10 Best Luxury Cruise Ships

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Luxury Cruising
Is it a state of mind?
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#4
Washington State
23,028 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Oceania and Viking are not luxury cruise ships and "boats" that cruise rivers, are not "ships". iMO, this is confusing to people new to cruising. I respect CC very much but cannot understand why the designations are so messed up.
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#9
Washington State
23,028 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by knotheadusc
Surprised that Hebridean Princess got overlooked.
I had not heard of this ship so I looked it up. Perhaps she is not mentioned because she carries only 50 passengers and does to look like any 'luxury' cruise ship that I've ever seen (actually, she doesn't look much like a passenger ship). While all-inclusive, she doesn't have balconies, was built over 50 years ago (and looks it), has what appears to be tiny cabins (size not mentioned on website) with old looking furniture and it sounds as if there is one seating for dinner (again, lack of information on website).
#10
uk
875 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Hebridean Princess is indeed a small luxury vessel. The Queen chartered the ship for her birthday many years ago.
All suites are individually decorated. Predominantly itineraries are based around Scotland and islands.
Not bad for a cruise ship that started life as a ferry. Jean.
#11
1,262 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by Travelcat2
I had not heard of this ship so I looked it up. Perhaps she is not mentioned because she carries only 50 passengers and does to look like any 'luxury' cruise ship that I've ever seen (actually, she doesn't look much like a passenger ship). While all-inclusive, she doesn't have balconies, was built over 50 years ago (and looks it), has what appears to be tiny cabins (size not mentioned on website) with old looking furniture and it sounds as if there is one seating for dinner (again, lack of information on website).
The reviews by CC members have been fulsome in their praise.

The latest is very comprehensive:

https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/membe...EntryID=577998
#13
Philadelphia
5,143 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by English Voyager
According to the Berlitz Guide, which rates the Hebridean Princess as 'luxury', the cabins range in size from 144 sq.ft to 340 sq.ft.
Hard to rate that as luxury especially with NO balconies.....
#14
Washington State
23,028 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
IMO, 144 sq. ft. is a good sized closet! I can see the Queen chartering the whole ship and, since her castle is quite old, maybe 340 sq. ft. is a decent size. For luxury cruisers, it is an entry level suite.

One must wonder where the reviews are coming from. Have the passengers sailed on Regent, Seabourn or Silversea? Even Oceania's (a premium plus cruise line) older ships are more luxurious and I would not sail on them either.

I learned one thing from that website........ 50+ year old ships are still sailing. Who knew?

P.S. If Berlitz rates this ship as luxury, it reinforces my opinion that Berlitz is not worth reading. For those not familiar with luxury cruise lines that North American's sail, their largest suites are over 1,000 sq. ft. with massive balconies. And, the upper suites, at least on Regent, are individually decorated by some of the world's top designers.
#15
1,262 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by Travelcat2
IMO, 144 sq. ft. is a good sized closet! I can see the Queen chartering the whole ship and, since her castle is quite old, maybe 340 sq. ft. is a decent size. For luxury cruisers, it is an entry level suite.

One must wonder where the reviews are coming from. Have the passengers sailed on Regent, Seabourn or Silversea? Even Oceania's (a premium plus cruise line) older ships are more luxurious and I would not sail on them either.

I learned one thing from that website........ 50+ year old ships are still sailing. Who knew?

P.S. If Berlitz rates this ship as luxury, it reinforces my opinion that Berlitz is not worth reading. For those not familiar with luxury cruise lines that North American's sail, their largest suites are over 1,000 sq. ft. with massive balconies. And, the upper suites, at least on Regent, are individually decorated by some of the world's top designers.
Have you actually read the Berlitz review?

I can only assume you have not, otherwise you would have seen how the reviewer arrived at the luxury rating.

In the review it is stated that more than 50% of passengers are repeaters, and the ship appeals to solo travellers.

Given the very high fares that is a high recommendation.

Is luxury, defined as a state of great comfort or elegance, really dependant on the size of the accommodation?
#16
Greenville, SC
1,869 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Well, as has been stated before, what constitutes "luxury" is different for everyone. But...if I'm going to spend a week or more in a cabin, I need to have room to stretch out a bit. And for me, 177 sq ft doesn't give me the stretch room I want. And honestly, from looking at the photos, the ship looks tired. I'm sure the itineraries are nice, and I'm sure the food is nice, but for the prices they're asking, I'd expect a bit more.

But that's just me.
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#17
1,262 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by orchestrapal
Hard to rate that as luxury especially with NO balconies.....
There are some cabins with balconies.

http://www.hebridean.co.uk/en/photo-gallery_49142/


Personally I very rarely use a balcony.

Some years ago on a Silversea cruise in the Middle East the humidity was so high the balcony was unusable due to everything dripping water.
#18
Germany
1,076 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
SeaDream doesn't have balconies, while Princess does have some gorgeous staterooms with balconies. I have been on SeaDream and Hebridean and love them both for different reasons. I actually think Hebridean is, in many ways, much more luxurious than SeaDream is. However, the Princess does lack a spa and a hot tub/pool.

The food is outstanding and the beverages are included (and they will go out of their way to cater to what you want). If you have any problems, the staff bends over backward to accommodate you. Last year, I took a cruise entirely dedicated to whisky and we stopped at many distilleries. At the Glengoyne Distillery, we had a special opportunity to blend our own whisky. That was included in the fare, as all excursions are. I actually learned something about Scotland, too.

I love Hebridean for the truly all inclusive nature of the ship. Yes, you pay a high fare; but once you've paid, you are covered for almost everything. I have never had a bill at the end of a voyage, even on my first cruise, which was a back to back voyage. They did our laundry for free and even paid for a cab to take the three of us who were sailing back to back to Glasgow. They also paid for lunch. And the service is absolutely impeccable. Two more months til I'm piped aboard again!

Those who would prefer a larger, more modern ship should probably steer clear. As for me, I will stick with Hebridean Princess for showing me parts of Scotland I never would have seen otherwise.
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#19
Washington State
23,028 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by English Voyager
Have you actually read the Berlitz review?

I can only assume you have not, otherwise you would have seen how the reviewer arrived at the luxury rating.

In the review it is stated that more than 50% of passengers are repeaters, and the ship appeals to solo travellers.

Given the very high fares that is a high recommendation.

Is luxury, defined as a state of great comfort or elegance, really dependant on the size of the accommodation?
I no longer read Berlitz as I disagree with most of what he writes. His perspective is simply very different than. mine. In terms of repeat customers, Regent often has 80% repeat customers (and their ships are more than 10 times the size).

Just checked their website again and found their prices quite reasonable when compared to luxury cruise ships. What was very telling is the fact that there are only two cruises "Sold Out" between now and the end of 2017. Why can't they sell out when they have only 25 cabins?

Agree that this cruise line is good for passengers traveling single and for people in the U.K./Europe that want a close up view of some unique ports. However, I can't see this ship being included in the luxury cruise ship category.

I'm sure that I won't change anyone's view nor will mine be changed. Guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

P.S. While Sea Dream is marginally considered luxury by some, they also are not really competition to Crystal, Regent, Seabourn and Silversea. They have a specialized segment of the luxury market which is quite small.