I often get asked what makes luxury cruises so special? What’s wrong with Royal Caribbean or Princess Cruises? What makes Silversea or Crystal or Regency worth the extra money? Well, I suppose that’s up to you. Some people would rather save money above all else. Some aren’t even aware of the differences between cruise lines and ships. If you’re happy with Carnival than it does seem silly to upgrade.
But some cruisers will swear that it’s not worth going if they can’t go first class. Having recently taken my first flight overseas in first class, I must say that I get the appeal! It is SOOOOOOOOOOOO much better! But I paid dearly for that luxury. So it is a highly personal decision as to whether it is worth the money.
I would like to mention five reasons why luxury cruises are superior and then you can decide if these things matter enough to you to pay the difference in price:
1. The cabin. On luxury ships, most are suites (not cabins) with ocean views–and most have private balconies. So these are bigger rooms with more high-end amenities, such as specialty toiletries, in-room Wi-Fi, marble counter tops, and tub/shower combo.
2. The service. Your every need seems to be anticipated (and even some you didn’t realize!).
3. Pre-and Post-Cruise Packages. Most luxury lines offer shuttle service to and from the ship for its passengers to the airport or wherever is needed. Also, they offer land packages for those interested in doing some things before and/or after the cruise.
4. All-inclusive. While most cruises offer lots of great amenities, including meals and entertainment, luxury liners go the extra mile. For one thing, no tipping! Tips are included in the price. This is a pretty big deal these days considering how much tipping is expected. Also, all beverages including booze, is included. Another biggie! The same is true with dining. If you want to try one of the specialty restaurants on a cruise ship, you have to pay extra. On luxury cruises, all dining is included (and special requests are no problem if you are diabetic or a heart patient or just a picky eater!).
5. Special Events and Shore Excursions. There are lots of special events, such as private parties and lectures. Also, they offer extraordinary shore excursions that go way beyond a city tour or museum visit.