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high end cruise lines

high end cruise lines

Old Jun 6, 16, 9:16 am
  #1  
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high end cruise lines

Looking for some very high level cruise line for adults without children for European cruises.

Somebody recommended Windjammer and Crystal , any other recommendations?
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Old Jun 6, 16, 9:55 am
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Luxury lines - Seabourn, Silversea, Regent.
Premier lines - Azamara, Oceania
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Old Jun 7, 16, 5:52 am
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Originally Posted by ente_09 View Post
Looking for some very high level cruise line for adults without children for European cruises.

Somebody recommended Windjammer and Crystal , any other recommendations?
I think you actually mean Windstar not Windjammer. That said I personally would not consider them "very high level" like Crystal, Seabourn, or Silversea.
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Old Jun 7, 16, 6:54 am
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Originally Posted by Randyk47 View Post
I think you actually mean Windstar not Windjammer. That said I personally would not consider them "very high level" like Crystal, Seabourn, or Silversea.
If I can't have a balcony cabin, it's not luxury to me. Personal opinion. If I go on a cruise, I spend most of my time on the balcony

OP, if you're actually looking for input on choosing a vacation, it would help to know what your priorities are. I like small ships but I also don't love formal nights (conversely, I love set dinner times but I haven't found set dinners on country club casual ships - oh well) So we chose Azamara for our next cruise - not a "luxury" line but looks nice enough. And it's the R class ship we love (have sailed on Pacific Princess a couple times)
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Old Jun 7, 16, 7:08 am
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Originally Posted by Hoyaheel View Post
If I can't have a balcony cabin, it's not luxury to me. Personal opinion. If I go on a cruise, I spend most of my time on the balcony

OP, if you're actually looking for input on choosing a vacation, it would help to know what your priorities are. I like small ships but I also don't love formal nights (conversely, I love set dinner times but I haven't found set dinners on country club casual ships - oh well) So we chose Azamara for our next cruise - not a "luxury" line but looks nice enough. And it's the R class ship we love (have sailed on Pacific Princess a couple times)
I agree about having a balcony/veranda and we won't cruise without one. We also like the smaller ships and prefer the 600 and less passenger size. We initially didn't like the "dine anytime" on the luxury lines but after a couple of cruises we adjusted and actually now prefer the flexibility. It works really well on European cruises that are typically port intensive. Nice not to have to think about having to be back at the ship at a specific time. We cruised Azamara years ago, in fact when they first came out, and it was not a good experience. Supposedly they've worked hard to improve the product and get better reviews nowadays but once burned it's hard to give them another chance. In the meantime we've gravitated to Silversea and Seabourn and have no plans to backtrack.
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Old Jun 7, 16, 7:55 am
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High end cruise lines

If you are looking for cruises without a children's program so that there are fewer families think Ponant, Azamara and Oceania, Oceania has the best food of the high end lines.
Like to wear a tux? Seabourn
Luxury with good entertainment, Crystal
All inclusive including some shore excursions, Regent
Casual Elegant, Silversea
Private Yacht experience, SeaDream
You can find my reviews on most of these cruise lines at https://cruisesbylinda.com/crystal-serenity-review/
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Old Jun 7, 16, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by Randyk47 View Post
In the meantime we've gravitated to Silversea and Seabourn and have no plans to backtrack.
Would love to but right now my budget doesn't "gravitate" that far We actually weren't planning on cruising this year but there was a really good AZ promotion for a 10 night in Asia (I've been drooling over a couple 16 night itineraries but that's too long for my husband to be away from his businesses at this time in our life....) So we decided to try.

We will see what luxury lines are cruising Alaska in 2018 (husband's 50th) though I really enjoy cruising Glacier Bay and right now I think Crystal is the only luxury line with a permit to cruise there? But we have some time to worry about that....
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Old Jun 7, 16, 11:50 am
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Originally Posted by ente_09 View Post
Looking for some very high level cruise line for adults without children for European cruises.

Somebody recommended Windjammer and Crystal , any other recommendations?
Crystal is high-end but it has a children's program, so I would expect to see some families on the cruise. I've read, though, that on Crystal's European cruises, the children tend to be well behaved, and they'll often be tucked away in the kids' club in any event.

You should also check out cruisecritic.com -- it is like the FT of cruises and has tons of information on each line.

Originally Posted by Hoyaheel View Post
I like small ships but I also don't love formal nights (conversely, I love set dinner times but I haven't found set dinners on country club casual ships - oh well) So we chose Azamara for our next cruise - not a "luxury" line but looks nice enough. And it's the R class ship we love (have sailed on Pacific Princess a couple times)
You may know this, but Crystal has set dinner times in addition to Dining by Reservation. This is actually strike against the line by some who think that high-end lines should not have set times.
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Old Jun 7, 16, 1:24 pm
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Yes - Crystal is one that has formal nights and set dining. I want country club casual (all nights) and set dining - that's the combo I can't find ;-) We've done formal nights, don't care to anymore (I suppose I could make an exception if we choose Queen's Grill on Cunard some time ;-) but husband doesn't want to forego the main dining room just because he's not wearing the tux.....
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Old Jun 7, 16, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Hoyaheel View Post
Yes - Crystal is one that has formal nights and set dining. I want country club casual (all nights) and set dining - that's the combo I can't find ;-) We've done formal nights, don't care to anymore (I suppose I could make an exception if we choose Queen's Grill on Cunard some time ;-) but husband doesn't want to forego the main dining room just because he's not wearing the tux.....
BTW, not sure when you last cruised on Crystal, but in late 2014 they changed the dress code to make it overall more casual. Now, there is only one "Black Tie Optional" night (two for longer cruises), and it's not hard to avoid dressing up that one night by eating at Tastes.

http://www.crystalcruises.com/guideb...n-the-ship--18

http://www.travelpulse.com/news/crui...ress-code.html
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Old Jun 7, 16, 9:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Randyk47 View Post
We initially didn't like the "dine anytime" on the luxury lines but after a couple of cruises we adjusted and actually now prefer the flexibility. It works really well on European cruises that are typically port intensive. Nice not to have to think about having to be back at the ship at a specific time.
We are just back from our first Seabourn cruise, and we very much appreciated the flexibility of dining: In addition to the hosted tables, which are a very nice way to break the ice and meet others, the wonderful room service treatment is a great treat when one does not feel particularly social. We only wish that dining venues opened earlier...
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Old Jun 8, 16, 5:59 am
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Originally Posted by Hoyaheel View Post
Yes - Crystal is one that has formal nights and set dining. I want country club casual (all nights) and set dining - that's the combo I can't find ;-) We've done formal nights, don't care to anymore (I suppose I could make an exception if we choose Queen's Grill on Cunard some time ;-) but husband doesn't want to forego the main dining room just because he's not wearing the tux.....
We don't mind and actually like "formal" nights but did give up the tux and evening gowns three years ago. Got to the point where my tux needed to be replaced and we decided I'd go with a dark, actually black, suit instead of a new tux. At the same time Mrs. K noticed fewer and fewer women were wearing full blown evening gowns but were still dressing elegantly so she gave up the big bulky gowns. We've since been on four Silversea cruises where they still have formal nights and not felt the least bit out of place. Of course Silversea also has very acceptable alternate dining venues where formal wear on formal nights is not required so there are options besides hiding in your cabin.
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Old Jun 8, 16, 7:56 am
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It's about shoes for my husband. He doesn't mind dressing up and in fact - says if he's going to bring the shoes, he wants to use them every night. He's pretty much into an all or nothing dress code at this phase - he's wearing the black shiny shoes & dark suit or tux, or he's wearing Tommy Bahama boat shoes and khakis with a buttoned shirt. We'll see what happens in the future....

As light packers - it can be difficult to mix those 2 dress codes....

and it's not hard to avoid dressing up that one night by eating at Tastes.
As I mentioned, we do prefer to dine in the main dining room every night. I won't overlook Crystal entirely, but thus far it's not quite been what we've wanted....
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Old Jun 8, 16, 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by Hoyaheel View Post
It's about shoes for my husband. He doesn't mind dressing up and in fact - says if he's going to bring the shoes, he wants to use them every night. He's pretty much into an all or nothing dress code at this phase - he's wearing the black shiny shoes & dark suit or tux, or he's wearing Tommy Bahama boat shoes and khakis with a buttoned shirt. We'll see what happens in the future....

As light packers - it can be difficult to mix those 2 dress codes....
Certainly one of the advantages is that I don't have to carry a pair of patent leather dress shoes for my tux that I can only wear two or three nights a cruise. I can bring a pair of regular black dress shoes and wear them throughout the cruise. As for light packing that's an oxymoron in our house. We look more like we're moving than going on vacation. Thank goodness we have advanced frequent flyer status and get free luggage allowances. ^

Might add that my issue with Crystal, if you can call it an issue, is that they've turned basically what was a premium line into kind of a luxury line. Their ships, at least the two main ones, are way too big for my taste and real definition of luxury. Like with almost any line you've got the diehard Crystal fans who would probably strongly disagree but we like smaller ships. Doesn't help that with just really a couple of ships their itineraries are somewhat limited and we haven't seen an itinerary that goes where we'd like to go when we like to go.

Last edited by Randyk47; Jun 8, 16 at 8:51 am
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Old Jun 8, 16, 10:44 am
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Oh, we have baggage allowances too. I just don't like to pack that much. Sometimes we stay in apartments up 3 (narrow!) flights of stairs, no elevators. Train/subway travel, etc. I'm a DIY sort of gal, and I've been working on my husband for years to fall in line. It's finally starting to take

I did notice that Crystal's fares jumped in the past couple years (FWIW, I have not cruised on any luxury line - I've just been tracking them for years because I want to - I've been reading CC for ages as well - 2005 or 2006? My first cruise with my husband was 2006) Our preferred size (so far) is the R class - nice combo of balconies/cabin choice but not too big. Largest we sailed has been Westerdam and at 1900 (?) it was too big. The cabin was nice & big (we had a mini suite on a Panama Canal cruise) but just didn't enjoy all those people. And the amenities that larger size can offer just don't appeal to us. I'm happy that some cruise lines are still building small(ish) ships but I worry constantly they'll stop and/or I'll be totally priced out of that market. It's already happening with the mass market lines - we love Pacific Princess but I'm sure that Princess will be getting rid of her soon, as with the other R ships they owned....
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