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Which luxury line would you recommend?


micmacmissy
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Our Ritz-Carlton cruise has been cancelled - so now we're looking for a replacement.  We want to sail this winter, 7-10 days in the Caribbean.

 

I have no idea where to start or what differentiates one luxury line from another.

 

Any thoughts?

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amenities

 

What  are you looking for in a luxury line ?

All inclusive , semi inclusive. all suites  more formal more casual?

 

 Find the lines that are sailing where & when you want to go then look at what they offer  that works for you

JMO

 

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Crystal ( in a Penthouse or higher suite for more space, and better (butler)service) .  On board entertainment and enrichment are extensive.

 

 

https://www.crystalcruises.com/voyage-finder?regions=Caribbean++car

 

 

or Seabourn ( smaller, but bigger base suites) Downside to the latter is the main dining room is typically closed on port intensive cruises.  No butler but good room stewardesses.  We enjoyed our 14 day holiday easterb Caribbean cruise pre-Covid.

 

 

https://www.seabourn.com/en_US/find-a-cruise.html#{!tag=destinationTag}destinationIds=C&{!tag=embarkTag}embarkPortCode=&{!tag=departTag}departDate=&{!tag=durationTag}duration=&{!tag=shipsTag}shipId=&{!tag=cruisetypeTag}cruiseType=&{!tag=portsTag}portsOfCall=&soldOut=false&sort=&group.sort=

 

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5 hours ago, LHT28 said:

amenities

 

What  are you looking for in a luxury line ?

All inclusive , semi inclusive. all suites  more formal more casual?

 

I'd say - great food, great service, no kids, no crowds.  We are in our late 40's and looking for a luxurious and relaxing atmosphere!

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There are generally some kids ( mostly kids of the affluent) as part of extended families on all luxury lines that sail to the Caribbean over holidays, and they generally can  make more noise.  However, with Covid and the requirement that all pax be vaccinated, I believe  they would have to be at least 12 now ( am not sure if any line is making exceptions for vaccine ineligible pax who are kids).  Viking even without Covid required  everyone be over 18, so that would eliminate teenagers, some of  whom can be annoying, but they are a "premium" and not a luxury line ( smaller cabins, and tipping is expected, but it is not a "party" line -- there is a lot of focus on education and enrichment)

But if you sail right at Xmas and New Years, there will likely  be more people than before and after , ( not "crowds" or big lines for food but more noise) including some louder adult groups with or without extended families.

 

If you can sail before or after the holidays, any of the four English language luxury lines ( Silver Sea, Regent, Crystal, and Seabourn) should have great food and service and no crowds, few kida, especially with Covid.  All these lines are "all inclusive" meaning formal tipping is "neither required nor expected", so you do not sign chits.  
 

SS has dressed up  "butlers" for each room, and some see it as a little stuffier on dress codes, and catering to an older crowd ( and more Brits pre-Covid), whereas Regent is less so.  But there is a lot of overlap. Couples in their 40's and 50's are "younger" than most on board but are typically well-catered to everywhere.  If you want new friends *your age* they will be harder to find on luxury cruises, but if you mostly just want time for each other, then no problem.  If you want "free" caviar, anytime, go with Seabourn 🙂

 

I am not loyal to any line so I mix and match and compare and contrast a lot .  My least favorite food and service was on Regent, though overall it was still very good, and my most favorite was on Crystal, but things can vary cruise to cruise and dependening on itinerary. With Covid  -- who knows what will happen in two months.

 

If I were back in my 40's, with my husband, for a first winter luxury Caribbean cruise to eat and relax, I would book a Penthouse with Veranda on Crystal ( comes with a butler but no tux) , but NOT over Christmas.  Second choice Seabourn.  Browse around the websites and the forums on CC.  Note that NO ONE looks like the handsome GQ and pretty models in the pictures on any of the luxury lines, except some  entertainers 🙂

 

 

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My RC is also cancelled for late March  2022

I 'll go for Crystal or Silversea , not on Seabourn - since the HAL influences -  anymore and as a single Regent is too expensive also I very rarely  do organised excursions. 

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8 minutes ago, vistaman said:

My RC is also cancelled for late March  2022

I 'll go for Crystal or Silversea , not on Seabourn - since the HAL influences -  anymore and as a single Regent is too expensive also I very rarely  do organised excursions. 


Vistaman, a little on, and a little off topic:

do you have any experiences with the French small luxury line Ponant ( which also serves English speakers) you could comment on for either the OP (American couple), in general, or as a solo ( my curiosity)?  I know there are Ponant reviews but as we both liked  the luxury Hapag Lloyd product before they banned foreigners due to Covid, I trust your judgment. 🙂

 

Of course as a Belgian, you speak French, but could you tell if an American couple would be treated well?  Were lectures in both French and English?  Was the food really French quality , or just heated up frozen rubbery lobster with a pretty presentation ?

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mrs catlover54,

i am said to be an extremely difficult guy concerning the F &B operations - sorry for boasting but i was in very nice places - hotels and restaurants since a very young age. 

Sometimes seeing too many details , it seems. 

Last year I wrote a review in CC concerning Le Champlain  - one week to Croatia , because there was nothing else - i was supposed to go back one week Greek isles on the same ship but i did cancel. (free covid related policy )

Friendliness  and free drinks are not synonym for luxury. 

The quality of cold cuts and cheeses was rather poor - supermarket level.  And it was a cheese plate 3 pieces no choice. Several times there was service by friendly waiters wearing a not so clean jacket  and a waiter clearly not shaven ... 

A lot of details were missing  - fresh salads ???

There are nice items : an apero hour with items like something from Croatia , spanish ham , but lacks finesse - on a taster with caviar smoked halibut ?? salmon yes ! 

I remember on the special wine diner there was a carpaccio of scallops with a dressing - it was nearly pure lemon and lime juice completely  destroying the taste of the very good Pouilly Fumé poared aside 

I missed some very French classics like coq au vin ,  one lunch there was a parmentier with duck : chopped duck meat pieces covered with mashed potatoes  -   vegetables? so heavy I had stomach problems 

Ok in French households a potato is considered as a vegetable ... steak with green beans OR potatoes not the 2 like in Belgium 

there were i think 4 people of non French speaking countries  - i think they were happy - maybe caused by the free Charles Heidsieck 

bar service was very ok   -   and the new generation Ponant ships are beautifully designed 

however : this product is not a luxury product despite the display of very expensive wines ( Ch Latour is owned by the owner of Ponant ) available  at verydecent prices  and Hermes  amenities 

and despite Ponant is calling in  Monaco chef Alain Ducasse company as consulting 

for me a week was enough  -  the gastronomy cannot match Hapag Lloyd , Crystal and even SB after Hal influences - was not on Silversea for 5 years 

I think nearly everybody was speaking decent English of course with an accent - I used to have it also during my first cruises late 80s ( Dutch is my first language ) - 2waiters in the bar frm Philippies had sometimes trouble with the French ordering and speaking very fast 😁

My TA was on Le LYrial for Croatia and however he is not so strict he had to confirm a lot of my comments. Ponant should upgrade the F&B aspect !

I cannot dwell on details concerning Hapag  as a reconcialition is under construction but a reply by the services of the European Commission  ( that is the government of the European Union ) was pleasant for me  - but I am an European  citizen  -    on the other side i am hoping to go to the Us very soon ! 

I like Champagne : i like to point it   : Hapag is Cristal , Crystal is Dom P and Ponant is a regular brand however not Roederer or Bollinger 😂

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I sail solo so don't have a "couple's experience" to provide. But I have been sailing with Silversea since 2017---after years and years on Mass market lines (most with Celebrity).

 

Anyway, you asked for a recommendation, I highly recommend Silversea🙂. There are several suite levels--they call all the cabins suites. The basic balcony is what I normally book but in my opinion, it is far from basic......quite large with a walk in closet. I am spoiled now.

They also have the MUCH LARGER suites.....like I said, take a look at SS.

 

I have sailed with them 5 times and have 5 more on the books🙂.....I went to Greece in July and Alaska last month----It FELT SO GREAT to be back on board!!!!!!!!!👍

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Because of what is happening in the world, my first question would be vaccination requirements.

 

I think you will find many cruises to/in the Caribbean this winter.

 

My choice would be RSSC.  We have sailed with them several times and have 2 scheduled next year.  They are 100% vaccinated requirements, usually few if any children, probably none with the vaccination requirement.

 

Next, I would look at the ports and sea days of the various cruises for the cruise lines mentioned above and see what I would like to see.

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58 minutes ago, mj_holiday said:

Because of what is happening in the world, my first question would be vaccination requirements.

 

I think you will find many cruises to/in the Caribbean this winter.

 

My choice would be RSSC.  We have sailed with them several times and have 2 scheduled next year.  They are 100% vaccinated requirements, usually few if any children, probably none with the vaccination requirement.

 

Next, I would look at the ports and sea days of the various cruises for the cruise lines mentioned above and see what I would like to see.

Hi, are those the initials for Regent? 

 

Silversea requires all pax to be vaccinated as well and also, very few kids..  

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/5/2021 at 12:59 PM, micmacmissy said:

I'd say - great food, great service, no kids, no crowds.  We are in our late 40's and looking for a luxurious and relaxing atmosphere!

I think SS and Seabourn could be a good fit, especially SS which is all inclusive and includes a steward and butler in every stateroom.  The ships are smaller, quiet and very relaxing.  Crystal would be the next tier down, ships are somewhat larger, there’s more entertainment, food is just okay.  I really disliked the photographers trying to drum up business.   All  three are all  inclusive onboard.  Avoid school holidays if you want some peace and quiet.  Have you ever considered just chartering a yacht?  If you really want a relaxing time that could be the way to go.    

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I think all the ones folks have mentioned will be quiet with few kids and good dining.  The luxury lines are very sedate, in my experience.  So if you are into to that, any will do IMO. I like all lines - mass, premium, and luxury, except the super small ships with sub 150 passengers. To me, they all have their pros and cons.  The company I am traveling with is more important and I tend to have a good time no matter what line.  My next cruise is with my mother in December. We are going on Crystal as she does not need or want the loud shows in mass lines, but she wants a casino, lol.  This cruise is more about us just spending quality time together as this will be her first “real” vacation post my father’s passing, which occurred right before the pandemic.  

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