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Luxury vs. Premium Plus cruise lines


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On 10/26/2019 at 11:57 AM, vistaman said:

I just received the Berlitz guide 2020 last week.

Europa 2 and Europa did receive 5 stars plus, Hanseatic Nature 5 stars , Sea Cloud and Sea Cloud II also 5 stars;

All the other companies  in the "luxury" level did receive a 4 star plus rating,

even Seadream I and II .

Viking ocean ships were granted  some higher marks as the Crystal Serenity and the Symphony.  Silver Spirit and Muse above the Seabourn ships , the Seabourn Quest only 4 stars . ( and quite a severe comment towards Hal management on page 158)

Nearly all Mein Schiff ships did receive a 4 star +

Ship with the lowest ratings is the Marco Polo operated by CMV. 2 stars :classic_wacko:


Berlitz has been late to the party downgrading some lines.  They were way late on Silversea and somewhat late with Seabourn.  They would be even more critical of Quest today versus a year ago.   Yet passengers sailing both lines seem content and delusional to the constant downgrades.   It's good to see Berlitz call out Seabourn.   Seriously, you would have to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to notice.   I'm not picking on Seabourn because, to me, they offer very good value today.  But it has strayed far from the product offered four years ago.   


All the companies, including H-L, have a serious problem finding qualified people to manage and provide service at all levels.

Edited by saminina
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  • 2 months later...

Having sailed on both Regent & Windstar, I would put Regent in the luxury category and enjoyed it ( great tours and business class to the Med.) but in many ways prefer Windstar.  The experience of being on a sailing ship is amazing.  The thrill of sailing away from port and other ships taking our picture was so neat ! It is not a luxury ship but the food & service equaled Regent. No fancy entertainment..just lounge chairs in the dark in front of the bridge to watch the stars.A nice combo in the lounge for dancing..an open bridge..you really feel like you are on a yacht instead of a cruise ship,

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  • 6 months later...

My background is in statistics. While I personally appreciate the subjective nature of comparing Luxury vs Premium lines most of this thread has highlighted: service, food, and included amenities, there are some obvious quantitative differences differentiating luxury lines, premium plus lines, and the rest. No luxury lines have ships with over 1200 passengers. Crystal has relatively larger passenger capacities at 848 and 950, while most of the others have 650 or fewer. However, when you look more closely at the Space to Passenger ratios and Passenger to Crew Ratios, all of the lines this thread collectively consider Luxury have the highest ratios relative to other lines of the same capacity. 


I took the fleet information from cruisemapper from 2015, averaged the passenger size of each ship and filtered the lines by size of ship, so while Princess and Celebrity appear on this chart, only ships in their fleet with fewer than 1200 passengers were included in this chart. The luxury lines stand alone in the upper quadrant.


Edited by misterkevin
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On 8/1/2019 at 1:05 PM, Travelcat2 said:

Adding Ponant to the second list:






SeaDream Yacht Club




Luxury/Premium Plus




Viking Ocean



After over 160+ cruises, including Viking and Crystal, Windstar has become my favorite. Definitely add them to this list. 

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  • 11 months later...

Whether on a cruise or land tour, nothing more fun than hanging out with a group of friendly travelers whose first language is not English...especially after a few rounds of cocktails.  Seven years ago, my daughter and I get a nice couple from Italy the wife spoke some English and is a lawyer like me...the hatband, no English at all.  We used a translator in the bar and then hung out for a portion of the trip.  They are visiting us with their Toddlers this Summer to visit Disneyland and we are visitng them on our next Italian journey.  Today, with language APPS and inexpensive translators there is no real obstacle.

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