Help Wanted! Reader Advice For Luxury Family Cruiser

An Avid Cruiser reader writes:

We are trying to decide between the Silver Spirit, Seabourn Odyssey, Regent Seven Sea Mariner and Crystal Serenity for a Christmas cruise in December. We have three daughters — 19,17,15 — who are concerned that they will not have anyone to meet on these ships. Which one of these ships do you suggest?

Avid Cruiser readers, can you help out?

My own recommendation was that the success of our reader’s trip will be predicated on whether there are other teens on board. What do you think? What is the best way to assure a successful trip for our reader and her teens?

Join the Conversation

Susan Reder says:

Without a doubt, Crystal will be the best choice! Many families travel on Crystal especially during the Holiday Season. Because it is a larger ship, more choices are available.

Dan Ilves says:

I agree with Susan. Generally Seabourn and Silversea are not geared to kids nor teens. Regent would be okay (I’ve taken my teens onboard and they had a good time, but that was driven by the ports of call (the itinerary) more than the ship, but they enjoyed being pampered. Crystal, being a larger ships, has more to offer teens, and may attract more teens than the other lines would on a holiday cruise.

wes says:

Hi Ralph, having sailed on both Silversea and Regent with dozens
of Children/teenagers on board some voyages; Regent wins out
for dedicated childrens programs, Silversea did not offer adequate
childrens programs on the easter voyager we sailed. Will not speak to SB, Crystal, having not sailed on them. Also, recommend
your Avid Cruiser reader discuss her top two choices with her
TA for additional datapoints prior to decsion.

Geoff Edwards says:

I’ve sailed all of the mentioned ships. They are all very special, but with teenage girls, Serenity (not that you’ve had a lot of that with teens) is a clear winner. The Christmas cruise which I have
also experienced is even a step above Serenity’s usual top of the line trip.

Jackie says:

Definitely agree that Seabourn and Silversea are not family friendly while Crystal and Regent are.

While either ship would be fine, you may want to consider some of the differences. Regent includes airfare, tips and most excursions. They are also all-inclusive — you do not have to sign for anything (except ultra high end alcohol). Crystal, on the other hand, is not all-inclusive — they give you on-board credits to off-set the costs of alcoholic beverages, tips and excursions (which may or may not be enough to cover expenses). Crystal also has set seating in the main dining room. In January you will be able to make a reservation to dine at the time you wish, however, this leaves no room to be spontaneous.

Although I’m a Regent loyalist, there is a lot to be said for Crystal.

Art Sbarsky says:

If itinerary is not an issue, Crystal Serenity is by far the best choice. It’s the only ship in this category with a dedicated children’s facility and there are GUARANTEED to be more age-appropriate kids on board than any of the other three.

Also, any one lookingfor advice can take the work of Susan Reder; she’s an expert.

Original poster -- Avid Cruise Reader says:

My issue with Crystal is that it is not all-inclusive and there is assigned seating/dinner times. Also, the cabins are smaller and the girls would be in one without a veranda which bugs them. To be honest, I am really leaning toward Seaborn but wish I knew other older teens would be on board.

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