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Would You Go on a Ritz Carlton Cruise?

Ritz Carlton recently announced that they will be unveiling a cruise line consisting of three ships that will begin sailing in 2019. Tailored to those who want a luxury cruise experience with a trusted hotel brand, The Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection will offer itineraries in Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Eastern Canada, New England, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Each “yacht” will host just 300 guests, a far cry from the typical cruise ship capacity of 4,000+ passengers. Tickets to the first excursion will go on sale in May 2018. Which has me wondering two things: 1.) Will Ritz Carlton offer cruise ticket bookings with Marriott or Ritz Carlton points? And 2.) How many of you would go on a Ritz Carlton cruise?

Ritz Carlton Cruise Line: Coming in 2019

Ritz Carlton Cruise Line: Coming in 2019

The idea of a typical cruise has never appealed to me. Don’t get me wrong. I like the idea of being on a ship, cruising through gorgeous waters, gorging on food and exploring new cities. But being around thousands of people? That sounds like a vacation from hell, to be frank. Plus, cruise food is generally deemed terrible, so that’s already a huge strike for me. While luxury cruises do seem appealing, they cost an arm and two legs. Why spend thousands of dollars on a “luxury” cruise in a window-less cabin if I can instead fly somewhere in a premium cabin and earn miles? 

That being said, I find the Ritz Carlton cruise concept interesting. Kind of like Four Seasons’ Private Jet Experience, except it may be possible to earn and redeem points on these cruises. Nothing has been announced regarding award bookings or point earnings, but I imagine they’ll at least allow members to earn points to incentivize their loyal base. And if Ritz Carlton/Marriott members are able to redeem points for Ritz Carlton cruises, that could give both programs a unique advantage over other hotel rewards programs.

All of this is speculation, since nothing has been announced in this regard. But if I were to guess, I imagine redemption rates would probably be on par with current Hotel + Air packages. If these Ritz Carlton cruises end up being all-inclusive, that could be a terrific value. Especially if the SPG-Marriott merger hasn’t gone through and the 1:3 transfer ratio stays intact. Time will tell.

I’d like your feedback: Would you consider going on a Ritz Carlton cruise, especially if you’re able to earn and redeem points for it? Would you  trade in a Air + Hotel package for a Ritz Carlton cruise?

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Ariana Arghandewal

15 Comments

  1. In a nutshell: Yes. I would certainly consider it. Would enhance my interest if they offered no supplement single fares.

    • That would be pretty nice. If you’re already paying through the roof (which I expect you will with a Ritz Carlton Cruise), hopefully they won’t nickel and dime you like that.

  2. I would do this in a heartbeat. I’m a confirmed cruising fan already, but this would be MUCH more appealing than the regular cruises. BTW, the food isn’t usually “awful”. 🙂

  3. Ariana, I love cruises. I am just back from a Baltic cruise where I saw 7 countries. The ship had 4000 people on it. Only on embarkation and de-embarkation did it ever feel crowded. Standing in customs at LHR was worse than anytihing on the ship. We never waited for a table. Elevators were always easy to get. Our food was as good, or better, than anything I get in Business Class. I could find any number of places to sit, read a book, and not see anyone for a while. This was our 17th cruise. I understand not everyone enjoys cruises, but my wife and I most always have a wonderful time. I imagine the Ritz Carlton cruise will be outlandishly priced. Kinda like Disney cruises are. I also think going to a country and spending time is a much better way to enjoy the culture. That is just alot more work. I have found AirBNB’s to be wonderful in helping on what to see, what to eat, and how to get around.

  4. I live in the cruise capital of the world, Miami, and I still have never been on a cruise. The more I hear about them the less I want to go on one. I like the idea of sailing around the ocean but I don’t like that I would have limited time at the destinations or having to stand on a long line to get back on the ship. I definitely don’t want to have to dress up for dinner or eat dinner at a table with a bunch of strangers. I imagine a Ritz Carlton cruise would require you to dress nicely for dinner. Why should I pack a suit to go on vacation?

    • The dressing up for dinner part is a deal breaker for me too. Though I imagine at a classy joint like the Ritz Carlton yacht, you can probably order room service.

  5. We have enjoyed Norwegian cruises. The food at the buffet is ok, but the restaurants onboard are quite good and available for a small upcharge. Celebrity and princess are also good options. Check out cruisecritic for more information about what guests thought of different sips and cruises.

  6. It’s true that cruising isn’t for everyone, but we enjoy them a great deal, along with regular land travel. I enjoy having a variety of experiences. Picking the right ship is everything, btw. There are small weekend party cruises to long-term extreme luxury cruises. I enjoy occasional long weekend getaways with girlfriends/family during the winter months as well as week-long extended family trips in the Caribbean. My husband and I have done a 12-day Mediterranean, and just recently did our first Alaska trip. Food ranges from hot dog stands to standard buffets, to private specialty restaurants with wine-paired meals. Personally, I prefer Royal Caribbean or Celebrity, but I am familiar with them enough to have status for perks, and I know which class ships I like and which I don’t like. Believe it or not, the bigger ships generally feel less crowded than the smaller ones. I think next on my cruise list will be a European River Cruise with added pre or post-cruise days scheduled to explore a bit more.
    I’ll definitely look at the details of a Ritz Carlton cruise, mostly out of curiosity though.

  7. American Express & Cash Equivalencies. the new, platinum delta sky miles pre memorized spiel, and I assume attendant paper work says cash equivalencies do not receive points. what is the current coding for visa, pin number, gift cards at office depot? where so I move funds around in a circle for four months to get my 70,000 points? thank you,

  8. I would definitely consider this, provided it participates in the Marriott Rewards program for earning and redemption. I am not a big cruise person, for the same reasons you state, but I have been on other smaller luxury cruises like SeaDream that I absolutely love. I would expect a high bar from Ritz for a cruise line so as not to cheapen the highly respectable brand.

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