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

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Perhaps not a Buick but we certainly compare Acura to BMW for useful information. We have driven and enjoyed both.

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On 9/3/2019 at 1:13 PM, wripro said:

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

 

I hardly think that's relevant.  A holiday is a consumable, a car perhaps is too in a way, but it's also an investment in the longer term.

 

And if it matters, I have been driving Subarus for quite a while now because they are incredibly reliable cars; before that VW's, and before that a BMW.

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On 8/29/2019 at 7:28 PM, LHT28 said:

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

time will tell

 

And Seabourn is owned by Carnival and Oceania and Regent are owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings but it has not affected their luxury brand.  We have already heard good things about Silversea since Mark Conroy was hired (and our TA that rarely sailed on Silversea now sails them once a year - with her group of customers).  

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17 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

And Seabourn is owned by Carnival and Oceania and Regent are owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings but it has not affected their luxury brand.  We have already heard good things about Silversea since Mark Conroy was hired (and our TA that rarely sailed on Silversea now sails them once a year - with her group of customers).  

There was a poster on the Seabourn forum that gave a detailed review of a voyage and how it demonstrated that being owned by Carnival made it less than what it was.

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2 hours ago, Toryhere said:

There was a poster on the Seabourn forum that gave a detailed review of a voyage and how it demonstrated that being owned by Carnival made it less than what it was.

 

That would be interesting to read.  Some Regent customers think that Regent is less that it was before NCL purchased it but I could not disagree more strongly.  NCL has infused a lot of money into Regent.  The Explorer was the first new ship for Regent in many years, but since being acquired by NCL, another ship is launching in February 2020 with another one being launched approximately 3 years later.  The food quality has also improved (Regent did not have lobster and Filet Mignon on their everyday menu, for example).

 

While I know little about Seabourn, they used to have small, old ships and now have a fleet of new ships.  So, from where I stand, Seabourn is doing quite well.

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3 hours ago, Toryhere said:

There was a poster on the Seabourn forum that gave a detailed review of a voyage and how it demonstrated that being owned by Carnival made it less than what it was.

Well, if there was one poster who thought Seabourn was less than it had been before Carnival bought them (many years ago btw) then case closed. We must all change our minds based on that one post.

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1 hour ago, wripro said:

Well, if there was one poster who thought Seabourn was less than it had been before Carnival bought them (many years ago btw) then case closed. We must all change our minds based on that one post.

There is more than one adverse Seabourn review recently posted in 'Member Cruise Reviews'.

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2 hours ago, wripro said:

Well, if there was one poster who thought Seabourn was less than it had been before Carnival bought them (many years ago btw) then case closed. We must all change our minds based on that one post.

There is credence to it but it's more nuanced than that-- these things happened in stages and under different management over a long period of time. Carnival was a minority stake holder for a lot of the 90s and its true-- during that time Seabourn was most likely at its best. Late 90s, Carnival finished the takeover and put it under the management of Cunard which, frankly, didn't diminish it much (I think its most likely why food and service in QE2's Queens Grill got so good in the late 90s as there was a lot of swapping out of Seabourn and Cunard crew). The biggest casualty was the loss of the Seabourn Goddeses, ex Sea Goddesses and current Seadream I&II. 

 

I don't think Seabourn really got dumbed down until it was moved from Cunard management over to Holland America within Carnival-- or at least that was our experience. Of course this also was the time that larger ships were being brought in so that had something to do with it. Its still a lovely experience but its not as "special" as it was in its early days. 

 

I think you could make a healthy argument that luxury lines like Seabourn, Regent, Silversea (I have not sailed on Silversea from a full disclosure) that are owned by large corporate cruise lines come off these days as a little more generic than ones like Seadream, Hapag-Lloyd etc that are not and have more latitude in establishing their own onboard products/practices. 

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For the record, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises as been owned since 2002 by the TUI Group which also  owns Marella Cruises in the UK, and jointly owns, with Royal Caribbean Cruises, Mein Schiff in Germany.

 

Given Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Berlitz ratings, corporate ownership does not necessarily mean a reduction in high standards.

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On 9/20/2019 at 9:31 AM, English Voyager said:

There is more than one adverse Seabourn review recently posted in 'Member Cruise Reviews'.

There is more than once adverse review for EVERY cruise line out there. So what's the answer?

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So the OP is settled on O, yes?   Sounds like a logical move.   Many people sailing on whatever their favorite line is at the time, think it is true luxury.    Good for all of you thinking that you are getting a true luxury experience.

 

Travelcat2....as much as I enjoyed your objective comments on the Crystal forum, on this thread you are really off base.   On this single thread, you have said more about yourself than I would ever want to know.  500 days....really?  Gross!

 

Fast expansion in cruise industry, so called luxury segment in particular has created a problem in finding qualified help.  H-L is no exception.    Seabourn thrived for many years thanks to Carnival as Silversea product was heading towards the dumpster.  SB remained superior until HAL involvement.   Today, it's a great value proposition.....the best IMO.   But it's not the same product as ten years ago.

 

Good luck to the Germans marketing H-L in USA.   They really don't need this market and I think they are wasting time, effort and money.  Great product, especially liberal smoking policy.   Not so sure their (very) loyal passengers appreciate them trying to gain the English speaking market.

Edited by saminina

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On 9/22/2019 at 2:53 AM, wripro said:

There is more than once adverse review for EVERY cruise line out there. So what's the answer?

The answer is that you pull your head in and act like an adult

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On 9/21/2019 at 5:53 PM, wripro said:

There is more than once adverse review for EVERY cruise line out there. So what's the answer?

If one doesn't like the message, don't shoot the messenger?

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6 hours ago, Toryhere said:

The answer is that you pull your head in and act like an adult

Exactly what is that the answer to?

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5 hours ago, English Voyager said:

If one doesn't like the message, don't shoot the messenger?

I'm not shooting anyone. I never give credence to one or two or several bad reviews any more than I give credence to one or two or more raves. I look at the overall tenor of all reviews. But most important I rely on one reviewer when it comes to making a decision....and that's me!

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On 9/2/2019 at 1:05 PM, 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.

 

One can certainly compare and contrast both luxury and premium plus cruise lines but, I feel that it is important to understand which cruise lines fall into which category.  Oceania and Azamara, for instance, would compare differently to each other that if you were looking at Oceania and Seabourn or Azamara and Regent.  Not everyone on these boards is familiar with categories of cruise lines and, in my opinion, we are here to assist them in figuring it out.

 

P.S.  wripro - If you have that much faith in your TA - that's great.  For us, we would not accept the opinion of one person.

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 Dear TC2,  " Is this a private fight, or can anyone join" (L.Hamilton)   First time viewer on this board, looking for a luxury cruise line. ( Getting to that time of life where there is more in the rear view mirror than what I can see up ahead). Hit upon this thread and like what you have to say as well as some of the other posters. As for some of the other 'well-meaning' misanthropes, of which I include myself as a charter member, I am reminded of a quote by George Bernard Shaw " I learned long ago, never to wrestle with pigs. You get dirty, and besides the pigs like it."

   I just got off the phone with my TA who is booking a cabin on Regent for me on your kind reviews. Thank you.

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rattanchair - This is really not a "fight" (and of course, everyone can join in).  This debate about luxury vs. premium plus cruise line has been going on for quite a while.  Unlike some other posters, I do not care for Berlitz - perhaps because it is written by someone that is not from North America and, their expectations, food likes/dislikes, etc. are not the same as some of us in the U.S.  

 

It would be nice if there were a thread (without arguing) that gave reasons, from people that have sailed the cruise line, as to whether they believe it is "luxury" or "premium plus" and why.  At least this would give people that are interested in upgrading from premium and mainstream cruise lines a place to start.  

 

I acknowledge that, for many people that have sailed on only mainstream cruise lines, that premium plus would feel like luxury.  In terms of the luxury cruise lines (that are used mostly people in North America), they are all-inclusive for tipping and alcohol.  Some have no charge for specialty restaurants (Regent and Crystal - not sure about Seabourn) and others have a charge for one of more dining venues (Silversea for example).  I believe that Regent is the only luxury cruise line that includes business class air for international flights but I've heard that Silversea also offers included flights on some itineraries.  Regent also includes most (not all) excursions.  

 

Premium plus cruise lines (Azamara, Oceania and Viking Ocean), do not include alcohol or tips but you can buy an alcohol package.  There are specials on Oceania whereby you can get either the lower level alcohol package (wine at meals, etc), or some included excursions or included tips.  Not sure about Viking or Azamara but I suspect that they do not include as much as luxury cruise lines.

 

Bottom line, instead of coming across like we are fighting, perhaps we can do something helpful to newbies by clarifying some of the differences between these two levels of cruising.

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58 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

Bottom line, instead of coming across like we are fighting, perhaps we can do something helpful to newbies by clarifying some of the differences between these two levels of cruising.

Dear TC2,   You are just too nice to be real. I think you are AI, Artificial Intelligence, computer generated by the cruiseline to get "newbies" as you call us. It worked in my case. I booked my first Regent cruise.

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On 9/28/2019 at 12:53 PM, rattanchair said:

Dear TC2,   You are just too nice to be real. I think you are AI, Artificial Intelligence, computer generated by the cruiseline to get "newbies" as you call us. It worked in my case. I booked my first Regent cruise.

 

Your comment made me laugh!  I try to be as kind as possible but can be quite testy when there is rudeness around.  I'm finding that it is easier to ignore rude posters than to argue with them (still working on that as sometime it is hard to be bashed for no reason and not respond).  Oops, Regent is turning off the electricity so I better go before I disappear. image.png.11e4fa7b7d64040264a13748b0a96cbf.png

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Since I don't believe there is a set list of checkboxes defining luxury, and most cruise lines generally regarded as "luxury" check different boxes at different times, in my opinion, a "luxury" cruise line makes me feel like a guest, rather than a customer, no matter how valued.  It's like when you spend time with a friend; they will provide you with lodging and food, perhaps pick you up at the airport, entertain you, etc., but may or may not cover your each and every expense, but there's never any mistaking that you're a guest in their home.  Whereas, you can spend time at a resort where various items are included in the rate, but there's never any mistaking that you are their customer.  That is the difference for me.  Even though I've paid for a luxury cruise and know it's no more than a business transaction, it never feels like one.  Hope this makes sense.

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1 hour ago, pf778c said:

Since I don't believe there is a set list of checkboxes defining luxury, and most cruise lines generally regarded as "luxury" check different boxes at different times, in my opinion, a "luxury" cruise line makes me feel like a guest, rather than a customer, no matter how valued.

I agree with you-- its like an airport Hilton that sends you complimentary soup when you check in sick-- not a "luxury hotel" but a luxurious experience. The "luxury cruise line" term is a marketing one that certain line's PR departments have carved out to differentiate them in the market-- its nothing official. It's like when the Burj al Arab designated itself as the first "six star hotel"-- the designation doesn't officially exist in any travel book or rating system, but it does now because they said it first. 

 

Just because a cruise line calls itself "luxury" doesn't necessarily mean you'll have a personally luxurious experience, it just might mean you have a better chance of one than if you cruised somewhere else. 

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We cruise  a premium line  & it always feels like coming home

The crew are nice & you get to know  them over the years

It may not be classed as "luxury"  but what is that anyway?

Luxury is different  things to different people

If you are used to frequenting  high end hotels/restaurants/cruises  going to a Premium line may seem like you are dealing with the low end of society

We are trying  a "luxury" line  in Dec

So far  I am a little leery of some of things onboard  but will wait & see how it all pans out

 

It is good  people can choose what suits them best

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, pf778c said:

Since I don't believe there is a set list of checkboxes defining luxury, and most cruise lines generally regarded as "luxury" check different boxes at different times, in my opinion, a "luxury" cruise line makes me feel like a guest, rather than a customer, no matter how valued.  It's like when you spend time with a friend; they will provide you with lodging and food, perhaps pick you up at the airport, entertain you, etc., but may or may not cover your each and every expense, but there's never any mistaking that you're a guest in their home.  Whereas, you can spend time at a resort where various items are included in the rate, but there's never any mistaking that you are their customer.  That is the difference for me.  Even though I've paid for a luxury cruise and know it's no more than a business transaction, it never feels like one.  Hope this makes sense.

 

Your post definitely make sense and I agree with you.  

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