We’ve spent a week in one of Celebrity Summit’s “Concierge-Class” balcony cabins. By configuration and design — bathroom, bed, sitting area, verandah — these accommodations bear a striking resemblance to their 100’s of slightly smaller standard balcony sisters.
So why did passengers on our seven-night Southern Caribbean cruise pay $100 – $250 more per person to stay in a C.C.C.?
Amenities. Concierge-Class passengers have access to a slew of bonus amenities. We’ve been nibbling on fruit from a complimentary bowl (replenished daily), wrapping up in the extra-plush bathrobes and munching on evening canapes. CC-ers also get priority embarkation/debarkation. At nearly six months pregnant, one perk had an unexpected — but fantastic — use. I’ve been able to create a fort for my belly using a selection of more than a half-dozen pillows selected from the Concierge-class pillow menu. Oh, and my husband was thrilled with the complimentary bottle of sparkling wine that greets Concierge-class passengers on the first night of each sailing.
Some of the other perks, including the complimentary shoeshine, use of golf umbrellas (no rain) and larger TV (32” vs. 20” in standard accommodations), haven’t proven their value. And we were unimpressed with the “expanded room service menu,” which consisted of few unique options like hash browns, fruit and yogurt.
Space and Storage. Our 191-square-foot CC cabin, decked out with new bedding, upholstery, carpeting and drapery during Summit’s January dry-dock, is about 20 square feet larger than the standard balcony. That added room is a boon — especially because we don’t think it’d be comfortable with more than two bodies in the 191-square-foot space. Otherwise, storage options are generally the same in both categories. In addition to a closet with six drawers, there are four shelves built into the wall, a couple more built into the desk (which houses two standard American outlets) and a pair of nightstands, which can handle smaller items. Small carry-ons fit neatly under our two-twins-turned-queen bed, and most nights, our room steward was kind enough to stow them without prompting.
We happen to be in one of the few cabins with a balcony smaller than the standard 41 square feet (8108), which definitely requires a bit of maneuvering, especially when it comes to setting up our room service breakfasts.
Location. The Concierge cabins are clustered in Summit’s “most desirable” locations, says Celebrity. Meaning? Upper decks and mid-ship. That location has at least made up for the aforementioned lack of private balcony space. We are just steps from the Deck 8 elevators, which provides easy access to most of the ship’s most popular areas, including the recently added Cafe al Bacio coffee bar and Crush Martini Bar (going down, sir), as well as the buffet and pool area (going up). And though we can occasionally hear passengers walking through the halls, it hasn’t been a significant annoyance.
Bathroom. As for the bathroom, Concierge-class cabins feature powerful Hansgrohe massaging shower heads that standards don’t, and lots of exclusive extra-fluffy towels. Like the regularly balconies, there’s also ample countertop and under-sink space for stowing toiletries and such. And I love the lemongrass-scented Elemis shampoo, conditioner, lotion and body wash that were created exclusively for Celebrity. My only complaint? I was hoping the ship’s recent refurb did away with pesky shower curtains, but alas, I flooded the bathroom on the very first night of my cruise, in an attempt to avoid the cling.
Now it’s your turn: Would these perks be worth the added cost? Tell us below.
Follow Shayne’s reports from Celebrity Summit, including her take on watching the Super Bowl at sea.
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