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


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35 minutes ago, kent9xxx1 said:

 

You can look at what Crystal considers top shelf.  You can go to any bar and look at the top shelf.  That is top shelf.  Very clear what is and what isn't.  I personally don't care for JW Blue, and it wouldn't be on my top shelf at home, but that doesn't mean it isn't top shelf.  

sorry I am not really  a drinker   but do you mean the liquor on the top shelf of the  bar is better quality  ?

I thought it was the brand & quality of  the spirits that made it better or "top shelf"

just curious

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This discussion is pretty much the same as cars. Is a Mercedes a top shelf car? Is a BMW? An Audi? A Lexus?

 

But then there are Rolls Royces and Bentleys which are even on a higher shelf. That doesn't mean the ficstgroup is  not top shelf.

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16 minutes ago, wripro said:

This discussion is pretty much the same as cars. Is a Mercedes a top shelf car? Is a BMW? An Audi? A Lexus?

 

But then there are Rolls Royces and Bentleys which are even on a higher shelf. That doesn't mean the ficstgroup is  not top shelf.

Henry

I agree

what one considers top shelf others may not

i am just trying to understand  what is considered a top shelf  spirit

 DH prefers certain brands & years of  Scotch  but  whether they  are considered  top shelf  by the experts   I have no idea

 

I preferred my Audi to my Volvo  but it is my personal preference  😉

 

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4 hours ago, LHT28 said:

sorry I am not really  a drinker   but do you mean the liquor on the top shelf of the  bar is better quality  ?

I thought it was the brand & quality of  the spirits that made it better or "top shelf"

just curious

 

For any decent bar, liquor on the top shelf of the bar is top shelf liquor.  And yes, brand & quality made it top shelf.  And usually tied with high price because of the brand and quality.  

These guys tried to argue that hendrick's gin is top shelf.  It is not.  Or Oban is top shelf.  It is also not.

Luxury cruises offer free drinks, not free top shelf drinks. 

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2 hours ago, wripro said:

This discussion is pretty much the same as cars. Is a Mercedes a top shelf car? Is a BMW? An Audi? A Lexus?

 

But then there are Rolls Royces and Bentleys which are even on a higher shelf. That doesn't mean the ficstgroup is  not top shelf.

 

Just no.  Which car lot do you see offering RR & Bentley & Audi & Mercedes at the same time? 0.  

Which bar offers top shelf liquors and bottle shelf liquor?  All of them.  And those free ones from luxury cruises are not top shelf, not anywhere near top shelf by any standard.  

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I equate Luxury Cruising with great accommodations, excellent service, delicious food, no crowds, not brands of alcohol, although we do prefer wine several cuts above Charles Shaw,  My favorite lines are Regent, Windstar and Oceania.  I would rather pay for amenities I don't use on a luxury or premium ship than things we don't use..like bumper cars, a climbing wall, water tubes, etc on the giants.

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12 hours ago, LHT28 said:

so KENT  what would be a top shelf Gin  IYHO?  since you mentioned Hendricks

referring to the bar list of the MS Europa 2 ( over 50 different gins ) top shelf must be : 209 gin and the Swiss Xellent - also the Spanish and rather sweet Gin Mare -  are the highest priced gins.

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19 hours ago, LHT28 said:

so KENT  what would be a top shelf Gin  IYHO?  since you mentioned Hendricks

Just NO back to you. I never said the same dealer offered all those car brands. I was comparing the level of quality. 

 

And if you are not happy with the top shelf liquor on luxury lines just don't sail them. I wonder,r if I were a guest in your home what brands do you stock to offer?

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I’ve not read every page so don’t know if anyone’s mentioned Azamara. For us they are luxury. Partly it’s due to the size - 700 ish means no queuing (standing in line) anywhere - and we love the wonderful friendly service with senior officers that are about and happy to talk to you. Yes drinks are included - not ‘top shelf’ brands but they are international brands like Gordons, Smirnoff and Famous Grouse. They include one whole ship excursion - their Azamazing Evening which is for the whole ship. Nowadays it’s often a concert. For example on our Suez Canal cruise on October the Azamazing evening will be at the Ashdod Concert Hall. It includes a Klezmer group and a 20 piece orchestra with voices, plus Israeli snacks & drinks.
There are extras, such as the speciality restaurants (unless you are on a Suite when they are included).

Azamara is certainly more luxurious that HAL, that’s for sure.

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35 minutes ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

I’ve not read every page so don’t know if anyone’s mentioned Azamara. For us they are luxury.

 

They are classed as a Premium line   like Oceania & Viking

 

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Right on Grandma, The original poster must be having a good laugh at all the arguments as to the classification of the cruise lines and the tangents that went off...Do people really decide on a cruise line based on what brands of alcohol they do or do not have ?  How did they get to cars?  If you are treated luxuriously and are happy with the line, who cares exactly what others decide to classify it. It is luxury to you. And all the "luxury" and "premium" lines mentioned are an upgrade to HAL . I am sorry  that the poster wanted to discount lines that include drinks. It is a "package" cost. Not everyone takes advantage of all the amenities.  For example my husband falls asleep during shows so we usually skip them but I wouldn't cross a line off my list because it had shows.

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4 hours ago, wripro said:

Just NO back to you. I never said the same dealer offered all those car brands. I was comparing the level of quality. 

 

And if you are not happy with the top shelf liquor on luxury lines just don't sail them. I wonder,r if I were a guest in your home what brands do you stock to offer?

 

It's not an either or issue here.  Just because I don't like their inclusive drinks doesn't mean I don't like the whole thing and cannot sail with them.  I can get around it by paying and/or bringing my own and I did that last time I was on Crystal.  

 

Do you really believe Hendricks and the likes are top shelf liquor?  My guests always get proper top shelf.  🙂 

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2 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

You’re right, but the original poster was looking to go to a cruise line that was more luxurious than HAL.

we are way past that discussion LOL

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29 minutes ago, kent9xxx1 said:

 

  My guests always get proper top shelf.  🙂 

so you still have not told us what brand  proper top shelf is  in your opinion??

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Dear All,

   There are only two kinds of millionaires. Those that made their money via their own volition and 'still' enjoy a 'Bud-Light' and those that inherited. I still enjoy a 'Bud-light', when I contemplate  life and the  numbing effects of C2H5OH on my lot....

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1 hour ago, rattanchair said:

Dear All,

   There are only two kinds of millionaires. Those that made their money via their own volition and 'still' enjoy a 'Bud-Light' and those that inherited. I still enjoy a 'Bud-light', when I contemplate  life and the  numbing effects of C2H5OH on my lot....

well we are not millionaires & do not enjoy Bud light  but we still like nice things 

We worked  for our money & lived frugally

When we can afford a cruise  we choose  one that suits our needs/wants  usually  a premium line

YMMV

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/3/2020 at 11:17 AM, Host Grandma Cruising said:

I’ve not read every page so don’t know if anyone’s mentioned Azamara. For us they are luxury. Partly it’s due to the size - 700 ish means no queuing (standing in line) anywhere - and we love the wonderful friendly service with senior officers that are about and happy to talk to you. Yes drinks are included - not ‘top shelf’ brands but they are international brands like Gordons, Smirnoff and Famous Grouse. They include one whole ship excursion - their Azamazing Evening which is for the whole ship. Nowadays it’s often a concert. For example on our Suez Canal cruise on October the Azamazing evening will be at the Ashdod Concert Hall. It includes a Klezmer group and a 20 piece orchestra with voices, plus Israeli snacks & drinks.
There are extras, such as the speciality restaurants (unless you are on a Suite when they are included).

Azamara is certainly more luxurious that HAL, that’s for sure.

 

Host Grandma (love your name)- I think that if you went on a true luxury cruise line you would be surprised.  To us, Gordons, Smirnoff are low level and, to be honest, we have never heard of "Grouse".  

 

Regent has three Patron tequilas (Anejo, Reposado and Silver), Grey Goose, and many other vodka's that I cannot think of at the moment. We are not gin drinkers so I don't pay attention to what brands they carry.  For Bourbon, I recall Maker's Mark.  I could list more if I did research (which I will be happy to do if you would like to know more).

 

I love the idea of one "whole ship excursion", however, Regent has included excursions in every port that they visit (and also have "Regent Choice" excursions that have a cost (mostly paid with onboard credits).  Most are over the top.  

 

Regent ships have 490 - 750 passengers.  Their two newest ships. are amazing (have only been on Explorer so far but will cruise Splendor that debuted almost 2 weeks ago, in March.).  Please give them a try.  The only negative is that you may become addicted.

 

We have sailed on Crystal (1 cruise), Silversea (3 cruises) and Regent (34 cruises with one more next month and three more booked).  We have not sailed on Seabourn for reasons that are not necessary to go into on this board.  I will say that Seabourn was the last luxury cruise line to limit smoking.  This was a deal breaker or us for many years and now we do not care about Seabourn as they changed too late for us.

 

Whatever cruise line you choose next - have a great time!

 

Great-Grandma Jackie

 

 

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6 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

Host Grandma (love your name)- I think that if you went on a true luxury cruise line you would be surprised.  To us, Gordons, Smirnoff are low level and, to be honest, we have never heard of "Grouse".  

 

Regent has three Patron tequilas (Anejo, Reposado and Silver), Grey Goose, and many other vodka's that I cannot think of at the moment. We are not gin drinkers so I don't pay attention to what brands they carry.  For Bourbon, I recall Maker's Mark.  I could list more if I did research (which I will be happy to do if you would like to know more).

 

I love the idea of one "whole ship excursion", however, Regent has included excursions in every port that they visit (and also have "Regent Choice" excursions that have a cost (mostly paid with onboard credits).  Most are over the top.  

 

Regent ships have 490 - 750 passengers.  Their two newest ships. are amazing (have only been on Explorer so far but will cruise Splendor that debuted almost 2 weeks ago, in March.).  Please give them a try.  The only negative is that you may become addicted.

 

We have sailed on Crystal (1 cruise), Silversea (3 cruises) and Regent (34 cruises with one more next month and three more booked).  We have not sailed on Seabourn for reasons that are not necessary to go into on this board.  I will say that Seabourn was the last luxury cruise line to limit smoking.  This was a deal breaker or us for many years and now we do not care about Seabourn as they changed too late for us.

 

Whatever cruise line you choose next - have a great time!

 

Great-Grandma Jackie

 

 

Thanks for your comments - maybe we should look at one of the ‘luxury’ lines, but I’m not convinced that we’d find the same friendly atmosphere. We’re not fussy about drink brands as long as they are ‘standard’ rather than ‘local’ brands, but we do like to be made to feel ‘at home’ which I guess is Azamara’s USP. (Incidentally ‘Famous Grouse’ is one of the UK’s popular blended whisky brands - similar to Johnnie Walker Red or Bells.)

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7 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

Thanks for your comments - maybe we should look at one of the ‘luxury’ lines, but I’m not convinced that we’d find the same friendly atmosphere. We’re not fussy about drink brands as long as they are ‘standard’ rather than ‘local’ brands, but we do like to be made to feel ‘at home’ which I guess is Azamara’s USP. (Incidentally ‘Famous Grouse’ is one of the UK’s popular blended whisky brands - similar to Johnnie Walker Red or Bells.)

Grandma, We started out cruising with Celebrity. We always had parents or kids. We did little interacting with fellow passengers as we had plenty of interaction with family. We then upgraded to Oceania, just DH and myself. The ship had 300 passengers and we did interact with people. You could eat with who you wanted and no assigned seatings. That was the first cruise that we joined a “roll call” and met people immediately who we still keep in contact with. It felt like Oceania was a big jump from the mainstream cruises. 
But, we wondered what we were missing not trying a luxury cruise.  We also wondered if the luxury jump would be worth the price. Would we fit in? I am a nurse and DH an engineer. First experience was with Regent then Seabourn. Both great. Wow, what a jump in the experience. Huge basic rooms, over the top service and the passengers were really nice. The common comment is not what people do, trying to one up each other, but rather the feeling of pinching yourself that you are fortunate enough to to experience the cruise.
Would we go back to mainstream? Absolutely, especially with our grandsons but never for the two of us. Probably not to return to the premiumLimes.. We have been surprised that when you add everything up, Regent Prices particularly are often equal to the price of premium and occasionally with the mainstream lines. This is especially true if you are going to pay extra for business airfare.
We have found our home in the luxury market. We particularly love the passenger interaction with Regent. Regent encourages friendships among passengers. They have hall parties, Country Fairs, games with fellow passengers and  included excursions. We like the “eat whenever and with whomever you want“. We are booked on the 2021 WC with Regent and I am confident we will meet many life-long friends. Our roll call has around 40 people and we are getting to know people already.

You will never know whether the lux experience is for you unless you try it out!

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11 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

, but I’m not convinced that we’d find the same friendly atmosphere.

What makes you think that luxury cruisers would be less friendly than those cruising on other lines?

 

If anything, I've found the people I've met on Crystal to be far friendlier than those I met on previous cruises on mainstream lines - though my experiences with mainstream lines was several decades ago.  I find those I've met on Crystal to be generally relaxed and friendly, and I have made some great friends I've met through cruising.........I'm not saying it's the only line where those things happen, just that I don't see them as happening any less often on a luxury line.  It's not stuffy at all, even on "Black Tie Optional" nights when some people are dressed in formal wear.  (And though I'm dressed in just a summer sundress, I get no flack or strange looks......I get smiles and "hello"s.)

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On 2/16/2020 at 5:10 AM, Host Grandma Cruising said:

Thanks for your comments - maybe we should look at one of the ‘luxury’ lines, but I’m not convinced that we’d find the same friendly atmosphere. We’re not fussy about drink brands as long as they are ‘standard’ rather than ‘local’ brands, but we do like to be made to feel ‘at home’ which I guess is Azamara’s USP. (Incidentally ‘Famous Grouse’ is one of the UK’s popular blended whisky brands - similar to Johnnie Walker Red or Bells.)

 We did not find the Crystal folks  very friendly on our  Dec cruise

no sharing tables  everyone  wants to dine at  a 2 top or with people they already know

One of the threads on Crystal have  photos of the  drink menus  you could check it out

 

 For  us  we will stick with  Oceania  not a luxury line  but suits our style much better

JMO

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On 2/16/2020 at 2:10 AM, Host Grandma Cruising said:

Thanks for your comments - maybe we should look at one of the ‘luxury’ lines, but I’m not convinced that we’d find the same friendly atmosphere. We’re not fussy about drink brands as long as they are ‘standard’ rather than ‘local’ brands, but we do like to be made to feel ‘at home’ which I guess is Azamara’s USP. (Incidentally ‘Famous Grouse’ is one of the UK’s popular blended whisky brands - similar to Johnnie Walker Red or Bells.)

i was concerned about that on our first Regent cruise but was totally wrong. I found for the most part the passengers on Regent are very friendly, well travelled and interesting to talk to .  Because alcohol is included the lounges are busy and there are always people to meet and talk to.  None of the awkwardness of buying drinks around new people. 

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