As I've posted before we have only used three cruise lines, HAL, Princess and Regent. HAL has a bad smoking issue so we have relegated ourselves to looking only at the other two.


Wife usually selects the basic itinerary, then I crunch the numbers.  Recently I thought we might have cruised our last since we have "been there done that" on so many voyages it is hard to find itineraries that interest us anymore. Then she found one, a TA with lots of sea days which we both like and quite a few ports in the Adriatic and western Mediterranean that we haven't visited before or if so, done only once.


Princess and Regent offer very close itineraries, both on small ships almost the same size, Regent a B to B for 30 days and Princess 29 days. We have sailed on Regent's Seven Seas Navigator twice before for over 6 weeks. Never been on the Pacific Princess. The mini-suites we want are very close, with identical sized balconies, Regents is 356 sq. feet and Princess is 322.


I try to compare as best I can. Regent is an all inclusive which means most stuff is included, like booze, shore excursions and specialty dining. While Princess is a nickel and dimer. However, we have been on Regent for 120 days and on Princess 246 days so it is pretty easy for me to factor in all our extra expenses on Princess. We know both lines pretty well.


Regent is also billed as a so called "luxury line" but based on our experiences, when we pay extra on Princess in order to make it commensurate with Regent, often times the "luxury" part of Princess is better. For instance specialty restaurants, Princess has much better service and cuisine than Regent does in that regard and it is very difficult to get into Regent's two specialty restaurants more than one time per cruise since everybody goes there as they feel they have "paid for it" so don't want to lose out, as a consequence they are crowded and you get only one reservation at a time. However, Regent's MDR is far superior to Princess so we eat dinner 90% of the time in the Princess extra charge venues.


Also, I have to factor in "air" since Regent offers free coach. That is easy to do since we travel overseas business class and Regent charges extra for that. I also factor in insurance. 


So, taking all that into consideration and without going into more boring detail, our total expense for the Princess voyage is going to be in the neighborhood of $16,000. Our total for Regent is going to be $49,000. Which would you choose?


As I've mentioned, we have 120 days sailing on Regent, last one was 17 months ago, but heretofore I have been able to argue that Regent costs us pretty close to what we had been paying on HAL and Princess. Since our last Regent cruise I've noticed quite an escalation in their charges, but nothing on the scale of this disparity.