A luxury cruise is an incredible vacation experience, with VIP treatment at every turn. Luxury cruise lines know how to pamper their guests: expect gorgeously appointed accommodations and public spaces, serene spas offering indulgent treatments, and true gourmet dining at every meal, whether you enjoy it in an elegant restaurant or in the privacy of your own suite.
Most luxury ships are smaller and more intimate than average. The ratio of crew to passengers is also higher on luxury ships: some sail with a crew member for each guest, ensuring the most attentive and personalized service.
While the luxury lines have much in common, each has its own identity and signature amenities, too.
The time-honored practices of traditional cruising, such as pre-set seating in the dining room, are a hallmark of Crystal Cruises. This line sails some of the larger ships in the luxury market, with outstanding service that makes each guest feel like the most important person on board. Crystal is also known for a unique pillow menu that guests can use to order pillows exactly to their liking.
Paul Gaugin Cruises takes luxury cruising to the South Pacific. The Paul Gaugin sails with “Les Gauguines,” a group of young French Polynesian women who serve as social hostesses, give language lessons, teach a bit of Polynesian dancing, perform blessing ceremonies for newlywed couples and generally ensure that everyone is prepared to have a wonderful time visiting the palm-fringed islands.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises includes roundtrip airfare in many of its cruise fares, as well as nearly all shore excursions, beverages, meals in alternate restaurants, gratuities, and government taxes and fees. You can choose among terrific shore excursions organized by the cruise line, or plan your own onshore experiences with the assistance of a travel concierge.
Ocean-view suites are the only type of stateroom on Seabourn Cruise Lines’ ships. Suites on the cruise lines’ smaller ships have sliding glass doors and step-out balconies, while the larger ships have full verandahs. While on board, be sure to dine at Restaurant 2, which offers innovative tapas-style small plates that are fun for those who like to share new tastes.
Silversea Cruises has a one-to-one ratio of crew to passengers to ensure sublime service. This line is also known for its “Silver Shore” programs that offer once-in-a-lifetime shore-side experiences. For example, you might enjoy dinner under the stars, prepared by a renowned chef; or, tour treasured artworks in a museum that is closed to the public, but open to you.
Many people automatically include Cunard Line in the luxury cruise realm – after all, it is the cruise line of the Queen Mary 2 and two other elegant ships. However, Cunard is really a hybrid that can provide either a luxury or a premium cruise experience, depending on the class of accommodations you choose.