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Luxury Cruising Is it a state of mind?

Discussion to include, but not limited to: Abercrombie & Kent • American Safari • Aqua Expeditions • Azamara • Bora Bora Cruises • Compagnie du Ponant • Cruise Asia Ltd. • Crystal • Cunard • French Country Waterways • Go Barging • Hapag-Lloyd • Hebridean • Heritage Line • Lindblad Expeditions • Oberoi Group • Oceania • Orion Expedition Cruises • Paul Gauguin Cruises • Regent Seven Seas • Sea Cloud Cruises • Seabourn • SeaDream • Silversea • Star Clippers • Travel Dynamics • Uniworld • Windstar

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  #21  
Old February 25th, 2012, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Travelcat2 View Post

Oceania's newer ships are gorgeous -- nicer in some ways than their sister ships on Regent -- but, the cabins are smaller -- they even have inside cabins -- something luxury ships do not have. Most importantly, they are not all-inclusive so you are still signing for things.
Are all luxury ships all inclusive?
Until recently Crystal was not all inclusive but was considered Luxury

If you required more space on Oceania choose a PH @ 482SF or OS at 2000SF
For some of us we are quite happy in the cheap seats & signing chits for what we drink than paying upfront for other people's drinks & excursions (we do private tours)

Luxury can mean many things to many people
It can be the surroundings, it can be the service you receive, it can be all inclusive or not it can be just the overall experience that make you feel like you are on a luxury line


It is a personal experience

Last edited by LHT28; February 25th, 2012 at 05:24 PM.
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  #22  
Old February 25th, 2012, 06:07 PM
fizzy fizzy is offline
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Default groups on board

I feel that for anybody that might be leery of trying Regent or Silversea,for example, because of the perception that the ship closes down by 11, the potential cruiser might be interested to note that if any corporate incentive groups are on board(at least in our experience) lively parties into the late hours are apt to be happening in the dance clubs and all are welcome. I'm certainly not supposing that all of the groups are the same but a new cruiser could get the feel of the usual fabulous experience with a little night action thrown in.
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  #23  
Old April 17th, 2012, 11:48 AM
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I must admit I was pleasantly surprised on my recent and first cruise on Crystal.

There were quiet a few pax in the mid 40s - mid 50s age range with a good sense of humour and similar mind-set.

I (late 40s) and my other half (early 50s) were seated with couples around the same age group (not sure if Crystal arrange for this given we all asked for traditional late seating at a large table) and we hit it off from day 1.

I suspect we got lucky since our dinner table was "the loud one" with laughter throughout the meal with the waiters almost but not quiet sweeping up around us. The Avenue Saloon is a good place to mix and mingle as well since it is quiet cosy with the need to share tables and seating getting very close to each other with the all-inclusive drinks flowing. We had a great pianist, Mark Farris, who would always ask guest a bit about themselves and kept the conversation going every night so you felt you knew most poeple but the middle of the cruise even if you never spoke to them. It made for a great atmosphere.

Everyone just got chatting to each other after a while.This then carried through to the pool area, excursions, daily activities, etc

There were loads of enrichment activities. On each sea days, there was one speaker on politics in the morning, one on destinations at lunchtime and one on business in the afternoon. The speakers were both insightful and entertaining as well. I have only previously attending talks on where to shop on RCL, Princess and Carnival.

The afternoon tea experience is great with staff in butlers uniform so it is very much an experience like you would get at top hotel in London. The Mozart tea is a specially one with staff in full Viennese costumes and Viennese pastries.

Crystal All-Inclusive is definitely luxury since you do not get the really feeling that that the ship is trying to nickel and dime you. Most drinks through-out the day are free (no signature if required) on the all-inclusive and there are no surcharges for the speciality restaurants. Drinks were flowing at the various bars with canapes were on offer until mid-night. Large bottles of mineral water are place in your stateroom and replaced when finished without asking. We never even felt the need to touch the free drinks in the minibar. On arrival, even the guests in the lowest level stateroom get offered a bottle of spirit and a bottle of wine (or two bottles of wine) for the stateroom. We order a bottle of whisky and got one litre bottle, bigger than you would normally see at the shops.

We lovely relaxing whicker sofas and seats with thick cushions in addition to quality (ie not plastic) sun beds with pool towels all laid out. Plenty of additional towels for you to help yourself to (think RCL where everyone has to sign in and out for towels). Guest were good at disposing of used towels in the appropriate boxes.

Staff will try to learn your name but it is actually now quiet a challenge for them since you do not now produce your cruise ID to sign for drinks. Irrespectively they will remember your regular drinks based on facial recognition.

It is not uncommon to find the captain and senior staff having lunch at the Lido buffet in addition to the formal dinners. They appear happy to mingle and meet the guests. The food selection, is of course, great.

I'm a total convert after just one cruise (having done RCL, Princess, Carnival and Disney in the past).

To me the ultimate sign of luxury on Crystal was that you never once saw a paper napkin. Cloth towels in all the public restrooms, cloth napkins even at the buffet and at the grill by the pool. The only paper on the ship was by the doors of the public restrooms so you did not have to make phyical contact with the door handle to exit the restrooms.
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  #24  
Old April 17th, 2012, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnKen3 View Post
I must admit I was pleasantly surprised on my recent and first cruise on Crystal.

There were quiet a few pax in the mid 40s - mid 50s age range with a good sense of humour and similar mind-set.

I (late 40s) and my other half (early 50s) were seated with couples around the same age group (not sure if Crystal arrange for this given we all asked for traditional late seating at a large table) and we hit it off from day 1.

I suspect we got lucky since our dinner table was "the loud one" with laughter throughout the meal with the waiters almost but not quiet sweeping up around us. The Avenue Saloon is a good place to mix and mingle as well since it is quiet cosy with the need to share tables and seating getting very close to each other with the all-inclusive drinks flowing. We had a great pianist, Mark Farris, who would always ask guest a bit about themselves and kept the conversation going every night so you felt you knew most poeple but the middle of the cruise even if you never spoke to them. It made for a great atmosphere.

Everyone just got chatting to each other after a while.This then carried through to the pool area, excursions, daily activities, etc

There were loads of enrichment activities. On each sea days, there was one speaker on politics in the morning, one on destinations at lunchtime and one on business in the afternoon. The speakers were both insightful and entertaining as well. I have only previously attending talks on where to shop on RCL, Princess and Carnival.

The afternoon tea experience is great with staff in butlers uniform so it is very much an experience like you would get at top hotel in London. The Mozart tea is a specially one with staff in full Viennese costumes and Viennese pastries.

Crystal All-Inclusive is definitely luxury since you do not get the really feeling that that the ship is trying to nickel and dime you. Most drinks through-out the day are free (no signature if required) on the all-inclusive and there are no surcharges for the speciality restaurants. Drinks were flowing at the various bars with canapes were on offer until mid-night. Large bottles of mineral water are place in your stateroom and replaced when finished without asking. We never even felt the need to touch the free drinks in the minibar. On arrival, even the guests in the lowest level stateroom get offered a bottle of spirit and a bottle of wine (or two bottles of wine) for the stateroom. We order a bottle of whisky and got one litre bottle, bigger than you would normally see at the shops.

We lovely relaxing whicker sofas and seats with thick cushions in addition to quality (ie not plastic) sun beds with pool towels all laid out. Plenty of additional towels for you to help yourself to (think RCL where everyone has to sign in and out for towels). Guest were good at disposing of used towels in the appropriate boxes.

Staff will try to learn your name but it is actually now quiet a challenge for them since you do not now produce your cruise ID to sign for drinks. Irrespectively they will remember your regular drinks based on facial recognition.

It is not uncommon to find the captain and senior staff having lunch at the Lido buffet in addition to the formal dinners. They appear happy to mingle and meet the guests. The food selection, is of course, great.

I'm a total convert after just one cruise (having done RCL, Princess, Carnival and Disney in the past).

To me the ultimate sign of luxury on Crystal was that you never once saw a paper napkin. Cloth towels in all the public restrooms, cloth napkins even at the buffet and at the grill by the pool. The only paper on the ship was by the doors of the public restrooms so you did not have to make phyical contact with the door handle to exit the restrooms.
Glad you are now "crystalized" and experienced what Crystal has been offering in the luxury segment for many years. While the all-inclusive aspects are very nice, Crystal has always provided extraordinary service, food, enrichment, entertainment...etc. to all of it's passengers previously.

Hope to meet you on a future Crystal cruise.

Nancy
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  #25  
Old April 17th, 2012, 01:07 PM
calliopecruiser calliopecruiser is offline
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Originally Posted by LHT28 View Post
For some of us we are quite happy......signing chits for what we drink than paying upfront for other people's drinks & excursions (we do private tours)
Ask those who go all inclusive, and they'd say they're not paying for other people's drinks, they're paying for the freedom of not having to account for and keep track of every little thing they do/eat/drink on their vacation

As you said, luxury is different things. To me, the freedom of not needing to pull out my wallet for every choice of what I eat, drink, or do is luxurious.
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  #26  
Old April 18th, 2012, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by calliopecruiser View Post
Ask those who go all inclusive, and they'd say they're not paying for other people's drinks, they're paying for the freedom of not having to account for and keep track of every little thing they do/eat/drink on their vacation

As you said, luxury is different things. To me, the freedom of not needing to pull out my wallet for every choice of what I eat, drink, or do is luxurious.
the cruiselines I have sailed on I did not carry my wallet with me & never felt I had to keep track of what i ate or drank on my vacation
Luxury is different things to different people
Being able to travel is a luxury for some

Life is short ...enjoy it
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  #27  
Old April 18th, 2012, 08:09 AM
calliopecruiser calliopecruiser is offline
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Originally Posted by LHT28 View Post
the cruiselines I have sailed on I did not carry my wallet with me & never felt I had to keep track of what i ate or drank on my vacation
I meant it figuratively, not literally.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
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  #28  
Old April 18th, 2012, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by calliopecruiser View Post
I meant it figuratively, not literally.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
I guess I just do not get the thing about signing your name when you want to buy a drink
I do not mind signing for a drink ...we do not drink much so it is not worth the extra $$ for the cruise to be all inclusive


YMMV
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  #29  
Old April 18th, 2012, 11:14 AM
calliopecruiser calliopecruiser is offline
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Ah, so you don't "get" it. I get that. I don't "get" golf.....but I don't get snarky about people who love it, and I don't intimate that they're wasting their time or money either.
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  #30  
Old September 5th, 2012, 01:48 PM
MylesBetter MylesBetter is offline
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Thumbs up Super Yacht Cruising

Look no further than Variety Cruises mega yacht Variety Voyager.

See their promo' from about 2009 which does give a true reflection of Variety Cruises today.
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  #31  
Old September 10th, 2012, 05:14 PM
FKGirl FKGirl is offline
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Originally Posted by calliopecruiser View Post
Ah, so you don't "get" it. I get that. I don't "get" golf.....but I don't get snarky about people who love it, and I don't intimate that they're wasting their time or money either.
HA! I don't "get" a lot of things people spend lots of money on, but that is just me... luxury vacations, well, I totally get those!

As for being young on a luxury cruise, we took our first Seabourn Cruise a couple of years ago and were 37 and 38. There was another couple our age, but we spent a of time with people much older than us. They were lots of fun!

This Dec. We will be going on one of the "larger" Seabourn Ships, the Quest, and I imagine it will be a similar experience. Alas, I will be celebrating my 40th birthday on the trip (even though the actual day isn't until shortly after our return) so talk of ages will not be particularly appealing to me!

Go, and enjoy!
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  #32  
Old September 18th, 2012, 03:43 PM
Charlotte girl Charlotte girl is offline
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Default Nobody mentioned Starclipper

If you like a small ship with a mix of ages, I would say Starclippers. I'm in the older range and recently took my 3rd cruise with my son, his wife and their 21 year old daughter. We all had a good time and all fit in just fine. I saw no age discrimination or favoritism anywhere.
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  #33  
Old September 20th, 2012, 03:59 PM
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A couple of comments. Yes -- "luxury" means different things to different people. For the most part the term "luxury" on CruiseCritic refers to those cruiselines with the designation (not sure who gave it to them). They are (in alphabetical order), Crystal, Paul Gauguin Cruises Regent, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club and Silversea. There are also some based out of Europe. All except Crystal were all-inclusive until this year when Crystal joined in. Crystal has the largest ships while Seabourn has the smallest. Crystal is the only ship that still has set seating (although open seating is available through reservation).

Paul Gauguin Cruises and SeaDream Yacht Club probably have the youngest demographic. We found a lot of young couples on Regent in May, 2012 and assume it would be the same on Silversea and Seabourn. Since Silversea is the most formal, it might (or might not) have the oldest demographic.

During the summer and school breaks there are young families on all the cruise lines. One more point...... the really small ships (excluding Paul Gauguin and SeaDream Yacht Club) tend to have less activities for younger people. I'm specifically thinking of Seabourn's three ships that hold 209 passengers each and also Silversea's Cloud and Wind.
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Itineraries Sailed: Alaska (2 sailings) / Baltics / Barcelona – Dubai / Cape Town – Rio / E. & W. Caribbean (3 sailings) / Ft. Lauderdale – Lima / Istanbul-Venice / London-Monte Carlo / Miami – Barcelona / Mumbai – Bali / New York-Southampton / Singapore to Sydney / Stockholm - Copenhagen / Tahiti / Venice-Rome / Vancouver-Tokyo

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  #34  
Old September 28th, 2012, 12:51 PM
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We went on the Paul Gauguiin a couple if years ago. One of the reasons it may have more young and young at heart, is that they have a lot of water sport people who do the cruises to Tahiti. Many divers, many snorkelers. We are signed up to do another but on a smaller ship in the Mediterranean. Only 90 passengers. 1 crew member for every 1.5 passengers makes them fabulous. No big shows. The concentration will be on beaches that large ships can't get to and history with guest lecturers. A port everyday so no boredom.
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  #35  
Old November 2nd, 2012, 01:39 PM
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Our honeymoon cruise was on the Paul Gauguin in 2008 (when it was still Regent). I was 32, husband 35. There were at least 5 other honeymooning couples in their 30s on this cruise. We chose the PG for the diving, and judging from our dives from the PG, many others did too. Lots of active people of all ages on this cruise -- did not notice a "generational difference" at all.

Went on Crystal last year for the first time. We were at the young end of the age spectrum, but not so much that it was glaringly noticeable. There were several couples in their late 30s/early 40s. I was not made to feel out of place at all by the passengers at the other end of the age spectrum. Again, lots of active, well-traveled people of all ages. I highly recommend the understated elegance of Crystal no matter how old you are -- I've been Crystallized! Booked another Crystal cruise for 2014. I would also love to go back to the PG, but there are so many other places in the world to visit!

My husband loved the PG because of the itinerary, first and foremost. For him, the ship isn't as much of a destination, he doesn't care as much about the ship amenities. For me, the ship is as much of a destination, and the service and food are as important as the ports. I loved both of my cruises on Crystal and the PG/Regent. I cannot comment on the bigger Regent ships, nor can I comment on the PG after leaving the Regent fleet.

I'm planning a cruise with 3 friends and they want to go on Carnival.......I'm trying to keep an open mind!
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  #36  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 11:43 AM
LipBalmAddict LipBalmAddict is offline
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Hi, I am a newbie on this board and just wanted to post to say thanks so much for the opinions offered.

DH and I are looking at a Crystal cruise in November 2013 and we weren't sure which operator we'd want to go with on a longer one, but we plan to investigate Regent now as well. It was hard narrowing down the list, so the advice on this thread has helped us focus on exploring Regent for a cruise after the one we are planning with Crystal.

Happy cruising everyone

ETA: I am 43 and my best friend is 77 years old. She is older than my mum and I am younger than her 3 daughters, but we have a true friendship and not a mother/daughter type relationship. So in terms of mixing with people from different age groups, I definitely think that you never know where you might find a long term friend and how much older or younger than you they might be!

Last edited by LipBalmAddict; July 23rd, 2013 at 11:46 AM.
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  #37  
Old July 30th, 2013, 10:38 AM
FlightMedic555 FlightMedic555 is offline
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Default Paul Gauguin

We returned 2 weeks ago from our Paul Gauguin Cruise. Absolutely spectacular. Visiting French Polynesia is amazing. All included which includes tips and all alcohol. Only shore excursions are extra. They also include air from LAX and all transport and a day room once you arrive in Tahiti.
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  #38  
Old July 30th, 2013, 03:58 PM
calliopecruiser calliopecruiser is offline
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We returned 2 weeks ago from our Paul Gauguin Cruise. Absolutely spectacular. Visiting French Polynesia is amazing. All included which includes tips and all alcohol. Only shore excursions are extra. They also include air from LAX and all transport and a day room once you arrive in Tahiti.
That's on my bucket list, hopefully to do within the next 10-15 years. Next up is a transpacific on Crystal to NZ, and then 7-10 days there (I just reserved it, and I'm very excited).
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  #39  
Old March 11th, 2014, 01:42 AM
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People have left out a unique small ship experience. We have taken the French Polynesia trips with the Paul Gauguin four times. This 300+ passenger vessel is the most truly all inclusive line on the water. It's not the party down experience of the mega ship disco halls, but if you want TERRIFIC service, great food, no worries about whether you are spending too much (all inclusive), rich cultural experiences and in port overnight on every stopover, you are missing out if you choose the other lines mentioned.
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  #40  
Old March 14th, 2014, 08:09 PM
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People have left out a unique small ship experience. We have taken the French Polynesia trips with the Paul Gauguin four times. This 300+ passenger vessel is the most truly all inclusive line on the water. It's not the party down experience of the mega ship disco halls, but if you want TERRIFIC service, great food, no worries about whether you are spending too much (all inclusive), rich cultural experiences and in port overnight on every stopover, you are missing out if you choose the other lines mentioned.

The Paul Gauguin has been mentioned more than once on this VERY OLD thread. Agree that it a wonderful experience!
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Itineraries Sailed: Alaska (2 sailings) / Baltics / Barcelona – Dubai / Cape Town – Rio / E. & W. Caribbean (3 sailings) / Ft. Lauderdale – Lima / Istanbul-Venice / London-Monte Carlo / Miami – Barcelona / Mumbai – Bali / New York-Southampton / Singapore to Sydney / Stockholm - Copenhagen / Tahiti / Venice-Rome / Vancouver-Tokyo

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