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Recognizing A Luxury Cruise

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While all cruise line’s advertising, at some time, will refer to themselves as a “luxury cruise”, it’s a simple process to determine, and recognize a true “luxury cruise” from all the other pretenders.
– The number one criteria is price. Simply put; the higher the fare, the more luxury you’re going to find onboard.
While the true “luxury cruise lines” cruise fares may initially seem 3 or 4 times higher than fares of other lines you may be investigating, the actual cost differences will narrow considerably, when you learn the pricing on the luxury lines is almost always all-inclusive.
Luxury cruise lines most always include all drinks (both non-alcoholic, and alcoholic), also including in suite mini-bar contents (often stocked with a list based on your request).
Gratuities are a non-issue on the majority of the “luxury cruise lines”, as they have a no tipping policy in place.

Often the “luxury cruise lines” will include shore excursions during ports of call, or at least a shipboard credit to cover the cost of shore tours. Whereas less luxurious lines will sell shore excursions; using the shore tour department as a profit center.

At this time many of the “luxury cruise lines” are also adding free airfare to attract passengers for their slower selling sailing dates, or the option of reduced rates for upgrading to first class seating for your flights”.

One must do only minor mathematics before you realize that the total cost of cruise on one of the “luxury cruise line” brands will be much closer to the cost of sailing on a lesser brand than an initial glance would show.

And any difference that still exists is quickly recovered in the value by the higher quality of service, the improvement in the entire dining experience, including quality of food, and the larger space to passenger ratio.

When planning a cruise, don’t disregard looking at a luxury cruise experience because of the assumption they are going to cost too much. After working with the numbers you may be quite surprised how equivalent the total cruise vacation costs will be when compared to the more mass market cruise lines.

– A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising –






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Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time January 5, 2011 at 7:52 am

I feel that there are two words that should not be used by a cruise line in their attempts to attract passengers. One: Gourmet. Gourmet is a word that means many things to a very broad circle of humans and their pallate. The end result of “gourmet meal” or menu, is in the preparation of the food. I once took a cruise, my first and last, on a mass market ship, ordered Beef Wellington, got a steak with what seemed to be no sauce , sent back 5 times, never could eat the final steak, and was told it was Beef Wellington, on a gala night. It was no Wellington. Canned cherries served over ice cream are not cherries jubilee, either, nor is a ceasar salad greens with “your choice of dressing”. I watch menus on line, look at the cruise lines pictures on line and in brochure form, and am appalled at what they shove at a passenger, in the name of gourmet. Today, it seems such inferior offerings are now becoming less offered, and are even charged for, as extra.

Luxury is the next word. It is as abused as gourmet, and has been for years, in hotels as well. Take an automobile, for example. A Hyunday is not the same as a BMW, although both auto makers use the word luxury. There is a classic example of a double entendre of the word. One mans luxury, may not be anothers. So, why should cruise line A, with $499.00 specials, with all sorts of extra on board expenses, be the same as the same cruise on a premium or, dare say it, LUXURY cruise line at $2,100.00, where the food, sheets, and all, are truly top notch, and the pasenger is not nickeld and dimed for everything. ($figures are fictional, used only as an example).

I would never pay for ice cream, bottled water, Coke or Pepsi, steak, lobster, pizza, room service and the like on any cruise ship. However, main stream hotels make guests pay for them All inclusive resorts do not. Brochures, mailed, or on line, can basically tell one what is and is not included. Some cruise lines have a no tipping policy, and some, one in particular, has included air fare on every cruise. Use your own air, and a hefty credit is given.

Back when I started cruising cruise lines did not differntiate themselves by using the class distinctions of “luxury”. There were far fewer ships and cruise lines then. You only needed to look at pricing, and bam, you knew what to cruise, or avoid. What it boiled down to, old folks took the expensive ships, younger took the lower priced ships. Then along came Royal Viking Line, the first truly self-billed luxury cruise line, and I guess that is where it all changed. RVL was indeed tops in its day.

I had a fabulous cruise on Chandris Fantasy Cruises, in the 1980’s, $799.00 each, free air Boston to San Juan, for 10 days. Top suite, too. One did not associate Chandris with luxe, but, that cruise was an eye opener, it was wonderful, and in its way, I guess luxurious.

As Kuki points out, VERY susinctly, compare, and compare again, what you get and do not get on a mass market ship, probably with thousands of passengers on board, versus the expensive all or nearly all inclusive cruise lines.

Again, brochure or cruise line DVD will enlighten, and let you know what to expect on any cruise line. Sadly, what you won’t get in not presented.

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time January 12, 2011 at 9:14 am

I just bought a package of cheese, a favorite brand, Sargento, to be exact. The size of the package has gotten smaller, the slices thinner. I e-mailed Sargento, and told them exactly what I thought of this down-sizing and thinner sliced cheese. I let them know that I will boycott theirs, and others, products due to downsizing.

Is that what is happening to our beloved cruises, downsizing, taking away and making the product a smaller, less palpable cruise than before, and we’re supposed to acce[pt it? I think not.

Everey cruise that is not up to its former reputation should be boycotted. Period. We’re not all fools, even though the mass market ships may think we are.

This goes beyond luxury, its insulting.

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