How Many Here Switched?

Luxury Cruising
Is it a state of mind?
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#1
83,063 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
We have cruised a great many times on HAL and always in their "S and SA" suites..... their largest aside from Penthouse.

We are still very happy at HAL but given the high price we pay for cruises, I sometimes wonder if any folks now sailing the so-called luxury lines gave up their suites on more main line cruise lines to sail in lessor cabins for the same money but on a line they consider to be more luxury?

Do you find that substantial a difference?
I seriously doubt we'd switch as we love HAL but I am curious.
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#2
florida
3,686 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
after 2 HAL cruises,,admit NOT in Penthouse,,but wanted more "luxury" experience,,meaning all inclusive,,plus smaller ship with better and more personal service,,no long lines,,easier embarkation and debarkation,,,etc...

Sorry,,,i loved HAL ,,at the time,,,but would never go back...of course,,just my opinion...and happy you re happy,,but you asked..
#3
83,063 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by alexandra cruiser
after 2 HAL cruises,,admit NOT in Penthouse,,but wanted more "luxury" experience,,meaning all inclusive,,plus smaller ship with better and more personal service,,no long lines,,easier embarkation and debarkation,,,etc...

Sorry,,,i loved HAL ,,at the time,,,but would never go back...of course,,just my opinion...and happy you re happy,,but you asked..


Being in the Suites, we don't have long lines. We have priority embarkation and debarkation as well as priority tendering so that is not an issue when you have a top cabin.

That is the point of my question......
We are getting more than just a larger cabin as amenities associated with being a suite guest. We are getting top cabin stewards, Suite Lounge (Neptune Lounge) with concierge service.

I wonder if there is very much we'd get that much different that what we already have being in top suites.
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#4
Texas
4,088 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
I've never been in a suite on HAL (my "best" cabin on HAL was an aft balcony on the Oosterdam), but I can tell you that the food, the service, the amenities, the everything on Crystal is head and shoulders better than HAL.
#5
Washington State
23,324 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
When you do luxury cruising, there is no priority embarkation, tendering, etc. For one, it simply isn't necessary as the ships hold an average of 600 passengers. Also, once you leave your suite, everyone is the same -- no one sits in the back of the bus -- we are all equal. On luxury cruise ships, 100% of the ship is luxury.

It sounds as if you are perfectly happy with HAL, so, there is really no reason to change. If you try one of the lux lines, there is a real chance that you will never go back to HAL
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"Sometimes all you have to do is shift your perspective to see someone else's truth" (Dan Brown - Origin)
Total nights: Regent = 400 (Titanium) / Silversea = 36 / Oceania = 26 (Upcoming 79 nights: 3 Explorer, 2 Voyager)

Sailings per ship: Explorer (4), Voyager (11), Mariner (11), Navigator (3), PG (1), Silver Spirit (1), Silver Whisper (1), Silver Shadow (1), Oceania Riviera (2)

Itineraries Sailed: Alaska (3 sailings) / Baltics / Barcelona – Dubai / Barcelona - Miami / Cape Town – Rio (2 sailings) / Cape Town - Cape Town / E. & W. Caribbean (4 sailings) / CHRISTENING CRUISE - Explorer - Monte Carlo-Monte Carlo / Ft. Lauderdale – Lima / Istanbul-Istanbul / Istanbul-Venice / London-Monte Carlo / Miami – Barcelona 2 sailings) / Miami-Miami (Amazon) / Mumbai – Bali / New York-Southampton / Rome to Lisbon / Singapore to Sydney / Stockholm - Copenhagen / Tahiti / Venice-Rome / Vancouver-Tokyo
#6
25,115 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Having sailed Crystal once, I personally would prefer a balcony cabin on Crystal compared to a suite on Princess or HAL. My suite experiences on Princess have been complimentary upgrades so I haven't paid for them. I am pricing out minisuites on Princess this summer and wish that Crystal was back in Alaska this summer as I would book with them in a heart beat over what I am paying for the minisuite to Alaska on Princess.

I would happily have a smaller cabin and have Crystal service (on the ship) over a larger cabin on a mass cruise line.
#7
Suburban Washington, DC (Maryland)
257 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
I have been on HAL and I found the service to be pretty good. However, it didn't come across as a pure "luxury" ship to me. My friends have been steering me to Celebrity as they think it is 2-3 notches above HAL and just under Crystal and nowhere near the yachts of seaborne - We will see. We booked an Aqua class suite cabin this year for Europe and already the services and amenities outweigh our service in an SA category on HAL. While we are in our 30’s but after cruising on Suites on RCI and Carnival, we totally prefer a more luxurious experience. fficeffice" />>>
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NCL Gem - 12/18/2016 - S. Caribbean / Carnival Sunshine - 07/05/2014 - Western Caribbean / Carnival Breeze - 11/24/2013 - Aruba, Grand Turk, Curacao, Dom. Rep. / Celebrity Equinox - 9/14/12 - Italy, Turkey, Greece / Carnival Magic - 9/16/11 - Grand Mediterranean / HAL Eurodam - 10/30/10 - Caribbean / Carnival Imagination - 4/19/10 / Carnival Valor 9/27/09 - W. Caribbean / Carnival Victory 5/31/09 - S. Caribbean / Carnival Fantasy 9/4/05 - Bahamas / Carnival Fascination 7/26/04 - Key West/Cozumel / RCCL - Mariner of the Seas 11/16/03 - Maiden Voyage / Carnival Spirit 6/1/03 - Mexican Riviera / RCCL - Monarch of the Seas 7/5/02 - Caribbean
#8
California
6,300 Posts
Joined May 2000
In 2004 we 'graduated' to Crystal after many, many cruises on a variety of the mass market lines (see the line up in my signature)! The step up, for us, anyway, was night and day difference, despite that fact we sailed in an inside cabin on the old (but grand!) Crystal Harmony compared to balconies and suites on most other voyages.

We still sail mass market lines (usually Celebrity) in between our Crystal cruises. While it's true your money will buy more real estate on HAL than Crystal, it is the total package that keeps us coming back. The higher-quality food, the wonderful service of the entire ship's crew that we have NEVER experienced the likes of anywhere else, lecture series, no "nickel and diming", excellent shore excursions, space to passenger ratio (it really shows), the always-interesting well-traveled-yet-not-stuffy fellow passengers, where do I stop? !!

We hope to try Seabourn someday, hopefully sooner than later.

If memory serves me correct, you stated some time ago that for very personal reasons you would never sail Crystal, which of course is a personal and private decision that is respected.

But since you asked......
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593 Days at Sea
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147 - Crystal
76 - Princess
68 - NCL
36 - Royal Caribbean
17 - HAL
17 - Disney
10 - Cunard
#9
San Francisco Bay area
1,400 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
There is a saying about real estate that I think applies to cruise ships: You are better off buying the lowest priced property in a top end neighborhood than the most expensive property in a low end one. I've only sailed on Crystal, but have observed other mainstream and premium ships when we've shared ports, there are lines everywhere, announcements galore, and upselling is part of the experience. In fact, CC had an article last spring comparing a luxury ship to Alaska vs. a Premium ship (if memory serves me right it was Regent vs. Celebrity) and on a total cost basis, the luxury line was about the same money. You don't pay for any drinks, coffee, shows, alternative dining areas, airfare to and from the port. Some lines include overnight accommodations the night before the trip. The food is among the best at sea or on land. On Crystal, even the laundries were included in the fare. Gratuities are now included as are some excursions. Just some food for thought.
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#10
New Hampshire
5,670 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by sail7seas
Being in the Suites, we don't have long lines. We have priority embarkation and debarkation as well as priority tendering so that is not an issue when you have a top cabin.

That is the point of my question......
We are getting more than just a larger cabin as amenities associated with being a suite guest. We are getting top cabin stewards, Suite Lounge (Neptune Lounge) with concierge service.

I wonder if there is very much we'd get that much different that what we already have being in top suites.
That's why we do Cunard. We've done the Grills, which is true luxury. I understand those who say..what about the rest of the ship?? Well, we get butler service, top food on & off menu, superior service, Prority boarding/disembarkation in a stateroom of 380sq. ft(Princess Grill) to 508 sq ft.+ in Queens Grill. For this same price(or frequently more) you get 250 or so sq. ft in a "luxury" ship.
#11
Cumberland Plateau, TN
1,076 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by keithm
That's why we do Cunard. We've done the Grills, which is true luxury. I understand those who say..what about the rest of the ship?? Well, we get butler service, top food on & off menu, superior service, Prority boarding/disembarkation in a stateroom of 380sq. ft(Princess Grill) to 508 sq ft.+ in Queens Grill. For this same price(or frequently more) you get 250 or so sq. ft in a "luxury" ship.
That's why Cunard is different. They still have a three class ship and, if you want to pay for an upper class, you can stay separate ffrom the "commoners" and eat better, sleep better and have your own lounges. We have been sailing Regent and, on our recent cruise, used HAL because there were no "luxury lines" doing that trip. When our agent originally booked a suite we asked why. He said because we always had suites on Regent. My answer was that I wasn't going to pay for a suite on HAL because, when you leave the suite, you're still on HAL. We had a standard balcony and I was right, the difference between Regent and HAL when it came to the overall ship was night and day. The first week we were saying "never again". By the second week we decided we might try HAL again if it were a good deal on a ship much smaller than their Vista class. We would consider Cunard, but only in a the grill and, considering cost, we could probably do an all inclusive luxury line such as Crystal for the same price.
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Mississippi Queen-Mississippi
RSSC Mariner-Alaska
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#12
Michigan
2,732 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by regjr13
I have been on HAL and I found the service to be pretty good. However, it didn't come across as a pure "luxury" ship to me. My friends have been steering me to Celebrity as they think it is 2-3 notches above HAL and just under Crystal and nowhere near the yachts of seaborne - We will see. We booked an Aqua class suite cabin this year for Europe and already the services and amenities outweigh our service in an SA category on HAL. While we are in our 30’s but after cruising on Suites on RCI and Carnival, we totally prefer a more luxurious experience. fficeffice" />>>
I realize this is an old post. Celebrity is not any better than HAL. They are very much equal. You friends are steering you in the wrong direction!!

Have you considered Regent? We are just back and would highly recommend that cruise line. EVERYTHING is included!
#14
Washington State
23,324 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by baychilla
Where's the beating a dead horse emoticon? I need one when I suggest that HAL/Celebrity/Cunard are NOT luxury lines.
You are absolutely right! Some posters only look at the "Grills" on Cunard. There are many ships with some incredibly luxurious sections. . . however, this does not make them a luxury cruise line.
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"Sometimes all you have to do is shift your perspective to see someone else's truth" (Dan Brown - Origin)
Total nights: Regent = 400 (Titanium) / Silversea = 36 / Oceania = 26 (Upcoming 79 nights: 3 Explorer, 2 Voyager)

Sailings per ship: Explorer (4), Voyager (11), Mariner (11), Navigator (3), PG (1), Silver Spirit (1), Silver Whisper (1), Silver Shadow (1), Oceania Riviera (2)

Itineraries Sailed: Alaska (3 sailings) / Baltics / Barcelona – Dubai / Barcelona - Miami / Cape Town – Rio (2 sailings) / Cape Town - Cape Town / E. & W. Caribbean (4 sailings) / CHRISTENING CRUISE - Explorer - Monte Carlo-Monte Carlo / Ft. Lauderdale – Lima / Istanbul-Istanbul / Istanbul-Venice / London-Monte Carlo / Miami – Barcelona 2 sailings) / Miami-Miami (Amazon) / Mumbai – Bali / New York-Southampton / Rome to Lisbon / Singapore to Sydney / Stockholm - Copenhagen / Tahiti / Venice-Rome / Vancouver-Tokyo
#16
Florida
397 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by LindaM
I realize this is an old post. Celebrity is not any better than HAL. They are very much equal. You friends are steering you in the wrong direction!!

Have you considered Regent? We are just back and would highly recommend that cruise line. EVERYTHING is included!
We've been on Celebrity, HAL, NCL, Regent and there is no comparison to Regent. It is simply wonderful! I agree that Celebrity is no better than HAL. We had a lot of problems on Celebrity's Constellation this year and will not go on Connie again. I agree with Linda.
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Bahamas Cruise on Carnival a long time ago
Parents 50th Anniversary Family Caribbean Cruise-NCL's Norway-in December, 1994
Eastern Med on Regent Seven Seas' Mariner Venice to Turkey in 2011
Alaska on Holland America's Volendam in 2010
Baltic Cruise to Russia on Celebrity's Constellation in 2012
Western Med on Celebrity's Eclipse from Rome to the French Riveria in 2013
Circling the UK on Celebrity's Infinity in 2014
South Africa with Tauck in 2015
Hawaii on Norwegian's Pride of America in 2016
Norwegian Fjords on Celebrity's Eclipse in 2016
Disney Magic to the Bahamas in 2017


Panama Canal on Azamara in 2018
Northern Transatlantic on NCL in 2018
China, Japan, S. Korea on Celebrity in 2019

Mediterranean on Celebrity's Edge in 2019
#17
Ohio
207 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by supersecdd
We've been on Celebrity, HAL, NCL, Regent and there is no comparison to Regent. It is simply wonderful! I agree that Celebrity is no better than HAL. We had a lot of problems on Celebrity's Constellation this year and will not go on Connie again. I agree with Linda.
We have been on a lot of different cruise lines as you can tell by my signature below. When people find out how many cruises we have done, we are always asked what is our favorite line. My answer is always to say it depends upon what I want to do and where I want to go. We just finished a Black Sea cruise that we did on HAL. It wasn't a great ship (Prinsendam) but the itinerary was great and we enjoyed the ports.

We treat ourselves to Crystal when we can find a good price--usually a repositioning with sea days. We love the atmosphere, the food (excellent taste, choice and one serving per plate-not piled on), the lecture series, the entertainment options, the service, well. . .on and on. We are saving up for the world cruise in 2015. It may break the bank but it will certainly be our "cruise of a lifetime."
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Karen

http://www.karenrobbins.com
http://karenrobbins.blogspot.com

Cruising since 1993:
Celebrity (Horizon, 10/1/93, 10/21/95, 10/24/97, 10/22/05; Century, 1/13/96, 7/8/09, 7/20/09; Summit, 5/13/02; Millennium 4/17/05, 3/17/06; Solstice 2/01/09, Equinox 1/15/10, Constellation 12/18/10; Eclipse 11/12/11, Xpedition 4/19/13)
Royal Carribean (Splendor 2/9/97; Legend 1/9/00; Explorer 3/10/01; Grandeur 10/13/06; Jewel 2/10/07; Oasis of the Seas 11/5/11)
Princess (Sun Princess 1/31/98; Sea Princess 8/23/99, Crown Princess 7/8/02; Coral Princess 7/21/03; Tahitian Princess 6/5/07; Sapphire Princess 10/17/07; Crown Princess 3/29/09; Golden Princess 9/8/13)
Holland America (Westerdam 10/5/98; Westerdam 12/17/06, 12/24/06; Noordam 9/24/08, 10/04/08, 12/17/12; Eurodam 12/20/08, 12/27/08, 10/30/10, 11/6/10; Prinsendam 9/17/12)
Disney (Wonder 6/18/99, 11/4/04, 2/10/05)
Radisson (Paul Gauguin 12/23/00)
Cunard (Queen Mary 2 12/10/04, 4/22/08, 3/30/11; Queen Elizabeth 4/22/08)
Orient (Marco Polo 1/18/06)
Viking (Seine 10/25/09, Burgundy 11/1/09)
Crystal (Symphony 6/2/10, Serenity 5/8/12)
#18
Michigan
2,732 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by Wandering Writer
We have been on a lot of different cruise lines as you can tell by my signature below. When people find out how many cruises we have done, we are always asked what is our favorite line. My answer is always to say it depends upon what I want to do and where I want to go. We just finished a Black Sea cruise that we did on HAL. It wasn't a great ship (Prinsendam) but the itinerary was great and we enjoyed the ports.

We treat ourselves to Crystal when we can find a good price--usually a repositioning with sea days. We love the atmosphere, the food (excellent taste, choice and one serving per plate-not piled on), the lecture series, the entertainment options, the service, well. . .on and on. We are saving up for the world cruise in 2015. It may break the bank but it will certainly be our "cruise of a lifetime."
Sorry you didn't like our HAL favorite ship, Prinsendam. I know she is tired and somewhat worn, but she has the elegant feel of the luxury lines, IMHO. You probably had one of those new aft cabins on 8---they are supposed to be terrible. Prinsendam does have the best itineraries--maybe that's why we can overlook her flaws!!
#19
Ohio
207 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by LindaM
Sorry you didn't like our HAL favorite ship, Prinsendam. I know she is tired and somewhat worn, but she has the elegant feel of the luxury lines, IMHO. You probably had one of those new aft cabins on 8---they are supposed to be terrible. Prinsendam does have the best itineraries--maybe that's why we can overlook her flaws!!
You're right. We had one of the new cabins on 8. Hopefully though they will take care of some of the"tired and worn" when she's dry docked. Great cruise though and wonderful crew.
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Karen

http://www.karenrobbins.com
http://karenrobbins.blogspot.com

Cruising since 1993:
Celebrity (Horizon, 10/1/93, 10/21/95, 10/24/97, 10/22/05; Century, 1/13/96, 7/8/09, 7/20/09; Summit, 5/13/02; Millennium 4/17/05, 3/17/06; Solstice 2/01/09, Equinox 1/15/10, Constellation 12/18/10; Eclipse 11/12/11, Xpedition 4/19/13)
Royal Carribean (Splendor 2/9/97; Legend 1/9/00; Explorer 3/10/01; Grandeur 10/13/06; Jewel 2/10/07; Oasis of the Seas 11/5/11)
Princess (Sun Princess 1/31/98; Sea Princess 8/23/99, Crown Princess 7/8/02; Coral Princess 7/21/03; Tahitian Princess 6/5/07; Sapphire Princess 10/17/07; Crown Princess 3/29/09; Golden Princess 9/8/13)
Holland America (Westerdam 10/5/98; Westerdam 12/17/06, 12/24/06; Noordam 9/24/08, 10/04/08, 12/17/12; Eurodam 12/20/08, 12/27/08, 10/30/10, 11/6/10; Prinsendam 9/17/12)
Disney (Wonder 6/18/99, 11/4/04, 2/10/05)
Radisson (Paul Gauguin 12/23/00)
Cunard (Queen Mary 2 12/10/04, 4/22/08, 3/30/11; Queen Elizabeth 4/22/08)
Orient (Marco Polo 1/18/06)
Viking (Seine 10/25/09, Burgundy 11/1/09)
Crystal (Symphony 6/2/10, Serenity 5/8/12)
#20
Ohio
1,018 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
I have been on many mass market lines and 2 luxury lines. I will NOT go on HAL again. I could not eat the overly salty, garlicy, greasy food that seemed to be the norm. The worst part was the overpowering tobacco smoke in the public areas and balcony smokers. We could not use our balcony at all due to the smoke coming from many neighboring cabins. The small cabin was not comfortable either, but it's the smoke that will keep me from booking another HAL cruise when I choose mass market cruises.