10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines
The Ultimate Countdown: CruiseExperts.com 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines
Spending vacation on one of the luxury cruise lines is arguably the best way to experience multiple vacation destinations, and to do it in ultimate style! CruiseExperts.com can connect you to the best luxury cruises for solo travel, couples or family vacations. My biggest challenge before taking off on a cruise is finding the services and amenities that really and truly are “luxury.” Although every cruise ship promises to gratify most of our needs, being catered to has a whole different meaning when it comes to vacationing on a luxury cruise liner. Even so, I found that subtle differences in indulgences matter greatly when it comes to choosing one over another.
My pick for the ten best cruises has much in common but enough variables to make each a strong contender for succeeding vacations.
- It was refreshing to know that all-inclusive really means all-inclusive on Regent Seven Seas Mariner. That meant an experience with all the bells and whistles and no nickel and diming for extras. Everything is covered in the cost of the trip without exception such as beverages including fine wines and premium drinks, enrichment programs, fitness classes, laundry, ship to town shuttle services, specialty dining and gratuities – just to name a few. In addition, all my expectations of luxurywere met in our spacious private suite, top notch dining whenever I chose (and in any of the ships sumptuous restaurants), unlimited access to dynamic panoramas and their personalized on-land programs.
- A 14 Night Caribbean cruise on the Crystal Serenity dispelled what was becoming a growing disenchantment with caloric dense fare and the usual crowds associated with the average cruise vacation. With the highest passenger-to-staff and space ratio, service was impeccable, and my encounters with other passengers whether traveling in elevators, dining or sunbathing on open decks was occasional and comfortable. This is also important when it comes to participating in the luxury liner’s outstanding enrichment programs since it allows for more one-on-one interaction with the world renown trainers, authors and other professionals that share their knowledge and expertise with Crystal Serenity guests.
- Paul Gauguin is most likely one of the best cruises for couples. While celebrating a special occasion, it was also an immersion in the idyllic destination of Fiji, French Polynesia, South Pacific and Tahiti which turned this cruise into its own memorable event. Relaxation is heightened by indulgences such as having a butler unpack our suitcases, make dinner and spa arrangements or plan a private gathering with friends in our suite. Paul Gauguin is one of few luxury liners that has a retractable water sports marina to windsurf, kayaks or dive with certified instructors. Also, remember this is the only luxury cruise liner offering year-round cruises to Tahiti and French Polynesia.
- Silver Spirit is considered to be a super-luxury cruise ship. In addition to exceeding the criteria as a luxury liner, dining and intuitive service takes center stage on a Silver Spirit which is also a member of the Silversea fleet. If I am to be completely honest, these are some of the primary incentives that, time after time, entice me to go cruising. On the Silver Spirit, you can enjoy Continental Cuisine in the main restaurant or fresh Italian at La Terrazza. However, when I wanted a more energetic venue, I head to the Stars Supper Club for dinner and dancing to live music or to the Seishin restaurant for super fresh sushi. For romance and luxury, the Silver Spirit did not disappoint.
- Let’s face it; there is nothing more luxurious about cruising than the “Spa” experience which is the focus on a Seabourn Quest luxury cruise line. Apart from being visually stunning, the multi-level spa atrium on the Seabourn Quest provide hours of therapeutic lounging in a dedicated spa pool, whirlpool or private deck. I could also choose to spend time alone with my significant other in a special spa villa with an exotic Persian ambiance. Spa treatments also run the gamut so far as massages, facials, manicures and pedicures to name a few. When you are not at the spa, it is possible to enjoy a dip in the Mediterranean or Caribbean water sans the threat of engaging with potentially unfriendly sea life through an innovative retractable marina.
- Boredom is one thing that never occurs on a Riviera luxury That’s because whether you choose to participate or not there are always myriad options for engaging in onboard activities; all complete with the care and extravagance expected on a luxury cruise liner. I was indulged at the Canyon Ranch Spa and spent some time at the gym before heading to the beauty salon. Although the Culinary Center was more to my liking, my traveling companion enjoyed the arts and crafts sessions offered at the Artist Loft Enrichment Center. Of course there was also dining in grand style from Jacques French Bistro to Asian cuisine and private customized dining at the Privee.
- Because the Safari Explorer is a smaller than the average luxury cruise ship, the staff is motivated to exceed guest expectations. The highly personalized service sets this ship apart for me. Since the number of passengers are limited to 36 on each cruise, it’s like having your own private chef and crew. Meals reflect specific guest preferences because the chef took the time to interact with us. Onboard and off-shore programs are also personalized according to guest interests.
- There are boutique hotels and then there is the S. Antoinette. This boutique riverboat has been dubbed the “most luxurious river cruise ship in the world” and I whole-heartedly concur. For me, the S.S. Antoinette has taken luxury cruising to a whole new level with glamourous details infused in the most unexpected places. To begin with, the ship’s décor mimics an 18th century French Chateau with exquisite Brazilian marble floors. In the lobby there’s the Baccarat crystal and sapphire blue chandelier that once hung in New York’s Tavern on the Green, an exotic mosaic tiled heated swimming pool and handcrafted Savoir of England beds that are swathed in Egyptian cotton. Best of all, my suite on the top deck had an open-air balcony that could easily be enclosed.
- If you are looking for romance, you don’t have to fly to Paris. Ponant has a high romance quotient and in my estimation is one of the best cruises for couples. French-owned and operated, Ponant is a sophisticated vessel dedicated to wowing their guest with their Parisian inspired menu, wine and exquisite service. It was also a lot of fun learning a few culinary techniques from master chefs onboard. And by the way, Ponant also offers an all-inclusive cruising experience.
- While a large luxury cruise liner offers tons of amenities and more opportunities for socializing, everything is more concentrated on a smaller scale on the SeaDream II. For me that meant the experience of being on a private yacht. In fact, it is for this reason that the Seadream II has positioned itself as an intimate luxury yacht as opposed to a cruise ship. In fact, I understand that some of the crew members have been in private yachting service and believe me, this experience is reflected in the attention to detail that every single guest enjoys. Although there is so much more I could talk about, sleeping under the stars on the Balinese deck with chilled champagne and chocolate truffles definitely put this cruise over the edge for me.
If this luxury countdown has piqued your interest, give the experts at CruiseExperts.com a call! They can help you secure the best vacation at the best price, so don’t waste another minute!
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