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Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ships?

straitman

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I have seem a few comments and threads by people here but I'm interested in getting some more detail so as to be able to compare the various lines.

We have done a few cruises now with 3 on Princess (5*) with one each on Norwegian (5*), P&O International (4*) and P&O Australia (3*). Princess have been good to great, P&O International was good with P&O Australia acceptable but nothing to rave about.


*These rating are mine alone and have no basis other than my opinion.
 

Anna

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ship

I would not call myself a guru but I have done 2 on Princess, 2 on Celebrity, about 4 on Star Cruises and 4 on Norwegian as well as some others here and there.

I probably would not pick Norwegian again unless it was exactly the right itinerary and nobody else was offering it.

I do like that Celebrity make it particularly easy to find healthy food at breakfast and lunch without making you look at (and try to ignore) a buffet groaning with delicious high-fat high-sugar options. Celebrity have a special healthy buffet in a separate area by the adult pool, and it's just as delicious.
 

Major

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ship

We have been on 4 cruises with HAL and would travel on them again. We find that they cater more for our age group rather than the younger all night social noisy groups.

There is always plenty of food and wine options, and the staff are just great.

Their on shore tour options are a bit exxy but you can usually find something to suit on the wharf
 

Tazza_0712

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ship

I've completed 14 cruises, with another 4 booked within the next two years.

I've cruised most extensively with Princess and Royal Caribbean, and have also completed a few cruises on P&O Australia.

It will always come down to the individual and what your idea of a holiday is.

I've found both Royal and Princess to be my favourites with P&O coming in last. Radiance of the Seas is my favourite Royal ship, being a fair size (almost small by today's standards) it doesn't tend to have that overly crowded feeling. By contrast, the Voyager/Explorer of the Seas are significantly larger and have a whole bunch of attractions that their smaller sibling is missing, like the Flow Rider wave machine and the ice skating rink - but I've found them to feel overly congested and a little amusement park'ish so I won't sail on that class of ship anymore.

Princess ships have a certain traditional elegance about them that I appreciate with very solid service standards, and in fact they have definitely become one of my favourite lines.

Destination is also key - sometimes the ship doesn't matter as much as the itinerary and that was the case when I sailed Alaska last year on Princess. I had initially wanted to book Celebrity or Royal but ultimately the destination won out over the ship and I went with Princess and it was amazing. Couldn't fault it.

I feel like I've spewed out a whole bunch of generalisations but let me know if you have any specific questions about any of it.
 

Pushka

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Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ...

drron is the guru on small ships. Yachts?
I like the larger ones while still working but might move to the smaller ones when retired.

I love the Celebrity product, Cunard is olde-world classic for a totally different experience and while I have cruised with Princess as well, it was just a taste. RCL is ok. Tried P&O in the old days and hated it. Cruising has changed since then though. I cant imagine ever cruising on NCL.

I currently have 3 cruises booked to 2018. Diamond Princess in Asia at Christmas, another QM2 trip in April from Singapore to Dubai going with another AFF'er loves_the_life (Dame the older) and just yesterday booked another Celebrity cruise around Japan in 2018.

Itinerary wins hands down. I try to stick with a brand just to get some loyalty but that comes second. Probably cruised the most days with Cunard.

Was supposed to be on Princess for an Alaska cruise in 2 weeks. Bloody dvt. :(
 

drron

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ...

It really is horses for courses.We just like Expedition cruising though we have had 4 cruises on the Silverseas mainline ships.The largest though takes 396 pax maximum.Not counting a cruise to nowhere on the Mikhail Lermentov(which now lies at the bottom of the Marlborough Sounds) for the Bicentennial we have had 17 cruises.Another 3 booked for the next 12 months and one in 2019 on the proposed Scenic Expedition ship.
We are suited to this type of cruise as the destinations are often to places larger ships just cant get to.They are usually more expensive.
Two of those cruises have been on really small ships-Sikumi an 8 pax cruise in Alaska and the 16 pax Athala 2 in the Galapagos.To me those were the best experiences.I am into nature and you really get up close on those voyages.
Several TRs with these cruises on here.Happy to answer questions if anyone interested in small ships.
 

love_the_life

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ...

Think I've had about 15 cruises all up though primarily on the mainstream lines. It's hard to pick a favourite cruise line or ship as so much depends on how great the holiday was (and so perhaps had on the rose coloured glasses). Itinerary is important, especially to MrLtL as he gets a tad stir crazy if there are more than one sea days in succession. (My) very first cruise was on Star (Superstar Virgo) out of Singapore and as I had nothing to compare it with, thought it was great. The trip was worth it to see the original artwork on board if nothing else. There've been a couple of river cruises which are different altogether. Of the ocean lines, most has been on Celebrity which we quite enjoy. Although large, there are enough specialty restaurants and Blu so that Mr LtL does not have to go to the MDR for meals which he hates. For expedition cruising we like Silversea but only where most of the activities are based on zodiacs and walking rather than them bussing you around to see sights. I suppose this means we prefer nature cruises. Azamara has nice smaller sized ships which are great for being about to dock in the centres of ports, something the large ones can't do. Cunard and Celebrity are probably neck and neck. I suppose my two least favoured lines are RCI as they seem to be moving to a cheapskate model (JQ anyone?) with crappy bathroom products etc and Princess though not for its service, more that the ships we have in Australia are quite old and not well designed in some areas IMO.
 

bpeteb

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ship

I have seem a few comments and threads by people here but I'm interested in getting some more detail so as to be able to compare the various lines.

We have done a few cruises now with 3 on Princess (5*) with one each on Norwegian (5*), P&O International (4*) and P&O Australia (3*). Princess have been good to great, P&O International was good with P&O Australia acceptable but nothing to rave about.


*These rating are mine alone and have no basis other than my opinion.
Hi Bill

Six cruises is a decent sample to compare mainstream lines. Silversea mentioned by drron and love_the_life is a luxury line with prices to match. One day I hope we're lucky enough to cruise with them.

We've cruised with Celebrity, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Princess and most recently P&O Oz. We've also been lucky enough to sail on The World.

What kind of comparison are you looking for?

cheers

Pete
 

mrs.dr.ron

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ship

..........Silversea mentioned by drron and love_the_life is a luxury line with prices to match. One day I hope we're lucky enough to cruise with them.
cheers
Pete
Silverseas might seem expensive, but when you compare apples with apples - you might be surprised. The cruise we just did with APT/Botanica/NobleCaledonia on the Caledonian Sky worked out to be more expensive than Silverseas and we did not get anywhere near the service and all inclusive, let alone the suite as we do on Silverseas. After that last cruise you couldn't get me on an APT anything ever again.

What I have cruised =

IBERIA 1969 Sydney -Fiji - Sydney
ALEXANDR PUSHKIN 1988 3 day Bicentennial TALL SHIPS cruise Sydney
SIKUMI 2006 8 day Inside Passage Alaska
ATHALA II 2008 8 days Galapagos cruise
ORION July 2009 Broome - Darwin
SILVER EXPLORER (PRINCE ALBERT II) August 2010 Arctic
ORION December 2010 Antarctic -Mawsons Hut
SILVER SHADOW July 2011 - Incheon to Anchorage
SILVER WIND July 2012 - Black Sea -Istanbul to Istanbul
SILVER CLOUD November 2012 Barbados -Amazon -Barbados
SILVER EXPLORER March/April 2013 Capetown to Accra Ghana
SILVER EXPLORER July 2013 Reykjavik Iceland to Churchill Canada
SILVER EXPLORER September 2014 Sapporo Japan to Fiji 30days B2B
Belmond ORCAELLA December 2014 Burma River cruise 12 days Mandalay to Bagan
SILVER CLOUD June 2015 18 days Copenhagen/Archangel/Copenhagen
SILVER EXPLORER September 2015 Nassau to Guayaquil 24 days B2B
CALEDONIAN SKY April 2016 Japan Cherry Blossom Cruise 13 days. NEVER AGAIN !

We have another 3 cruises booked. Next one Silver Whisper in August. :D
 

bpeteb

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ship

Silverseas might seem expensive, but when you compare apples with apples - you might be surprised. The cruise we just did with APT/Botanica/NobleCaledonia on the Caledonian Sky worked out to be more expensive than Silverseas and we did not get anywhere near the service and all inclusive, let alone the suite as we do on Silverseas. After that last cruise you couldn't get me on an APT anything ever again.

What I have cruised =

IBERIA 1969 Sydney -Fiji - Sydney
ALEXANDR PUSHKIN 1988 3 day Bicentennial TALL SHIPS cruise Sydney
SIKUMI 2006 8 day Inside Passage Alaska
ATHALA II 2008 8 days Galapagos cruise
ORION July 2009 Broome - Darwin
SILVER EXPLORER (PRINCE ALBERT II) August 2010 Arctic
ORION December 2010 Antarctic -Mawsons Hut
SILVER SHADOW July 2011 - Incheon to Anchorage
SILVER WIND July 2012 - Black Sea -Istanbul to Istanbul
SILVER CLOUD November 2012 Barbados -Amazon -Barbados
SILVER EXPLORER March/April 2013 Capetown to Accra Ghana
SILVER EXPLORER July 2013 Reykjavik Iceland to Churchill Canada
SILVER EXPLORER September 2014 Sapporo Japan to Fiji 30days B2B
Belmond ORCAELLA December 2014 Burma River cruise 12 days Mandalay to Bagan
SILVER CLOUD June 2015 18 days Copenhagen/Archangel/Copenhagen
SILVER EXPLORER September 2015 Nassau to Guayaquil 24 days B2B
CALEDONIAN SKY April 2016 Japan Cherry Blossom Cruise 13 days. NEVER AGAIN !

We have another 3 cruises booked. Next one Silver Whisper in August. :D
If you're trying to make me even more envious mrs.dr.ron it's working ;)

Our friend with the apartment on The World keeps asking where we'd like to go next but both of us are still working so finding the time for that, over any other holiday, is proving difficult!
 

turtlemichael

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ship

Another cruiser here. I think we are up to about 12, maybe one or two more, starting 10 years ago. The first few were on Celebrity in the Med and the Mexican Riviera. We then moved to a smaller line, Regent Seven Seas, and did a few cruises with them in the Med, across the Pacific, and the in Caribbean. Since then we have switched between Silversea and Seabourn for about 8 cruises again in the Med, South America, Asia and last year on Seabourn Sojourn for a five weeks from Singapore to Athens. Next up is not until August 2017 when we spend 28 days getting from Stockholm to Montreal via St Petersburg, Ireland, Iceland and Greenland on Silversea's Silver Whisper..

There is a world of difference between large cruise ships and the ones, such as Seabourn and Silversea, which can be as small as 400 people on the main line ships and even less on their specialist ships. The experience on the smaller ships is more intimate and we think altogether better. This often comes at a price. Happy to offer any advice and look forward to running into drron and mrs.dr.ron on a Silversea cruise some time :)
 

mrs.dr.ron

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ship

Another cruiser here....... Next up is not until August 2017 when we spend 28 days getting from Stockholm to Montreal via St Petersburg, Ireland, Iceland and Greenland on Silversea's Silver Whisper ...........
Happy to offer any advice and look forward to running into drron and mrs.dr.ron on a Silversea cruise some time :)
TM - we are doing Stockholm/Copenhagen/Southampton this August on the Whisper B2B with 5 days in St Petersburg !
 

SydneySwan

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ship

We have done 7 cruises - 4 HAL, 2 Norwegian and 1 RCL. I would say that order represents our preference but they have all been pretty good.
 

Sale

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ship

We started our cruising life with a HAL cruise, then converted to Oceania (Marina firstly with 1250 passengers) then to the smaller 'R' class Oceania ships - Nautica, Insignia & Regatta (with 680 pax). This seems to be our comfort zone - price & inclusions, itineraries, fellow passengers and the size and layout of the ships. Plus brilliant dining. I also like not to have to constantly sign and pay for extras all the time.

Included are all the specialty dining rooms, soft drinks, coffees etc, 24 hour room service and gratuities. Extras are alcohol and tours, but Oceania generally run a free shuttle to the town centre. They have an "O-Life" inclusion with all cruises so you can select one of: additional OBC, a specific number of tours, or an alcohol beverage package.

Our next cruise coming up is on the new Oceania ship, the Sirena (formerly the Ocean Princess) on July 7th and we leave Melbourne in 40 days! :D Valletta through to Le Havre - can't wait!
 

straitman

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ship

Thanks everyone that gives me a bunch of things to think about.
 

scotus

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ship

Agree with Major. My wife and I have done 5 cruises on Holland America and would use them again, we have also used Carnival, Royal Caribbean and P & O but none of them come close to HAL. Interestingly HAL only use all the same nationality for cabin staff and bar staff which we thing works better than the multi national staff on other cruise lines.
 

Pushka

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ship

The thing I've noticed with HAL is that they dont seem to have many normal balconies without dipping into suite territory. Is that a correct observation?
 

Fifa

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ship

We started our cruising life with a HAL cruise, then converted to Oceania (Marina firstly with 1250 passengers) then to the smaller 'R' class Oceania ships - Nautica, Insignia & Regatta (with 680 pax). This seems to be our comfort zone - price & inclusions, itineraries, fellow passengers and the size and layout of the ships. Plus brilliant dining. I also like not to have to constantly sign and pay for extras all the time.

Included are all the specialty dining rooms, soft drinks, coffees etc, 24 hour room service and gratuities. Extras are alcohol and tours, but Oceania generally run a free shuttle to the town centre. They have an "O-Life" inclusion with all cruises so you can select one of: additional OBC, a specific number of tours, or an alcohol beverage package.

Our next cruise coming up is on the new Oceania ship, the Sirena (formerly the Ocean Princess) on July 7th and we leave Melbourne in 40 days! :D Valletta through to Le Havre - can't wait!
I have been looking at Oceania for a while.
They have some fantastic itineraries and I am particularly interested in their world cruises with lots of inclusions and really good prices for the calibre of the cruise.
 

DaveB

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Re: Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ship

We caught up with American friends in February who were on an Ocean Princess world cruise. They had been on board a month with from memory close to another two to go. Loved the ship though did make mention of the many days at sea.

7-10 days cruising is the right cruise length for us typically incorporated into an overall holiday of 3 to 4 weeks duration. Our three cruises thus far (Baltics 2014, Kimberley 2015 & Alaska 2016) have each had only one full day at sea which again for us is the right number.
 

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