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We want luxury but don't need "all inclusive."

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5 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

However, Azamara is not a luxury cruise line (which is what this board is supposedly about).  I have heard positive and negative things about Azamara.  Hope that you try a luxury cruise line ...... it just may spoil you forever.

 

As an aside, I haven't seen you on CC before.  If you are new, welcome to CC - we really appreciate our 'hosts".

The topic starter asked about Oceania and Azamara is often compared with Oceania. That’s why I mentioned it. I’ve talked to people on Azamara who have tried a couple of the ‘luxury’ lines, but come back to Azamara as they prefer the very special atmosphere on Azamara.

I’m the host for all the Azamara boards and that’s mostly where I post. 

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On 8/22/2019 at 3:04 PM, Travelcat2 said:

I have not even tried to speak for others - I post/report on what I read.

 

There is always the option of clearly  differentiating between my own experience instead of reapeating what anonymous posters have written about cruise lines on which I haven't travelled. 

 

Since the OP was looking for a more luxurious experience and a step up from HAL, Oceania is indeed a good option, especially with the ships Riviera and Marina. I have cruised on the Riviera, the Regatta and on three HAL ships, all cruises 4 weeks or longer.

 

 

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I guess  CC needs a forum for  cruises that do not fit  Luxury class but  are not in the main stream class either

There are several lines  that fit in the  class inbetween the 2 levels

Not everyone wants/needs all inclusive like the luxury lines  but they do not want the masses that are on the main stream lines either

Some people are looking for something  different & the Premium lines  work for  some but where can they post  where they are not berated  by  the "luxury "  line folks  or told  that  the Premium lines are too expensive  yada yada

JMO

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Floridiana said:

 

There is always the option of clearly  differentiating between my own experience instead of reapeating what anonymous posters have written about cruise lines on which I haven't travelled. 

 

 

I'm not sure what method you use before trying a cruise line that is new to you but many CC members read about the cruise line from CC forums and reviews.  

 

For instance, if  it were not for CC I would not have known that Crystal (a cruise line that we would not sail on due to policies that have since changed).  I do not have to cruise a line to in order to know the "facts" (purposely separating facts from things like ambiance which one needs to experience).  

 

When we (any of us) see something concerning about a cruise line (such as we have with Europa 2), we repeat what "anonymous posters" have written.  Generally, posters are kind enough to correct misconceptions or information that was posted but is not accurate.  While I cannot speak to all boards on CC, on the Regent board, the regulars discuss misconceptions/misinformation with people considering Regent.  The bottom line is that we here to help others based on our experiences (which differ from person to person) and information we have gleaned from other posters.

Edited by Travelcat2

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

I guess  CC needs a forum for  cruises that do not fit  Luxury class but  are not in the main stream class either

There are several lines  that fit in the  class inbetween the 2 levels

Not everyone wants/needs all inclusive like the luxury lines  but they do not want the masses that are on the main stream lines either

Some people are looking for something  different & the Premium lines  work for  some but where can they post  where they are not berated  by  the "luxury "  line folks  or told  that  the Premium lines are too expensive  yada yada

JMO

 

 

 

 

Agree that there could be a forum for premium plus/luxury lite.  I disagree that posters post about premium cruise lines on this board are being berated by anyone - they are just informed (nicely) that the cruise line they are discussing isn't luxury.  In my opinion, it is important to know which cruise lines are which.  And, Oceania really can be pricier than luxury cruise lines (again, important to know).  So, if a person does not want to drink alcohol, have just about everything included (on Regent this means Business Class air, most excursions, top shelf alcohol, etc.) I wonder if they would want to pay more money for a cruise line that does not include all of these things.  On the other hand, if you are taking a basic suite on Oceania, you will be savings money but will be subjected to the "class system" where people in suites can get hot breakfasts from room service while other cannot. 

Edited by Travelcat2

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2 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

I'm not sure what method you use before trying a cruise line that is new to you but many CC members read about the cruise line from CC forums and reviews.  

 

For instance, if  it were not for CC I would not have known that Crystal (a cruise line that we would not sail on due to policies that have since changed).  I do not have to cruise a line to in order to know the "facts" (purposely separating facts from things like ambiance which one needs to experience).  

 

When we (any of us) see something concerning about a cruise line (such as we have with Europa 2), we repeat what "anonymous posters" have written.  Generally, posters are kind enough to correct misconceptions or information that was posted but is not accurate.  While I cannot speak to all boards on CC, on the Regent board, the regulars discuss misconceptions/misinformation with people considering Regent.  The bottom line is that we here to help others based on our experiences (which differ from person to person) and information we have gleaned from other posters.

I get all my information from my TA who is an expert on luxury lines. That way the info I receive is unbiased and comes from experience, not from opinions.

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On 8/25/2019 at 11:31 AM, Travelcat2 said:

 

Really not difficult.  I check CC after I am up and dressed - I may respond to posts (or not) and go on to other things I'm researching.  I'm online probably 45 minute to an hour and may check CC quickly before I log off.

 

I tend to each lunch at at my desk so I'm back on while I'm eating (which I am doing right now).  Unless something is going on, I'm not online from about noon to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Savings Time).   When we get home, I check again and may or may not stay online (if I do, it is mainly to answer emails).  After checking email I occasionally check the system until about midnight - not always posting but reading.

 

This is not a strict schedule.  If there is a "hot" thread going on, I check more often and/or if I'm waiting for a response.  This isn't much different than people whose hobbies includes working in the garden, on cars, knitting or whatever.  My DH can stay outside for many hours during the summer working on plants, etc.  Also, some people are "attached" to their cell phone ...... I am not.  Whether I am with my husband or a friend, they get 100% of my attention with no phone interruptions.  

 

This posting is taking me at least twice as long as a normal post because I am having to think about when I'm online. 

 

To others on this thread, sorry for the completely off topic post.  I was just answering a question.

Glad that works for you, Just reading your CC schedule gives me a headache. But we are all different, aren't we?

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2 hours ago, wripro said:

I get all my information from my TA who is an expert on luxury lines. That way the info I receive is unbiased and comes from experience, not from opinions.

I do wonder what percentage of the cruising public actually know of the existence of Cruise Critic.

 

I only became aware of it's existence when I came across it's stand at an exhibition dedicated to cruising  that is held annually in London.

 

Perhaps the importance of CC as a source of information for new, and existing cruisers is being over regarded.

 

As well as specialist luxury cruise agents, there are also agents specialising in other sectors of the cruising market.

One of the UK's leading agents even has a weekly 60 minute national TV programme.

 

There are also monthly UK magazines dedicated to cruising, one of which was founded in 1998.

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1 hour ago, English Voyager said:

I do wonder what percentage of the cruising public actually know of the existence of Cruise Critic

 

I believe it’s a very very small percentage - low single digits and then the number who actually post of their experiences and opinions is even smaller 

 

I smile when I read people’s opinions of the line I am very familiar with and sometimes wonder if I’m indeed sailing on the same ships

 

4 hours ago, wripro said:

I get all my information from my TA who is an expert on luxury lines. That way the info I receive is unbiased and comes from experience, not from opinions.

 

I think you’ll find your TA is biased and experiences contribute to opinions. They should be just another source of fact and opinion. After all we all have different preferences when it comes to things like dining and entertainment. It is good when you find a TA you feel you can trust and who understands your requirements - but I wouldn’t have absolute faith in their “expertise” on all things on all lines  

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A few comments.

 

If there was a premium line board I can see it now.  The arguments as to which cruise lines are premium.  Ugh!

 

It's bad enough that there is disagreement on the luxury lines.  

 

As to the percentage of cruising people who know about Cruise Critic.  Who knows.  If I was guessing I would say five to ten percent, maybe even more.  That doesn't mean all of them have checked it out.  With that said there are a lot (and I mean a lot) of lurkers.  We have met many on our sailings.  

 

I often say this but a great source about Cruising is the annual book written by Douglas Ward and published by Berlitz.  After our first sailing I used it to figure out which cruise line to take our family on the following year and it was a terrific source.  However, if you look at his list of luxury lines some might disagree with him on a few of them.

 

In the end you can do all of the research but you will never know for sure until you sail it yourself.  However, I agree with Henry that an agent who is well versed on luxury cruising can be a big help to you whether you are looking for a luxury cruise line or a luxury river cruise line.  

 

You must try it though to see for yourself what you think.

 

Keith

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On 8/27/2019 at 3:24 PM, Stickman1990 said:

 

I believe it’s a very very small percentage - low single digits and then the number who actually post of their experiences and opinions is even smaller 

 

I smile when I read people’s opinions of the line I am very familiar with and sometimes wonder if I’m indeed sailing on the same ships

 

 

I think you’ll find your TA is biased and experiences contribute to opinions. They should be just another source of fact and opinion. After all we all have different preferences when it comes to things like dining and entertainment. It is good when you find a TA you feel you can trust and who understands your requirements - but I wouldn’t have absolute faith in their “expertise” on all things on all lines  

 

If you are reading misinformation about Crystal, why not help the poster by kindly explaining how it really is?  

 

Agree that I would not trust a TA (any TA ...... and we love ours) to decide for us which cruise line we would like.  Nothing beats doing research, reading reviews, etc.

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1 minute ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

If you are reading misinformation about Crystal, why not help the poster by kindly explaining how it really is? 

 

Rest assured I do and will continue to do so into the future 

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I am afraid some TA are only looking for the - luxury - company granting the highest commission ...

2 and 3 % difference is making quite an amount on an "extremely upmarket" booking.

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9 minutes ago, vistaman said:

I am afraid some TA are only looking for the - luxury - company granting the highest commission ...

2 and 3 % difference is making quite an amount on an "extremely upmarket" booking.

 

Do the luxury lines pay different commissions? Realize that the agencies that book more get bonuses, but what about the base commission?

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The fares are higher, and thus the commission is higher. I once stumbled onto a video in which Regent was promoting itself to TAs. It explained that, with so much included, they get commissions on those inclusions--alcohol, excursions, tips, etc.  I hadn't really thought about that, but the nickel and diming of main stream lines does not create commissions for TAs. For at least this one line (and I expect it's true of others as well), including these things in the up-front fare means including them in the commissionable rates.

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19 minutes ago, wishIweretravelling said:

The fares are higher, and thus the commission is higher. I once stumbled onto a video in which Regent was promoting itself to TAs. It explained that, with so much included, they get commissions on those inclusions--alcohol, excursions, tips, etc.  I hadn't really thought about that, but the nickel and diming of main stream lines does not create commissions for TAs. For at least this one line (and I expect it's true of others as well), including these things in the up-front fare means including them in the commissionable rates.

 

I'm not asking about total commissions. It is obvious you make a higher commission on booking a $10,000 cruise than a $600 one. What I'm asking is what percentage the luxury lines pay on commissionable fares and if different lines pay different percentages. One poster suggested that they do.

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TILLIE

some will belong to consortium which may also get them a higher rate  up to 20%

even main stream lines

 

 

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5 hours ago, LHT28 said:

TILLIE

some will belong to consortium which may also get them a higher rate  up to 20%

even main stream lines

 

 

for instance   :TA reaching a very high amount on a particular cruise line are invited on a annual "gala" gathering on board

in my early years of cruising I wanted to book a Vistafjord  ( i bought the Berlitz in London )- Belgian TA tried to deviate me to a company now exceling in giant "mega ships" - so i booked it in London

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, vistaman said:

I am afraid some TA are only looking for the - luxury - company granting the highest commission ...

2 and 3 % difference is making quite an amount on an "extremely upmarket" booking.

 

It really depends upon the TA.  Our TA only books luxury cruises so there is no incentive to choose one over the other.  They have won awards from Regent and that is their cruise line of choice.  Second to Regent is Silversea (likely because Silversea was finally sold and Mark Conroy has more input into what Silversea does). Note:  Mark Conroy was President of Regent for several years and did an amazing job.

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Silversea is owned by RCCL  not sure how much input  the managing director  will have 

time will tell

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

Note:  Mark Conroy was President of Regent for several years and did an amazing job.

We were on board the Mariner when Mark Conroy carried out the unveiling of the change of name from Radisson to Regent.

 

Our first cruise with Radisson was on, what is still one of my favourite ships, the unique catamaran Diamond.

A sad end for a fine ship.

 

 

Edited by English Voyager

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On 8/27/2019 at 3:24 PM, Stickman1990 said:

 

I believe it’s a very very small percentage - low single digits and then the number who actually post of their experiences and opinions is even smaller 

 

I smile when I read people’s opinions of the line I am very familiar with and sometimes wonder if I’m indeed sailing on the same ships

 

 

I think you’ll find your TA is biased and experiences contribute to opinions. They should be just another source of fact and opinion. After all we all have different preferences when it comes to things like dining and entertainment. It is good when you find a TA you feel you can trust and who understands your requirements - but I wouldn’t have absolute faith in their “expertise” on all things on all lines  

A good TA’s goal is to understand your requirements and to keep you as a client so it doesn’t benefit them to steer you to a line that happens to pay extra rather than one that is the best fit.  A good TA knows from experience and client feedback which lines are less onerous to deal with, how the lines handle problems and if a line really delivers as promised.  A good TA can also vet the offerings and find options you may not have considered or known about thus saving you time and possibly money.  I have several TA’s but also do a little research on my own.  It would take a massive amount of time on CC, Trip Advisor, etc. to yield the same result when a phone call and a couple of emails with a TA is so easy.  CC is a great source for more granular info once a cruise line choice has been made.

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I would first check which part of the world you like to go to and find a deal on a "luxury" liner. Cause they do exists. And It doesn't matter what everybody thinks, you need to experience it. There is a cruise line for everybody. I personally like the all inclusive part. especially if tipping is included. For some reason it makes me feel the crew is genuinely nice.( I know it's mostly their job)  But that is what I prefer... Maybe you have different preferences...

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I personally have no problem with people mixing the so-called luxury lines and the so-called premium lines in discussions here.  There, end of story.  We've sailed Oceania and Azamara, mainly done Radisson/Regent and Paul Gauguin.  There are lots of good reasons to compare and contrast these and other lines like them.

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21 hours ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

I personally have no problem with people mixing the so-called luxury lines and the so-called premium lines in discussions here.  There, end of story.  We've sailed Oceania and Azamara, mainly done Radisson/Regent and Paul Gauguin.  There are lots of good reasons to compare and contrast these and other lines like them.

And when  you're buying a car be sure and compare a Mercedes with a Buick! 

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