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Australia/NZ Viking or Princess or Cunard or RCL

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We're thinking of an Australian/New Zealand cruise for Dec/Jan

 

and we're torn whether to go with:

Viking; Princess; Cunard or RCL

 

keep in mind the things we care about the most:

good food

clean well kept ship

 

what do people think?

 

I didn't like Celebrity (for Greece anyway); food was terrible; among other things.

 

thanks!

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, cool cruiser 14107 said:

We're thinking of an Australian/New Zealand cruise for Dec/Jan

 

and we're torn whether to go with:

Viking; Princess; Cunard or RCL

 

keep in mind the things we care about the most:

good food

clean well kept ship

 

what do people think?

 

I didn't like Celebrity (for Greece anyway); food was terrible; among other things.

 

thanks!

Do you have kids ?Big ships,small ships ?.Do you like to dress up or dress comfortably? Also do like entertainment a lot?

The food is all mass marketed ,they want you to pay extra for the specialty restaurants.

 I don’t think Viking do the cruise you’re after.
 

 Itinerary is probably your deciding factor in choosing a cruise line.

 

Edited by Chiliburn

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I would not be booking anything for his year, perhaps 2021 would be better.

IMO, Celebrity is a superior line to the others listed, except for Cunard and possibly Viking.

Note I have not sailed Viking as yet, but if the food on Celebrity was not up to scratch, then that only leaves Viking.

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2 hours ago, MicCanberra said:

I would not be booking anything for his year, perhaps 2021 would be better.

IMO, Celebrity is a superior line to the others listed, except for Cunard and possibly Viking.

Note I have not sailed Viking as yet, but if the food on Celebrity was not up to scratch, then that only leaves Viking.

Celebrity has fairly good food .
But things vary with different crew ,different cooks and the area they are sailing in with the provisions available.

 

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I'm booked on Celebrity Eclipse for late January 2021. We have been on Eclipse and like the ship very much. The ship was clean, food good and the staff outstanding. We booked the 2021 cruise at about this time last year when we were on an Alaskan Cruise. We have spent months planning this and hope it will happen. If we are are able we will be on Eclipse in Late January 2021. Auckland to Melbourne, it's a good itinerary, have a look.

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I’d be happy with any of those and been on them all except Virgin, to us it comes down to itinerary and price, whilst we prefer a smaller ship. But I have been in too many cruises that I loved and others hated to try and pick what is best for someone else. Princess, Celebrity, Cunard, Royal Caribbean, not much difference in food, it may vary if you go in a suite etc, but we pretty much always go a balcony.

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Posted (edited)

I've been on all lines. 
 

Viking is relaxed elegance, no casinos, no kids, No photographers, great cuisine, and wonderful Scandinavian style. Fantastic buffet. Touches of extra 'thoughts' everywhere designed for the more, umm, mature person. Only around 700 people. Excellent cabins even the base grade. Has laundries that are free. 
 

Celebrity is sleek, children, all the usuals and still fun and enjoyable. Food is certainly still good. Good buffet. 
 

RCL - a downmarket Celebrity. I'd not bother again. 
 

Cunard is upmarket, elegant and attracts older more conservative cruises. Good buffet now. Has laundries. 
 

Princess - I've been on four Princess cruises, and well, I'm just not a fan. They do have great pizza though. But I dislike intensely their buffet set up. Has laundries. 
 

I'd go Viking but it's more expensive. 

Edited by Pushka

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As Chiliburn said  you will have to look at Itinerary..... a lot of line only do one way cruises to NZ... also ports of call  as well starting port   Melbourne or Sydney   

 

I know that Oceania do a one way Sydney to Auckland

 

Cheers Don

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18 hours ago, cool cruiser 14107 said:

We're thinking of an Australian/New Zealand cruise for Dec/Jan

 

and we're torn whether to go with:

Viking; Princess; Cunard or RCL

 

keep in mind the things we care about the most:

good food

clean well kept ship

 

what do people think?

 

I didn't like Celebrity (for Greece anyway); food was terrible; among other things.

 

thanks!

 

Out of the cruise lines you mentioned, I have cruised Princess (50), Celebrity (4), RCL (2) and Viking River cruises(2), but not Cunard. Out of all my experiences, I could not fault Viking River cruises. I know they are a different product to ocean cruise lines but I would imagine their ocean cruises would be just as good, if not better. 

 

I agree with Pushka.....I'd go Viking but they are more expensive. 

 

 

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Agree with the others, define what sort of experience you want on board.

We look for good service and food on board and enjoy being looked after.

Others may focus more on the itinerary and on board stuff is secondary.

We have considered viking ocean as their product looked attractive and inclusive, but some reviews have been disappointing. Worth a try.

Also is the size of the ship important to you?

So much depends on the staff/crew on board and that can vary.

We liked Oceania for service and food.

Cunard was ok less inclusive but the price reflects that. If  you like dressing up you may enjoy the experience. For our cruise tips were extra not included.

Many choices and who knows what the cruise lines will be offering.   

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If those are your only criteria, I'd say Viking and Cunard would be the choices you should look at.

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On 6/8/2020 at 4:16 AM, cool cruiser 14107 said:

We're thinking of an Australian/New Zealand cruise for Dec/Jan

 

and we're torn whether to go with:

Viking; Princess; Cunard or RCL

 

keep in mind the things we care about the most:

good food

clean well kept ship

 

what do people think?

 

I didn't like Celebrity (for Greece anyway); food was terrible; among other things.

 

thanks!

There won'tt be any cruises down here this year

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Hi all,

 

thanks for all the replies!! Very helpful!

I have some comments and questions:

 

chiliburn: you asked about kids, big/small ship; dress up, etc. I should have been clearer in my original question; I meant all things being equal, and ONLY considering those 2 things (so whether it has stuff for kids or not, I don't care, etc.). Just considering food and nice well kept ship. thanks!

 

blackduck59:  thanks!! so you've been on the Eclipse! and you're doing the Jan 26 cruise! that's one of the ones we're thinking of! BUT I just learned that that ship hasn't been refurbished in about 10 years? and it's going into full complete dry dock refurbishment in March; it was originally scheduled for this November. So I'm wondering if the ship is a little run down? when were you on the Eclipse? is it really nice?

 

miccanberra: I agree; I did one other celebrity cruise (but it was celebrity constellation not the solstice or eclipse I'm thinking of). But we were very disappointed in the food. But as people have said every ship is different! I'm definitely willing to give Celebrity another try!

 

fletch1:  thanks; turns out the Viking one was a little too long; oh well. we would have liked that.

 

pully8: which celebrity ship did you go on that you liked the food?

 

the Big M: you nailed my question! (all else equal or irrelevant); thanks....so you'd put Cunard over Celebrity; thanks

 

phoenixx: I'm so curious now! because we are torn with booking this Dec or Jan 21! and you mentioned no cruises 'down here' this year. Are you from there? So is that the word on the ground?! And so do you think there's only a 10% chance any large cruise ship will make to Australia or NZ in December? thanks. I was hoping they'd all be up and running for their busy Christmas season; what do others think?

 

pushka: thanks; yes, um....as you say...mature; for sure we are! so we'd fit right in. ha ha; And why is Viking sooo much more expensive than the others? I wish Viking weren't so long, that would have been the choice.

 

thanks!!

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I think there will be some changes in the cruise experiences as the lines will be reshuffling for their market share once they start up again. Some will be bargains but one thing for sure is that cruising will be different at least due to Covid precautions..

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If you’re only concerned about food and how clean the ship is ,any of those cruise line would be suitable .

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Posted (edited)

Viking has a lot of inclusions that may or may not be of value to you. There is no extra cost in dining in the specialty restaurants. Wines are included with meals everywhere including the buffet and they are very generous and multiple pours. And good wines and beers. Their food is extra special and little specialty places everywhere. Towels are super plush. They include an excursion in every port. I think it's the quality of their decor - you'd love to be able to take some of their items and put them in your home! Space. It's peaceful. Their cabins, especially the bathrooms, are excellent and with lots of little features. They are large. And Silly things like extra large print on the bathroom bottles so you know which is the shampoo. And their products are worth using. Just class. Cappuccinos are free all day for instance. 

Edited by Pushka

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, cool cruiser 14107 said:

HAnd why is Viking sooo much more expensive than the others? I wish Viking weren't so long, that would have been the choice.

 

 

 

Essentially the majority of cruise lines fall into to categories: mass market and luxury.

 

Viking is in the luxury category, along with Crystal, Regent, Seabourne, Silverseas. Fares on these lines are much higher but more is included , there are less passengers, and overall quality of food, service, cabins, entertainment is higher. If price isn't an issue you might like to look at some of the other luxury lines. The only one I've cruised on is Crystal and they have excellent food. I have noticed that NZ cruises tend to be the highest priced on a pp per day basis than some other itineraries offered by the luxury lines.

 

I suspect that if you found the food on Celebrity disapppointing, then you will also be disappointed on any of the mass market lines. We cruise mostly on Princess, but have done three Celebrity cruises. I can't say one was better than the other as the quality varies from ship to ship, and even from cruise to cruise eg out of the three Celebrity Solstice cruises we have done, the food was good on two of them and very good on the other one.

 

 If cruising does open up in Australia/NZ for the 20/21 season I suspect that it will be restricted to passengers from Aus/NZ only. I think we'll still be operating in a bubble at that stage and borders will still be closed to overseas visitors. I'd recommend waiting until the 21/22 season to do your cruise down under.

Edited by OzKiwiJJ

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9 hours ago, cool cruiser 14107 said:

 

blackduck59:  thanks!! so you've been on the Eclipse! and you're doing the Jan 26 cruise! that's one of the ones we're thinking of! BUT I just learned that that ship hasn't been refurbished in about 10 years? and it's going into full complete dry dock refurbishment in March; it was originally scheduled for this November. So I'm wondering if the ship is a little run down? when were you on the Eclipse? is it really nice?

 

 We boarded for a 7 day Alaska cruise a year ago today. Eclipse is a beautiful ship, she is very well maintained. When we booked the January 26th cruise we expected that the "Revolution" would be done but they postponed that last October. We were quite disappointed but on further investigation found that there wasn't that much in it for non suite guests. I was looking forward to the change from "Cellar Masters" to "Craft Social", Cellar Masters was always deserted. We almost cancelled the cruise because of the postponed "Revolution" but looked at the price and perks we had and decided to keep the booking. We are in Concierge class which was very little more money when we booked in "future cruises" while on the Alaska cruise; the biggest reason for selecting concierge was the advanced boarding. We enjoyed our cruise and love the ship.

We of course are in the "wait and see" mode like everyone else with regard to whether we will be allowed in to Australia and New Zealand in January/February of 2021. We have decided that if we are allowed to travel to New Zealand but not cruise we will do the trip and travel by land then fly to Oz for the already planned self drive land adventure. We will only see a very small part of Australia mostly around Melbourne and a few days in Sydney.

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14 hours ago, cool cruiser 14107 said:

Hi all,

 

thanks for all the replies!! Very helpful!

I have some comments and questions:

 

chiliburn: you asked about kids, big/small ship; dress up, etc. I should have been clearer in my original question; I meant all things being equal, and ONLY considering those 2 things (so whether it has stuff for kids or not, I don't care, etc.). Just considering food and nice well kept ship. thanks!

 

blackduck59:  thanks!! so you've been on the Eclipse! and you're doing the Jan 26 cruise! that's one of the ones we're thinking of! BUT I just learned that that ship hasn't been refurbished in about 10 years? and it's going into full complete dry dock refurbishment in March; it was originally scheduled for this November. So I'm wondering if the ship is a little run down? when were you on the Eclipse? is it really nice?

 

miccanberra: I agree; I did one other celebrity cruise (but it was celebrity constellation not the solstice or eclipse I'm thinking of). But we were very disappointed in the food. But as people have said every ship is different! I'm definitely willing to give Celebrity another try!

 

fletch1:  thanks; turns out the Viking one was a little too long; oh well. we would have liked that.

 

pully8: which celebrity ship did you go on that you liked the food?

 

the Big M: you nailed my question! (all else equal or irrelevant); thanks....so you'd put Cunard over Celebrity; thanks

 

phoenixx: I'm so curious now! because we are torn with booking this Dec or Jan 21! and you mentioned no cruises 'down here' this year. Are you from there? So is that the word on the ground?! And so do you think there's only a 10% chance any large cruise ship will make to Australia or NZ in December? thanks. I was hoping they'd all be up and running for their busy Christmas season; what do others think?

 

pushka: thanks; yes, um....as you say...mature; for sure we are! so we'd fit right in. ha ha; And why is Viking sooo much more expensive than the others? I wish Viking weren't so long, that would have been the choice.

 

thanks!!

hi coolcruiser 14107, yes I am from NZ. I don't have any insider info as such but considering its not even looking like we'll have travel between NZ and OZ until September it's seems unlikely to me that there will be a full cruising season down here, but you never know, I've got bookings that I don't know if they'll go ahead, it's just a waiting game.

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The thing is, we are all progressing much more rapidly than expected. I do know that the expected peak of the virus was actually expected much later - more like in late Winter which is why JobKeeper was initially to last until September. But look at where we are now! Trouble is have we almost been too successful and now the aim has gone from flatten the curve, to eliminate entirely. SA is there and we are now too anal about the damn zero cases and it is blocking our need to open up. And unless we live in a bubble for maybe years, we can never eliminate. 

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11 hours ago, Blackduck59 said:

 Eclipse is a beautiful ship, she is very well maintained. When we booked the January 26th cruise we expected that the "Revolution" would be done but they postponed that last October. We were quite disappointed but on further investigation found that there wasn't that much in it for non suite guests. I was looking forward to the change from "Cellar Masters" to "Craft Social", Cellar Masters was always deserted.

We almost cancelled the cruise because of the postponed "Revolution" but looked at the price and perks we had and decided to keep the booking. We are in Concierge class which was very little more money when we booked in "future cruises" while on the Alaska cruise; the biggest reason for selecting concierge was the advanced boarding.

 

Hi!

thanks for the additional info on the Eclipse; I've finally today just learned how to do the quote thing; I hope it comes through ok. Oh, so you got postponed from October! We had to cancel a trip from March to Israel and figured we'd settle on Australia in November (and canceled that) and were hoping for Dec/Jan; but it looks like that's probably too optimistic.

 

what's cellar masters and craft social? I'm not sure what you're referring to?

 

I also just realized that most of the people in this thread are from Australia or New Zealand! That's helpful so it sounds like several of you from Australia/New Zealand thinks it's overly optimistic for Dec/Jan as well.

 

thanks

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12 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

 If cruising does open up in Australia/NZ for the 20/21 season I suspect that it will be restricted to passengers from Aus/NZ only. I think we'll still be operating in a bubble at that stage and borders will still be closed to overseas visitors. I'd recommend waiting until the 21/22 season to do your cruise down under.

oh dear; I'm so disappointed; I really thought the January might be ok; but I guess it's not looking good; thanks

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14 hours ago, Chiliburn said:

If you’re only concerned about food and how clean the ship is ,any of those cruise line would be suitable .

thanks; yeah; I'm flexible in terms of whether it's a large or small ship; whether there's kids around or not; entertainment, etc. no matter either to me. But I do like a nice ship and good food; : )

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