You might be surprised to learn that cruise ship suites – the biggest and most expensive cabins on a ship – are often the first to sell out. That’s because there are far fewer suites than standard staterooms so there can be a rush to book them as soon as they go on sale. While the cabins themselves can be super-luxurious with everything from their own jacuzzis to baby grand pianos, they also often come with added perks such as priority embarkation, butler service and access to exclusive clubs and restaurants. It’s not just premium cruise lines such as Silversea and Cunard that offer this level of luxury. Even some of the bigger cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to create spectacular suites where even the wealthiest traveler will feel at home.
Here’s our pick of some of the best suites at sea:
Royal Loft Suite, Quantum of the Seas
When Royal Caribbean announced its new Royal class, it claimed it would “redefine luxury at sea”. Undoubtedly one of the best suites on the line’s mega-ship Quantum of the Seas, is the two-deck-high Royal Loft Suite with its floor-to-ceiling windows and astonishing views. The suite can sleep up to six people and has a 415 square-foot private balcony with deck chairs and a jacuzzi. There’s a dry bar, huge walk-in closets and a separate media room.
Grand Duplex, Queen Mary 2
It’s no surprise that the Grand Duplexes on Cunard’s are named after two of the English Royal family’s homes “Balmoral” and “Sandringham”. At 2249 square feet over two levels, the suites are fit for a queen with elegant furnishings, marble bathrooms and a dramatic staircase that leads to a master bedroom. Both suites have an around-the-clock butler service (perfect for arranging private parties with friends in your suite) and access to an exclusive lounge, restaurant and sundeck.
Crystal Penthouse, Crystal Serenity
Consistently rated as the best cruise ship in the world by the readers of Condé Nast Traveller, Crystal Serenity is one of the luxury line’s bigger ships with 1070 berths. The ship underwent a $17 million dry-dock renovation in late 2013, and while there are bigger and more ostentatious ships, it takes restrained luxury to a new level. The 1345-square-foot Crystal Penthouse suite even includes a private workout area and its own library. No detail is overlooked from the Bang & Olufsen sound system to the bottle of Cristal champagne (once a favourite of kings and tsars) served on arrival.
Owner’s Suite, Silversea Silver Spirit
In the two owners’ suites on board Silversea’s Silver Spirit, your personal butler will stock your minibar with your favourite tipples, arrange to have your best shirt dry-cleaned, and offer you a choice of pillows. The suite has classic décor with a teak verandah, a marbled bathroom and a powder room. It also comes with perks such as two hours of worldwide phone use, dinner at the ship’s officer’s table and your own personalised stationery.