Q – My wife and I are both academics and I will be retiring next May. We are planning a two to three-week European cruise on one of the lines you recommend, hopefully utilizing your services. We have started collecting brochures and we go online, from time to time when we can stand the nonsense. Wondering who you might recommend in terms of a well-educated guest profile so that dinner conversation can be a highlight rather than something we have to endure. You mentioned somewhere on your site that one of the new ships will have an on-board tattoo parlor. That is definitely not the level of sophistication we are seeking.  Thanks so much for all the untainted information.

A – We have actually prepared and published a “Sophistication Index” of the various top-tier lines. This is, of course, extremely subjective and no one can predict if the motorcycle gang bowling league has a group aboard. Here are our current Sophistication Rankings related to income and education:

# 1 – Silversea

# 2 – Seabourn

# 3 – Cunard (Queen’s Grill and Up)

# 4 – Hapag-Lloyd

# 5 – Ponant