 25 cruises.) When we started back in the early 90's, I would have to say, cruising was a wonderful experience. We started way back on Royal Caribbean which was a bit "upscale" at the time, but we did other lines as well. There were midnight buffets, great food with lobster almost every day if you wanted it. There was ice carving, and they even had live bands on board. If you were going to the Caribbean and they had a Caribbean band on board.

 

So fast-forward 20+ years to today, and a cruise on any of the "mainstream" cruise lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity, and Norwegian) compares to those old cruises of the past like a dinner at Luby's compares to dinner at the Bellagio buffet. So much so that my wife and I have given up cruising for now.

 

I do believe what we are looking for is available in one of the "luxury" lines, but after researching this a bit, I'm still not sure which one. We really don't want "luxury" as we don't want pampering, but just a casual fun environment, with reasonably good food, a band or two, some nightly entertainment, and typical guests under 90. (Were in our 50's)

 

So what cruise line do you think fits us best? Does this even exist anymore?

 

We are exploring Crystal, Oceania, Viking Ocean, and Regent Seven Seas but are open to any if its a better fit. So middle-aged crowd, better food, non-stuffy environment, some entertainment, maybe some enrichment/destination lectures, etc.?

 

We don't care about alcohol, casinos, and art auctions.

 

 

 

Viking !

 

 

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We're looking forward to an upcoming cruise with Viking Oceans. I think we're in for a special experience with Viking Oceans. Love their open, spacious decor and outside areas; casual. Haven't tried Windstar... some day. We enjoy Azamara, but balcony cabins are small, and their rates have gone up a lot.

 

We did a Viking river cruise last year, so we booked a Viking Ocean cruise for March. I'm looking forward to it. It's a Caribbean cruise and we had been looking at Windstar, but we really liked Viking and WIndstar had no balconies for the itinerary we were interested in.

 

I've been looking at Regent and Seabourne because they seem to be in line with the kind of cruise style we like. I'm keeping them on the back burner until after our Viking Ocean.

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So my wife and I have been cruising for over 20+ years. (Maybe been on 25 cruises.) When we started back in the early 90's, I would have to say, cruising was a wonderful experience. We started way back on Royal Caribbean which was a bit "upscale" at the time, but we did other lines as well. There were midnight buffets, great food with lobster almost every day if you wanted it. There was ice carving, and they even had live bands on board. If you were going to the Caribbean and they had a Caribbean band on board.

 

So fast-forward 20+ years to today, and a cruise on any of the "mainstream" cruise lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity, and Norwegian) compares to those old cruises of the past like a dinner at Luby's compares to dinner at the Bellagio buffet. So much so that my wife and I have given up cruising for now.

 

I do believe what we are looking for is available in one of the "luxury" lines, but after researching this a bit, I'm still not sure which one. We really don't want "luxury" as we don't want pampering, but just a casual fun environment, with reasonably good food, a band or two, some nightly entertainment, and typical guests under 90. (Were in our 50's)

 

So what cruise line do you think fits us best? Does this even exist anymore?

 

We are exploring Crystal, Oceania, Viking Ocean, and Regent Seven Seas but are open to any if its a better fit. So middle-aged crowd, better food, non-stuffy environment, some entertainment, maybe some enrichment/destination lectures, etc.?

 

We don't care about alcohol, casinos, and art auctions.

We also started cruising many years ago and stopped after being run over by herds of unsupervised children, awful food, crowded ports, etc. Four years ago we took our first Windstar cruise and fell in love with the laid back ambience, attentive crews, good to excellent food and a great array of itineraries. We have been to the Caribbean 4 or 5 times with them and going back for more. Have sailed the coast of Europe from Oslo to Venice, the coasts of Croatia, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, Scotland, Ireland. Have become close friends with fellow passengers from coast to coast, and enjoyed every moment. Cabins are comfortable, crew to passenger ratio great. No butlers, no pretense but equivalent of lovely hotel service with no hassles. Younger passengers in islands, Costa Rica, a bit older elsewhere. Typical 50's to 70's but many others on both ends. Toured with fabulous couple in their 30's and a 90+ year old man with unstoppable energy. Very few children other than Christmas week. No art "shows", tiny casino, a couple of lounge groups but the real entertainment are ports without 3,000 of your new best friends, where you can walk off and on the ship at your leisure or tender back and forth with no lines. Check it out!

 

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Hi

I am wondering something similar. My wife and I have done Royal fo many years and feel their service has gone downhill as well as quality. On a whim we trailed NCL in the Haven on the Escape and loved it. Once thru security at the port you go to a private check in room taken up a reserved elevator into the Haven. Beautiful private pool, sun deck, bar , dining room. The food in the dining room for the Haven was far superior to the last Royal Cruise we took in their specialty restaurants that now have an upcharge on top of the upcharge if you want a better steak for example. On Royal you pay for an upcharge to eat in the steakhouse. Now if you want a “prime” steak it’s an extra charge on top. Wasn’t like that years ago. Anyway the Haven Courtyard has beautiful lounges with coushin and nice quality towels that are changed by staff who is wonderful. A poolside menu of good food, drink service at the pool. Mornings with fresh cut fruit poolside, snacks in the afternoon. Very nic. The Haven is only accessible by key card and very private. But you have the benefit of the rest of a large ship with shows, dining options things to do,

The downside is that only the new bigger ships have a proper Haven. The smaller ships now have a Haven but no private dining room

So my question is does anyone know of a ship line with similar amenities? Our last Royal Cruise we had upgraded to the largest suite on the ship and couldn’t even get into the “concierge lounge” some nights. Having the suite is nice but looking for the whole package!

Any suggestions

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If you want the whole package try a real luxury cruise line. That is what this board is supposed to be about, not alternatives which simulate luxury on a mass market product.

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Ok so than what would you recommend for a luxury cruise line that has the whole package? The entertainment, food, service? From what I have read here many of the true luxury lines lack in things to do that’s why I am asking.

A response such as “well than book a luxury cruise” doesn’t answer the question

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Ok so than what would you recommend for a luxury cruise line that has the whole package? The entertainment, food, service? From what I have read here many of the true luxury lines lack in things to do that’s why I am asking.

A response such as “well than book a luxury cruise” doesn’t answer the question

Seabourn, Silversea. Everyone on board gets treated the same and it's all inclusive. Seabourn is my personal favorite but everyone has different opinions as you will no doubt see in the followup posts to this one.

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There are only a few cruise lines that provide a luxury line experience throughout the ship.

 

Yes some have a section of the ship dedicated to a more luxurious experience but the reality is most people do not stay exclusively in that section.

 

You still have to board and disembark the ship.

 

Go on excursions or just get off and on the ship in port.

 

Go to various areas of the ship (casino, shopping, some of the restaurants used by everyone, shows and the list goes on and on and on.

 

It even impacts the size of the ship. If you want something that is on the smaller or the smaller end of the medium range that is typically found on luxury lines.

 

Some of the other cruise lines that have some ares that are luxury are not luxury cruise lines. Some fall in the premium category and some are fall in the mainstream category.

 

In the end each person has to figure out what works for them.

 

Keith

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There are only a few cruise lines that provide a luxury line experience throughout the ship.

 

Yes some have a section of the ship dedicated to a more luxurious experience but the reality is most people do not stay exclusively in that section.

 

You still have to board and disembark the ship.

 

Go on excursions or just get off and on the ship in port.

 

Go to various areas of the ship (casino, shopping, some of the restaurants used by everyone, shows and the list goes on and on and on.

 

It even impacts the size of the ship. If you want something that is on the smaller or the smaller end of the medium range that is typically found on luxury lines.

 

Some of the other cruise lines that have some ares that are luxury are not luxury cruise lines. Some fall in the premium category and some are fall in the mainstream category.

 

In the end each person has to figure out what works for them.

 

Keith

 

 

 

This is kind of what I’ve been thinking. I have friends who insist that MSC Yacht Club or NCL Haven is the way to go, but I’m not convinced. You are still on a ship with 3000 or so other people and that has to influence the experience

 

We are booked on the Viking Sea for a cruise in March because we loved the river cruise we did with them last year, but I’m still exploring other options, trying to see which of those options might fit our cruising style.

 

I’ve been looking mostly at Seaborne and Regent. I’m thinking that Crystal and Silversea might be a bit more formal than we want. Another friend likes Seadream Yacht Club, but most of their ships don’t have balconies and we do like a balcony.

 

I don’t need a butler, not sure I even need a concierge. I do want nice surroundings and accommodations, good to great food in a nice but not too formal atmosphere, and a smaller ship. I don’t need a casino, photographers, a massive shopping area, Broadway or Vegas shows or crowds. I’m good with smaller venues with live and lively music. I don’t need pools crammed with masses of kids or drunk adults. I do want lovely relaxing spaces.

 

We are good with smart casual, but not wild about formal nights - well, I’m okay with it, but we’re retired and DH is done with dress shirts, ties and jackets.

 

We’ll see how it goes on Viking and probably stick with them if it goes well. I do want to have other options, but at the price of a luxury cruise, I don’t want to invest a lot of money, then find out the experience isn’t what I was looking for.

 

 

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CyberKat,

 

When you booked your Viking River Cruise was it your first? You enjoyed that and were willing to invest without knowing what you would get. Why not give the luxury lines the same benefit of the doubt? Try a shorter cruise where the fare is not that high so give it a shot. At least then you'll know whether it's something you like or not.

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CyberKat, Henry has given you solid advice. Consider taking a shorter luxury cruise.

 

The other thing is study the ships. There is a big difference in size between say Sea Dream and the four major luxury lines. The experience will be totally different.

 

So I do recommend studying the layouts of the ships so you can also determine what is offered.

 

My believe though is you will never know what the experience will be like until you try it.

 

My other believe is over time our own tastes change.

 

Keith

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This is kind of what I’ve been thinking. I have friends who insist that MSC Yacht Club or NCL Haven is the way to go, but I’m not convinced. You are still on a ship with 3000 or so other people and that has to influence the experience

 

We are booked on the Viking Sea for a cruise in March because we loved the river cruise we did with them last year, but I’m still exploring other options, trying to see which of those options might fit our cruising style.

 

I’ve been looking mostly at Seaborne and Regent. I’m thinking that Crystal and Silversea might be a bit more formal than we want. Another friend likes Seadream Yacht Club, but most of their ships don’t have balconies and we do like a balcony.

 

I don’t need a butler, not sure I even need a concierge. I do want nice surroundings and accommodations, good to great food in a nice but not too formal atmosphere, and a smaller ship. I don’t need a casino, photographers, a massive shopping area, Broadway or Vegas shows or crowds. I’m good with smaller venues with live and lively music. I don’t need pools crammed with masses of kids or drunk adults. I do want lovely relaxing spaces.

 

We are good with smart casual, but not wild about formal nights - well, I’m okay with it, but we’re retired and DH is done with dress shirts, ties and jackets.

 

We’ll see how it goes on Viking and probably stick with them if it goes well. I do want to have other options, but at the price of a luxury cruise, I don’t want to invest a lot of money, then find out the experience isn’t what I was looking for.

 

 

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We prefer a less formal atmosphere too.

 

We did Crystal for the first time last year because Windstar didn't have cruises there. We didn't find it too formal. Cruises less than 10 days, IiRC, don't have a formal night. It was larger than we are used to at ~1000 passengers, but that didn't cause any issues.

 

Next year, Windstar is cruising Alasks and I'm happy to be returning on the Star Legend.

 

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CyberKat,

 

 

 

When you booked your Viking River Cruise was it your first? You enjoyed that and were willing to invest without knowing what you would get. Why not give the luxury lines the same benefit of the doubt? Try a shorter cruise where the fare is not that high so give it a shot. At least then you'll know whether it's something you like or not.

 

 

 

Not my first cruise and we did a river cruise with them, so I know I like their product and their style. I’m investigating other lines, but if I like Viking ocean as much as I liked the river cruise, we will stick with them, but I will keep checking just in case something intriguing comes along.

 

 

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Neither of SeaDream's two ships have balconies, but I have found that there is enough space that I don't miss not having one. I've always been able to find a quiet spot when I wanted one. Your mileage may vary, of course.

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if you do not need "drinks "Oceania is an option as the drinks and wines are onerous on that line and a 18 % service charge.

 

 

 

Silversea is still rather formal but entertainment is very low - that aspect is not so good on Oceania neither

 

 

 

Maybe Crystal is an option and as you never did a cruise on Crystal before they went to all inclusive - you will not see the changes ... it is still good however it was far better before all inclusive.

 

But the basic cabins are rather small - recently Crystal made a lot of promotions.

 

 

 

Entertainment on Seabourn is also not great .

 

 

 

On Oceania the soda's are free , on the other 3 it is all inclusive ( basic wines and drinks )

 

 

 

Actually, on O you have the option of one of 3 "O Life" perks: OBC, excursions mealtime wine/beer (which can be upgraded to unlimited booze for $20/day including the tips. Remember that internet and specialty restaurants and all other beverages are included as well as airfare or an air credit. Smoking is extremely restricted and there are no art auctions, photogs or prom nights.

 

 

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Actually, on O you have the option of one of 3 "O Life" perks: OBC, excursions mealtime wine/beer (which can be upgraded to unlimited booze for $20/day including the tips. Remember that internet and specialty restaurants and all other beverages are included as well as airfare or an air credit. Smoking is extremely restricted and there are no art auctions, photogs or prom nights.

 

 

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Agree with you somewhat - even though Oceania (IMO, calling it "O" may not make sense to people new to Oceania) is not considered a luxury cruise line. Also the "3 O Life" perks make little sense - even to me and I've sailed on Oceania. Would you mind posting the options that are offered under the "O Life" plan? Thanks much.

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Agree with you somewhat - even though Oceania (IMO, calling it "O" may not make sense to people new to Oceania) is not considered a luxury cruise line. Also the "3 O Life" perks make little sense - even to me and I've sailed on Oceania. Would you mind posting the options that are offered under the "O Life" plan? Thanks much.

 

 

 

Firstly, all that one needs to know as regards "luxury" is that Oceania is a world apart from mass market lines. In particular, if you compare "premium" Oceania to its sister "luxury" line Regent, you'll find the only major difference in the inclusiveness of particular items. Regent includes things like booze and basic excursions while Oceania includes a choice of one of several "no extra charge" items.

 

Often, if you add all Oceania options that would be included on Regent (I.e., comparing apples to apples), you may find that Oceania's price is a true value at hundreds to thousands less than Regent for basically the same product.

 

Do a mock booking on O website and you'll see the specific "O Life" perks for that particular cruise (extent of perks depends on itinerary.

 

Currently, O Life includes unlimited internet (one account per cabin), economy airfare (or air credit) and a choice of X $ OBC or X # of excursions or basic alcohol (wine/beer at meals) per cabin. The basic alcohol option choice can be upgraded to unlimited booze for $20/person/day (which includes the tip). As always, all other beverages, specialty restaurants, etc are included at no extra charge.

 

For example, our next cruise is Sydney to L.A. in May 2018. We opted for $2000/cabin in O Life OBC and the air credit of approx $1000/person. TA is adding $1000 in refundable added OBC and gratuities at about $1350 over 38 days. Given that we prefer a mix of ship/private excursions and not drinking daily on a long cruise, the OBC perk from O made the most sense for this cruise.

 

Always worth mentioning is the other value of what you don't get on Oceania: no photogs, art shows, chair hogs, obnoxious smokers, canned music, mediocre food, the list goes on ....

 

Though basically Oceania loyalists, we always compare a proposed itinerary with all cruise line segments. We have yet to find any comparison of "net daily rate" in light of quality value (particularly the food) that would make Oceania a bad choice.

 

 

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Not my first cruise and we did a river cruise with them, so I know I like their product and their style. I’m investigating other lines, but if I like Viking ocean as much as I liked the river cruise, we will stick with them, but I will keep checking just in case something intriguing comes along.

 

 

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At some point you took a first Viking cruise without knowing if you'd like it. Turns out you did. If you're this concerned then stick with Viking.

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At some point you took a first Viking cruise without knowing if you'd like it. Turns out you did. If you're this concerned then stick with Viking.

 

 

 

I did a lot of research before choosing Viking for our first RIVER cruise with them. I know what I like and that’s the purpose of the research. I knew some other lines wouldn’t be a good fit just by reading comments others made regarding those lines and also by reading through the information on the line’s website.

 

Having done the river cruise, I knew their product suited us, yet I still did research to make sure their river experience would carry through to the ocean cruise. I’m confident that it will.

 

With the internet it’s fairly easy to thoroughly research any vacation before you book. I look at ship photos, cabin photos, descriptions of food. I note the dress code or lack there of. I see whether we are apt to encounter a lot of children or just a few. I look at the included items and see how they compare with things we would value.

 

So I pretty much know what to expect even before I book. That’s precisely what I’m doing here. I’m seeing which lines people like and what they like about them, and it helps me see which lines or ships will suit.

 

So even though we have not sailed with Viking on an ocean cruise, I’m quite confident we will love it. But this is not a ‘til death do us part relationship [emoji12]. I will continually investigate other lines.

 

I’m not concerned in the least. I don’t know what gave you that impression and frankly I don’t understand where your response comes from. I’m just shopping around.

 

 

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From everything I've heard Viking Ocean cruises are far better than their river cruises so if you enjoyed the latter you should love the former. I guess my reaction came from my own feeling that over analyzing a vacation takes all the fun out of it. I guess that doesn't hold true for you. So enjoy your investigation and enjoy your cruise.

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Firstly, all that one needs to know as regards "luxury" is that Oceania is a world apart from mass market lines. In particular, if you compare "premium" Oceania to its sister "luxury" line Regent, you'll find the only major difference in the inclusiveness of particular items. Regent includes things like booze and basic excursions while Oceania includes a choice of one of several "no extra charge" items.

 

Often, if you add all Oceania options that would be included on Regent (I.e., comparing apples to apples), you may find that Oceania's price is a true value at hundreds to thousands less than Regent for basically the same product.

 

Do a mock booking on O website and you'll see the specific "O Life" perks for that particular cruise (extent of perks depends on itinerary.

 

Currently, O Life includes unlimited internet (one account per cabin), economy airfare (or air credit) and a choice of X $ OBC or X # of excursions or basic alcohol (wine/beer at meals) per cabin. The basic alcohol option choice can be upgraded to unlimited booze for $20/person/day (which includes the tip). As always, all other beverages, specialty restaurants, etc are included at no extra charge.

 

For example, our next cruise is Sydney to L.A. in May 2018. We opted for $2000/cabin in O Life OBC and the air credit of approx $1000/person. TA is adding $1000 in refundable added OBC and gratuities at about $1350 over 38 days. Given that we prefer a mix of ship/private excursions and not drinking daily on a long cruise, the OBC perk from O made the most sense for this cruise.

 

Always worth mentioning is the other value of what you don't get on Oceania: no photogs, art shows, chair hogs, obnoxious smokers, canned music, mediocre food, the list goes on ....

 

Though basically Oceania loyalists, we always compare a proposed itinerary with all cruise line segments. We have yet to find any comparison of "net daily rate" in light of quality value (particularly the food) that would make Oceania a bad choice.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Just returned from a Regent cruise and saw your post. I agree that Oceania is a world apart from mass market Iines. However, I strongly disagree that the only major difference between Regent and Oceania is Regent's inclusiveness. There is a huge difference IMO (having cruised both lines). Everything from Regent having all-suite ships, food dramatically better than Oceania (except Oceania's specialty restaurants), everyone treated the same once you are on the ship (i.e. no special areas reserved for upper suites)...... I could go on and on. Instead, I'll say what is similar or the same ..... excellent service, similar excursions (except on Oceania you pay approximately 3 times as much for a "premium" excursion than you do for Regent's special excursions), beautiful ships (although I only like Oceania's newest ships) and I'm sure that there are other similarities but they are far from the same product (and were not meant to be - any more than NCL is like Oceania). Just my two cents on the issue.

 

I've heard great things about Viking Ocean and would try them or Oceania before jumping into the luxury ships.

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Not the mention if you want a similar amount of space in your cabin on Oceania as you get on Regent you have to book at least a penthouse, thereby bringing the cost up to the same on both lines, if not more on O.

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