A number of elite cruise lines at the top end of the scale offer all-inclusive fares. On the luxury ships of these lines, not only can you expect plenty of pampering, but many of the extras you normally pay for on a cruise are included in the fare. So what exactly do you get for your money when you splash out on such a cruise? Here’s our top three all-inclusive cruise lines, and the reasons why they rate so highly.
1. Regent Seven Seas Cruises
This boutique fleet of three, Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner, and Seven Seas Voyager, are small to mid-sized ships, and if you cruise on Seven Seas Voyager or Seven Seas Mariner, every suite has a private balcony. What makes this our top pick, however, is the extras you receive above and beyond what’s standard with most all-inclusive fares. For a start, all accommodations are suites with ocean views, coming with perks including an in-suite mini-bar stocked with your preferences and replenished daily, a welcome bottle of champagne on boarding, and an interactive flat screen television in every suite, complete with an extensive media library and complimentary movies-on-demand. When it comes to dining, the ship is open-seating dining throughout, and there’s no charge for any specialty restaurants. Also, with open bars and lounges you can enjoy free, unlimited beverages including fine wines and premium spirits, all gratuities, and complimentary transportation into town in most ports of call. Additional Regent benefits also include two-for-one fares, free unlimited shore excursions, free luxury hotel packages, free ground transfers, and penthouse suite and higher guests enjoy butler service, an in-suite iPad, an iPod docking station, and an espresso machine.
2. Seabourn Cruise Line
This cruise line added a new class of slightly larger ship to its boutique fleet in recent years, the Odyssey class, with three vessels including Odyssey, Quest and Sojourn. They all offer more space and facilities, both of which have proven very popular with new devotees of luxury cruising. On these ships all accommodations are also suites with ocean views, most with private balconies, and you receive an in-suite mini-bar stocked with your preferences and replenished daily, as well as a free interactive entertainment system with first-run movies and music in a database. There is open-seating dining throughout the ship, no charge for specialty restaurants, fine wines poured at lunch and dinner, and open bars throughout the ship. Finally all gratuities are included, and complimentary transportation into town is provided in most ports of call. Guests in premium suites have additional perks including an invitation from the Master for a bridge visit during entry or departure from a port, free internet service, a large bouquet of fresh flowers on embarkation, an espresso machine, and free private car airport transfers. And on Odyssey class ships, guests in premium suites also have a choice of daily newspapers delivered to their suite, and a wellness bag exercise kit containing easy-to-carry workout gear.
3. Silversea Cruises
Taking third spot in our lineup is Silversea, with its fleet of European-owned ships including Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper and Silver Spirit. As with its competitors, these elegant vessels are boutique sized, enjoying plenty of understated style and with plenty of on board facilities. Not all dining venues are included in the fare, but plenty of other perks are. Again these ships offer all suite accommodations with ocean views, and an in-suite mini-bar stocked with your preferences. There’s open seating throughout the ship for dining, complimentary beverages including fine wines, champagnes, spirits, beer, bottled water, specialty coffees and soft drinks, and all gratuities are included, with complimentary transportation into town provided in most ports of call. The additional perks for this line include complimentary shoreside events on select voyages, and butler service for all guests.
To find out more about cruising or to find the cruise of your dreams within your budget, visit CruiseGuide.com.au.
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