– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
There has been some rather emotional news on the Cunard front. The company that owns the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth cruise ships has changed its flag from United Kingdom to Bermuda. This may sound like a royal slap at tradition, but it actually is not.
First, Cunard has a history of its ships being non-United Kingdom flagged. In its history the fact is the vast majority of its ships have been flagged elsewhere.
Second, Cunard has been owned by Carnival Corp; not a British entity for going on 15 years…and most certainly not the Crown. In the past four decades Cunard actually spent a good bit of its time and energy buying up other, non-British, cruise and shipping lines!
Third, and more importantly, Cunard has been essentially based in California sharing services with Princess Cruises for years, even though it maintains a London office. Before that it was paired and shared services with Seabourn Cruise Line in Miami, Florida. In fact, the design of its newest ships, the Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, are based upon designs shared from another Carnival brand: Holland America.
Fourth, and most relevant to me in this world of ever-increasing internationalism, there are only a very few aspects of the Cunard product (especially on the newest ships) that are even remotely British in style or culture. Yes, there is the Red Lion Pub, tea service (though lagging of late), and certain menu offerings, but throughout most of the ship the product is very similar to, well and not surprisingly, a Princess cruise.
I know there is an undeniable loyalty that some have to a particular cruise line, but this is yet another example of why you should not be blindly led by marketing or history.
If you like the Queen Mary 2, or are looking for a good alternative to flying due to fears or lots of luggage, by all means take a cruise on her. If you really enjoy the manner in which the Queens Grill delivers its product: Enjoy. But please, please, please, do not take a cruise based upon the flag the ship flies or the name on her bow.
Stiff upper lip!