Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
zltm089

Cheapest "luxury" cruise lines

Recommended Posts

Hi all

Great forum as always and very friendly members. 

I know cheap and luxury don't go together but what cruise lines offer a luxury type cruise at relatively lower price? I have done two Cunard cruises (not sure if they fall in the luxury band) and the prices per person weren't too bad. 

 

Silversea and seabourn definitely out of my budget! 

 

I'm a very keen foodie and 38yrs old. 

 

Thanks for all your advice and recommendations. 

 

We are in the UK aswell and would prefer something less than 10 days. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, Cunard is not "luxury", even in the Grill classes. The luxury lite lines include Oceania, Azamara and Viking. If you find Silversea and Seabourn too expensive, then Crystal and especially Regent will also be in that category.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are travelling solo, Crystal will be the least expensive of the luxury lines because of their lower solo supplement, but other than that, I agree with Tillie -- since you say Siversea and Seabourn are definitely out of your budget, the other luxury lines (Crystal, Regent, Windstar, SeaDream) will be as well.   Consider a premium line such as Viking, Oceania, or Azamara, though I'm not sure the price difference is very big. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for all your comments. 

 

Any recommendations for "premium" lines that I could consider? 

 

Not going solo but with family. 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we booked Crystal Caribbean for a good price 

Might have a look at their pricing 

 

We usually sail Oceania   which is Premium line

has some inclusions but no formal night 

people tend to dress smartly at night  more casual in the day

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please look at "value received" rather than just amount paid when booking a luxury cruise. So many things are included (like tips and alcohol) for which you'd have to pay extra on a premium line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, wripro said:

Please look at "value received" rather than just amount paid when booking a luxury cruise. So many things are included (like tips and alcohol) for which you'd have to pay extra on a premium line.

 

 

Thanks will do. 

 

Really struggling to find a cruise line at the moment that is in the "premium" range or at least slightly better than Cunard. Don't really know much about all the different cruise lines out there. 

 

I did a P&O one and thought that it was very average. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you read post #3 ?

What do you consider cheap in Dollars/pounds/Euros  ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I recommend looking for good sales and then "joining the club".  My husband and I took our first SeaDream cruise in 2010, when we were not nearly as well off as we are today.  They had a five night cruise going at a cheap guaranty fare.  We jumped on it, and were quickly hooked.  While we were onboard, we pre-booked our next cruise and got a 15% savings for an "open booking".  

 

We did the open booking a couple more times before we started sailing on Hebridean Island Cruises, which is truly all inclusive, as in, you don't even give them a credit card when you embark.  Again... we found relatively cheap cruises the first time-- did two five night back to back cruises for our 10th wedding anniversary at the end of the season.  It was a perfectly awesome trip, for the most part, despite it being November in Scotland.

 

After that, we were in the "club" and started getting access to offers that made cruising with them more affordable.  Hebridean automatically gives repeat cruisers a slight discount and access to inside sales.  Of course, it's also a very expensive cruise line that caters to people who want to cruise in Scotland and the surrounding areas, but when they say all inclusive, they mean it.  We have never so much as had a bill at the end of the cruise.

 

I would imagine "joining the club" would work with other lines, too.  

 

 

Edited by knotheadusc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might want to get a Travel Specialist to do some leg work for you on this.

 

Given that you have ruled out two of the luxury lines I would take a look at the others.

 

Crystal, Regent, SeaDream,

 

As mentioned Crystal provides good single supplements.  It is capacity controlled so can vary by voyage.

 

Regent provides more amenities in their price so as Wripro.  Some you might not be interested in but just mentioning that when you first look at the price.  

 

Not all cruises have the same per diem so look carefully at that.  There are non peak times of the year that might have better pricing.

 

In your case coming from the UK you might want to find something within Europe versus traveling to the USA to save on the cost of a flight.

 

While these are not luxury for a step up from Cunard you could consider Viking, Azamara and Windstar.  Again not luxury but a step up from the mass market cruise lines and while others call themselves premium these come closer to that description.

 

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are patient and not wanting a particular cruise , sometimes there are luxury cruises available at quite reduced prices ;

On Crystal a few European and 7 days  Med cruises were recently on offer ;

I also did receive a leaflet with quite some reduced prices for Seabourn even one at 1999 euro for one week.

Also a Regent in October was reduced.

And  every year  in December just before the holidays there are some specials :  i did 3 times a Silversea just before Christmas but usually Barbados is involved  as departure or disembarkation port what is causing a much  higher fare for the air tickets.

The Crystal Esprit just before Christmas Dubai Dubai was also reduced  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your comments and very useful advice. 

 

I will have a look at the cruise lines mentioned. 

 

Maybe I shouldn't have said "cheap" but a "step up from cunard" would have been more appropriate. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, zltm089 said:

 

 

Thanks will do. 

 

Really struggling to find a cruise line at the moment that is in the "premium" range or at least slightly better than Cunard. Don't really know much about all the different cruise lines out there. 

 

I did a P&O one and thought that it was very average. 

My second cruise - in 1987 - was on P&O and I never wanted to cruise again - of course the ships are newer and modern now;

despite it was popular that old Canberra was nearly a vacation camp.

I was saved by 2 great cruises in Princess , one on the former Royal Princess from 1984; that was already a huge improvement …

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have sailed on Oceania twice (usually sail on Regent) and had a really nice experience.  We would only sail on their two larger/newer ships (Marina and Riviera) - they are beautiful ships.  The service is as good as on luxury cruise lines and many times the fare includes air and a choice of a wine beverage package (can be upgraded for a reasonable amount per day), on board credits or some excursions.

 

Suggest going to the websites of Oceania, Viking and Azamara - take a look at the size of their staterooms, what they have for inclusions, etc.  Doing some research will help tremendously.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The trouble with Oceania and Azamara is that although the public spaces may be lovely and the food and service good unless you book into a suite level you will be in a tiny cabin with a tiny bathroom and a tiny shower. Even on Oceania Marina and Riviera the cabins themselves are small. Only the bathrooms have more square footage. If you want a cabin comparable to an entry level suite on Seabourn or Regent or Silversea you have to book a penthouse and by the time you do that and add all the extras included on the luxury lines you'll pay as much or even more. Th

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again

 

Been trying to do some reading on the different "ranking" of cruise lines. 

Could someone kindly please give me a breakdown? 

 

Assuming "Luxury" would be at the top? With "premium" after? What would be next down? Etc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, zltm089 said:

Hi again

 

Been trying to do some reading on the different "ranking" of cruise lines. 

Could someone kindly please give me a breakdown? 

 

Assuming "Luxury" would be at the top? With "premium" after? What would be next down? Etc

 

Then it's pretty much "mass market", but not all of them are created equal. Some are a little "nicer" than other. This would include the quality of the included food and the finish of the cabins. Of course, all of that is subject to individual interpretation. "Generally" considered "nicer" might include Celebrity, Holland America, Disney and Princess. Within a line all ships are not equal. The newer ships will get higher ratings than the older ships in the same fleet. There are lists that give each lines' ships star ratings, but the one I know is from a travel agency, and therefore can not be named on Cruise Critic. I have not included lines with ships carrying fewer than 400 or so passengers as those are a different kettle of fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah thanks for this. 

 

I'm currently looking into Royal Caribbean and maybe MSC. 

 

Will have to keep reading I guess. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, zltm089 said:

Ah thanks for this. 

 

I'm currently looking into Royal Caribbean and maybe MSC. 

 

Will have to keep reading I guess. 

 

"Many" will tell you that those 2 are "better" than Carnival, Costa and possibly NCL. Ultimately, you need to try one and see how you feel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, zltm089 said:

Ah thanks for this. 

 

I'm currently looking into Royal Caribbean and maybe MSC. 

 

Will have to keep reading I guess. 

neither would be luxury  ...JMO

Look at Oceania. Azamara, Viking Oceans  for more upscale  than "mass market/main stream"  lines

 

but if you are looking at  lots of activities & places to eat onboard  the main stream lines  have it

be sure to factor in the "extras"  that you will pay for on the main stream lines EG: sodas. bottled water. specialty coffees etc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

neither would be luxury  ...JMO

Look at Oceania. Azamara, Viking Oceans  for more upscale  than "mass market/main stream"  lines

 

but if you are looking at  lots of activities & places to eat onboard  the main stream lines  have it

be sure to factor in the "extras"  that you will pay for on the main stream lines EG: sodas. bottled water. specialty coffees etc

 

 

Thanks I will look at the ones you've mentioned. 

 

Looking at the luxury ones, they are definitely out of my budget range. Even the premium ones are still high. 

 

So I think, I need to start considering the "mass market" ones but ones that will be slightly better. Maybe something that will be just under the "premium" /premium light category. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Interesting that you are looking now at RCI and MSC. These both have amazingly upgraded suite options that provide a much different experience than basic accommodations.

 

The "highest" we have ever gone would be Celebrity and Disney, which admittedly are nowhere near the luxury end of the cruise market.  

 

However I think there is more to the story than just the classification of various lines and separate ships within the line.  What are you really looking for in terms of luxury in a cruise?  If we ever got to the point of having unlimited travel funds and time, we would absolutely get a big suite on a Royal Caribbean Oasis Class ship rather than considering a more exclusive cruise brand.  We really like big ships with lots of bells, whistles, and sensory overload. However we would of course prefer an exclusive, luxurious stateroom rather than the steerage, er, inside stateroom, we had last time.  We understand full well that it's a mass market product with 6,000 of our closest friends aboard ranging from all sorts of demographic backgrounds.

 

Alternatively, we would love to do something like Hurtigruten, say a 2 week in depth visit to the Norwegian fjords.   I don't know what you call this "class" but it seems to me to be more of Explorer or Adventure travel than what I perceive as "Luxury." However, the prices are up in the higher end.  

 

I always had out on my not-very-likely-blue-sky bucket list, some sort of European river cruise like Viking or Avalon. But quite honestly, the point of such a cruise for me, would be the visits to the ports, not the vessel itself, which is relatively small and built for the function of navigating a certain type of narrow, shallow, and often urban environment, while providing very comfortable lodging.  Better quality fellow passengers or upgraded dining just don't add all that much value to me.

 

I honestly think what means "luxury" to one traveler may or may not equate to the official classifications of these cruise brands and ships.  You can find luxury on mass market ships or feel standard accommodations on a luxury line are only "average" to you.

Edited by KmomChicago

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, KmomChicago said:

Interesting that you are looking now at RCI and MSC. These both have amazingly upgraded suite options that provide a much different experience than basic accommodations.

 

The "highest" we have ever gone would be Celebrity and Disney, which admittedly are nowhere near the luxury end of the cruise market.  

 

However I think there is more to the story than just the classification of various lines and separate ships within the line.  What are you really looking for in terms of luxury in a cruise?  If we ever got to the point of having unlimited travel funds and time, we would absolutely get a big suite on a Royal Caribbean Oasis Class ship rather than considering a more exclusive cruise brand.  We really like big ships with lots of bells, whistles, and sensory overload. However we would of course prefer an exclusive, luxurious stateroom rather than the steerage, er, inside stateroom, we had last time.  We understand full well that it's a mass market product with 6,000 of our closest friends aboard ranging from all sorts of demographic backgrounds.

 

Alternatively, we would love to do something like Hurtigruten, say a 2 week in depth visit to the Norwegian fjords.   I don't know what you call this "class" but it seems to me to be more of Explorer or Adventure travel than what I perceive as "Luxury." However, the prices are up in the higher end.  

 

I always had out on my not-very-likely-blue-sky bucket list, some sort of European river cruise like Viking or Avalon. But quite honestly, the point of such a cruise for me, would be the visits to the ports, not the vessel itself, which is relatively small and built for the function of navigating a certain type of narrow, shallow, and often urban environment, while providing very comfortable lodging.  Better quality fellow passengers or upgraded dining just don't add all that much value to me.

 

I honestly think what means "luxury" to one traveler may or may not equate to the official classifications of these cruise brands and ships.  You can find luxury on mass market ships or feel standard accommodations on a luxury line are only "average" to you.

 

 

Spot on!!! 

 

I think I got the "luxury" classification all wrong and the more I read, it looks like maybe I wasn't after a "luxury" cruise line after all (not to mention that they are out of my budget anyway). But wasn't too keen on the smaller ships and too much of a "personal" butler kind of service. 

 

What I'm actually after is good food (I know very subjective, but I'd like to think I can tell when something has been well prepared etc and my reviews on TripAdvisor normally is in line with other "senior" reviewers... ). I would like great variety but also quality, from freshness and sweetness of the fruits in the buffet restaurant to the fine dining etc I would like it to be of "above average" standard. 

 

I would like a modern ship aswell, with lots of facilities, new decor and fancy cool stuff like, maybe some massive water slide or 3D cinema etc... The cabins don't have to be spacious, but I like modern and good quality fittings etc. Having said that, I don't want to end up in a "mass market" cheap theme park with queues of rude people shouting and screaming etc. Or some cheap buffet all you can eat restaurant. 

 

I'm really tempted to give Royal Caribbean a go. About £1500 pp, so hopefully won't be too bad. I'm a novice with cruises as you can see from my posts and not even sure what is a "decent" budget for a 7 night cruise. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, zltm089 said:

 

 

Thanks I will look at the ones you've mentioned. 

 

Looking at the luxury ones, they are definitely out of my budget range. Even the premium ones are still high. 

 

So I think, I need to start considering the "mass market" ones but ones that will be slightly better. Maybe something that will be just under the "premium" /premium light category. 

 

 

 What is your budget  & how long of a cruise are you looking at?

That may provide some insight for suggestions for you

When looking at the main stream lines  with the suites  they probably cost just as much or more than a luxury line 😉

 

We just got a good deal on Crystal for  a Dec  Caribbean cruise  ..8 days  $2000 pp  it includes alcohol, gratuities  etc

it is  an outside cabin 

to me that is a good price to try a luxury line

YMMV

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

 What is your budget  & how long of a cruise are you looking at?

That may provide some insight for suggestions for you

When looking at the main stream lines  with the suites  they probably cost just as much or more than a luxury line 😉

 

We just got a good deal on Crystal for  a Dec  Caribbean cruise  ..8 days  $2000 pp  it includes alcohol, gratuities  etc

it is  an outside cabin 

to me that is a good price to try a luxury line

YMMV

 

I just saw your post. 

 

Probably looking at something like 7 nights. 5 too short and anything over 10 might be "too long" for me. 

 

Budget would be around £1500pp. But could go up if needs be. 

 

So far, I've only tried balconies so will stick to that. And probably departing from the UK. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...