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12 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Having completed World Cruises on both Princess and Viking, I can confirm that Viking is more all-inclusive than Princess. The biggest difference, is the difference in business models, where mega ship owners require significant onboard spend.

 

With Viking, the base cost is significantly more expensive, but by the end of the cruise, the true daily spend can be very close. Although, everyone has different usage and styles, this is our experience.

 

Princess - 2015 WC R/T from Sydney, 104 nights

 

Viking - 2020 WC L/A to Greenwich, 120 nights

 

The base cost of the Viking cruise was close to double the base cost of the Princess cruise. The cabins were both balcony, midships on a lower deck. The Viking cabin was approx 25% bigger than the Princess cabin. At the end of the cruise, once all costs were included, the actual daily cost was virtually identical. However, the standards on Viking were vastly superior.

 

Another factor to consider with World Cruises, is segments. Most cruise lines can't fill an entire ship for 100+ days, so must create multiple segments to fill the ship. With Princess, < 25% of pax joined for the full World Cruise, so 75% of the pax changed every segment. This completely changed the ship's vibe and our experience was a series of B2B's, not a World Cruise.

 

Viking routinely fill the World Cruise ship, so once the ship departs all pax are on for the duration. Starting next year, they are scheduling 2 ships for World cruises and may fill both of them, such is the demand.

I have been drawn to Cunard since I was a boy in the 80's.  What is your view of Cunard and QM2 in particular? 

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1 hour ago, gkbiiii said:

I have been drawn to Cunard since I was a boy in the 80's.  What is your view of Cunard and QM2 in particular? 

 

I attended a Cunard interview way back in the 70's, before going to sea. Although they offered me a position as Navigating Cadet, I opted for the same offer from P&O. Similar to P&O, Cunard were purchased by Carnival, who implemented the Carnivalisation process of reducing the standards.

 

Although a fraction of the standards prior to the 70's, I'll suggest that the Cunard standards are still superior to those of my old company P&O. However, both Cunard and P&O are operated under the same Carnival banner and at least the Masters and Officer are all crewed from the same office. A number of P&O Masters and Officers, I sailed with, were assigned to Cunard, but most have now retired.

 

For an ocean passage, as an ocean liner, QM2 is by far the best ship for comfort when the seas get lumpy. I believe the onboard standards are superior to any of the other mainstream mega ships, but you need to be accepting some dining venues and lounges are reserved for higher paying pax and evenings are more formal. Not an issue for me, since I wore formal attire every night when at work.

 

I also have a fondness for Cunard, as I recall as a young lad in the 60's, seeing the QE2 being built at Clydebank.

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4 hours ago, gkbiiii said:

I have been drawn to Cunard since I was a boy in the 80's.  What is your view of Cunard and QM2 in particular? 

Further to Heidi’s excellent comments, I was on QM2 a few weeks ago, although a small segment of the world cruise.  900 pax of a possible 2,600 were on for the whole WC.  There is much to like about QM2, including excellent shows and musicians around the ship at lunch and from late afternoon, but there really wasn’t much to do during the day if the lectures were not to your liking.  I definitely prefer smaller ships. If not Silversea, there is Azamara as well as the companies previously mentioned.

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Port Power, we too like smaller ships for long voyages.  I am a lifetime Cunard pax but QM2 never moves at anywhere near her 30 knot potential and she is pushing a quarter mile long.  When we were onboard it always seemed as we needed to be at the other end of the ship for something.  That and the segmenting would keep us off her WC.  Having been on a WC with segments and one without I can toss my vote to without.  Totally different experience.  Segments make it seem like a Hop On-Hop Off bus at times.

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  • 2 months later...
On 3/31/2023 at 11:38 AM, gkbiiii said:

Researching this, I am surprised that lines such as Cunard, HAL, Princess, often few included benefits on their full World Cruises, yet Oceana, Viking, Regent, and others, offer so much more.  Even both Italian Lines, MSC & Costa, offer many included tours and such.  Royal Caribbean's first 9 month World offering, offers many included tours, etc.

 

My question is why the big three, seem to offer much fewer inducements for the full World Tour, then they did 10-15 years ago?

 

 

Am I right in thinking that costa used to include meal time drinks (Pranzo and Cena Package) with their World Cruise as an inclusion and not long do ?  I looked at 2025 Costa and could not see it as an inclusion.  

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3 minutes ago, Janet&amp;Carl said:

 

 

Am I right in thinking that costa used to include meal time drinks (Pranzo and Cena Package) with their World Cruise as an inclusion and not long do ?  I looked at 2025 Costa and could not see it as an inclusion.  

Yes your right, along with MSC; which included that, gratuities, laundry, onboard credit, and package of tours.

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1 hour ago, gkbiiii said:

Yes your right, along with MSC; which included that, gratuities, laundry, onboard credit, and package of tours.

  I do see that MSC still includes the meal time drinks (dine and drink package of beer and wine during meal times)

 

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8 minutes ago, Janet&amp;Carl said:

  I do see that MSC still includes the meal time drinks (dine and drink package of beer and wine during meal times)

 


Hence why most of us chose Regent, or consider other small ships such as Silversea.  All inclusive, nothing more essentially that has to be booked and/or paid for.

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4 hours ago, Port Power said:


Hence why most of us chose Regent, or consider other small ships such as Silversea.  All inclusive, nothing more essentially that has to be booked and/or paid for.

I do understand your reasoning that you do have everything included and not to worry about extra charges. But if the price is already HIGH, you are not saving anything. Price especially matters when you are cruising solo. I had just priced a solo 28 days cruise with HAL and considering the sale they had on, 2 persons in the cabin were less expensive then 1 person - even it included drink-package and wifi for 2. I had been on Costa World Cruise 2023 and had added the drink-package to the already offered wine and beer with dinner and booking any excursion I wanted, full WiFi and ended up much more reasonable priced then any quoted solo-price on the upscale cruise-lines. I did see that the Costa solo-price for 2025 is really reasonable, saw that the 15 excursions are included again but did not check on the wine and beer with lunch and dinner, maybe you need to call and ask. 

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11 hours ago, BVILady said:

I do understand your reasoning that you do have everything included and not to worry about extra charges. But if the price is already HIGH, you are not saving anything. Price especially matters when you are cruising solo.

 

 

I agree with you about the cost - that is one of our considerations.  We are not rich by any means but have saved for what will be for us this once in a lifetime opportunity.   You spend about the same but the experience between Costa and Azamara is vastly different.  

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On 6/26/2023 at 3:16 PM, Port Power said:


Hence why most of us chose Regent, or consider other small ships such as Silversea.  All inclusive, nothing more essentially that has to be booked and/or paid for.

 

Most ? well Silversea is out of our price range - Azamara/Viking would be at the very top and MSC and Costa in the comfort zone 😉.  We actually like MSC and have cruised on them often but I would only like to book a suite.  Same with Costa.  Azamara didn't suit me as I was very sea sick and we were sailing in the Med.  I have done crossings on a few ships and never been sick !! so I dont know if it was because it was a small ship or because it was an old ship.  We are trying Azamara again this year to see how I feel as they would be our preference for our WC.

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4 hours ago, Janet&amp;Carl said:

 

Most ? well Silversea is out of our price range - Azamara/Viking would be at the very top and MSC and Costa in the comfort zone 😉.  We actually like MSC and have cruised on them often but I would only like to book a suite.  Same with Costa.  Azamara didn't suit me as I was very sea sick and we were sailing in the Med.  I have done crossings on a few ships and never been sick !! so I dont know if it was because it was a small ship or because it was an old ship.  We are trying Azamara again this year to see how I feel as they would be our preference for our WC.

 

The size of the ship has very little bearing on seakeeping ability. I also note the Meddy can experience some significant storms.

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  • 3 months later...
On 6/27/2023 at 3:31 AM, Janet&amp;Carl said:

 

Most ? well Silversea is out of our price range - Azamara/Viking would be at the very top and MSC and Costa in the comfort zone 😉.  We actually like MSC and have cruised on them often but I would only like to book a suite.  Same with Costa.  Azamara didn't suit me as I was very sea sick and we were sailing in the Med.  I have done crossings on a few ships and never been sick !! so I dont know if it was because it was a small ship or because it was an old ship.  We are trying Azamara again this year to see how I feel as they would be our preference for our WC.

I have to chime in here regarding Azamara, first we love the size, attractive accommodations, entertainment, personal service, however, the ship rocked around Ireland. I can’t imagine sailing on it across the oceans. We r staying with Cunard for comfort. 

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51 minutes ago, rtdiva said:

I have to chime in here regarding Azamara, first we love the size, attractive accommodations, entertainment, personal service, however, the ship rocked around Ireland. I can’t imagine sailing on it across the oceans. We r staying with Cunard for comfort. 

 

If by staying with Cunard, you are referencing the QM2, that is an excellent choice, as she is the last remaining liner capable of handling rough seas in reasonable comfort.

 

However, the other Cunard ships, while newer than the Azamara fleet are just basic cruise ships. Size of the ship has little bearing on sea keeping ability. The excessive rolling, as you navigated around Ireland, can be caused by shallow water effect, which increases wave height and reduces the period. When navigating in coastal waters, the Master may not have the ability to steer a preferred weather course, whereas in open waters this isn't an issue.

 

While the ship's design/scantlings are key factors, many additional contributing factors are also present. Other than the QM2, the other Cunard ship designs are from HAL, with the new Queen Anne a Pinnacle Class and the other 2 being Vista Class.

 

The interior decor of the Cunard fleet may be more comfortable than Azamara, but expecting the Cunard fleet (except QM2) to handle seas, in similar conditions, better than the Azamara fleet requires additional studies than a single coastal voyage.  

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I have to say that one of the roughest times onboard ships, including my own commands, was on QM2 in the Bay of Biscay. Well there was this time on one of my freighter runs in the Bering Sea in winter. But that’s another story. 🍺

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5 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

If by staying with Cunard, you are referencing the QM2, that is an excellent choice, as she is the last remaining liner capable of handling rough seas in reasonable comfort.

 

However, the other Cunard ships, while newer than the Azamara fleet are just basic cruise ships. Size of the ship has little bearing on sea keeping ability. The excessive rolling, as you navigated around Ireland, can be caused by shallow water effect, which increases wave height and reduces the period. When navigating in coastal waters, the Master may not have the ability to steer a preferred weather course, whereas in open waters this isn't an issue.

 

While the ship's design/scantlings are key factors, many additional contributing factors are also present. Other than the QM2, the other Cunard ship designs are from HAL, with the new Queen Anne a Pinnacle Class and the other 2 being Vista Class.

 

The interior decor of the Cunard fleet may be more comfortable than Azamara, but expecting the Cunard fleet (except QM2) to handle seas, in similar conditions, better than the Azamara fleet requires additional studies than a single coastal voyage.  

Hmmmm…Azamara Journey was the smallest of cruise ships we’ve sailed on in two decades, good to know her size wasn’t the problem . On QM2 during a TA sailing in January, the winds were bad, the snow on the deck was fun, the waitstaff could make snow angels. I was confident she would sail on. I may need to reassess my thoughts about smaller ships.  Azamara Journey was otherwise comfortable and more attractive in interior design than the two Queens we’ve sailed on. Personal taste.

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43 minutes ago, rtdiva said:

Hmmmm…Azamara Journey was the smallest of cruise ships we’ve sailed on in two decades, good to know her size wasn’t the problem . On QM2 during a TA sailing in January, the winds were bad, the snow on the deck was fun, the waitstaff could make snow angels. I was confident she would sail on. I may need to reassess my thoughts about smaller ships.  Azamara Journey was otherwise comfortable and more attractive in interior design than the two Queens we’ve sailed on. Personal taste.

 

We personally like Azamara as well but have not sailed with Cunard.  My preference is MSC Yacht Club but they do  not do WC on ships with YC.  😞 We have just returned from our third Azamara voyage doing the Greek Isles and it was very comfortable but I feel the facilities and activities would become repetitive on such a long WC.  Taking another look at HAL because I do like their pole to pole offering. 

 

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2 hours ago, Janet&amp;Carl said:

My preference is MSC Yacht Club but they do  not do WC on ships with YC.

 

Well, I heard by rumours that MSC treats YC guests not too bad. I was on an MSC ship without earlier this year. My expectations regarding service and food were already very low after an earlier experience, but it was the only option to do this itinerary. On these 30 days from Cape Town to Italy most people I talked with felt very uncomfortable, but many had also an excuse: MSC is cheap. Had you ever been on a cruise where at taks before dinner were about what could be eatable at all? I was! For me this was returning home after a longer stay in South Africa along some wonderful islands, I don’t want to imagine what it would have meant to me if I flew over just to do that cruise! https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=706886 

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5 hours ago, Janet&amp;Carl said:

 

We personally like Azamara as well but have not sailed with Cunard.  My preference is MSC Yacht Club but they do  not do WC on ships with YC.  😞 We have just returned from our third Azamara voyage doing the Greek Isles and it was very comfortable but I feel the facilities and activities would become repetitive on such a long WC.  Taking another look at HAL because I do like their pole to pole offering. 

 

HAL has musical entertainment of all sorts that practically suits anyones style. We would have preferred her for 2024 WC but the itinerary was one we’ve sailed before. Cunard is naturally heavy on British lectures etc. A tea pot with cookies is a lovely addition to have in the cabin for a morning wake up. However for my taste a few Mexican & Asian not Indian offerings on the MDR menu would have helped with the blandness, or maybe my tastebuds have lingering effects of Covid. Seems like many lines serve well plated meals but are bland. Cunards passengers have interesting stories, some we have kept in touch with. HALs passengers are more relaxed, less dressy, still friendly. The ships handle the seas well. The wait staff are well trained. Perhaps the age range is older.

 

Azamaras 2024 WC has a great itinerary, but is too pricey for my wallet. However it is nice not to have to pull out the ships card for everything. 

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24 minutes ago, rtdiva said:

HAL has musical entertainment of all sorts that practically suits anyones style. We would have preferred her for 2024 WC but the itinerary was one we’ve sailed before. Cunard is naturally heavy on British lectures etc. A tea pot with cookies is a lovely addition to have in the cabin for a morning wake up. However for my taste a few Mexican & Asian not Indian offerings on the MDR menu would have helped with the blandness, or maybe my tastebuds have lingering effects of Covid. Seems like many lines serve well plated meals but are bland. Cunards passengers have interesting stories, some we have kept in touch with. HALs passengers are more relaxed, less dressy, still friendly. The ships handle the seas well. The wait staff are well trained. Perhaps the age range is older.

 

Azamaras 2024 WC has a great itinerary, but is too pricey for my wallet. However it is nice not to have to pull out the ships card for everything. 

When considering Azamara price point you have to remember what is included compared to other WC pricing. For example business class airfare, hotel and gala night before we board, premium beverage package, wifi,  and they have chartered a plane and are taking the world cruisers to the Taj Mahal for the day. This was not part of the original package and there is no additional cost to us. 

This will be our first world cruise, although we have done many long cruises, and we're looking forward to it.

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1 hour ago, 2ndsailing said:

When considering Azamara price point you have to remember what is included compared to other WC pricing.

 

Yes, you name a lot of included items. The price as quoted on their website starts at 64,788.29 € for the cheapest available cabin single occupation in 2025 (2024 is no longer available). It is simple to do the maths how much the included items cost elsewhere to compare. I know what I will pay for my 2024 world cruise and Azamara is still extremely expensive! Remains the question, whether it is worth for you to pay so much more.

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40 minutes ago, At7Seas said:

 

Yes, you name a lot of included items. The price as quoted on their website starts at 64,788.29 € for the cheapest available cabin single occupation in 2025 (2024 is no longer available). It is simple to do the maths how much the included items cost elsewhere to compare. I know what I will pay for my 2024 world cruise and Azamara is still extremely expensive! Remains the question, whether it is worth for you to pay so much more.

All true. There is a world cruise to suit everyone. 

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4 hours ago, rtdiva said:

HAL has musical entertainment of all sorts that practically suits anyones style. We would have preferred her for 2024 WC but the itinerary was one we’ve sailed before. Cunard is naturally heavy on British lectures etc. A tea pot with cookies is a lovely addition to have in the cabin for a morning wake up. However for my taste a few Mexican & Asian not Indian offerings on the MDR menu would have helped with the blandness, or maybe my tastebuds have lingering effects of Covid. Seems like many lines serve well plated meals but are bland. Cunards passengers have interesting stories, some we have kept in touch with. HALs passengers are more relaxed, less dressy, still friendly. The ships handle the seas well. The wait staff are well trained. Perhaps the age range is older.

 

Azamaras 2024 WC has a great itinerary, but is too pricey for my wallet. However it is nice not to have to pull out the ships card for everything. 

 

When considering a World Cruise, you need to consider the total cost upon return home, rather than the posted brochure fare. We have completed a 2015 WC with Princess and a 2020 WC with Viking Ocean. We also booked the 23 WC with Viking, but unfortunately had to cancel.

 

The Princess WC base fare was about 50% of the 2020 Viking WC, but by the time we returned home and I added all costs, the per diem costs were almost identical. Viking was a few pennies less, for a vastly superior cruise in all respects.

 

Even the projected costs for the 23 WC were going to be very close on a per diem basis, with Viking being only slightly more expensive than a Princess cruise 8-years earlier.

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3 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

The Princess WC base fare was about 50% of the 2020 Viking WC, but by the time we returned home and I added all costs, the per diem costs were almost identical.

Can you list (excruciating detail not expected) the additional items provided by Viking over the course of the cruise that brings the total overall cost closer?  I presume such things as provided excursions?

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11 minutes ago, d9704011 said:

Can you list (excruciating detail not expected) the additional items provided by Viking over the course of the cruise that brings the total overall cost closer?  I presume such things as provided excursions?

 

Viking includes:

 -  Business flights on longhaul and First flights on domestic flights

 - Transfers to/from the ports

 - Visa procurement

 - Luggage forward at embarkation

 - Significant OBC (our 23 WC was CAN $ 11,000)

 - Crew tips included

 - Complimentary drinks package

 - Included shore-ex in each port

 - No charge alternative restaurants

 - No charge 24/7 cabin service

 - Complimentary wi-fi

 - Complimentary self-serve laundry, including the dhobi dust (soap)

 - Complimentary filtered water still/sparking in the cabin 2x-daily

 - Complimentary bottles of water to take ashore - as many as you want/can carry

 - Encouraged to bring beer/wines or any other refreshment onboard.

 - No corkage or service charges to serve your own wine/beer in the restaurant or bars

 

A couple of years ago I did post a detailed cost comparison showing the differences.

 

Edit - a quality gortex type rain jacket + other gifts that were vastly superior to the rubbish princess provided.

Edited by Heidi13
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