Hi Eric & Marc;
You both make some valid points. However, your passion for your fav cruiseline (Seabourn for Eric, Regent for Marc) may impact your objectivity.
Interesting to note for those who care about cruiseline polls in Travel Magazines. The latest (CN Traveler Gold list 2011) ratings came out late last week:
2011 Gold list for top 4 lux cruiselines as rated by readers of CN Traveler. This poll included all cruiselines (large and small cruiselines) in the poll.
1. Seabourn 93.4
2. Crystal 92.3
3. Regent 91
4. Silversea 85.2
Believe for the first time in these polls (CN and Travel & Leisure) SB received the highest ratings for their cabins (95.3, vs 93.2 (R), 88.8 (SS) and 88.3 (Crystal). Also, think the Odyssey and Sojourn (these new SB ships have 90% veranda cabins) cruiser's votes are clearly putting SB at the top (e.g in 2010 Crystal had 92.7, followed by Seabourn at 90.2).
We are looking forward to our first Seabourn cruise next fall aboard the newest lux line ship: Quest. However, my wife and I just spent 15 nights on the Voyager for a crossing this November; Dining, Service, Tours were outstanding. My only niggle; it appeared Regent is pinching pennies on entertainment (4/15 nights were popcorn movies in the Constellation Theater--movies we could watch in our room). Tho, they did have Cirque Voyager--best production show we have seen at Sea.
Interesting side note Marc, DougBurns (long time member of the other board, not CC and a Titantium on Regent, moved to Silversea 2 yrs ago) also booked the Quest today (instead not for the TA (13 nights) but for 28 nights). Doug likes the SB smoking policy over Silversea now (as SS just enacted no veranda smoking this month)
Believe both of you should chill a tad concerning your passion for your fav cruiselines; both Regent, Silversea and (am sure we will find out first hand next Nov) Seabourn are outstanding lux lines. Both of you predominately sail one lux line (Eric (SB), Marc (R)) that is fine. However, each of the other lux lines do offer an outstanding option.
Bottom line, we are indeed very fortunate to be able to choose any luxury line to sail in this economy.