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Best Luxury Lines


n a luxury cruise line, you will rarely hear the word "no": Ships may be small or mid-sized, but space is abundant. The deluxe and ultraplush ships that belong to luxury fleets are as good as it gets at sea. You can expect to be welcomed as a valued guest and treated to all the courtesies you would expect at any five-star resort.

Step aboard and enter the exclusive realm of foie gras and caviar on ship that run the gamut from megayachts for only a hundred or so guests to one of the largest ships ever built. All luxury ships provide a level of personal service and courtesy that is unmatched.

Dining is the main event of the evening on most luxury ships. Meals are served during a single open seating and full dinners from the restaurant menu can be served in your stateroom (served course by course, of course). On the highest of the high-end ships, wine is poured freely during the meals, and no one is rushed to finish dessert or coffee. Main courses are cooked to order, and the food on some lines approaches the level of that in a fine restaurant in any city.

Staterooms are uniformly large and luxurious (suites even more so), and inside cabins are rare. Amenities may include opulent spas, gyms, and pools, but they may be limited by ship size on smaller vessels. Entertainment is generally low-key, ports tend to be more exotic, and children may not be allowed.

Elegant and serene, luxury ships are stylish without being stuffy. The well-to-do, sophisticated travelers they attract are collectors of destinations.

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