When a cruise itinerary opens for sale, the least and the most expensive staterooms are always the first to sell out. While it is logical that cruisers are attracted by the lowest price, it is very surprising that the top suites are also snapped up right away. Why is that?
For starters, suites are the most spacious shipboard accommodation, with some as large as apartments and houses. Suites also come with an array of perks such as priority embarkation & disembarkation, concierge or butler service, and VIP access to a private lounge, restaurant, and sundeck. In short, choosing a suite that offers elevated experiences and self-contained living quarters is fast becoming a trend.
With this in mind, cruise lines have been introducing larger and more elaborate suites on every new ship they launch. Of course, all suites are gorgeous on every ship and we haven’t seen one we didn’t like, but here are a few that made our favorites list.
The Regent Suite onboard Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor was designed to be the most luxurious at sea. At 4,443 square feet, its footprint is larger than that of the average American home. But it’s not just the size that impresses: the suite comes complete with a private spa featuring a treatment area, sauna, heated ceramic tile loungers, a multi-jet shower, and yes -- unlimited in-suite spa treatments.
Guests also sleep in luxury: onboard Seven Seas Splendor, the custom Hästens Vividus mattress valued at $200,000 is made of horsetail hair, cushioning flax, and other natural fibers, and onboard Seven Seas Explorer, sleep comes easy in the handmade $150,000 Savoir No 1 bed. Guests staying in the Regent Suite receive first-class airfare, sedan transfers to and from the airport, a private car, driver, and guide in every port, and free unlimited laundry and pressing.
The location of the suite on Deck 14 is stunning, with 270-degree views over the bow. Throughout the two-bedroom suite, you’ll find high-end touches in marble and exotic wood, limited-edition art books, Murano glass, and other handcrafted elements. The lounge features beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows and a custom $250,000 Steinway Arabesque piano.
Be the envy of all your friends when you stay in the largest accommodation of the entire Celebrity fleet. Available on Celebrity Edge, Apex and Beyond, the 2,581-square-foot Iconic Suite is truly a residence at sea that takes luxury to a whole new level. For starters, you’ll enjoy endless views that rival the Captain’s, as your suite is directly above the shio's navigation bridge.
Dressed in neutral tones, the living room has a massive L-shaped sofa, armchairs, and a 65-inch smart TV. Hosting your friends for dinner is easy since the dining table seats up to 8. Want to work out in private? You can even request a Peloton bike to be set up in your suite. The serene master bedroom is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass, so you can wake up to gorgeous views from a restful sleep on your king-sized cashmere mattress and plush duvet. The sumptuous master bath has his and hers vanities, a whirlpool tub, and a separate shower. The second bedroom has lovely ocean views and a full bath with a shower. The outdoor terrace is our favorite spot! At 689 square feet, there’s room for a dining table, plenty of loungers, a double canopied sunbed, and a whirlpool tub.
Stay in the Iconic suite and you will want for nothing, as full butler service, unlimited premium beverages, streaming Wi-Fi, laundry service, and prepaid gratuities are included. You’ll also receive unlimited dining at specialty restaurants, reserved seats in the theater, and more. Revel in gastronomic delight at the exclusive Luminae specialty restaurant with Michelin-starred chef-crafted menus, and relax in the Retreat lounge, sundeck, pool, and bar, all exclusively reserved for suite guests.
While the top suites on most cruise ships are designed with adults in mind, Royal Caribbean bucks the trend by introducing the Ultimate Family Suite on its newest vessels, including Symphony of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas, and Wonder of the Seas.
This two-story, 1,346-square-foot suite (2,978 square feet on Spectrum of the Seas) features a master suite and bath, a second bedroom and bath for the kids, and sleeps up to 10.
Decorated in vibrant colors, the suite features a large dining table, a wet bar, a cinema, a game room with an air hockey table, large-screen televisions, a karaoke machine, and video game systems. And who can resist going down that fun slide? On the balcony, you’ll find a private Jacuzzi, a ping-pong table, and an outdoor dining table. With so much to offer in this suite, your kids will never want to leave the room!
Additional perks of the Ultimate Family Suite include complimentary drinks, specialty dining, internet, and concierge services by an aptly named Royal Genie who can arrange for all kinds of VIP experiences for the entire family. Guests can also access the exclusive lounge reserved for top-tier suites.
You can brag to your friends that you stayed inside a cruise ship funnel! Disney ships always sport two funnels, but only one is functional while the other is purely decorative. So when designing Disney Wish, Disney ‘Imagineers’ decided to place the top suite inside the forward funnel.
The Moana-themed suite is the first of its kind, accessed through a private elevator. The décor plays homage to the characters and story of the Disney heroine with custom-made sculptures and artwork. With floor-to-ceiling windows, the entire suite is bathed in light. The living and dining space is found on level one with plenty of space to relax and enjoy meals at an elegant dining table for 8, and there’s a wet bar stocked with water and sodas. The adjacent library is a great spot for quiet time, but it also has a wall bed and a full bath so it can be converted into an additional bedroom.
A grand spiral staircase leads up to the two bedrooms outfitted with 1,000-thread-count Frette lines and luxury robes. Each bedroom has a walk-in closet and a double-vanity marble bath with a soaking tub and rain shower. You’ll also find a children’s bedroom with two bunk beds and a bath with a shower. The only thing missing from the suite is a veranda, but the unique location, features, and amenities more than make up for it. With a capacity to sleep up to eight, the Wish Tower Suite is certainly the happiest place at sea!
Get the VIP treatment when you stay in The Haven onboard Norwegian Prima, where the top-end suites are located in an exclusive enclave accessible by private elevators. The largest is the Premier Owner’s Suite which spans over 2,900 square feet including a vast wraparound balcony with lounging areas, a full-sized outdoor dining table, and a private hot tub.
Inside, you and up to seven other family members or friends will enjoy the three bedrooms with king beds, marble baths with double vanities and rain showers, a living and dining room, a full bar, and an espresso machine. Your private butler and concierge will take care of your every wish and desire, including full meal service in your suite.
When you can tear yourself away from the suite, the rest of the Haven complex is at your disposal. There is an elegant restaurant, a cozy lounge, a terrific sun deck with large daybeds and loungers, and an infinity pool to boot!
The Grand Suite onboard Silversea’s three luxury sister ships Silver Muse, Silver Moon, and Silver Dawn will make you feel right at home. Your living room features a comfortable sofa and chairs, a writing desk, a dining table for six, and an Illy espresso machine. But you needn’t lift a finger, as your butler will attend to your every need, from unpacking your suitcase and uncorking your champagne to delivering room service and making that espresso.
The master bathroom has marble throughout, a double vanity, a shower, a separate full-sized whirlpool tub, and Bulgari bath amenities. A perfect night’s sleep is guaranteed in the separate bedroom, where you will be ensconced by sumptuous sheets, plush duvets, and a pillow menu with nine choices.
Outside, the 570-square-foot wraparound veranda offers the same views as the Captain’s navigation bridge. This stylish apartment at sea measure 1,472 (on Deck 9) or 1,572 (on Deck 8) square feet, and can be converted into a two-bedroom suite of up to 1,970 square feet by adding the adjacent Veranda Suite.
Perched high on Deck 18 aboard Sky Princess, Enchanted Princess, and Discovery Princess, enjoy sweeping views from the aptly named Sky Suite. As Princess Cruises’ newest luxury accommodation, the suite boasts 1,873 square feet and sleeps up to 5. Upon entry, you’ll find a lovely dining room with a sparkling chandelier and wet bar before moving to the light-filled living room with an L-shaped sofa and large-screen television. On either side of the living room are two spacious bedrooms with plenty of storage, lighted vanities, and ensuite baths, making the Sky Suite perfect for families or couples traveling together.
The star of the suite though is the continuous balcony that is the largest at sea at over 1,000 square feet. Providing 270 degrees panoramic views, the expansive outdoor space is furnished with a dining table for four, a large day bed, loungers, and the best views of the Movies Under the Stars on-deck screen. Consider it your private cinema at sea -- in fact, you can even order a specific movie just for you.
A slew of benefits come with the Sky Suite, such as a Suite Experience Manager who looks after all your onboard needs, reserved seating in the theater, a private bungalow at Princess Cays (Princess’ private island in the Bahamas), access to the Suite Lounge with canapes and light bites, and the adults-only Enclave retreat area.
The signature feature of Seabourn’s 1,186-square-foot Wintergarden Suites found onboard Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation is the glass-enclosed solarium with a daybed and tub. The light-filled space is adjacent to the outdoor veranda, furnished with lounge chairs and seating for outdoor dining.
The interior is no less impressive, with a living room that provides plenty of seating to host a gathering, a dining room with a table for six, a pantry with a full wet bar, and an ensuite bath in the master bedroom that features a separate whirlpool tub and shower. Want more space? Combine the adjacent veranda suite to make it a Grand Wintergarden Suite -- a 1,566-square-foot, two-bedroom enclave.
Although Cunard's modern-day ocean liner Queen Mary 2 was launched in 2004 (last refurbished in 2021), her 2,249-square-foot grand duplex apartments are still unique, opulent, and deserve a mention. The living area on the lower level includes a large sitting area, a dining table, a writing desk, and a full bath with a shower. A vast terrace overlooks the aft pool, offering great views of the ship’s wake. Each suite has a curved, sweeping glass staircase to the bedroom on the second floor with two marble baths (one with a whirlpool tub), and the suite even comes with exercise equipment.
Duplex guests dine in the intimate Queens Grill restaurant and also have the option to order from its menu for in-suite dining. Other privileges include a complimentary bar, a personal butler, and exclusive access to the Grills Lounge and Grills Terrace sun deck with a whirlpool tub.
Updated November 09, 2022