How wonderful to be able to cruise on a Luxury Cruise ship...where everything is included. Or is it? Here is a comparison of different cruise lines that term themselves 'Luxury,' and all that each one offers with the price of a cruise fare.
This one is the best of the best when it comes to all inclusives...they are the only one (with the exception of river cruises) that offers unlimited Shore Excursions with the price of a cruise ticket. Granted, these are the shore excursions that previously cost less than $200 per person, so if you want one that is more deluxe, you will have to pay for it. But still, it's a great value when you think about it...especially for families.
Here are the amenities:
Gratuities, unlimited shore excursions, roundtrip air, 1-night pre-cruise luxury hotel package, ground transfers, room service, specialty restaurants, wine and spirits, beverages, open bars and lounges plus in-suite mini-bar replacement daily, welcome bottle of Champagne, interactive flat screen television with extensive media library and complimentary movies-on-demand, in-suite dining served course by course, fitness programs, sauna and steam rooms in the spa, Butler service in Penthouse Suites and higher, which also includes iPad use, iPod docking station.
Gratuities, alternative restaurants, launderette with free soap and softener, room service, all desserts at ice cream parlor, non-alcoholic beverages, fine wines and premium spirits, open bar service in all lounges, specialty coffees, sushi bar, specialty fitness classes.
Gratuities, alternative restaurants, butler service in all suites, beverages, fine wines and spirits, champagne, specialty coffees, in-room bar and refrigerator stocked with your preferred beverage selections, 24 hour room service and in-suite dining served course by course, shoreside events on select voyages, guided excursions ashore on Silversea Expeditions aboard Silver Explorer, transportation into town in most ports of call.
Silversea Cruises has recently instituted their Silver Privilege fares, offering guests one fare for their suite, onboard gratuities, complimentary beverages shipwide and in room bars and refrigerators stocked with your choice of beverages. These are guaranteed, so if a lower fare becomes available, Silversea will give a shipboard credit, suite upgrade, future cruise credit, fare reduction or other method determined by the cruise line. Requests must be in writing to the cruise line and PRIOR to the beginning of your cruise. Requests made after the cruise has begun will not be honored, so make sure you have a great travel agent who is willing to price-check for you several times prior to your voyage!
Gratuities, wine with lunch and dinner, open bar with selected premium brands, water 'toys' including wave runners, glass bottom kayaks, Hobie cats, snorkel gear, water skiing, wake boards, banana boat and floating island, mountain bikes for shore-side exploration, golf simulator, shopping with the Chef ashore, flat screen TV, CD/DVD player with extensive CD and DVD library, iPod docking station, stocked mini-bar with your preferences, laptop computers for use while onboard, binoculars on deck, sauna/steam room, Yoga and Tai Chi classes, Champagne and Caviar Splash in the Caribbean, Wii.
Gratuities, wine with lunch and dinner, open bar with selected premium brands, all dining venues, welcome Champagne, in-suite mini bar stocked with your preferences, in-suite dining, caviar, on select sailings complimentary shoreside experiences, watersports during Marina Day at anchor, Caviar in the Surf beach BBQ's, shopping with the Chef ashore, Concierge service with Seabourn Destinations, Massage Moments on deck, Seabourn's personal shopper, rare estate teas.
Gratuities, beverages including select wines and spirits, soft drinks, bottled water, in-suite bar setup in categories B and above, refrigerator replenished daily with soft drinks, beer and bottled water, complimentary kayaking, windsurfing, snorkel equipment and paddleboarding (in select ports), fitness center, all dining venues, room service, welcome fruit and flowers, Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program (on select voyages only.)
Mass Market vs. Luxury
So, is the price for one of these Luxury cruises worth it? Check out this link on Regent's Seven Seas Cruises website to see some comparisons...in the long run, sometimes these luxury cruise lines work out to be the same or even less than Mass Market! Especially if you are drinkers...umbrella drinks around the pool, glass of wine with lunch, pre-dinner cocktail, wine with dinner, and after dinner aperitif...they can all add up! When they are all included, the savings can be extraordinary.
Have you taken a Luxury cruise? Is there really that much of a difference? How do you feel on a Mass Market cruise when presented with your bill on the last day? What was your largest bill at the end of a cruise and why?