Luxury cruise lines are supposedly to be the best way to spend a vacation at sea. After all, money is supposed to give you the best service, right? Well, with the rates on offer, these ocean experiences better be good. To have an idea whether luxury equals comfort and to know whether passengers really do get their money's worth from these liners, we examined the services and accommodations provided by several luxury cruise providers
1) Crystal Cruises – According to Travel + Leisure, Crystal is the best large ship cruise line in the world. The magazine has given this accolade to Crystal for several years. The cruise line mostly benefits to affluent travelers who like comfort and the best accommodations. The dining experience and service at Crystal's ships have been deemed to be of highest quality. The Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity vessels accommodate between 940 and 1,080 passengers.
Despite having larger ships than most of its luxury line contemporaries, Crystal is able to give the highest level of service to its passengers because of the high passenger-staff ratio aboard its vessels. The ships also have facilities for children and teenagers and various enrichment programs ranging from ballroom dancing lessons to language classes. The suites are designed to provide comfort and privacy, with butler service on penthouse accommodations. All in all, Crystal does deserve the accolade, but of course, you need to be able to afford it to find out for yourself.
2) Regent Seven Seas Cruises – Named as the "Best Small Cruise Line" by the periodical Travel + Leisure, this cruise company is best known for its refined, but laid back ambiance. It has four ships, the Voyager and Mariner which accommodate 700 guests, the Navigator that allows for 490 guests and the Paul Gauguin, the most intimate of the four and much preferred by honeymooners, with only 330 guests.
Accommodations at Regent are said to be top class, with all staterooms having ocean views and most having private balconies. Dining is also of the highest quality, with the ships being the only fleet that contains Le Cordon Bleu restaurants. It has a no-tipping policy and has various enrichment programs that have received high ratings from reviewers. According to most reviewers, Regent is on top of its category for its unique concepts and for starting a few "firsts" in the field of small ships cruising.
3) Silversea Cruises – Is a medium size luxury line that is known for having top flight inclusive packages. Of course, the price is still high since it's a luxury liner, but considering the offers, the rates of this cruise company are still considered reasonable. It appeals to well-traveled, well-monied passengers who like understated, casual and refined atmospheres.
Silversea has five ships, the Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper and Prince Albert II. Prince Albert II is the smallest, with only 132 guests allowed. The Wind and Cloud can book 298 guests each, while the Shadow and Silver accept 382 guests. The cruise line is not much into enhancement programs like other luxury brands, but its itineraries have been rated highly for going beyond being luxurious. Silversea appeals mostly to grown-up customers. Children are a rarity aboard since it does not offer special programs for kids.
Luxury cruise lines all aim to cater to the needs of their customers who can afford their rates. If you have the money to spend for it, you can get all the luxury you want from these cruise liners.