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"A luxury hotel that happens to be at sea"

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TC2....For the record, Viking Ocean had terrible service and many were new and were quite frankly, clueless.

Just an FYI.  

Edited by TrulyBlonde

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On 8/22/2019 at 5:00 PM, Travelcat2 said:

 

For posters that were discussing Ritz Carlton yachts, it is related.  You cannot take a cook/chef used to cooking on gas or electric cooktops and have them cook on an induction cooktop without practice.  This is but one difference between a luxury hotel and a luxury cruise line.

Travelcat, Where is it stated that RC is going to employ chefs who do not know how to cook on induction stoves?  Can’t imagine that’s a true strategy and the idea seems to be an insignificant reason to bash what is by all indications going to be a fabulous endeavor by RC.  RC has hired some top-notch cruise industry veterans who are not clueless  neophytes.  Who cares if the parent company is Marriott?  I was booked on a B2B with RC after much research and comparison to true luxury lines and it compared favorably in every aspect.  I have sailed on SS and The World almost exclusively and have also chartered yachts.  Travelcat, I don’t think any of your concerns will really be an issue other than the recommendation of waiting awhile to book to allow for some shakedown and working out the kinks.  I did end up cancelling my cruise and booking a similar itinerary with SS because I preferred a spring sailing in Europe over a summer sailing.  Looking forward to eventually trying them out

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I am truly puzzled that people that have yet to sail on this cruise line can tout how good it will be.  We have nothing against Marriott (we had so many Marriott points at one point that we had a free week in Aruba - including air and a free week in Hawaii).  All I am doing is speculating (based on how many people think that luxury hotels and luxury cruise lines are the same....... they are not!)

 

TrulyBlonde - thank you for your input on Viking Ocean.  Note:  the following comment is based on what I heard from someone that was enticed to move from Regent to Viking Ocean and could not wait to return to Regent.  Viking Ocean (not a luxury cruise line) wow'd passengers for a while but the cracks in the system are now showing.  IMHO, a cruise line cannot build multiple ships in a short period of time without figuring out where the crew/officers would be coming from.  And, they need a training program.  It seems that Ritz Carlton Yachts will be doing the same thing.  Only time will tell how that works!

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Travelcat, If the RC Yacht cruise line had another name and had no affiliation with RC Hotels it would still be highly anticipated as a great addition in the luxury category based on the beautiful, stunning design, the executive team, the vision, etc. The fact that it is an offshoot of RC hotel only serves as an indication of the level of professionalism, innovation and high service level.  I am wondering, travelcat, since you seem to be an expert, how many people think hotels and cruise-lines are the same thing since you are basing your negative impression of the line on that statistic?  In my consideration of booking a cruise with RC, I never thought they were the same.

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9 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

I am truly puzzled that people that have yet to sail on this cruise line can tout how good it will be.

All I am doing is speculating (based on how many people think that luxury hotels and luxury cruise lines are the same....... they are not!)

 

 

Perhaps you would provide a link to the survey upon which you have formed a view.

It would be interesting to see the number of people who were polled.

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17 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

All I am doing is speculating (based on how many people think that luxury hotels and luxury cruise lines are the same....... they are not!)

Finally I found something I agree with you on! They aren't. The finest hotels and restaurants on shore are generally far better than anything thats been put to sea. There are some wonderful cruise lines with great food, service, and product, but you don't see them getting international accolades and you don't see them getting awarded James Beard or Five Diamond. 

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36 minutes ago, princeton123211 said:

Finally I found something I agree with you on! They aren't. The finest hotels and restaurants on shore are generally far better than anything thats been put to sea. There are some wonderful cruise lines with great food, service, and product, but you don't see them getting international accolades and you don't see them getting awarded James Beard or Five Diamond. 

 

Nice to agree - even if it only occasionally!

 

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1 hour ago, princeton123211 said:

Finally I found something I agree with you on! They aren't. The finest hotels and restaurants on shore are generally far better than anything thats been put to sea. There are some wonderful cruise lines with great food, service, and product, but you don't see them getting international accolades and you don't see them getting awarded James Beard or Five Diamond. 

What was being queried was the basis of the assertion that many people think that luxury hotels, and luxury cruise lines are the same.

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2 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

Nice to agree - even if it only occasionally!

It really is. And by that line of thinking, if we all agree that shoreside luxury hotels are in general far more luxurious than their seagoing counterparts, one can then reasonably deduce that a Ritz-Carlton put to sea will be more luxurious than the current cadre of "luxury" cruise lines. 

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3 hours ago, princeton123211 said:

It really is. And by that line of thinking, if we all agree that shoreside luxury hotels are in general far more luxurious than their seagoing counterparts, one can then reasonably deduce that a Ritz-Carlton put to sea will be more luxurious than the current cadre of "luxury" cruise lines. 

 

Hmmm, although we agree with part of your second sentence, I disagree that a"Ritz-Carlton put to sea will be more luxurious than the current cadre of 'luxury cruise lines'.  As much as we love Regent, we would not compare it with any hotel - not Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, etc.  They simply do not have the ability to prepare food in the same way that it can be prepared on land.  This is why I have put so much emphasis on food.

 

 

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15 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

As much as we love Regent, we would not compare it with any hotel - not Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, etc.  They simply do not have the ability to prepare food in the same way that it can be prepared on land.  This is why I have put so much emphasis on food.

Not going to follow you into the weeds on this one-- its very well established that land based restaurants around the globe are far superior to anything at sea. Not necessarily even hotel outlets- world renowned places like French Laundry, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Noma, the list goes on-- far superior to anything that Regent can do. 

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On 8/28/2019 at 1:39 AM, princeton123211 said:

Not going to follow you into the weeds on this one-- its very well established that land based restaurants around the globe are far superior to anything at sea. Not necessarily even hotel outlets- world renowned places like French Laundry, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Noma, the list goes on-- far superior to anything that Regent can do. 

I think it might be more accurate to say that the very best land based restaurant will always have the advantage when it comes to the very highest level of cooking. But I have dishes on board ship that would rival just about anything I’ve been served on land in some very exclusive restaurants.

The food on a luxury cruise ship or yacht will probably be better than the food at most dining establishments on land. But a lot depends on the food culture of the diner and of the cruise line. For example, we could see that Regent’s food was top quality fare, much enjoyed and highly rated by the vast majority of the passengers, who all seemed to be used to fine dining, but to us it didn’t have that extra bit of zing that makes a five star eating experience. It was of course just the result of a difference in food culture, not in quality.

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On 9/4/2019 at 7:35 AM, Toryhere said:

we could see that Regent’s food was top quality fare, much enjoyed and highly rated by the vast majority of the passengers, who all seemed to be used to fine dining, but to us it didn’t have that extra bit of zing that makes a five star eating experience.

Agree with you-- we've always found Regent's food to be at least good, sometimes great, but never special. The below article in Forbes sort of articulates the differences I found on Europa 2 that I think make it a true luxury experience (cooking totally from scratch, hiring great chefs and giving them the leeway to form their own menus and recipes vs the ones Regent gets from the corporate chefs from Norwegian Cruise Line parent in Miami). The food was far more along the lines of what you get in a 5 star restaurant ashore vs what I've experienced on other luxury lines like Regent, Seabourn, etc. 

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/garywalther/2019/05/06/luxury-cruising-dining-on-the-europa-2-from-sydney-to-bali/#6314a0781e09

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On 9/6/2019 at 1:24 AM, princeton123211 said:

 

Agree with you-- we've always found Regent's food to be at least good, sometimes great, but never special. The below article in Forbes sort of articulates the differences I found on Europa 2 that I think make it a true luxury experience (cooking totally from scratch, hiring great chefs and giving them the leeway to form their own menus and recipes vs the ones Regent gets from the corporate chefs from Norwegian Cruise Line parent in Miami). The food was far more along the lines of what you get in a 5 star restaurant ashore vs what I've experienced on other luxury lines like Regent, Seabourn, etc. 

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/garywalther/2019/05/06/luxury-cruising-dining-on-the-europa-2-from-sydney-to-bali/#6314a0781e09

It probably helps that the ship was using Australian supplies.😀

I’ve noticed on SeaDream that the chefs have a lot of leeway too, and can use ingredients obtained at the ports visited. They can also prepare you a special meal if you give them some notice. 

 

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3 hours ago, Toryhere said:

I’ve noticed on SeaDream that the chefs have a lot of leeway too, and can use ingredients obtained at the ports visited. They can also prepare you a special meal if you give them some notice. 

Thats been our experience the one time we sailed SeaDream a few years ago. That also used to be the case on Seabourn like 10-15 years ago on the smaller original sisters and then Seabourn's kitchens became much more corporate like Regents.

 

Nothing since has rivaled the off menu extravaganza you could have on Cunard's QE2 20 years ago in Queens Grill-- literally whatever you wanted for dinner as long as it was ordered at lunch with the maitre'd. The current iteration of what they do in Queens Grill on QM2 pales in comparison and the food on Cunard has gone way downhill since QE2's heyday. Back then that dining experience was true luxury and was very comparable to many restaurants you would eat at in NYC or London before or after the crossing. 

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On 8/20/2019 at 11:44 AM, princeton123211 said:

Funny you mention that-- I am in marketing but not for Ritz Carlton. I think they said the maiden voyage for the first ship is in February although they are taking delivery of it in late 2019. Most of the initial voyages are sold out already. It sounded like their ships are going to follow a routing much more like Europa 2 in that it doesn't repeat many itineraries and keeps moving to different regions like other luxury lines. The first bunch of shakedown cruises in the Caribbean didn't entice us that much since we have been to most of those places but the European and Iceland trips look very interesting. 

 

Their second ship enters service later in 2020 and I think they said the third in 2021-- both are under construction so not just on the order books. 

We are booked to sail transatlantic on the Ritz Carlton ship in March 2020.  We are Seabourn Diamond Elite cruisers who have, at times, struggled with service and even food, that is not up to par.  Based on RC/Mariott's experience training staff and running resorts, we have high expectations.  If they are met, Seabourn had better get its act together.

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On 9/9/2019 at 11:38 PM, princeton123211 said:

Thats been our experience the one time we sailed SeaDream a few years ago. That also used to be the case on Seabourn like 10-15 years ago on the smaller original sisters and then Seabourn's kitchens became much more corporate like Regents.

 

Nothing since has rivaled the off menu extravaganza you could have on Cunard's QE2 20 years ago in Queens Grill-- literally whatever you wanted for dinner as long as it was ordered at lunch with the maitre'd. The current iteration of what they do in Queens Grill on QM2 pales in comparison and the food on Cunard has gone way downhill since QE2's heyday. Back then that dining experience was true luxury and was very comparable to many restaurants you would eat at in NYC or London before or after the crossing. 

Thank you for that reminder of things past on Cunard.

its also interesting that you mention the corporate kitchens on Regent and Seabourn. I am a bit worried that SeaDream might go the same way with their new larger and flashier yacht. But the hope is that the fact that SeaDream isn’t owned by a larger line will prevent it becoming too bland

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On 9/9/2019 at 6:38 AM, princeton123211 said:

Thats been our experience the one time we sailed SeaDream a few years ago. That also used to be the case on Seabourn like 10-15 years ago on the smaller original sisters and then Seabourn's kitchens became much more corporate like Regents.

 

Nothing since has rivaled the off menu extravaganza you could have on Cunard's QE2 20 years ago in Queens Grill-- literally whatever you wanted for dinner as long as it was ordered at lunch with the maitre'd. The current iteration of what they do in Queens Grill on QM2 pales in comparison and the food on Cunard has gone way downhill since QE2's heyday. Back then that dining experience was true luxury and was very comparable to many restaurants you would eat at in NYC or London before or after the crossing. 

Not to mention the Beluga caviar!

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26 minutes ago, wripro said:

Not to mention the Beluga caviar!

And without any of the attitude you get today on "luxury lines" today when you request "caviar" (which now is mainly domestically raised roe). Seabourn advertises you can have the caviar anytime you want but you usually get an eyeroll followed by a microscopic amount. QE2 they would be throwing the stuff at you, and the real stuff no less, in copious amounts. 

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23 hours ago, princeton123211 said:

And without any of the attitude you get today on "luxury lines" today when you request "caviar" (which now is mainly domestically raised roe). Seabourn advertises you can have the caviar anytime you want but you usually get an eyeroll followed by a microscopic amount. QE2 they would be throwing the stuff at you, and the real stuff no less, in copious amounts. 

Can't agree about the eye roll on Seabourn when you request caviar. First of all it's certainly not Beluga but it's a decent quality and I have requested and had it served  everywhere on the ship from my suite to the pool to the bars to the restaurants, always at least double portions, and have never received anything less than a smile and a "certainly, sir."

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46 minutes ago, wripro said:

had it served  everywhere on the ship from my suite to the pool to the bars to the restaurants, always at least double portions, and have never received anything less than a smile and a "certainly, sir."

Not been our experience of late- at least uniformly. A lot of "if you'd like to enjoy it here we need some notice to do that"-- especially by the pool. 

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23 hours ago, princeton123211 said:

Not been our experience of late- at least uniformly. A lot of "if you'd like to enjoy it here we need some notice to do that"-- especially by the pool. 

Then my response would be "I'll be happy to give notice to the Hotel Manager and see if he is able to provide me with what Seabourn advertises since you will not. And by the way, what is your name so I can be sure to mention this exchange in the guest comment form."

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