– 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)
This morning I awoke to a CNN headline about Regent Seven Seas Cruises having won a Cruise Critic award for best shore excursions. I thought it must be part of that weird dream you have right before you wake up. But no: It was the Cruise Critic Cruisers Choice Awards.
Not so ironically, this morning I also received an alert about an eight-time Regent cruise who posted a review on Cruise Critic of his/her recent cruise on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner which, beside blasting the supervisors for being rude and berating the staff, stated, “The Excursion Department on the Mariner was an abomination. The worse staff of incompetent people I have ever met. Rude, nasty, uninformed, unprofessional, and just downright lousy people. They treated us like we were doing them a favor. None of them should ever have anything to do with the public. Never, never, on any cruise ship have we been treated like this. And after years of enjoying Regent ships were never encountered truly nasty employees treating guests like dirt…The staff at the Excursions Desk tried but did not ruin what was a overall nice experience. Even the lack of decent excursions didn’t ruin the cruise. “
Then I read the next Mariner review and there was a complaint about waiting long periods of time for their tours, and then I read another detailed review documenting all of the failings of the Regent Seven Seas shore excursions.
So being frustrated enough with the Cruise Critic Award for shore excursions I carried on to the list of Best Small Ships and found, surprisingly, that the Azamara Club twins were rated No. 1 and No. 2, both 1,000+ passenger Crystal ships were in the top 10 as were two of Regent’s 700+ passenger ships. Aside from the fact that there is no objective way the Azamara Club ships are the two best (or even worthy of being in the top 10 of small ships), I continued my morning nightmare by looking at the rating of Best Cabins and despite their microscopic size, the Azamara Club cabins were in the Top 10 again, along with the portholed and balcony-less Wind Surf, and the spatially challenged Crystal Serenity. While one Seabourn ship was on the list, its twin sisters were not; nor were any of the Silversea ships.
In short, redefining “small ship” and then encouraging (or at least not even trying to prevent) stuffing the ballot box, resulted in a ridiculous set of Awards that are worthy of nothing…other than being reported as “news”.
BTW, if you really want to get disgusted by all of this: Below every ship is a bright yellow “Check Prices” box where you can select up to nine advertisers to greet you with pop-up boxes for its offerings on that particular ship.
I wonder who voted?
I wonder who decided who won?
I wonder who put 700+ to 1,000+ passengers ships in the small ship category?
Don’t tell me money can’t buy love!