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tingalex

Best luxury cruise line for young professional gay couple?

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Just posted this on the luxury cruise line forum as well... but curious of views from fellow gays as well!

 

Hello all! Hoping for some insight into a topic I’ve pondered for a while...

 

I am a gay partnered man in my late twenties — both of us are high income earning professionals and fortunately travel budget isn’t much of a concern for us.

 

I was fortunate to grow up traveling with my parents (only child) and developed a fondness for cruises. My partner did not grow up cruising, but has enjoyed the handful of Caribbean cruises we’ve done in the winter to escape the northeastern cold. He enjoys them not only for the weather, but for the gourmet food (also my biggest priority), entertainment, and meeting other young couples—mostly gay couples in their 30s, but young straight couples as well. 

 

We’ve been doing Celebrity, which we enjoy for the lack of children, emphasis on food (especially in the specialty restaurants), decent quality of entertainment, and the fact that we can find other people close enough to our age range — several couples in their 30s. Thing is, I’d really like to try a luxury line for the better service, guest-to-crew ratio, more deck space, etc. My partner is (justifiably so) concerned that luxury cruise prices make them non-conducive to most people our age, and those ships will just be filled with even more people in their 50s and 60s. Nothing against this age range to be clear!! It’s just that we enjoy the social aspect of cruising and find things in common when we meet other young professionals close to our age. 

 

With that, any recommendarions in which luxury lines could be the best fit for us? We’d love to give one a try next February—I was thinking Seabourn, guessing that it’s a younger crowd that Crystal or Silversea ... but I may be wrong. I’ve enjoyed Oceania cruises with my parents but age-wise that crowd is too old for us.

 

Any thoughts welcomed!!!!

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same situation for us... want to cruise on ships that bring in younger couples but have the money for a more luxurious travel budget.  We are going to give the Haven a try with NCL to see how the ship within a ship concept goes for us.  Hopefully a happy blend of elevated service but also couples around our age (late 20s early 30s) to be vacation friends with. 

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In general you will not get a demographic of people on their 20s on any luxury cruise line. Of course, there will always be some passengers in that age range but mostly you will find people upwards of 50. BUT luxury lines do attract a sophisticated group of people who have travelled a lot and have interesting lives. They can be lots of fun to interact with so I wouldn't eliminate any line simply because of the age factor. I happen to love Seabourn because of their small ships which can enter ports larger ships cannot, the food, the service and the contemporary ambience. 

 

An other thing to consider is the itinerary. The shorter the cruise the more likely it will attract younger people who are still working and cannot take more time off. And where yo are going should also factor into the decision. After all, you are cruising to see places.

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17 hours ago, tingalex said:

Just posted this on the luxury cruise line forum as well... but curious of views from fellow gays as well!

 

Hello all! Hoping for some insight into a topic I’ve pondered for a while...

 

I am a gay partnered man in my late twenties — both of us are high income earning professionals and fortunately travel budget isn’t much of a concern for us.

 

I was fortunate to grow up traveling with my parents (only child) and developed a fondness for cruises. My partner did not grow up cruising, but has enjoyed the handful of Caribbean cruises we’ve done in the winter to escape the northeastern cold. He enjoys them not only for the weather, but for the gourmet food (also my biggest priority), entertainment, and meeting other young couples—mostly gay couples in their 30s, but young straight couples as well. 

 

We’ve been doing Celebrity, which we enjoy for the lack of children, emphasis on food (especially in the specialty restaurants), decent quality of entertainment, and the fact that we can find other people close enough to our age range — several couples in their 30s. Thing is, I’d really like to try a luxury line for the better service, guest-to-crew ratio, more deck space, etc. My partner is (justifiably so) concerned that luxury cruise prices make them non-conducive to most people our age, and those ships will just be filled with even more people in their 50s and 60s. Nothing against this age range to be clear!! It’s just that we enjoy the social aspect of cruising and find things in common when we meet other young professionals close to our age. 

 

With that, any recommendarions in which luxury lines could be the best fit for us? We’d love to give one a try next February—I was thinking Seabourn, guessing that it’s a younger crowd that Crystal or Silversea ... but I may be wrong. I’ve enjoyed Oceania cruises with my parents but age-wise that crowd is too old for us.

 

Any thoughts welcomed!!!!

Personally, we love Oceania. The food is outstanding. The age demographic is pretty high, however. We're 64/56 & we were a lot younger than most. I'd check Cunard's grills. We've seen a fair amount of younger pax, though your age group is young by any standard. NCL's Haven is a good try. The rest of the ships are pretty low level. Really basic cruising. I'd suggest trying the MSC Seaside & check their Yacht Club.

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Have you sailed in The Haven on any of the Norwegian ships?  Or MSC Yacht club? I’ve heard great things about the food and service in the suites and exclusive restaurants on both!

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21 hours ago, MeaserCatLover said:

Have you sailed in The Haven on any of the Norwegian ships?  Or MSC Yacht club? I’ve heard great things about the food and service in the suites and exclusive restaurants on both!

The problem, at least for me, is that once you leave the Haven you are on a ship with thousands of other passengers and feeling luxury is gone. I'd much rather sail on a small ship where luxury is the norm throughout. jmo.

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We prefer Seabourn over the other small luxury lines.  Super upscale, gay friendly, gourmet dining, smaller ships.  We just returned from Antarctica and noticed several younger couples in their 30’s and 40’s.  Endless champagne and caviar, over the top service, etc.  Usually one or two LGBT gatherings, which is nice in meeting others.  

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Celebrity cruises (as you have discovered) are the most likely to have the social mix you are looking for. Like most people (gays included,) the 40+ set is more likely to have the resources for higher priced cruising.  Celebrity does a good job  of balancing price with some luxury touches, while hitting the "premium" market (not luxury.) Obviously a generality, not a rule as you are seeking this kind of vacation, but I'd be curious if you find what you are seeking on the luxury lines.

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After 50+ cruises (all the major lines), my husband and I just ventured on our first “luxury” line....Seabourn. Wow!! What a fantastic experience! Very gay friendly, all-inclusive top of the line food/drink and service! We’re in our mid 50’s and were in the younger half but didn’t care. The passengers and crew were super friendly. The ship was upscale modern but not stuffy. It really spoils you for anything else! I wholeheartedly recommend!!

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On 3/10/2019 at 7:46 AM, Kruzngrl said:

We prefer Seabourn over the other small luxury lines.  Super upscale, gay friendly, gourmet dining, smaller ships.  We just returned from Antarctica and noticed several younger couples in their 30’s and 40’s.  Endless champagne and caviar, over the top service, etc.  Usually one or two LGBT gatherings, which is nice in meeting others.  

 

We too prefer Seabourn over other luxury cruise lines.  After one Seabourn experience, you will never want to cruise with anyone else.  When stepping onboard we always feel we are home.

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Posted (edited)

My husband and I are in our early 30’s and for the past few cruises have sailed exclusively in suites aboard NCL, the rooms and service have been wonderful. NCL ships are obviously not luxury liners, but the haven suites do give you that sense of luxury you are looking for.  Also NCL will have more of the age demographic you are looking to connect with, atleast that has been my experience. Recently we have been cruising NCL’s smaller ships and while these ships do not have the haven area, we have found the suites to be just as luxurious and the service and food has been better then on the larger ships with the haven area. 

Edited by Bocadude85

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Luxury is about far more than how luxurious the suite is. Unless you plan never to leave your suite you will have to deal with thousands of other passengers on NCL. A line like Seabourn where there are only 450 to 600 passengers in total offers luxury everywhere aboard including caviar when and where you want it, crew that addresses you by your name, no charge alternative restaurants and the  ability to get into smaller more interesting ports where NCL couldn't possibly go.

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I agree with Wripro about Seabourn.  You will definitely experience luxury touches throughout the ship.  We are also just back from South American/Antarctica and had a terrific time.  There were a number of gay folks on board, especially on the Antarctica segment, and a number of people under 50.  I would recommend Seabourn and a short port-intensive segment to find a younger demographic.  Longer cruises with lots of sea days seem to attract the older folks, like us.  AND, given your interests, I would definitely avoid Crystal.  While Crystal is certainly luxury, the average age is usually way over 70, maybe close to 80.  Finally, a step down from luxury, but very gay friendly is the Azamara line, which we like very much.  The Cruise Director on AZ usually organizes a LGBT meet-up and dinner.

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tv24,

 

I don't know what it is about Seabourn but somehow we never fail to meet many people with whom we dine and even share time in ports. No-one seems to care if you are gay or straight and on the rare occasion where such a fellow passenger exists I just ignore him. 

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Thank you all for the thoughtful replies. I feel like a trial run on Seabourn is in order for one of our upcoming trips! We will need to brace ourselves for an older crowd but on a one week cruise may be able to find some people of a closer vintage 😉

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As has been said above, my partner and I cruise NCL Haven for this reason. When you want "Luxery" you can dip back into the haven or relax on the haven sun deck and its amazing. The service, the peace and quite is great! When you want to socialize you can check out the FOD events and socialize at the many bars. The crowds tend to be younger on NCL ships so there is some nice diversity! We cruised over thanksgiving and being able to escape to the haven area was AMAZING! We're leaving for a 11 night panama cruise in two weeks and I expect that it will be of a higher medium age. But thats OK I really just want to get a nice tan before summer starts. And to get warm since we are also in the North east 😉 

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We're a bit older (in our 50's) but pretty much in the same situation.  We took a Viking ocean cruise and enjoyed that.  However from what we could tell, we were the only gay couple on board, but had no issues with staff or other pax.  It was a very nice experience and stay in touch with other passengers.  Also, we've done MSC Yacht  Club 2X and for the price..you can't beat it.

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Why not try a Trans Atlantic on Cunard's Queen Mary 2, in the Queens Grill. The standard QG suite is over 500 square feet with a balcony up to the Duplexes at 2000 square feet. The quality of the food and service is second to none. You will have your own butler and a bar stocked with wine or spirits of your liking. 

 

Even though you are going to be younger than many in the crowd, you will be made to feel comfortable where every on the ship you are. And there is a lively Friends of Dorothy gathering in the Commodore Club every afternoon which is well attended by passengers with a variety of ages. If you like to dress it is a more formal ship with at least three formal nights on every eight day crossing. There will be lots of activities to keep you well entertained. I prefer to travel from east to west, because you get five 25 hour days, and you can spend time in London before the crossing.

 

As some one who has experienced cruising,  you will appreciate that you will  be traveling on the only true ocean liner in the world. As big as the mega ships with one half the passengers. Able to handle what ever the north Atlantic throws at her. Your excitement begins as you see the great liner as you drive near the terminal. You will see a ship as big and as grand as any ocean liner in history. Just seeing her takes my breath away. Give it a try. For a look go to You Tube. search Queen Mary 2 Buckingham Suite. 

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Check out Virgin Voyages. The new cruise line from Richard Branson.

Hip, stylish, modern. 20 specialty restaurants included in the cost of the cruise.

The rate is per cabin and includes the tips and taxes.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/26/2019 at 1:19 PM, Roneill76 said:

Check out Virgin Voyages. The new cruise line from Richard Branson.

Hip, stylish, modern. 20 specialty restaurants included in the cost of the cruise.

The rate is per cabin and includes the tips and taxes.

I looked at their site. The ship is not finished, so there are no actual pictures of the interiors. However looking at a you tube video on Virgin Voyages, it appears that the furniture on board looks like it came from Ikea. Having experiences other "Virgin" transportation ventures, I have found Branson's efforts (Virgin Atlantic 'Upper Class, LAX to LHR and onward to JNB) "more sizzle, than steak', and certainly not in the same class as BA Club World on the same route. Their initial cruise destinations are thin as well. I think I will give Virgin a pass. But let us know after you have traveled. 

Edited by Bigmike911

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Have you considered either tall sailing ships, river cruises or smaller ships? There are some exceptional ships in those categories from Viking River to AmaWaterways, Star Clipper, Windstar and Windjammer, Regent Seven Seas, Paul Gauguin for Tahiti. Some of these can be quite elegant and still attract a younger crowd depending on the itinerary.

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Add my two cents--Seabourn.  Second, SeaDream.  If you're booking a standard cabin, Seabourn is also the way to go.  If ship size and (standard) cabin size is no issue, Crystal is a good choice.

 

As people have aptly pointed out, ships with ship-within-a-ship concept or Grille concept are still only what I would consider under the luxury moniker only in those areas.  Once you're out among everyone else it's still an "average" ship.

 

Any desire for many passengers in your age group is less likely.  Most of the people on board who are your age will be the staff. 🙂  

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Once upon a time, I was a young (29 y.o.) passenger on Crystal, and I was definitely in the minority, both age and orientation.  Taking another cruise on them, same thing.  Third cruise was a TA from Lisbon to Barbados, and a totally different crowd- younger and more L/G couples.

 

I've found the same with Cunard, and enjoyed the grill experience, but again, the crowd was closer to what you describe/desire on the TA's versus regular cruises. 

 

In my early 40's, we migrated to Celebrity, and it seems to hit a good balance for us. Now in our 50's, it still works well.  We don't mind the ship-within-a-ship concept, and have been on both sides of that "fence."  And, I should add, the crowds on TA's offered the best mix.

 

If you are after destinations, try the luxury lines- you might 'grow old' with a line, allowing great perks, and having that sense of 'home' as you travel.  

 

But remember...soon enough, with any luck, you WILL be the demographic that you aren't looking for at the moment, so keep an open mind about the age thing.  Unless you're trying to get to know other passengers intimately, and physical attributes are key, it should be less of a factor. 

 

And in my mid 50's, I have trouble telling the Gay Late 20, 30 and 40-somethings apart (are they taking better care?) so there you are.  Our travel companions of choice now are a straight couple  about our age, and we met them about 15 years ago on a cruise. Leave in a week to cruise with them again, and another booked in September.  When we cruise with them, the demographics of others seem less important, and we always have a great time.

 

Andrew

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Posted (edited)

I'm certainly not as well-travelled as you, but here's something to consider:  "Azamara is part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which received a perfect rating on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. The index is a national benchmarking survey and reports on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality."  (https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=3) And even thoughI'm not a rabid environmentalist, I do care. And apparently, Carnival is no friend of the seas when it comes to dumping waste. https://www.npr.org/2019/06/04/729622653/carnival-cruise-lines-hit-with-20-million-penalty-for-environmental-crimes

 

Of course, Carnival owns many lines under its umbrella, including several luxe brands.

Edited by hennpaul

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