– 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)
Some of you keep reading about Seabourn, but really don’t know what the ships are like. Let’s briefly compare a few ships, so you get the idea of how Seabourn can be so intimate and personalized.
I have chosen three of the better quality ships, so the comparison is meaningful.
Regent Seven Seas Voyager
All all three are high quality ships and each provides a quality product.
The Solstice has far more in the way of facilities, options and unique venues (and I am very much looking forward to my pre-inaugural cruise in an AquaClass spa stateroom next month!). It also must service over 2,800 guests. In a way, the fantastic facilities are a substitute for some of the “impossible to provide to everyone” personalized service. To be sure, there is a WOW factor and a price point for most cabins/suites which is but a fraction of the two others it is compared to. However the top suites do get more personalized service to combine with those facilities and, at times, the prices are not so different from the other two. But if you shop carefully, good deals abound!
The Voyager has less facilities (and it is about to have some of its more tired ones updated shortly!) and, of course, less guests: 708. While I have issues with its staff training and inconsistency of service, the theory is that the service is of a higher, more personalized, nature. Its size and lower passenger count allows for open seat dining and a more “restaurant” vs. “grand ballroom”, “club vs. dance hall” feel. However, due to the number of passengers it is almost impossible to provide proactive service. If you ask you will probably get what you want – within limits. But don’t expect to get without asking.
The Seabourn Legend (and her two sisters) has the least amount of facilities, with a small (but adequate) spa, fitness center, library, etc. But with only 208 guests…7% percent of Solstice’s and 30% of Voyager’s guests…intuitive service and special touches are not only possible, it is a way of life. The staff quickly learns your name. They can give you real advice as to wines and menu items. They can see that you might want a lounge chair “just there” and also bring you refreshments, just in case…and unasked for. The food is of extraordinary quality and made ala minute rather than staged as hundreds (or thousands) line up at meal times on the other ships.
So as I sit here writing I recall just a few weeks ago I was sitting in the hot tub on the bow of a Seabourn ship with two friends (can you find it in the photo?), sailing out of a small port the other two ships cannot visit (for they are too large), and a bar waiter came up to us and said, “You look like you could use a bottle of champagne and three glasses.” He was right…and we hadn’t even thought about that. How did he know that?