Does your cruise line belong in the contemporary, luxury or premium category? The answers, from a panel of cruise line executives last month at the Cruise Lines International Association’s Cruise3sixty event in Fort Lauderdale, weren’t simple -- many executives insisted that their products straddled the lines.
Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line’s senior vice president of marketing and sales, said that if a Garden Villa on an NCL ship costs $26,000 on the same sailing that an inside cabin costs $499, it is difficult to “buttonhole.”
One way to compare is to examine the biggest and best suites in fleets. Every line has a “best of the best” room. We’ve assembled a guide to the 10 largest. Prices are approximate and listed for mid-June cruises.
Garden Villa, NCL: Measures 4,390 square feet.
Price: On the Pride of Hawaii: $724 per person, per day.
Suite in brief: Three-bedroom Garden Villas, on NCL’s newest ships, have private rooftop terraces, outdoor Jacuzzi, outdoor dining, gardens and relaxation areas. Amenities include butler and concierge services and complimentary limo transfer.
Penthouse Suites, Celebrity: Measures 2,530 square feet on Millennium-class ships.
Price: On the Infinity: $724 per person, per day.
Suite in brief: Suites have baby grand pianos, exercise equipment, electronic security systems, music centers, Internet stations and 1,098-square-foot balconies with whirlpools and wet bars. Passengers enjoy butler service; priority embarkation and tendering; preferred restaurant seating; shoe shine; private portrait sittings; use of the thalassotherapy pool; and baggage packing assistance.
Balmoral and Sandringham Suites, Cunard: Measures 2,249 square feet on the Queen Mary 2.
Price: $3,942 per person, per day.
Suites in brief: These duplex suites have master bedrooms upstairs and living rooms below. Passengers have access to the Queens Grill restaurant, lounge and private sun terrace; butler service; complimentary bar; bottle of champagne and strawberries on embarkation day; Xbox video game system; concierge service; and priority boarding.
International Presidential Family Suite, Royal Caribbean: Measures 2,025 square feet, on the Freedom of the Seas.
Price: $22,000 for the entire suite for a seven-day sailing.
Suite in brief: Sleeps up to 14 in two master bedrooms for two, two bedrooms for four, and two fold-out berths. The 810-square-foot balcony has whirlpool, wet bar, eight lounge chairs and a 14-person dining table.
Master Suite, Regent Seven Seas: Measures 2,002 square feet on the Seven Seas Mariner.
Price: $1,782 per person, per day.
Suite in brief: The two-bedroom, 2.5-bath suite has two balconies, an iPod digital music player with speakers and a flat-screen TV. Guests enjoy free pressing service the first night, butler service and free beer refill in the suite bar.
Crystal Penthouse, Crystal Cruises: Measures 1,345 square feet on the Crystal Serenity.
Price: $2,616 per person, per day.
Suite in brief: A private workout area with treadmill, library and master bath with Jacuzzi. Guests get a guaranteed table for two in the Crystal Dining Room. Amenities include complimentary wine, choice of liquor, soft drinks, beer in room, butler service, dataport for laptops, cordless phone and limo service.
Owners’ Suites, Silversea: Measures 1,403 square feet on the Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper.
Price: $2,857 per person, per day.
Suite in brief: Teak-floor balcony with patio furniture; complimentary movies, laundry, wine and spirits selection; butler and valet; espresso machine; marble bathrooms; and pillow choice.
Grand Suite, Princess Cruises: Measures 1,329 square feet on the Sapphire and Diamond Princess.
Price: On either vessel: $594 per-person, per day.
Suite in brief: Pillow menus, bath amenities and massage showerheads; corsage and boutonniere for formal night; free one-time mini-bar stocking; expedited embarkation; preferred dining and shore excursion reservations; free laundry, dry cleaning, shoe polishing, Internet use and use of thermal pool; private portrait sitting.
Abel Tasman Suite and Willem Barentz Suite, Holland America Line: Each measures 1,318 square feet on the Noordam.
Price: $1,159 per person, per day.
Suite in brief: Free laundry, personalized stationary, full stateroom breakfast and captain’s cocktail party. Feather pillows; whirlpool bath; mini-bar; Neptune lounge access, where a personal concierge handles shore excursions, spa appointments and dinner reservations.
Royal Suites, Walter E. Disney Suite and Roy O. Disney Suite, Disney Cruise Line: Measures 1,029 square feet on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.
Price: On the Magic: $636 per person, per day.
Suite in brief: Concierge service; a new pillow menu called “Pillow Talk”; whirlpool tub; garden tub with jets and shower; living room with wet bar; media library; dining table for eight. The Walt Disney suite has a baby grand piano.
To contact reporter Johanna Jainchill, send e-mail to [email protected].