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DerekD Aug 1st, 2004 11:49 AM

Luxury + Informal = ??
For our 10-year anniversary I would like to take a cruise on a ship that is upscale and relatively small but still is relatively informal and you don't have to wear a tuxedo. We would also like to be with people who are friendly and down to earth.

Is there something out there like this?

abram Aug 1st, 2004 03:22 PM

We're going on an Oceania cruise in October because it sounds like the type of cruise line you describe. The ships hold 684 passengers, and there are no formal nights.

newyorkgolfer41 Aug 1st, 2004 04:17 PM

Radisson ships would work too. The people are very friendly and social. Like you, I prefer smaller, luxury ships with fewer passengers and despise formal nights. Some itineraries do not have any formal night. On others there is formal night but if so, I always opt out and eat in one of the other restaurants (La Veranda) which is always casual.

manycruiser Aug 2nd, 2004 10:44 AM

We were very disappointed in Oceania. Our 18th Cruise.

My recommendation is Celebrity. You have a proven product. Although they have "dress up" nights, no need to wear a tux, and a basic black dress with some pretty jewelry will get you a long ways.

I am sold on the Celebrity product. If you book, go to You can save some $$$$$$$$$

Mimi Aug 2nd, 2004 01:38 PM

We're taking an Oceania cruise this year after receiving a great deal of positive feedback from friends. We too like smaller ships and informality. We had previously sailed on Orient's Marco Polo, but Oceania's ships have had recent face lifts and are supposed to be very lovely. If you really want a small ship, try river cruises. Check out the boards here by specific cruiseline and/or type. Or go to CruiseMates or CruiseCritic and do the same. I've received excellent trip planning advice through these travel boards.

Cruiser Aug 3rd, 2004 07:08 AM

I would NOT suggest Celebrity if you are wanting a "casual dressing" cruise. It has 3 levels of dress: formal, casual, and informal (which you should think of as semi-formal).

wills Aug 3rd, 2004 03:51 PM

How about Windstar? Sailing ships, romantic and apparently not formal.

janeg Aug 7th, 2004 07:54 AM

We do a lot of traveling with Smithsonian Journeys. There are others- Academic Arrangements, National Geographic Expeditions, International Expeditions, Inc. These companies offer many small ship cruises that are very upscale. We only had one time out of many where we felt the fellow travelers were a bit stuffy. Intrav has small ship cruises. Of course, my idea of a small ship is under 100 passengers. The industry seems to think small ships are under 500.
Remember upscale tends to mean older clientele. But we are still fun. :S-

DerekD Aug 7th, 2004 06:32 PM

These are all great suggestions. My only concern with Windstar and the very small lines is that my wife tends to get seasick and I think would be sensitive to smaller boats. We did a cruise with HAL on the Zaandam and she was fine.

jillllybeans Aug 7th, 2004 09:03 PM

Maybe it's too late to jump in on this thread but I have the perfect suggestion...The Paul Gaughan! It's nothing but casual and you'll have the time of your life. The flight is long but it is so worth it. ALL CRUISES in Tahiti are expensive but if you want the true cruise of a lifetime I can't say enough good things about Radisson's Paul Gaughan! The French Polynesian islands are amazing. I may add, all Radisson cruises are great and would work well for you but the Paul Gaughan sounds so perfect for your anniversary! It's 1st class, yet casual, all the way.

SB_Travlr Aug 12th, 2004 01:18 PM

Here's another vote for Windstar -- it's tough to beat. I think max is 150 pax, and they take wonderful care of you. We cruised Istanbul to Athens on the late lovely Windsong, and loved every minute.

We're taking a November cruise with them from Tahiti, and can't wait.

parislady40 Aug 15th, 2004 11:33 AM

Just had to let you know that you cannot beat the Windstar lines.
We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary onboard in June on the Windsurf. For your wife, the stabilizers are hard to beat. We did not have a rough night , and we did two back to back cruises. The staff are fantastic and even managed to do a wedding renewal with only 4 hours notice. This included the photographer, the cake, champagne, full ceremony, and witnesses.The Captain even turned the ship around as the wind was just a bit to high for proper photography. We are now about to book a cruise in December. Upscale, informal, classy, and down to earth all personifies this cruise line.
ps: a good cross section of all ages

traveller333 Aug 15th, 2004 01:26 PM

DerekD, Do you know where you're going to cruise to? There are very few places I'd want to cruise WITHOUT a balcony. I prefer smaller ships that are casual attire like you. Iwould be very very disappointed to end up somewhere like the French Polynesian islands (Tahiti, Bora Bora) without a balcony. To me, the extra cost is so worth it.

everittp Aug 17th, 2004 05:41 PM

I think you would really enjoy Crystal. The service is extra special partly because more crew to passenger ratio. I mainly retired group with a bit more money than most, but very hospitable. I was 'adopted' by two different couples who just wanted to share their experiences with me. I was over dressed in a formal gown! The rest of my table wore 'little black dress' type. Quieter though I think there were some deck games if I'd searched them out. Stabilizers kept ship from rolling too much, but some people did wear patch.

newyorkgolfer41 Aug 18th, 2004 07:05 AM

Crystal gets very high marks but know that it is more formal and has more passengers than some of the other smaller ships you're considering. Also it is not all inclusive.

narob Aug 21st, 2004 08:40 PM

Want a really informal and initimate ship ( less than 100 people ), do the Galapagos on the Celebrity Xpedition. All inclusive, three levels of daily excursions, including snorkeling with seals. We're doing this in December with the Quito package starting the 10th.Email us after the holidays and we'll give you details.

newyorkgolfer41 Aug 22nd, 2004 08:47 AM

narob, I'm envious! That's a trip I hope to do someday. It sounds perfect in everyway.

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