4 Summer Cruises Featuring Exclusivity & Elegance
Going on a luxury cruise isn't like any other experience. Picture this: A hostess greets you with a glass of champagne as you board the ship, and a room steward offers to carry your luggage as he takes you to what will be your sanctuary for the next few days. After stowing your belongings you emerge from your room to get a sense of the ship's layout and friendly crew members welcome you by name as you walk the decks.
Luxury cruise lines are known for their first-class, personalized service. Filled with exotic itineraries, varying degrees of pricing inclusivity, exquisite wines and gourmet cuisine, and uniformly high crew-to-passenger ratios are all to be expected.
But not all luxury cruise ships are made or feel the same. You might assume that any random luxury cruise ship will be enough, but that isn't the case. Cruise ships, like individuals, have distinct personalities, and some will be better suited to your vacation style than others. So you can find which cruise works best for you and your party, we’ve rounded up four cruise experiences and discuss what they offer to give you the perfect trip at sea!
Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises
About The Ship
The Regent Seven Seas Cruises' spacious Seven Seas Explorer is the line's flagship. It exhibits the line's traditions of superb food and extraordinary all-inclusivity. If you're looking for a ship with exceptional accommodations at sea, this is the ship for you.
All staterooms are suites, and if you enjoy balconies, the Seven Seas Explorer has some of the industry's largest, ranging from 55 to 995 square feet. Similarly, the public areas are breathtaking. The ship is decked out in the finest materials, including granite and marble (half of which is Carrara), and around 500 chandeliers made of Czech crystal and glass. There are also 2,500 pieces of art aboard the ship, which include some specifically commissioned paintings by Spanish artist Eduardo Arranz-Bravo and works by masters such as Picasso.
All meals (with at least one meal at each specialty restaurant onboard), unlimited Wi-Fi, unlimited shore excursions (though there is also a list of upgraded tours with a la carte pricing), and gratuities are included in the fares, as well as premium alcohol, wine, spirits, beer, soda, water, and sports drinks.
Generally, the passengers tend to be English speakers, with the majority of passengers being Americans and Canadians, with a few travelers from Australia and the United Kingdom thrown in.
Almost everyone is 60 or older and has traveled extensively, particularly when it comes to cruises. Regent repeaters make up a considerable portion of the people. With the exception of summer and holiday sailings, when the little ones are traveling with their parents and/or grandparents, you won't encounter many children or families.
Riviera, Oceania Cruises
About the Ship
Riviera is well-known for its diverse dining options, which include numerous specialty eateries.
For a charge, two extremely special, intimate meal alternatives are also available. Each evening, 24 passengers can dine at La Reserve by "Wine Spectator," which serves a seven-course meal. As you might expect, the wine pairings are particularly noteworthy.
There are three dinners to choose from, with prices starting at $95 per person. For a charge of $250 per evening, Privee is an even more exclusive option that can be reserved for up to 10 people. The ticket includes dinner at either Polo Grill or Toscana, but not wine.
Foodies may also want to pay a visit to the Riviera's well-equipped Culinary Center. It's a self-contained cooking school at sea with 12 different cooking stations where you may get hands-on experience (two people per station). The cost of classes focused on a variety of topics is higher, but attendees tend to be delighted with them.
Oceania Cruises' pricing is more a la carte than all-inclusive, but on select itineraries, the line's OLife Choice and OLife Ultimate promotions offer free airfare from certain gateways, unlimited Internet, and one or more perks like six shore excursions, a House Beverage Package, and/or shipboard credit.
Riviera attracts a 65+ clientele, with the exception of its shorter cruises, which attract younger vacationing professionals. The majority of cruisers are Americans or Canadians, although there are also Australians, Brits, and visitors from various parts of Northern Europe. With exception of vacations or summertime itineraries, or in Alaska, where the line provides the Alaska Explorer Youth Program, you won't see many families sailing.
Viking Star, Viking Ocean Cruises
About the Ship
Viking Ocean Cruises, like Oceania, is a higher-end company, but the cruise vacation tickets include transfers, complimentary wine and beer at lunch and dinner, no-fee specialty restaurants, and free unrestricted Internet access.
The line offers interesting lectures about the region in which the ship is cruising, but there are other daytime activities. Similarly, with no casino and limited entertainment alternatives, the ship is fairly quiet at night. Viking does not cater to families; no one under the age of 16 is permitted to sail with them. While Viking Ocean Cruises isn't for everyone, it's gaining popularity among curious travelers who want a beautiful new ship, superb service, and plenty of time to explore the ship's ports of call.
All rooms have balconies,and even the smallest rooms are a comfortable 270 square feet. The 338-square-foot Penthouse Veranda, the 405-square-foot Penthouse Junior Suite, and the Explorer Suite, which spans more than 757 square feet, are among the larger accommodations. The rooms feature bedside USB ports, quiet-closing drawers, heated bathroom floors, and anti-fog mirrors.
The cruise ticket includes all restaurants and all specialty options except The Kitchen Table. The Restaurant (primary dining room) and The World Cafe (buffet) offer world cuisine in light-filled spaces with the option of opening floor-to-ceiling windows on warm days. The Chef's Table serves a changing menu of themed, set-course meals, and Manfredi's (probably the best restaurant on board) serves Italian cuisine.
If you want to try some Norwegian specialties, go to Mamsen's, which serves lavishly topped waffles, open-faced sandwiches, and bacon-and-pea soup inspired by Viking chairman Torstein Hagen's mother's recipes. If all of those free dining options aren't enough for you, reserve a seat at The Kitchen Table.
It's only available twice per cruise, and space is restricted. In the morning, you'll join the chef onshore for a market tour; in the evening, you'll join him and help him make a gourmet meal, which you'll then consume.
Viking's first target market was well-traveled, value-conscious travelers aged 50 and over. While Viking Star attracts a younger population who likes itineraries that emphasize the location over sea days, it also attracts an older crowd who appreciates itineraries that emphasize the destination over sea days.
Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Cruises
About the Ship
Beautiful furnishings and intuitive spaces intended for the way people like to gather are features of the indoor and outdoor public areas on Seabourn's Seabourn Encore, which were constructed by renowned designer Adam D. Tihany. Each of the 300 suites, which range in size from 300 to 1,300 square feet, has a balcony where you may enjoy breakfast, drinks, or dinner al fresco.
When the Spa at Seabourn was given so much space on the line's Odyssey-class ships, it set a new standard in wellness at sea. Seabourn Encore now has The Retreat, a private, VIP-only outdoor lounge space on Deck 12, in addition to a spacious spa.
The Retreat is surrounded by a daisy-shaped canopy that provides both light and shade. There are 15 cabanas available, which cost $350 per couple per day and include flat-screen TVs, Evian misters, a beverage-filled mini-fridge, and fresh fruit. The cabanas are neatly situated around The Retreat's main attraction, the hot tub.
Seabourn is favored by many travelers seeking top-notch but personable service. The line's all-inclusive approach is particularly appealing: cruise rates include unique itineraries, entertainment, and all meals, and there's no extra charge for the line's outstanding restaurant, which is run by celebrity chef Thomas Keller.
Open bars with fine wines, beers, and spirits are available throughout the ship as part of the fares (although there is an additional list of select vintage and spirits that do cost extra). Onboard, tipping is neither necessary nor expected, ensuring a stress-free experience.
After sailing on Seabourn, passengers' loyalty tends to stay with the cruise line, therefore many cruisers return. The Odyssey-class ships have become a popular alternative for families with teenagers or adult children looking for multigenerational vacations or family reunions.
Where To Travel on Your Cruise
When booking a vacation, consider any of the following cruise destinations:
- The Western Caribbean Islands
- Coco Cay, Bahamas
- Nassau, Bahamas
- Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico
- Venice, Italy
- Puerto Rico
- Barcelona, Spain
- Key West, Florida
- The Mediterranean Sea
- Piraeus, Greece
If you’re departing from the U.S., expect to leave from any of the following cities:
- New York City
- Orlando (Port Canaveral)
- Los Angeles
Keep an eye out for cruise deals from major vacation companies like MSC, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean when planning a cruise. When you book, make sure to write down your departure date and check-in details to be extra prepared! Whether you’re going on a Bahamas cruise, a Caribbean cruise, or any other ocean vacation, you won’t be disappointed.
All these luxury cruise lines will give you one of the most amazing experiences you’ve had. Between all the wonderful amenities on the boat and the onshore programs you can pick from you’ll have a full itinerary of exploring and traveling to do! While every ship has different experiences and adventures available, we’re sure they will all provide you with the luxurious trip away you’re looking for.
Depending on where you’re heading you’ll probably find water activities and for those, you’ll need different swimwear. If you’re going on a scuba-diving experience take a look at our stylish rash guards for your trip!
If you’re simply swimming, lounging in the sun, or heading to the spa, a comfortable bathing suit will do the trick. And even if it’s not swimwear, don’t forget to pack your sunscreen as well as other sun protection accessories, such as hats and sunglasses.
You can shop all our swimwear on our website and find your perfect suit for your luxury cruise trip and you’ll be ready to set sail!