Santa Cruz II Cabins

Editor Rating
Very Good
Adam Coulter
U.K. Executive Editor

There are 50 cabins and four category types: singles, doubles, triples and suites. There are no balcony cabins, and the majority of cabins are doubles.

There are no "family" cabins as such, but the triples can accommodate a family of three with a foldout sofa, and 36 cabins are interconnecting, and so could accommodate a family of four or more. There are no wheelchair-accessible cabins.

All cabins are furnished with twin beds (which can be converted into a double), a wardrobe, a desk space built into the wall with a chair, two bedside drawers and a full-length mirror. In addition, each cabin includes a small safe and a hairdryer. Each is air-conditioned, and you can adjust or turn off the temperature. There is no TV, but a little radio built into the wall pipes through a few music channels.

Bathrooms are modern and stylish, with glass-door showers, big basins and a supply of towels for use inside and on excursions. (The towels are kept above your head -- look up.) There is a shaver socket above the sink. Dispensers fixed to the walls contain generic hand and body gel and shampoo. Suites also have dispensers, but use L'Occitane en Provence products. Bathrooms are exactly the same for all standard cabins (including singles).

At time of writing, there is no wire to hang wet clothes, but these are being installed.

The 43 Explorer Double cabins are spread out over three decks, with the majority on the Horizon Deck and Explorer Deck. The cabins come in at 163 square feet, which is about 20 square feet smaller than mainstream cruise ships, but perfectly respectable for a small expedition ship. Each is comfortable and stylish and has a large picture window with a pull-down blind. (The ship has no inside cabins.)

Beds are very comfy, and you are supplied with a lovely soft blanket if you require one. There are fixed lights over each bed and a reading light.
Wardrobe space is fairly limited, and taken up by extra blankets, bedspreads and your life vest. (Life jackets are in a cupboard above the desk.) There is an electrical socket above the desk and two in the wall.

One downside: The walls are very thin, and you can hear every word and movement from your neighbors.

Two triple cabins come in at 192 square feet, allowing for a sofa bed against the wall and two large single beds opposite. Wardrobe space is the same as in the doubles. There is a small desk as part of a stand-alone wardrobe against the wall. These cabins would suit a family of three.

Two single cabins are available on the lower deck. They are around two-thirds the size of a double at 127 square feet. They have all the same facilities, except for a large single bed; the desk is part of a stand-alone wardrobe against the wall.

The three Darwin Suites are located on the Panorama Deck and come in at a healthy-sized 325 square feet. You enter into a small entrance hall, where you'll find a large wardrobe with two dressing gowns inside and the safe. You walk through to the main room, which is a living area with a coffee table, sofa and two chairs. It is divided from the bedroom area by a desk. The bedroom area consists of a large double bed with two bedside tables. There are two picture windows. Despite the size of the suite, they are not suitable for more than two people as the sofa does not double as a bed. However, all three interconnect with an Explorer Double cabin, so can be extended into a family cabin.

The bathroom is significantly larger than a standard double, with a separate shower and toilet, and a wash area in between with a single basin. The shower itself has a much bigger head than in standard cabins, and the gels and shampoo, though in dispensers, are from high-end French company, L'Occitane en Provence.

It is worth noting that the ship does not have cabin keys, though you can lock from the inside. This is very unsettling at first, and many passengers don't like it, especially as most people have brought along expensive camera and computer equipment. (The reason behind this policy is that people kept losing their keys on expeditions.) So, if you are inside and want privacy, make sure you lock the door -- otherwise, cabin stewards will just walk in after a cursory knock. Note that the safe is not big enough for a laptop, but could store a tablet.

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