Whilst we patiently wait for life to get back to some sort of normality and take a dream cruise trip, let us look at the possibility to take up a suite on your next voyage. Certainly, anyone who has priced out a suite on a cruise ship knows they are not inexpensive.
You would often pay at least 50% more for a suite on a cruise than for a standard cabin. Sometimes the premium can be much higher.
Still, it’s not just high pricing that sets suites on cruise ships apart. Cruise ship suites also are typically a lot bigger than standard cabins on cruise vessels, have better locations, and come with a long list of extra perks that you won’t get with a regular cabin.
The perks often include lots of complimentary things for which you would normally pay extra on a ship such as Wi-Fi access and dinners in top shipboard restaurants.
Add it all up, and for some cruisers, at least a pricier suite on a cruise ship can turn out to be the best value of any cabin on board.
These are the 7 things that you will typically get with a cruise ship suite that might make you want to book one instead of a standard cabin.
The perks of staying in a suite start from the moment you arrive at your ship. Usually, you will find a special check-in area for suite guests at the arrival terminal — one without the long lines that you will sometimes find to check in for a regular cabin. Sometimes there is even a private lounge area for suite guests with drinks and snacks. But do not expect to wait there long. As a suite guest, you will be among the first to board your ship once boarding begins. That means you will be able to start your vacation earlier than almost anybody else on your cruise.
A bigger room
This one is a bit obvious, but just to be thorough, we will say it anyway: Suites on cruise ships are bigger than regular cabins, sometimes far bigger. Regular cruise ship cabins are notoriously small at least compared to hotel rooms on land. But some cruise ship suites can be downright massive, with multiple rooms including living rooms, dining rooms, and extra bedrooms.
In other words, while you pay more for a suite, you get a lot more space for the money. At the higher end, there are cruise ship suites bigger than the average home.
Better room location
Cruise ship suites are not just bigger than regular cabins. They are better located, too. On many ships, you will find some of the biggest suites at the very front or the very back of the vessel the two places that offer the most stunning views. You will also often find suites along the sides of ships at the equilibrium point, the spot near the middle of a ship that is the most stable in rough seas. If you are prone to seasickness, this is where you want to be.
Better room perks
Expect all sorts of upgrades to your room experience when staying in a cruise ship suite from higher-thread-count sheets to upgraded toiletries. Coffee/Tea service and bathrobes for use during the voyage. Some cruise companies have a stocked minibar with complementary drinks and liquors in their suites.
More pampered service
Often your suite will come with a private butler who is on call day and night. Some suites also come with access to a private concierge. These are people whose whole job is to take away all the little stressors that you might experience on vacation and pamper you at the highest level.
Your butler, should your suite come with one, can do everything from unpacking your suitcase to serve you private meals on your balcony. Your butler (or your concierge, if you have one) also can book you into the ship’s top restaurants (where you will likely have priority access, another common suite perk). She or he also can escort you to a private seating area for suite guests in the ship’s theatre (another perk of being in a suite at many lines).
Butlers and concierges also can get your tickets to onboard activities (again, with priority access) and will assist you in getting off the ship quickly when it arrives in a port letting you make the most of your time during port calls.
Access to exclusive shipboard areas
On a growing number of megaships, suite guests have access to the sprawling, private “ship-within-a-ship” luxury areas that offer a level of pampering not found across the rest of the vessels.
Some ships also have private concierge lounges that are open only to suite guests (some are open to passengers with top status, too).
Staying in a suite can bring you all sorts of “value-added” perks on ships that normally would come with an extra charge, from complimentary Wi-Fi access to meals in extra-charge restaurants.
The suite experience includes a free dinner on embarkation day at one of the ship’s extra-charge restaurants.
Other “freebies” that often come with suites include complimentary laundry service, thermal suite access in the spa, a bottle of Champagne at embarkation, and canapes delivered every afternoon. If you are staying in a big enough suite, you might even get a dinner with the ship’s captain.
In addition, many promotions that lines run will throw in complimentary tips, drinks packages, shore excursions, and even onboard credits as an incentive to book a suite.
So, if you thought that a suite on your next cruise was just a dream, I am sure after reading this article will persuade you that in fact, it’s not a dream.
Written by Joe Cusmano