I am planning to take a cruise with my wife to Europe during the end of Sept of this year (06).
However, I have been looking on so many review sites and agencies on the web that I am a little bit lost.
So I thought I'll hit up this board to see I can get some good suggestions/advice.
Wife and I are in our late 20s, and rather particular about cleaniness and being in a ship that is "new", or something a little bit more comfortable/luxury (though not to the extreme).
I am planning on a 8-10 day cruise to Europe, most likely the Mediterranean. This is going to be very R&R trip for us, so if we don't feel like it, we might not go on too many shore excuresions and might spend more time on board or in the room then most people.
I have so far checked out the sites for Royal Carribean, Princess, Celebrity and Carnival.
There are so many ships to select from, and we would really like to go on one of the newer and bigger ships. Unfortunately, not every site has the ship's maiden voyage date listed.
If I could get some advice, that would be really great.
We've sailed on HAL, RCCL, NCL, Carnival, Costa, and Princess. So far, to me, Princess is the best. The food, the cleanliness of the ships, and the service keep me coming back. It's not that the others are bad, just, to me, Princess is a bit better. Just my 2 cents. Best Wishes!!
I would choose Royal Caribbean over all of the others. They have the largest ships in the world. We went on the Navigator last year and it looked brand new. Royal Caribbean ships have great service, great food and are very clean.
Since the Carnival ship in Europe is new, all 4 of the lines you mentioned are worth considering. I would suggest that, in addition to looking online, you also check with a reputable travel agent in your area, particularly one who specializes in cruises (www.cruising.org can help you find one). You can discuss your wants & wishes with them and they can narrow down the selection. Especially for a first-timer, it's important to have a little outside help with this - as you noticed, the number of choices is almost endless!
I agree with what Karen says. An agent is probably your most reputable source. If you are looking for a newer ship, the Carnival Liberty is not even a year old. Her maiden voyage was in July 5, 2005 in Europe. She is 110,000 tons and beautiful. I sailed her out when she was doing Carrib. cruises from Ft Lauderdale, Florida. Plus Carnival has the largest cabins. One thing to keep in mind.
Before making any decisions, you must seriously consider Regent Seven Seas - I say that after hearing you say "This is going to be very R&R trip for us, so if we don't feel like it, we might not go on too many shore excuresions and might spend more time on board or in the room then most people." Regent Voyager and Regent Mariner (approx 780 pax) are both all suite, all veranda ships with excellent food and service. When you arrive in your suite, you will find a card asking your liquor preference so that your en-suite bar can be stocked (included). Choice of "house" wines is included at dinner.
Smaller and more intimate are the Yachts of Seabourn (approx 200 pax) (my absolute favorite) - they are all inclusive and their service is unexcelled. Of course, they will spoil you for anything else. Remember "biggest doesn't mean best"!
Originally posted by Uwe:
Ask for Crystal Serenity. I think, the Serenity is the ship you are looking for.
Uwe makes a good suggestion, however, Crystal still hangs on to the "assigned hour/assigned table" type of dining and wine is NOT included at dinner nor is your private bar included in your suite. That can cramp one's style. Plus, they are in the same $$$$ category as Regent.
But, with that said, the "alternate" dining venues are OUTSTANDING, the entertainment is very good and the overall service is impeccable! You can't go wrong with Crystal!
if you do not want to renounce for free "house wine" at dinner or the free en-suite bar, than your suggestion "Regent Voyager" is very OK.
I feel the suites in the Serenity are a little bit more charming an, as we say in Germany, gemuetlicher.