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THE FACTS – 6 STAR CRUISES
How does it Work?
We all know how the hotel star rating system works and given a choice, we would no doubt choose the 5-star hotel experience. There is no such star rating system for cruises, but an unwritten standard has emerged.
6-star cruises are the ultimate type of cruises that you could ever experience when going on holiday on the water. But what is a 6-star cruise, and which cruise lines can offer you a 6-star cruising experience? Here is our comprehensive guide to why 6-star cruises are the ultimate in cruising.
What are 6 Star Cruises?
6-star cruises are also known as Six Star or Ultra-Luxury cruises, and these relate to a small number of exclusive cruise lines with exquisite cruise ships offering the most amazing food and service. Six-star cruise ships take luxury to a whole new level and, in many cases, far exceeds anything you would find in a 5-star hotel ashore.
Most 6-star cruise ships generally cater to just several hundred passengers with a high ratio of crew to passengers – 1:1 in some cases. (read our article on the Crew to Passenger Ratio). The Passenger Space Ratio, or the amount of space per passenger, will also be much higher on 6-star cruises.
For in-depth reviews of all the Ultra Luxury Six Star cruises, you might like to buy a copy of the Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships which is the ultimate reference guide for serious cruisers.
Cabin or Staterooms are generally referred to as suites, and most have a balcony. The latest Ultra Luxury cruise ships boast “All Balcony All Suites”, and some even have Duplex Appartments and Owners Suites.
The other big differentiator is that Ultra Luxury 6 star cruises are generally all-inclusive, including speciality restaurants, shore excursions, flights, alcoholic beverages and impeccable service from all the crew onboard. It’s essentially as luxurious as you can get but with everything included.
What’s the Difference Between 5 and 6 Star Cruises?
In most industries, a 5 star rating is the best to grade a service or product when you know you’re receiving fantastic products and impeccable services. However, most people don’t know what 6 star cruises are, and it can all become confusing, especially if you’re trying to book your first ever cruise experience.
As you would expect, 6 star cruises are the next step up from 5 star cruises and simply the best kind of cruise you can get. There are notable differences between the cruise experience e onboard a 5 star cruise and a 6 star cruise. The big things that set the two ratings apart include the size of the ship, the space available, and the onboard experience’s general ambience of the onboard experience.
As mentioned, 6 star cruising is where absolutely everything is included in the cruise. With 5 star cruises, many but not all things will be included, such as beverages, shore excursions, speciality restaurants, gratuities and more. You will often find that you need to pay for fine dining, alcoholic beverages, treatments at the spa, flights and other luxuries that you can get on board a cruise ship. At the end of your cruise, be prepared for a large additional bill to settle.
Whichever way you choose to cruise, you’ll fall in love with the exquisite, personalised service you’ll receive, along with amenities onboard that are simply perfection.
Cruise Lines Offering 6 Star Cruising
6 star cruises are the most ultimate way to cruise the seven seas of the world. Here are some of the main cruise lines that offer 6 star cruises:
- Crystal Cruises – Was a great choice when looking for the ultimate 6 star experience, but Covid finshed the off. Crystal Cruises had one of the highest crew-passenger ratios at sea, with the staff offering award-winning personalities and unparalleled expertise. The all-inclusive 6 star experience with Crystal Cruises now offers an enriching expedition cruise experience with Crystal Endeavor, an explorer ship that can take you to the hardest to reach locations like the North-West Passage and Antarctica.
There is a huge range of complimentary amenities and enrichment onboard all Crystal Cruises’ cruise ships. There is enough variety for people of all ages and personalities to find individual interests and pursue new hobbies onboard. Crystal Cruises also operate 6 star River Cruises. Read our Crystal River Cruises review.
Watch this space as Crystal cruises is being resuracted by high-end travel company A&K Travel Group who announced it had bought the bankrupt line’s brand name and two biggest oceangoing ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, with plans to relaunch the brand in 2023.
- Regent Seven Seas – This is a top choice for cultural immersion, solo travellers and a truly all-inclusive experience. Regent Seven Seas Cruises boast the most luxurious cruise ships at sea with the most exclusive, intimate and all-inclusive experience. Unlimited shore excursions, 5-star pre or post-cruise hotel stays, speciality dining and flights are included in this 6 star experience.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises really does cater for the cruiser looking for the ultimate cruise experience. With Regent Seven Seas, satisfy any travel urge you may have as you can customise your entire cruise experience to meet your exact needs.
Read our Regent Seven Seas Cruise Splendor review.
- Silversea Cruises Thanks in part to their partnership with the Grand Chefs of Relais & Chateaux, promises an elegant and refined approach to gourmet cuisine. You can expect astounding cuisine on all their luxury ships where dinner is always open seating with anytime dining. Every need is anticipated with a prompt service delivered with a crew to passenger ratio of almost 1:1.
- Seabourn – Another of the leading Ultra Luxury 6 star cruise lines is Seabourn. Again it is a top choice for food and drink in addition to spa and pampering. Seabourn’s 6 star cruises have no more than 300 suites each, offering its guests as high guest to space ratio.
Seabourn host a range of complimentary special events, including caviar in the surf beach party, extensive enrichment lectures West End quality high-class entertainment and water sports that you can enjoy at your leisure. Unwind in pure relaxation in the award-winning spas and enjoy the most intimate 6-star cruises with plenty of space.
- SeaDream Yacht Club – An often-overlooked alternative to “big ship” Ultra Luxury 6 star cruising, SeaDream Yacht Club offers exceptional all-inclusive cruise holidays aboard two distinctively stylish yachts, SeaDream I and SeaDream II. Whether you are delving into the rich history of the Mediterranean or enjoying a private party on a Caribbean beach, every element of the SeaDream experience has been carefully designed to exceed every expectation.
When it comes to dining, SeaDream excel and dining with this 6-star cruise line ensure that every meal is a sumptuous experience for all the senses. The award-winning service and cuisine are unrivalled whether enjoying the elegantly appointed Dining Salon or yacht-casual dining al fresco. There is an all-day menu available as well as unexpected treats from the Chef, whilst the yacht’s resident Sommelier can assist with your selection from SeaDream’s Wine Cellar.
SeaDream operates 2 luxury yacht-style vessels catering for a maximum of 112 guests. 95 highly-trained crew members offer the best possible service.
Each of these cruise lines has its own personality and has something special to offer its guests. Each has its own band of loyal repeat cruisers who like a particular style, ambience and vibe, many of whom have cruised for hundreds of days.
What if I Don’t Want Everything Included in my 6 Star Cruise?
With Luxury 6 star cruises, you don’t have many packages to choose from; you pay upfront for almost everything, and you can pay extra for some onshore excursions and treatments at the spas. If you’re not interested in fine dining or alcoholic packages, then 6-star cruises may not be the cruise for you as you can’t cut these packages from the cruise fare.
In this situation, a five-star cruise may be best for you, allowing you to pay for what you want to use – aka “Pay as You Go Cruising“. And if you change your mind about alcoholic beverages or fine dining, then in some cases, you can buy a drinks package to enjoy these services at your leisure. If you have received an onboard credit (obc) you can always put it towards a drinks package. But watch out, these are sometimes not the bargains they seem!
Booking your 6 Star Cruise
If you think that a 6 star cruise is for you, it is important to talk to your travel agent about your options. Our article highlights the reasons to book your cruise through a travel agent, particularly when booking a 6 star cruise.
Please contact us if you would like us to recommend suitable travel agents specialising in Ultra Luxury, 6 Star Cruises. Please enjoy.
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Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ’s
What are the 6 Star Cruise Lines
The expert Guide to 6 Star Cruises highlights the following: Crystal Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn, Silversea Cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club
Which Cruise Line is the Most Luxurious?
About Luxury Cruising rates the following 6 Star Cruise Lines as the most luxurious:
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises
- Silversea Cruises
- Crystal Cruises
- Oceania Cruises
What are the top cruise lines?
It depends on what criteria you are using, but we rate the top cruise lines as follows:
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises
- Crystal Cruises
- Silversea Cruises
Is Silversea better than Seabourn?
These two cruise lines are similar in that they are both 6-star Ultra-Luxury Cruise lines but have different styles. Seabourn is more relaxed and has a contemporary feel whereas Silversea is a little bit more sophisticated and has a better range of dining options.
Last update on 2023-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API