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ak1004

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After reading the last Riviera review, I decided to compile a list of cruise lines with average review rankings. Here is the list:

 

Viking 4.59

Azamara 4.36

Crystal 4.28

Seabourn 4.19

Celebrity 4.15

Oceania 3.99

Royal 3.99

Holland 3.97

Princess 3.94

Silversea 3.92

Regent 3.92

Carnival 3.92

Cunard 3.91

NCL 3.76

Costa 3.28

 

Few comments:

 

I was surprised to see Viking and Azamara getting the highest marks. I always considered Oceania, Viking and Azamara being in the same category, but below the "luxury 4". Crystal and Seabourn marks are not surprising (although I expected them to be ranked above Viking and Azamara), but Silversea and Regent?? same as Carnival? And Oceania same as Royal, and below Celebrity? The difference between 3.99 and 4.15 might not seem big, but considering that most lines are in 3.90-4.30 range, it is pretty significant and very surprising, at least to me. I would put Celebrity close to Princess and Holland.

 

Thoughts?

 

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since not everyone gives their review  or rates the cruise line  it will never be an accurate  accounting

  Try the cruise lines you like  & make  your own informed  choice

JMO

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Did you adjust for the number of passengers per cruise line?

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It just goes to show you how “valuable” (or useless) these ratings are.

Regent and Silversea may not be perfect (or best) but surely should rank above Princess and RCI in most peoples’ opinion and experience (unless they are only measuring value for $ spent rather than quality of a cruise line experience overall?)

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I haven't sailed on all of those lines, but I have on Regent and Carnival. It's hard to understand how they could have the same score. Interesting that all of the cruise lines from Ociania to Cunard are only .08 apart in ratings.

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51 minutes ago, giustot said:

I haven't sailed on all of those lines, but I have on Regent and Carnival. It's hard to understand how they could have the same score. Interesting that all of the cruise lines from Ociania to Cunard are only .08 apart in ratings.

And therein lies the problem with both the reviews and OP's (well meaning but useless) exercise: No testing rigor, validated measures, "expert" reviewers.....

 

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8 hours ago, clo said:

Did you adjust for the number of passengers per cruise line?

No why should I? An average is still an average, no matter if it's based on 1,000 reviews or 10,000 reviews.

 

6 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

And therein lies the problem with both the reviews and OP's (well meaning but useless) exercise: No testing rigor, validated measures, "expert" reviewers.....

 

At the end of the day, the only opinion that matters is yours. However, nobody can try them all, so before trying a line (or a ship), we read feedback from other people. Yes, there are always extremes that should be ignored (like the latest Riviera review), but if the number of reviews is big enough, the average should reflect the quality more or less. In this case, it just doesn't.

 

One possible explanation I can see is that the more expensive the line is, the higher the expectations, and people measure value for money. In other words, if Regent cruises cost like Celebrity, I'm sure the average was close to 5. Since they are so expensive, every small detail matters, and people really looking for perfection in those lines.

 

This however doesn't explain the huge difference between Azamara/Viking and Oceania, that are similarly priced most of the time and are expected to be pretty close. Personally I can say that Oceania and Azamara provided us the best cruise experience so far, as expected, compared to Celebrity/Princess etc. But we would still prefer Oceania in almost every aspect.

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The Silver Muse, when it launched, garnered three stars in the first 6 months.  Nearly all the reviews were from past Silversea pax, who didn't like the new and  "different" look, additional pax (a whopping 590) and the new restaurant procedures.  It's still trying to crawl out of those early reviews, with a current rating of 3.5 stars.  Having sailed on her in that first 6 months, that ship and her crew are in no way 3.5 stars.  It should be much higher.  I might note that the CC expert gave her 5.0.

 

That rating really gave me pause in using these reviews for guidance in choosing a ship or a line.

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1 hour ago, ak1004 said:

No why should I? An average is still an average, no matter if it's based on 1,000 reviews or 10,000 reviews.

 

At the end of the day, the only opinion that matters is yours. However, nobody can try them all, so before trying a line (or a ship), we read feedback from other people. Yes, there are always extremes that should be ignored (like the latest Riviera review), but if the number of reviews is big enough, the average should reflect the quality more or less. In this case, it just doesn't.

 

One possible explanation I can see is that the more expensive the line is, the higher the expectations, and people measure value for money. In other words, if Regent cruises cost like Celebrity, I'm sure the average was close to 5. Since they are so expensive, every small detail matters, and people really looking for perfection in those lines.

 

This however doesn't explain the huge difference between Azamara/Viking and Oceania, that are similarly priced most of the time and are expected to be pretty close. Personally I can say that Oceania and Azamara provided us the best cruise experience so far, as expected, compared to Celebrity/Princess etc. But we would still prefer Oceania in almost every aspect.

A couple of years ago, we were invited to an event featuring the president of Azamara. I asked him his thoughts on the differences between Azamara and Oceania. Without hesitation, he remarked: "Oceania is about food. Azamara is about overnights in ports."

 

Oceania was well aware of this (as it also was with wannabe Viking's newer ships). They've responded to Azamara with more overnights (we'll have 3 days in Reykjavik next month and another cruise next year with overnights in a half dozen ports) and to Viking (whose only claim to "premium" status is premature self-proclamation) with the rejuvenating R ship NEXT makeovers and two new ships on order.

 

And, though certainly not necessary, Oceania continues to perfect its culinary endeavors in ways that clearly establish the line as the best experience/value in the premium/luxury industry segment.

 

There's a reason (or three...) why folks like me are Oceania "regulars." We've done comparison cruises/math/research/etc. and, for our means/preferences/expectations regarding quality of life/itineraries/demographics, no other cruise line comes close. 

 

(Insert "mic drop" here)

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The ratings the OP summarized do not represent a proper impartial survey conducted by a professional concern. 

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7 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

And, though certainly not necessary, Oceania continues to perfect its culinary endeavors in ways that clearly establish the line as the best experience/value in the premium/luxury industry segment.

 

There's a reason (or three...) why folks like me are Oceania "regulars." We've done comparison cruises/math/research/etc. and, for our means/preferences/expectations regarding quality of life/itineraries/demographics, no other cruise line comes close. 

 

(Insert "mic drop" here)

 

I'm completely with you. We did only one Oceania cruise so far, but for us, it was almost perfect, and definitely fits our needs in areas that are important to us. 

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3 minutes ago, Noxequifans said:

The ratings the OP summarized do not represent a proper impartial survey conducted by a professional concern. 

This might be true. But even cruise critic "expert" reviews sometimes don't make sense.

 

For example, they rate the Oceania Insignia 4 out of 5, but Celebrity Reflection 5 out of 5. Royal Allure is also 5 star. Marina and Riviera are 4.5. To me this is absurd. 

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2 hours ago, ak1004 said:

Personally I can say that Oceania and Azamara provided us the best cruise experience so far, as expected, compared to Celebrity/Princess etc. But we would still prefer Oceania in almost every aspect.

 

I'm glad to read that Oceania & Azamara have been your best experiences so far.

We have enjoyed our Azamara cruises very much and look forward to our cruise on Sirena next April.

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I am sure the reviews are based on different things

the larger ships have more bang for your buck  & possible larger cabins  on some ships

 not everyone though want all the things that go along with the larger ships

I see comment on how small the cabins are compared to mass market lines

how there is nothing to do onboard O

The shows are not good or boring

excursions expensive

drink prices  are expensive

 

We are not "foodies" or "wine snobs"  we do not play trivia  or collect Big O points 

we do not do ships tours 

we do not really care about the cabin size ..more about location & no insides please

We enjoy Oceania for many other reasons & willing to pay  for it

 

when reading the reviews  I agree if it is one review & all bad  then maybe  the smaller ships are just not for that person

It is  a shock to come from  3000 pax  to 1200 pax or 680 pax & the ship is probably half the size of the mass market ship  the person is used

I take the reviews with a grain of salt

 

Is Oceania perfect  ..NO

I have had some bad food  & not so good food  but the majority  is fine  ..I have not starved on an O cruise ..YET

JMO

 

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I have been on Princess, HAL, NCL, Carnival, Regent and Oceania.  After years of experiencing the differences in ship size, entertainment, rooms, food and staffing, I can conclude ,for myself, that I prefer the smaller ships with less entertainment.  I think the food is about the same everywhere.  I also think people will rank one line above another based on their personal experience and money spent.  For example, I've never read a bad review of someone who bought a penthouse or higher cabin.  

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I would not be surprised if  cc and others who do ratings twist these ratings a bit to make the lines look competitive quality wise.  It is a cruising blog after all and the more they drum up interest in all lines the more hits they get.  I am sure many will not agree which is fine with me it's jmo anyway.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, newgolfr said:

I think the food is about the same everywhere.

I realize that this is your opinion, to which you are fully entitled, but I strongly disagree with this statement (and that is only my opinion 😀).

Edited by Paulchili

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5 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

 

 

(Insert "mic drop" here)

this is the arrogance that doesn't help anyone.  

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We did our first Viking Ocean cruise this past January. I was amazed how many of the passengers were Viking River veterans who had a little or no prior ocean cruising experience. But they were avid Viking fans. I will admit their ocean ships are beautiful and functional (especially the bathrooms and Atrium, which benefits from not having  a casino - but realize that there are not casinos on river boats). The food was well prepared, but nothing fancy. The enrichment lecturers were also very good. The exceptionally good reviews are partially merited, but are substantially skewed by the fact that they have a large and loyal customer base that have done river cruises with them. .

 

We have not been on Azamara, but I'm guessing they have a significant number of customers who rate it relative to previous cruises on Royal Caribbean.  

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29 minutes ago, Nymich said:

this is the arrogance that doesn't help anyone.  

Actually, it's humor that is lost for some folks.

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11 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Actually, it's humor that is lost for some folks.

Is it humor when you refer to the op topic as useless.  You are the type of cruise ship know it all one hopes they don't get stuck at dinner with.

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2 minutes ago, Nymich said:

Is it humor when you refer to the op topic as useless.  You are the type of cruise ship know it all one hopes they don't get stuck at dinner with.

You may want to reread my original post which did not say the OP's post (or its topic) was "useless." Rather, what I said was that his "exercise," while well-meaning, was "useless." And why was it useless? Just read the other posts - the exercise was fraught with methodology problems.

As for your need to call people (who you've never met) nasty names: Shame on you.

And, you're certainly welcome to not read my comments.

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8 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

You may want to reread my original post which did not say the OP's post (or its topic) was "useless." Rather, what I said was that his "exercise," while well-meaning, was "useless." And why was it useless? Just read the other posts - the exercise was fraught with methodology problems.

As for your need to call people (who you've never met) nasty names: Shame on you.

And, you're certainly welcome to not read my comments.

These boards are here in large part for people to learn about the different lines and ships and there are great people who take the time to help.  Nobody wants to hear how something is useless that they brought up. For those people wanting to investigate Oceania and educate themselves you are the worst kind of person one could run into.   As  a wise man once said your delivery sucks.

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Viking is quite new and thus tends to be overrated. Regression to the mean is inevitable....

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4 hours ago, newgolfr said:

I think the food is about the same everywhere.  

This is simply not true. And it's not about opinions - it's about facts. There are HUGE differences in quality, quantity, variety etc. between different lines. Some Royal ships have over 30 different food venues, while Azamara have only 4-5. You have almost unlimited black caviar on Crystal - try to get in on Celebrity or Princess. 

 

4 hours ago, newgolfr said:

For example, I've never read a bad review of someone who bought a penthouse or higher cabin.  

Actually I read a LOT of bad reviews from suite guests. A Carnival inside passenger who spent less than $1,000 in his cruise might be very happy about the deal he got. But Regent guest who spent 20-30k in a suite will have completely different expectations. Here is one example. "For $25K we expected way more".

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