Q – The news that Ritz Carlton is launching a lux cruise line is leading us toward the conclusion that we will wait a year or two to take our first cruise. The preliminary information has been helpful bur we are concerned about the A-La-Carte restaurant on-board, the likely venue where we would dine most nights. Will this dining room be substantially better than existing top-rated lines like Crystal and Silversea? It looks like we will have to wait until 2019 or 2020 – do you think the wait is wise. We certainly can afford top suites on any of the current lines and we do vacation at least once each year. Does delay make sense?
A – No one can tell you about the quality of the food aboard an, as yet, unborn new cruise line. What we can tell you is that Sven Elverfield of Aqua, the restaurant in the Ritz Carlton in Wolfsburg, Germany will be the head chef. All you need to know about Sven is that his current restaurant has achieved three-star status, something that is rather difficult to do within a hotel setting. So we think your truffles and fois gras will be in good hands. Thew decision as to whether or not you should wait requires some further discussion. Feel free to give us a call. Our general response is that, unless you have something wonderful planned for 2018, you might want to consider cruising with one of the Ritz Carlton at-sea competitors such as Sea Dream, Silverseas, Regent, or Seabourn. You might also want to look at a larger ship like Crystal with more amenities and options. Crystal would enable you to make some important comparisons between a mid-size luxury cruise ship and the smaller Ritz yachts. It might be nice to board the Ritz with some sort of personal benchmark.