Well, I'm sold!!! Just returned from 2 cruises over 2 months. Crystal and Radisson Seven Seas!! It was another world of cruising!!! Sophisticated worldly travelers and amazing ships with the most amazing food. Now I've traveled all my life and been to 151 countries. I don't think I could ever go back tto mass market cruising, especially the Caribbean, which I find boring!!! and a very homophobic part of the world. So anyway guys n girls, get out there and try Crystal/Radisson/Silversea/Oceania and Cunard. There are some amazing deals like Oceania has 2 for 1 fares and free air!!!! ENJOY!!!!
For those who want this level of luxury but who are unable or unwilling to pay the very high prices of a most luxury cruises, you may want to check out the price of transatlantic or repositioning cruises on the luxury lines. The prices are sometimes reasonable.
We are scheduled for Oceania in November 2005. We will combine a mediterranean cruise with a transatlantic back to Miami. As you mentioned, Oceania does have two-for-one pricing with free airfare now. Even these November cruises are filling up fast!
Some of the luxury cruise lines emphasize formal wear, which doesn't appeal to us. We also prefer open seating instead of fixed seating for dinner. Oceania is good for us because the dress code is "country club casual," and no tuxes are expected.
Just got back from the Oceania Regatta 12 day Eastern/Southern Caribbean cruise, and its wonderful (great food and service). We did get the 2 for 1 + free air fare offer, but keep in mind that the 2 for 1 fare is an advertising gimmick -- I doubt anyone has ever paid the "list price" since every cruise is 2 for 1 (or close to it). Oceania pricing should be (and from my research is) a step between Celebrity/HAL/Princess and RSSC/Seabourn/Silversea/Crystal. Alcoholic beverages, sodas, and bottled water are all extra costs on Oceania so you might have a larger shipboard tab than you would on the more-inclusive luxury lines. Service on Oceania is attentive and friendly in keeping with the country club casual dress code; it is not traditional, structured, white glove service that might be expected on the luxury lines. I would recommend not comparing Oceania with Silversea/Crystal/Seabourn .... its a different product. Open seating is wonderful. There are plenty of tables for two in the Grand Dining Room, or you can join a group. If you make new friends, great; if you don't like the tablemates, you have the opportunity to sit somewhere else the next night. No tuxes or ties needed. A few men were wearing sports coats. We wore slacks with lightweight sweaters every night.
I WOULD AGREE WITH THE UPSCALE LINE SUGGESTION!
After sailing on Radisson, I find it hard to go back to mega ships with lines, paying for every little thing and crew often strssed out because of the number of passengers they have to wait on. I have also had to consider mass market ships...even Holland America being full of children. Children will be children, but the parents seem to forget their resposibilities. Hot tiubs full of kids screaming marco polo while their moms scream at them for some reason takes the joy out of my time out on deck.
The upscale lines seem more attentive and I feel special just not another number waiting fore a tender ticket. As a result I will sail less and pay more to get the product I want. Am I being a snob....some might think so....I just feel I am getting more of what I pay for.
Just my two cents