My husband and I are looking for a cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and his 60th birthday in 2006. I have researched all of the "luxury" cruise lines and I am so confused! We have cruised 6 times in the past on the huge commercial liners. We have been the happiest with the Celebrity brand. RCCL and Princess were nice too but each offered a different cruise experience. If we are going to put out $8,000 - $10,000 for this trip, do not want to be disappointed. For those of you who have been on Radisson, Seabourne, Silversea, Sea Dream Yacht Club and Crystal, would you mind telling me why you loved or hated your experiences on these cruise lines. I have read their brochures from cover to cover, looked at the message boards and still don't know where to put our money. I will tell you that we both enjoy gourmet dining, balconies, low-key night life (dancing and cabaret type shows), friendly people and interesting ports of call. I do not want to feel out of place with a ship full of wealthy, snobbish passengers either! Also, which line does the Mediterranean best? Any light you can shed on this would be greatly appreciated. One last thing, would I be better off just using my Captain's Club status and booking a suite on Celebrity? Opinions Please.
We have sailed Radisson six times over the last two plus years, for a total of 69 nights. We are in our mid-40s. We found Radisson when looking for a special cruise for our 10th anniversary. We ended up taking a 19 day cruise over Christmas and New Years. We were so thrilled with the experience, we immediately cancelled all (two) planned land vacations and have been using all of our vacation time for Radisson since. We have two more booked this year; Tahiti and Southeast Asia.
Things we really like about Radisson:
Max of 700 per ship
All balconies on Voyager and Mariner (we usually book cheapest cabin)
Open seating dining (eat with whom and whenever you want)
Excellent food (Voyager and Mariner have Cordon Bleu restaurant)
Cordon Bleu cooking lessons on select Mariner and Voyager sailings (they were fun!)
Excellen service (one of highest crew to pax ratios)
Good enterrtainment (theater can hold all pax at once)
Nice lounges for dancing
Shore excursions are not a profit center
Bingo is not a profit center (all money goes back to pax)
If you have specific questions, please ask. We took Seven Seas Voyager Venice to Rome in 2003. We took same ship Barcelona to Ft Lauderdale this past fall. Each time, European ports were wonderful (late season both). People are really down to earth. Shorter cruises have more working age couple. Longer cruises are older. However, we have had plenty of people are age on our 14, 15, and 19 night cruises.
Thanks for the great review of Radisson. Do you use a specific travel agent and when did you book your cruises to get the best price. Do they discount much? How long was your cruise to the Mediterranean Venice to Rome. I also am not sure how long is long enough. Doing a port every day can be quite exhausting and then you don't get to enjoy the ship as much as you'd like.