Updated January 8, 2020
The jump from a cruise mini-suite to a suite is a big one, not just because of the price difference (which is significant) but also because of the space and perks that come with each type of cabin.
Here's our list of the key differences -- and similarities -- between cruise mini-suites and suites to help you decide which cabin type is right for you.
Cruise Suite vs. Mini-suite: Similarities
Virtually all mini-suites and suites have balconies, though suite verandas are usually larger.
With entry-level suites, the sleeping area is much the same as it is in mini-suites: two twin beds pushed together to form a European king, bedside tables and flat-screen TVs. Both also typically will have a sitting area with a sofa and sometimes a second TV.
Both suites and mini-suites offer the same standard amenities, such as safes, hair dryers and tea- and coffee-making facilities.
Bathrooms often have enhanced amenities like branded products and rainfall shower heads. Some mini-suites might even have bathtubs, a common feature in suites.
You might also find a bottle of prosecco and some welcome canapes in your mini-suite or suite on your first day, depending on the cruise line.
Cruise Mini-suite vs. Suite: Differences
The key differences between a mini-suite and a suite are usually balcony, bathroom and closet sizes, as well as the presence of extra living spaces and perks.
Suites usually have much bigger balconies than mini-suites, often with enough space for sun loungers and sometimes hot tubs and dining tables.
Some suites also have walk-in closets.
In terms of extra living spaces, suites are significantly different from mini-suites. Most suites have actual living areas, sometimes cordoned off with heavy curtains. Most also each include a sofa, chairs, coffee table, mini-bar, sideboard and flat-screen TV. In the largest suites you might also have a wet bar, dining room, entertainment space and an extra bedroom.
Most suites provide specialized bath products and usually a bathtub, key for many people especially families with small kids.
As for perks, suite passengers get a range of extras that might include butlers, priority embarkation and disembarkation, a welcome bottle of bubbly, reserved seating at shows or around the pool, access to a private lounge and even suite-only restaurants.
Cruise Balcony vs. Suite: Bottom Line
Choose a mini-suite if you're after a bit more space and aren't too bothered about perks. If you want the VIP treatment, crave extras other passengers don't get and enjoy extra space, then a suite sounds like the cabin type for you.