Which prefer? Do you like the larger cruise ships that have more than 4,000 passengers or the smaller ships that have less than 1,000? Some ports do not handle the larger ships and passenger service is better on the smaller ships. So, check out the possibilities with these luxury cruise lines.
Some of the luxury cruise lines have smaller ships. I’m talking about Azamara Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Seabourn Cruises. This means you have more port options. Yes, they may cost more, but the benefits may make it worth it. These luxury cruise lines give you the best trips, most are even all-inclusive. That means there are no extra drink packages or unexpected extras.
Azamara Cruises focuses on destination immersion, where longer stays, more overnight stays and overnight tours are included in 100% of its trips. You can explore everything from nightlife in Stockholm and morning hikes on the French Riviera to all-day adventures in the rainforests of Costa Rica. You will experience boutique-style ships with a maximum of 686 guests, the staff and crew can quickly learn your name, tastes and preferences. All of this with plenty of inclusive amenities like standard spirits, international beers and wines, tips, and an AzAmazing Evenings event (on most trips), all with its compliments. Also included for all guests are bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas, English butler service for suite guests, self-service laundry, shuttle service to and from port communities (where available), and concierge services for personal orientation and reservations.
Visit ports such as Marseille, Amalfi, Crete or even on the doorstep of Bangkok (while other major cruise lines dock a few hours away), the heart of Seville and the city center of Bordeaux. Experience the culture, gastronomy, landscape and people of your destinations. The crew really like to mingle with guests and are happy to point out special things at sea and on land and go beyond your expectations.
Crystal Cruises / Crystal River Cruises / Crystal Yachts
Another all-inclusive cruise line. This includes complimentary gratuities, unmatched dining options including specialty restaurants, complimentary fine wines and premium spirits, open bar service in all lounges, and all non-alcoholic beverages. Plus, you get 24-hour room service, high tea, golf lessons, computer / technology classes and a technology concierge, Crystal Visions enrichment program, entertainment, and complimentary laundry facilities. A shore excursion is included on each trip as part of your “We Care / You Care” program. And you can bring your own wine / liquor with no corkage fees!
Indoors predominantly non-smoking (except for the Connoisseur Club Cigar bar), this is a great, stylish alternative to the big ships. They now offer river cruises, yacht cruises, luxury flights, and residences. Reservations are open for 2017 and 2018. The yacht is an all-inclusive superyacht with 31 luxury suites and two complimentary Crystal Adventures shore excursions in most ports, depending on destination. Water sports from the yacht’s marina deck are also available and don’t forget about the state-of-the-art deep-sea submersible with capacity for two passengers and a certified pilot. The river cruises will be based in Paris and will have cruises of various lengths, all suites and will have their first departure in July 2016 with 2 for 1 rates and overnight stays in popular ports.
Oceania Cruises allows you to see a spectacular selection of diverse and exotic destinations in style. They are unique itineraries specifically designed to showcase the most fascinating destinations. They are intimate and luxurious, visiting historic cities, modern meccas, and charming seaside towns nestled along sparkling shores. Each day offers exciting opportunities to experience the history, art, and cuisine of a wonderful new destination. Enjoy a dinner inspired by Master Chef Jacques Pépin. Lavish courtesy services abound and there are never any additional charges at any of the onboard restaurants. Value packages ensure that drinking vintage wine, surfing the web, or enjoying a shore excursion is convenient and affordable.
Oceania offers catering for its passengers, as it can accommodate between 684 and 1250 guests, depending on the ship. It is a casual country club atmosphere with personalized service. It offers intensive trips in port with overnight visits and extended stays in the port at night. Experience epicurean enrichment programs, including immersive culinary discovery tours in the world’s most fascinating destinations. The spa is an acclaimed Canyon Ranch SpaClub.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent Seven Seas offers a truly sumptuous and very personal experience. You can anticipate an unforgettable trip to the best destinations in the world where everything is included, without exception and without obligation. Regent’s rates include all-inclusive 2-for-1 rates, early bird savings, free unlimited shore excursions, free deluxe hotel package at Concierge Suites and above, free specialty restaurants, free unlimited drinks including fine wines and Premium spirits, free open bars and MORE in-suite minibar lounges replenished daily, free prepaid tips, free 24-hour room service, free airport-to-ship transfers, and many other amenities. The dress code is smart and casual. An enriching onboard experience is brought to life through The Smithsonian Collection by Smithsonian Journeys. There are Broadway shows, virtuoso performances, culinary demonstrations and wine tastings, and the spectacular wellness programs at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub.
There are attractive trips to more than 250 ports around the world in the comfort of a smoke-free environment on almost all of their ships. These ports are some of the more intimate ports that larger ships cannot reach on an all-suite ship, with 97% of them having a private balcony. There are only 490 or 700 guests, resulting in stellar service, with no lines or waiting.
With Seabourn you sail with your own private club, where members share wide open decks, inviting social spaces, and the personalized attention of an exceptional crew. There are unique itineraries to must-see cities and hidden gems where the bigger ships can’t go. These are intimate ships with no more than 300 spacious suites with panoramic ocean views, most with decks. The intuitive staff are passionate about pleasing their guests. Gourmet dining experiences that rival the world’s best restaurants, complimentary welcome champagne and an in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, complimentary restaurants where you can dine where you want, when you want, and with whom you want. This is an all-inclusive experience with open bars throughout the ship and fine wines served at lunch and dinner. Tipping is not required or expected.
Seabourn visits wishing destinations and small ports such as Saint-Tropez, France and Palarmo, Spain. Visit the less traveled Caribbean islands of Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, the Grenadines, Guadeloupe, and Saint Barthelemy and Saint Christopher. Shore excursions are available for purchase with plenty of time to explore each port of call.