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

cqtiger

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the cost doesn't vary much whether you book it yourself direct or through a travel agent. So whatever you are comfortable with.
 

ftm

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Tossing up between HAL Seabourn and Ponant - Silverseas doesn't come into it - someone else has done one but it's not in the mix for me
You can’t put the three in the same category - they’re really different and it is unusual to suggest all three to someone. Ponant is the only expedition orientated option. HAL will be pretty much scenic cruising, and Seabourn will be in between. Depends on the guest and how engaging you want your experience to be.
 

drron

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Seabourn do have experienced Expedition team members.They recruited Robin West from Silversea and he took a few experienced team members with him.We have cruised with him on several occasions.First on Orion in the Kimberleys and many times on the Explorer with Silversea.He is now a VP of Seabourn.Here is a little about him.

When in Antarctica though you won't have as many landings as the smaller ships.Here is a review explaining that.
 

k_sheep

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You usually get notification of the Virtuoso amenity or OBC closer to the cruise date as usually not finalised until then.
but give her a nudge!
Nudged - no credit for Scenic apparently 😢

Glad I went to the financial planner when we had a nice happy savings balance .... because it's getting obliterated thanks to this trip!
 

ftm

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Nudged - no credit for Scenic apparently 😢

Glad I went to the financial planner when we had a nice happy savings balance .... because it's getting obliterated thanks to this trip!
Scenic isn't Virtuoso, so no associated benefits when travelling with them.
 

k_sheep

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Boo. Oh well, at least if they start screwing us around like Silversea did, then at least they can do the fighting for me!
 

mrs.dr.ron

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If you are looking at sailing on the scenic eclipse - it has been sailing for over 4 months now and according to reports from people on board rooms are still not finished !!
 

straitman

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If you are looking at sailing on the scenic eclipse - it has been sailing for over 4 months now and according to reports from people on board rooms are still not finished !!
I find that amazing from both a business and regulatory perspective.
 

k_sheep

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If you are looking at sailing on the scenic eclipse - it has been sailing for over 4 months now and according to reports from people on board rooms are still not finished !!
Yes I've been keeping an eye on the cruisecritic board about this. It's more than a year away so they've got time :) And will have 3 or 4 antarctic trips under her belt by then.
 

coles525

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Has anyone ever cruised with either of these providers / ships?

Provider: Princess Cruises
Ship: Diamond Princess

Provider: Cunard
Ship: Queen Elizabeth

Thinking of travelling while in Japan, 2 adults & 1 child.

Is formal clothing enforced? Other rules or feedback would be of use.

Both options are travelling on the same day, for the same lenght of time.
 

zig

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Cunard enforces the dress code, particularly the requirement for men to wear a jacket in the dining room.
You should also compare ports of call and if you will be docked or at anchor. Cunard generally seem to call at few ports meaning more sea days. Quite often the ship is at anchor which means a tender to shore - this can be a slow process involving lining up for tender tickets and then waiting for your number to be called.
 

Pushka

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Has anyone ever cruised with either of these providers / ships?

Provider: Princess Cruises
Ship: Diamond Princess

Provider: Cunard
Ship: Queen Elizabeth

Thinking of travelling while in Japan, 2 adults & 1 child.

Is formal clothing enforced? Other rules or feedback would be of use.

Both options are travelling on the same day, for the same lenght of time.
Ive travelled on Diamond Princess and cruised with QM2 with Cunard. I‘ve written trip reports for both and think that all are in my signature. Diamond has been well set up for the Japanese market, including the nice toilets plus a Japanese style spa. Formal clothing on many nights will be enforced on Cunard but not so much Princess although they do both have dress codes. I suspect the Japanese cruises will have well dressed passengers on both. They are rather chalk and cheese though. I really dislike Princess Buffet. But their afternoon tea cakes are fabulous. If you like the dress up and formality thing I’d go Cunard. More casual and I’d go Diamond. I see you are travelling with a child - definitely Princess.

Diamond Cruise

QM2 Cruises

 

odysseus

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Cunard is much more old world, longer cruises, older passengers so if you prefer formality and tradition that's more suited. As above, what is worn is taken more seriously on Cunard. Diamond Princess, while not excessively lively, is more contemporary and family oriented, so younger average age and likely more children for kids club and kid/teen activities.

Diamond Princess in particular also has a couple of Asian themed features e.g. Japanese bath.

If price/itinerary are the same, I'd suggest the above are the main differences to influence your selection.
 

sinophile888

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We have just returned from the Queen Elizabeth (5th cruise on Cunard). My husband was particularly delighted that Cunard has eased their dress standards from Dec. 6 this year for sailing in and around Australia. The formal nights still require a dinner suit or dark lounge suit if you the eat in the Dining Room (not the buffet) for dinner. But for all other nights, a business shirt with no tie is acceptable. It means he took a little too much luggage, but now is much happier to cruise again on Cunard.

The cruise was excellent as usual and I booked another cruise while on board and only had to pay $300x2 deposit with the balance due 3 months before sailing. Also $US830 in cabin credits. My husband has yet to be given the good news. He will spot the $600 on the credit card soon though.
 

sinophile888

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An update on our booked cruise. No. 2 son liked the look of the cruise; the first for him, his wife and baby daughter. He did a little research and then contacted my TA and got a very good deal, including $300 x 2 +$150 x 1 deposit, some cabin credits and complementary gratuities. I have booked an accessible cabin and was afraid of losing if it I rebooked. I contacted my TA and he was able to keep the cabin, and saved us $1500 on the current promotion. Not sure if we keep the cabin credits.

I had to fess up to my husband as I also booked flights and he would know something is up. Turns out he is really pleased with the whole plan.
 

sinophile888

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I have just received a move over offer from Princess. The offer is another cruise for the same number of nights or less for free, with a possible cabin upgrade, depending on availability. A cruise with more nights, pay the difference. Plus a full refund of the amount paid for this cruise as refundable cabin credits on the new cruise. Our daughter is also booked on the cruise, but in an inside cabin. These cabins have not had the offer. She is quite happy to go on her own.

I rang the number for the offer and verified some of the conditions. When I rang back about 30 minutes later, I was put on a waiting list.

I am quite interested in the offer, my sherpa is not so sure.

I am not sure why we were targeted for the offer, except that we don't spend anything in the casino or on photographs, and often do our own thing in port.
 

Pushka

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I have just received a move over offer from Princess. The offer is another cruise for the same number of nights or less for free, with a possible cabin upgrade, depending on availability. A cruise with more nights, pay the difference. Plus a full refund of the amount paid for this cruise as refundable cabin credits on the new cruise. Our daughter is also booked on the cruise, but in an inside cabin. These cabins have not had the offer. She is quite happy to go on her own.

I rang the number for the offer and verified some of the conditions. When I rang back about 30 minutes later, I was put on a waiting list.

I am quite interested in the offer, my sherpa is not so sure.

I am not sure why we were targeted for the offer, except that we don't spend anything in the casino or on photographs, and often do our own thing in port.
They must be desperate with guarantees etc. That cruise we AFF’ers went on together? L_t_l and I were sharing and we were offered a very similar deal. But decided we should stick with the group. If your plans aren’t in concrete for you then maybe it’s worth you considering? They are quite sweet.
 

sinophile888

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I have decided not to take the offer if we get to the top of the waiting list. The offer is interesting, but there are a couple of issues.
1) Your refund money is tied up until you take the replacement cruise, which for us would be March 2021.
2) All the other cruises, besides March 2021, which suited us were sold out.
3) All the arrangements are already in place for the original cruise.
The sherpa is happy with the decision. He has no interest in any of our travel arrangements, so it is hard for him to make informed decisions. Better to just let me do everything, and that way we are both happy.
 
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