Editor’s notice: This can be a recurring publish, often up to date with new info.
As common readers know, I’m as completely happy in a tiny “inside” cabin on a cruise ship as I’m in a super-suite. I’m a minimalist at coronary heart, and all I actually require from a cruise ship cabin is a spot to put my head at night time and sufficient storage for what I can slot in a 21-inch carry-on bag.
However even a minimalist will be wowed by the over-the-top maximalism that has taken maintain in what I’ve been calling the Nice Cruise Ship Suite Wars.
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One of many greatest tales within the cruise world over the previous couple of many years has been the arrival of a brand new era of super-large, super-swanky suites on ships which can be chock-full of each form of upscale function and amenity you may think about. They’re sights to behold.
Among the greatest of those suites measure 2,000 sq. ft or extra — approaching the scale of the standard American dwelling. A handful go far past that.
I haven’t stayed in all of those new suites. However over greater than 25 years of writing about cruise ships, I’ve toured just about all of them. I can’t consider any main cruise ship suite that I’ve missed.
There are a number of which have actually stood out, which I am profiling under.
In some instances, these are one-of-a-kind suites discovered on solely a single vessel. In different instances, they’re suites which have comparable sisters on a number of ships.
To be clear, that is on no account an exhaustive checklist. Disney followers will little doubt admonish me for not together with the supersized suites on some Disney Cruise Line ships, such because the Artwork Deco-influenced Roy O. Disney Suite on Disney Fantasy. I’ve been in these suites, and they’re actually spectacular. However I’ve to chop off my checklist someplace.
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Additionally lacking from my checklist — and price honorable mentions on the very least — are the Proprietor’s Suites on the ocean ships that Viking has been rolling out since 2015. These are true proprietor’s suites within the sense that they’re utilized by Viking founder and proprietor Torstein Hagen when he sails on the ships (and even incorporate a few of his private objects, corresponding to household images). They’re the last word in Scandinavian cool.
Luxurious traces Silversea Cruises and Seabourn additionally supply fairly a number of great suites on their ships, and it’s price noting that a number of the greatest suites at sea are these discovered on Norwegian Cruise Line‘s Jewel-class vessels.
Beneath, you’ll discover my picks for the 5 most spectacular suites at sea.
The Regent Suite
Ship: Seven Seas Splendor (Regent Seven Seas Cruises)
Each time I consider this suite, I consider that well-known scene in “Dr. Zhivago” the place Comrade Kapuchina clothes down the nice physician on the scale of his mansion. “There was dwelling area for 13 households on this one home!” she scolds.
You may not have the ability to jam 13 households into the Regent Suite, however in a pinch, you in all probability may come shut. It sprawls over an astounding 4,443 sq. ft — practically twice the scale of the typical American dwelling. Its opulence is like nothing you’ll discover anyplace else at sea (besides on the same suite discovered on Regent’s Seven Seas Explorer).
Situated on the very entrance of Seven Seas Splendor, the Regent Suite is so huge it stretches all the way in which from one aspect of the ship to the opposite, providing views in three instructions. It has two large bed room complexes — they usually actually are complexes, with seemingly countless area. It additionally has a front room, a separate eating space and what’s maybe probably the most spectacular balcony at sea.
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Among the many insanely over-the-top belongings you’ll discover within the Regent Suite is a mattress with a home made mattress that Regent executives declare value greater than $200,000. It was handcrafted by 4 artisans on the famend Hästens workshop in Köping, Sweden, utilizing horsetail hair together with flax, and cotton and wool batting.
The Regent Suite additionally has a ridiculously giant grasp lavatory, full with its personal sauna and steam room. It’s large enough that it may possibly double as a private spa remedy room. To that finish, the Regent Suite — get this — comes with its personal spa therapist on name. Limitless spa therapies are included in the price of the suite.
Different perks of staying within the Regent Suite embrace first-class home flights to achieve the ship; a private automotive, driver and information in each port; and a devoted butler to assist make preparations on board.
The one draw back to a keep? The fee. Regent fees $11,000 a day for the privilege.
Royal Loft Suite
Ship: Quantum of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)
At 1,640 sq. ft, the Royal Loft Suite on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas isn’t practically as huge because the Regent Suite on Seven Seas Splendor. But it surely presents one thing the latter doesn’t: views throughout the ship’s wake by means of a hovering, two-deck-high glass wall.
That’s proper, the Royal Loft Suite on Quantum of the Seas sprawls over two decks and has a predominant room that’s two tales excessive — a lavish use of area that’s uncommon within the cruise world.
Royal Caribbean presents a Royal Loft Suite on every of its Oasis-class and Quantum-class ships, however there are some design variations between them.
My favourite of all of the Royal Loft Suites is the one on Quantum of the Seas, the primary vessel in Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class collection. Sleeping as much as six, it presents a trendy, two-deck-high dwelling and eating room area dealing with the complicated’s large window wall, full with such modernist touches as an Eames Lounge Chair (which, being a minimalist, I like). Amongst its highlights are a dry bar and couch that converts right into a double mattress.
The primary ground of the Royal Loft Suite can be dwelling to a media room with a settee that converts right into a queen mattress. It’s an ideal hideaway for the youngsters, do you have to be touring with a household
Upstairs, the primary bed room is open-walled so you’ll be able to see throughout the dwelling space to the ocean. It’s accessed by way of a bridge-like walkway, which I simply love. It’s like crossing a drawbridge into your individual non-public fort at sea.
Rounding out the complicated is a spacious, 415-square-foot non-public balcony that has its personal non-public whirlpool — one other excellent spot from which to look out over the water.
The Balmoral Suite
Ship: Queen Mary 2 (Cunard Line)
Royal Caribbean wasn’t the primary cruise line to go the double-decker route when designing over-the-top suites. A decade earlier than the debut of Quantum of the Seas, Cunard Line wowed cruise followers with the revealing of this two-deck-high Grand Duplex suite and a sister suite, the Sandringham, on its iconic Queen Mary 2.
Named after a fort in Scotland owned by the British royal household, the Balmoral Suite is match for a queen with a shocking 2,249 sq. ft of dwelling area.
Like Royal Caribbean’s Royal Loft Suites, each the Balmoral Suite and the Sandringham Suite have a sprawling front room and eating space on their floor flooring and a spacious main bedroom complicated on their second ranges
If that’s not sufficient room, you’ll be able to go even greater by becoming a member of collectively one of many suites with 4 adjoining suites to create a large complicated measuring greater than 9,000 sq. ft.
One factor that I significantly love in regards to the Grand Duplex Suites is that their grasp bedrooms are reached by way of dramatic, curving staircases.
One other attract of the Grand Duplex suites is that they arrive with entry to Queen Mary 2’s unique Queens Grill restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Solely open to passengers staying within the very prime lodging on the ship, this can be a rather more intimate, elegant and personal eatery than the primary Britannia restaurant the place most passengers dine.
Film buffs might acknowledge the restaurant, because it was closely highlighted within the Meryl Streep film “Let Them All Discuss,” which was set on Queen Mary 2.
Ship: Celeb Reflection (Celeb Cruises)
Many Celeb Cruises ships have spacious and alluring suites. However the latest of the road’s 5 Solstice-class vessels, Celeb Reflection, has my favourite of all of them: the Reflection Suite.
Unveiled in 2012, the Reflection Suite was the model’s first two-bedroom suite, and it measures a none-too-shabby 1,636 sq. ft, not together with a 194-square-foot balcony.
Situated in a panoramic nook spot on the ship, it contains a glass-walled dwelling and eating space with a eating desk that may seat 10 individuals (simply in case you wish to maintain a cocktail party throughout your cruise).
However what is going to actually knock your socks off when strolling into the Reflection Suite is its beautiful, glass-walled grasp lavatory. Dubbed a “sea-view lavatory,” it’s simply that — a toilet with floor-to-ceiling home windows that provides unimaginable sea views. Essentially the most-talked-about spotlight of the area: a glass-enclosed rain bathe that juts out over the sting of the ship.
Simply watch out if you happen to use it because the ship pulls into port. You may find yourself placing on a present. (Although the partitions are fabricated from “good glass,” so you’ll be able to change them from clear to translucent.) That mentioned, we are able to’t consider one other lavatory on a cruise ship that’s fairly so cool.
Ship: Riviera (Oceania Cruises)
The Proprietor’s Suites on Riviera — there are three of them — rival something you could find at a resort on land with regards to magnificence and elegance.
So do three extra Proprietor’s Suites that you could find on Riviera’s barely older sister ship, Marina.
All six of the suites have been adorned utilizing Ralph Lauren furnishings by designer Susan Bednar Lengthy, they usually have a beautiful stream and consistency in type.
The mahogany Bel Air beds that you just’ll discover within the grasp bedrooms are upholstered in steel-blue mohair — a hanging contact — and are flanked by partitions lined in Austyn cashmere. A number of steps away, a marble-clad grasp lavatory presents extra luxurious Ralph Lauren design touches.
Measuring round 2,000 sq. ft, the Proprietor’s Suites even have spacious dwelling rooms and a dramatic entryway with a bar on one aspect and a grand piano on the opposite.
There’s additionally numerous out of doors dwelling area with wrap-around balconies which can be dwelling to sizzling tubs and flat-screen TVs. These balconies overlook the again of the ship, providing nice views.
Among the many additional touches, a keep in one of many suites comes with butler service, free laundry service of as much as three baggage per crusing, precedence ship embarkation with precedence baggage supply and entry to an unique govt lounge staffed by a devoted concierge.
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