Favorite high-end large cruise ship

Old May 25th, 2021, 10:05 AM
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Also take a good look at Regent cruises. The ships are small, not large, 500 to 700 passengers and the attention to detail through he ship is admirable. Plus, the food is delicious. When you consider that everything is included, it's not that much of a stretch. And if it will be your first cruise, it will probably become the measure of all cruises for you. It did for us! We'll be taking our third cruise with them next year and I can hardly wait.
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Old May 25th, 2021, 11:03 AM
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You may want to consider Azamara cruises too. They were the higher end niche owned by RCI though sold off earlier this year.
https://www.maritime-executive.com/a...te-equity-firm
Three of their ships are former "R" class ships from the defunct line Renaissance who sold off their fleet to other cruise lines. We were on one fo them, the Tahitian Princess in 2006 which to my knowledge was renamed the Ocean Princess. They are very small by todays standards at around 32k tons and 600 feet long. Some do like the intimacy of smaller ships if that interests you.
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Old May 28th, 2021, 11:47 AM
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With all the great advice, my decision is very tough. I think it comes down to picking a ship that has a good itinerary for the exact time I want to go. I am now starting to focus on early to mid November (for my 25th wedding anniversary!) and I see choices of a Viking cruise of a HAL cruise to the Caribbean. I check Vacationstogo all the time! Do most of you just pick a cruise through Vacationstogo and book through them? I don't have a travel agent yet and I'm not sure I need one. I used AAA for my last cruise, but at that time, I was a member.

Thank you all for your help! I am hoping by November that things are improved regarding the Covid-19 front. My husband and I are vaccinated, but that doesn't mean things won't be hectic everywhere we go as there might be temperature checks everywhere and lines for testing. UGH!
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Old May 28th, 2021, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BKmagee View Post
With all the great advice, my decision is very tough. I think it comes down to picking a ship that has a good itinerary for the exact time I want to go. I am now starting to focus on early to mid November (for my 25th wedding anniversary!) and I see choices of a Viking cruise of a HAL cruise to the Caribbean. I check Vacationstogo all the time! Do most of you just pick a cruise through Vacationstogo and book through them? I don't have a travel agent yet and I'm not sure I need one. I used AAA for my last cruise, but at that time, I was a member.

Thank you all for your help! I am hoping by November that things are improved regarding the Covid-19 front. My husband and I are vaccinated, but that doesn't mean things won't be hectic everywhere we go as there might be temperature checks everywhere and lines for testing. UGH!
Personally we use a TA. We have been doing business with her for 20 years and obviously are very pleased. However how you do it is up to you. We love the level of service and expertise she has.

Contrats on your wedding anniversary. 25 years is a milestone.

As for how things will be in Nov. lets hope for the best. We had a cruise scheduled for Sept. which per my TA seemed likely to commence but we are just not comfortable yet so we rebooked on another ship for 2/2023. Its an older ship but we love the itinerary.

Good luck with your decision.

Larry .
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Old May 28th, 2021, 06:12 PM
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I see some really great Caribbean itineraries for mid-November on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, so do not overlook these cruise lines. I, personally, think the main entertainment is best on Royal, but small venues on Celebrity have good musicians and singers. Both were a bit better than Hal. We loved the artwork, flowers and wine on Hal, but everything pretty much closed up by 9:00 in the evening. We are not big partiers, but do enjoy at least a piano bar or some late show.

If you have a good travel agent, see what they can do for you. It seems they can do more for you when you use them consistently and they know they have your loyalty and business, or get reliable referrals from friends.

We have used vacationstogo several times and had very, very good service. Just know that they are not hand holders. With Vacationstogo, I usually (not always though) know exactly what I what and even what cabins and deck I prefer, so I do not always need an informed agent, just one who can get the best rates.

We have also called the lines directly and used their recommended agents. I do like working with an agent who works with one cruise line, especially if I have questions about the ship, itinerary, etc. because they often have gone on several of the ships and are personally familiar with it. It is also nice if I have worked with them before because they may offer an upgrade.

You are fine as long as you work with a reputable agency, not some fly by night place, and there are, unfortunately, a lot of them.
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Old May 28th, 2021, 09:28 PM
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My last booking in 2019 I used a specific agent at Vacations to Go recommended by the friend I was cruising with.The other time I used VTG, the random person was fine. You do have to call to book with them.

Depending on the cruise, the agent (including Vacations To Go) can throw in some On Board Credit or some other perk. It's worth it to ask. The cruise line agent was fine the few times I booked direct, but by then I had already decided on the cruise.

Once you book with an agent, you have to go through them to make requests like room changes but other things you can book yourself once you've paid up.

My one bad experience was with Expedia using their dedicated cruise staff. Avoid.



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Old May 29th, 2021, 06:08 AM
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Select a cruise ship and look at its deck plan chart to select a cabin location, call both the cruise line and VTG to ask for a price quote an well as OBC and any freebies. Book with the one that gives you a better deal.

However, if the cost were close then I'd book directly with the cruise line, because then you will be able to pick up the phone and call the cruise line for additional help or make changes without going through your agent.
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Old May 29th, 2021, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Reading54 View Post
Select a cruise ship and look at its deck plan chart to select a cabin location, call both the cruise line and VTG to ask for a price quote an well as OBC and any freebies. Book with the one that gives you a better deal.

However, if the cost were close then I'd book directly with the cruise line, because then you will be able to pick up the phone and call the cruise line for additional help or make changes without going through your agent.
it occurs to me that if you are new at cruising you may for the sake of convenience and knowledge and knowing the ins and outs get a travel agent who is a cruise expert.

if interested I can let you know about my travel agent whom weve use for quite some time. She can give you some onboard credit though honestly probably not as much as you might get from vacations to go. However the trade-off is a tremendous level of service. She is bonded and insured and you may get lucky and that its possible she could get you a group rate which could save quite a bit. Just a thought.
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