National Geographic Islander II Cabins

Editor Rating
Aaron Saunders
Senior Editor, News and Features

There are just 26 cabins aboard National Geographic Islander II, all of which are suites that come in two separate varieties.

Standard Suites are generously appointed, and measure 280 square feet. Spread across Decks 2 and 3, each offers two large picture windows, a queen-sized bed that can split apart into two doubles, and a seating area with a comfortable couch. Adjacent to the bed, a small desk and vanity area is bordered by an interactive television set offering movies, television and music on-demand.

Storage is almost overly abundant in these suites. Each has four individual floor-to-ceiling closets that border the stateroom's entryway, along with two shelves above the desk and vanity area. A further three drawers are situated underneath the TV, and a large cabinet graces the side nearest the bed. Two bedside tables and two tables positioned on either side of the room's couch provide additional storage space.

Perfect for its new expedition role, suites have been fitted with collapsible hooks near the bathroom door, perfect for holding hats, backpacks and zodiac lifejackets.

Expeditions require plenty of electronic gadgets these days, and here National Geographic Islander II excels: each regular suite has three North American outlets, three two-pin European outlets, and four USB ports. The latter, however, look a bit like old-school wired modem ports thanks to their odd, spring-loaded white covers; we didn't figure out what they were until we peeled back a cover three days into our voyage.

Bathrooms are generous, with dual sinks and vanities, a toilet, and a large marble-clad shower with a glass door that closes firmly (again, excellent given the ship's expedition nature). Toiletries are by Aromavida and smell pleasantly of rosemary and lavender. They're the shower-mounted variety, but you can purchase these to take home in the ship's gift shop.

Lighting in most cruise ships is usually only available in two options: off, or solar flare. Thankfully, suites aboard National Geographic Islander II have a multitude of lighting options in both the bathroom and main room, with two options for the bathroom and a full four options (Bright, Medium, Soft, Relaxed) pre-programmed into the system for the main living area. Additional reading lights and night lights are offered, though the latter features accent lighting underneath bedside tables that we found to be too overpowering to sleep.

There are four suites (217, 222 and 315, 318) that are set aside for single occupancy, but are otherwise identical to their double-occupancy neighbors.

The ship's largest suites are the new Island Suites, all of which are given the moniker of a famous Galapagos Island. Floreana (218), Isabela (209), San Cristobal (309) and Santa Cruz (303) offer 515 square feet of space, with separate living and sleeping areas, and a total of four picture windows per suite. One of these -- Suite 303 -- connects with the adjoining standard suite, 301, to create a Family Suite capable of sleeping up to six. Bathrooms offer rainforest showers and full-sized tubs

No accommodations aboard National Geographic Islander II offer balconies, but with so much of the activities happening outdoors anyway, you're unlikely to miss this big-ship feature.

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