But, alas, it has been removed as a viable cruise option. The yachts of Ponant go to some extraordinary places and the line’s executives have told us that there will be far more expeditions rather than cruises in the future. Of special note, Suite 738 is classified as a Vista Suite, but is located high up on Deck 7, just forward of the aft elevator lobby. Here are just a few: I stood by the swimming pool. Every dessert and ice cream my husband had, though, was absolutely delicious!! The new sisters carry 600 guests versus 450 for the Odyssey Class triplets. Our ratings are based on our own independent inspections, reports from our specially-trained team of CSI Inspectors, and the best quality evaluations available worldwide from both the consumer and cruise industry trade press. On behalf of the USA, thank you Hapag-Lloyd for that clarification. Sunset Grill – In the afternoon, from noon until 5 p.m., the Sunset Grill, adjacent to the top-deck Sunset Bar, is a favorite haunt — both for its down-home grill fare and its expansive opening hours. The only officers that did speak were the Captain and the hotel manager. They reacted quite well to the discounts from some of their rivals. There are enough tables for two in all venues. The smaller, sleek 116-guest Silver Discoverer is perfect for cruisers looking for their next big adventure. Do everything you need to do to get a few reservations.”, “You know its good when the toughest place to get a seat is the office of the person booking future cruises. Regardless of the ship, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises attracts a well-heeled, predominantly German-speaking clientele. The gap between mediocrity and luxury in the cruise industry is widening. Those who favor the Peninsular or Mandarin Oriental style will appreciate the decor aboard Europa 2. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Issues will be dealt with immediately and the high-end, primarily German clientele, does not suffer fools or poor service lightly. WHY? But a more accurate song for this cruise line would be Tina Turner’s “You’re Simply the Best”. WAS THE SOPHISTICATION LEVEL OF YOUR FELLOW GUESTS ABOUT WHAT YOU EXPECTED? Some items are incredible and some are not as impressive. This group, founder Del Rio, President Bob Binder, VP of Sales and Marketing James Rodriguez, were all in on this from the beginning. This option also applies to Seishin and Stars on board Silver Spirit. We find them to be a little more expensive than the other cruise lines; however, you don’t pay for excursions so by the time you count that they are commensurate. Silver Wind offers you a “home away from home”, including dining and suites with ocean views all day long. DID YOU DETECT ANY COST-CUTTING AREAS OF OPERATION? The line features the highest standards of dining service and we rank the specialty Prego Italian restaurant among the finest at sea. The marquee specialty restaurant onboard Seabourn Quest is The Grill by Thomas Keller, the Michelin-starred American chef known for restaurants such as The French Laundry, Per Se and Bouchon. Our CSI Inspection Team has reported on any number of “unanticipated features” you just don’t see on other ships in any size or price range. Choose from nine pillow selections, including firm, down-alternative, body pillow, and buckwheat. Designed with intimate seating arrangements, the spacious main restaurant offers a thoughtfully-designed balance of privacy and social connection. Accommodations aboard both the luxury and expedition ships are spacious and elegant, with a range of suites with panoramic windows or walkout balconies. This is one of the major reasons that Viking does not rank higher in our ratings. I enjoyed one of the two finest meals I have ever had at sea. Aboard your small and luxurious ocean cruise ship, you'll experience the best of everything with exceptional service in elegant surroundings. In March 2015, NYK Line sold Crystal Cruises to Genting Hong Kong (GHK, Malaysian corporation) for USD 550 million. But we will go back on Crystal just for the amazing lecture programs and classes. For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter. The ships have ice-breaking hulls and each carries 12 zodiac soft landing craft. On formal nights, guests are expected to dress to the nines with evening gowns and tuxedos or cocktail dresses, dinner jackets and dark suits. “I won’t lie to you”, he said. Passengers are limited to one complimentary visit to each of the ship’s alternative restaurants, Umi Uma and Prego. As a German company, expect large numbers of German Officers and crew. Search for polar bears in Svalbard. feet. The line has reacted well by establishing their “Open Dining by Reservation” system which allows guests to choose when they wish to dine. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Note that gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian items are sometimes marked, but not always. CRYSTAL IS A RATHER EXTRAORDINARY PRODUCT THAT HAS WON MORE INDUSTRY ‘BEST’ AWARDS THAN ANY OTHER COMPETITOR. Because of weather and the Russian military nuclear accident in the White Sea, the itinerary had to be adjusted to miss two of the Russian ports. Yes we left. I first got to speak to “FDR”, his signature on all e-mail correspondence, when he called me to comment on some things I had said about Renaissance in print. The discount programs have been rather successful. Its appeal is primarily to younger, less traditional luxury-minded travelers, including families. A complimentary bottle of Champagne greets you in your cabin. 90%+ of jobs in the cruise industry are non-US citizens. In our latest ratings, however, we feel that Regent has one-upped it’s Five Star competitors with the industry’s best accommodations, food that is approachable and keeps getting better, and pricing that is, at this time, the most inclusive in the industry. Bar drinks are complimentary and refilled promptly. Love Crystal, but overseas owned companies, of any type, need not apply. The HANSEATIC Nature and the HANSEATIC Inspiration launched in 2019. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Nevertheless, the scope of the wealth aboard this ship was, at times, a bit intimidating. This makes Windstar the largest small-ship cruise line. The deck serves as one of the best views on the yacht to enjoy dinner or drinks. Order ice cream and drinks from the bar. But we never encountered any rudeness of any kind.”, “Just returned from our best Tauck experience ever aboard Le Ponant on the 11-Day Treasures of the Mediterranean program. All are filtered for accuracy. It wasn’t just the plants, the Balinese lounges, what was it? This size allows the ships to dock close-in at many ports around-the-world at the same time its much larger brethern are forced to dock in industrial areas far out of the city. All of the public areas are much more dressy that what we are used to. Formal nights, which are celebrated only in The Restaurant, occur once on cruises up to 13 days, twice on cruises of 14 to 20 days and three times on cruises of 21 or more days. Crystal Cruises, which first launched on July 24, 1990 when Crystal Harmony sailed from San Francisco on a 12-day inaugural voyage to Alaska, pioneered the luxury cruising industry and set the stage for three decades of award-winning vacation experiences. The Restaurant – Rated A- Sparkling with tales of adventure, bonhomie and like-minded friends, The Restaurant offers contemporary, international cuisine created talented chefs. On our Baltic Cruise, we had a Russian history expert and a former astronaut lecturing and we were able to take classes in introductory Russian as well as Photoshop for the computer.”, “Your reviews are really accurate but, in the case of Crystal, we think you need to say more about the friendliness of the crew. There are comfy linens, the latest flat screen TV’s and I-Pod this and that’s, guests, receive customized stationary, and the showers work with surprising intensity. It is already hard enough to book passage.” The Europa is definitely not for everyone. Europa is a very dressy ship, with country-club resort wear favored during the day and three dress codes for nighttime guidance. We think the Azamara concept is catching on. They are: 01 – Maximum time in port with a minimum number of days at sea. Also, what can I say about the Wintergarden suite except wow and thank you again. Activities revolve primarily around recreational opportunities — snorkeling, swimming, hiking, cycling, kayaking and paddle boarding among them. Elegant casual dress still is appropriate even on formal nights. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services. Evenings tend to be dressy in the sense that most of the men voluntarily don sports jackets that are not made of polyester. But do not expect that the better, more active tours will be complimentary. Afternoon Tea: Afternoon tea is held daily in the Observation Bar from 4 to 5 p.m., so you can enjoy the view while you munch on scones with jam and clotted cream, tea sandwiches, little cakes and organic loose leaf tea. Sea Dream is one of the only cruise lines to embrace transparent pricing policies. There seems to be an inverse relationship between a cruise line’s name recognition with the public and their overall ratings. 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