Glass-walled showers that extend out from the ship, private deck whirlpools, and unlimited in-suite spa services—living the high life on the high seas has its perks. With an ever-rising demand for luxe experiences aboard the world’s finest cruise ships, cruise lines have made an art of amenities. White gloves open doors to top-level suites with limitless views and impeccable interiors that are certain to impress. If you’re one of the few lucky ones staying in these sumptuous suites, there’s a glass of bubbly ready for you upon arrival, perfect for a toast as the butler unpacks your belongings. —Zachary Laks
Club Spa Suites, Azamara Club Cruises
Available on: Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest
For a smaller cruise line focused more on the exotic destinations than its onboard experiences, Azamara Club Cruises’ two ships are about to undergo dramatic changes in dry dock construction periods in 2016. Among the many additions the ship, both ships will be receiving two new spa suites that are spacious and contemporary, with perks that include a spa credit, a glass-enclosed bathtub and separate rain shower (both with ocean views). Most unique to the suites is the complimentary Nights in Private Places package, a private romantic night complete with a multi-course buffet, dip in a Thalassotherapy pool, and the chance to sleep under the stars in an outdoor bed.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Azamara Club Cruises Guide
Owners Suite, Silversea Cruises
Available on: Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper, Silver Spirit, Silver Muse, Silver Explorer, and Silver Cloud Expedition
Billed as apartments at sea, the Owner’s Suites on board the Silversea Cruises fleets are the toast of stylish comfort at sea. Top-of-the-line throughout, favorite features include the built-in Bang & Olufsen audio system, Illy espresso machines, and Pratesi® bed linens. The fine interiors extend to the en suite marble bathrooms where contemporary fixtures include separate showers and bathtubs, with Bulgari toiletries. Daily dry cleaning and pressing for the sharpest evening wear and a bar stocked with your preferences are nice touches that go the extra mile. And when it comes to dining, make arrangements through your butler for a complimentary dinner at the ship’s Le Champagne, Silversea’s Relais & Châteaux wine restaurant (usually $40 per person, without wine).
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Silversea Cruises Guide
Haven 3-Bedroom Garden Villas, Norwegian Cruise Line
Available on: Norwegian Star, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Jade, and Norwegian Jewel
One of the largest suites at sea, families are thrilled with the expansive space and seclusion from the hubbub of the ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s Haven 3-Bedroom Garden Villas. With models that feature up to 6,694 square feet and can sleep up to eight people, these suites were designed with exclusive group getaways in mind. Attentive butler service offers the chance to dine en suite for any meal throughout the day before or after a dip in your private garden hot tub. The suites are part of Norwegian’s exclusive Haven club, where an exclusive courtyard, bar, and dining room offer a luxe cruising experience for the whole family.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Norwegian Cruise Line Guide
Royal Loft Suite, Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean
Available on: Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, and Anthem of the Seas
A lofted penthouse that fulfills dreams of living like royalty, the Royal Loft Suites on board select Royal Caribbean ships are modern achievements in upscale cruise accommodations. The two-deck high panoramic windows are the main attraction of the duplexes, opening up the space with plenty of sunlight and the vast ocean horizons during the day and stars at night. Layouts and amenities shift from each ship though all feature a baby grand piano, indoor and outdoor dining with room for eight, and an extended balcony. Suite guests are treated to VIP access throughout the ship, courtesy of a concierge who helps with dinner reservations, preferred seats at shows, and exclusive boarding and disembarkation privileges.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Royal Caribbean International Guide
Regent Suite, Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Available on: Seven Seas Explorer
Set to launch this summer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ newest ship, Seven Seas Explorer, is shaping up to be the pinnacle of luxury at sea. Built to meet the ever-growing demand for ultra-luxury at sea, the new ship will welcome a fleet first with the exclusive Regent Suite, a 3,875-square-foot grand residence at sea. Welcoming a few firsts at sea, the new suite will have an en suite personal sauna, steam room and treatment area. Two contemporary bedrooms, including a master bedroom with a wall of windows looking out at sea, connect through a grand living room and incredible wraparound balcony in the stern of the ship. On top of the cruise line’s signature all-inclusive rate, Regent Suite guests are pampered with unlimited in-suite spa services, first class airfare for domestic flights and business class for international flights, as well as Hermès & L'Occitane amenities.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Regent Seven Seas Cruises Guide
Pinnacle Suite, Holland America Line
Available on: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Westerdam, and Zuiderdam
Holland America Line’s Pinnacle Suites are amenity-filled escapes into the serenity of cruising. The Pinnacle Suite renovations will focus on a modern and refined interiors, including USB charging outlets, LED reading lights, and a new interactive TV for on-demand movies and ship information. The perks of the suite extend throughout the ship with access to the exclusive Neptune Lounge, a private lounge for suite guests, complimentary laundry and dry cleaning services, bathrobes, slippers, and even a pair of binoculars to use on the ship.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Holland America Line Guide
Grand Duplex Suites Cunard
Available on: Queen Mary 2
Workout in your own private gym and prepare for the evening in your own space in the ‘his and hers’ marble bathrooms before making a grand entrance on a sweeping staircase that awaits in the five Grand Duplex Suites aboard Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2. With suites as large as 2,249 square feet, the two-story luxury apartments come equipped with a fully-stocked bar, dining for eight, a separate dressing room, and home office corner. Perfect for entertaining, there’s plenty of room to toast to the luxurious quarters on the 300-square-foot balcony, as your personal butler ensures the complimentary wines and spirits flow freely.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Cunard Cruise Line Guide
Crystal Penthouse, Crystal Cruises
Available on: Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony
Lauded for its premium cruising experience, Crystal Cruises delivers the height of contemporary elegance and class with its premium Crystal Penthouse suites. With interiors that are unique to each ship, the privileges of sailing as guest in the Crystal Penthouse are fleet-wide and include unpacking and packing services, garment pressing and shoe shine, and personalized booking assistance for all included shore excursions. Knowing that many who stay in the Crystal Penthouse never want to leave, the cruise line accommodates room dining opportunities with a daily afternoon tea service, pre-dinner cocktails, and white cloth dining from specialty restaurants Silk Road and Prego, served by course.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Crystal Cruises Guide
Owner’s Suite, Oceania Cruises
Available on: Riviera and Marina
Luxury by way of Ralph Lauren Home Collection sets the atmosphere of the grand Owner’s Suites on board the Riviera and Marina ships of Oceania Cruises. Boasting more than 2,000 square feet with a spacious living room, king-size bed, two walk-in closets, not to mention the indoor and outdoor whirlpool spas, the specialty suite exudes modern sophistication and comfort. Of the many perks of being in one of the ship’s three coveted suites, each suite receives an iPad to use on the ship, free unlimited WiFi, and best of all, an in-suite bar setup with a capacity for six full-size bottles of premium spirits and wine, perfect for a pre-dinner cocktail or a nightcap under the stars.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Oceania Cruises Guide
Reflection Suite, Celebrity Cruises
Available on: Celebrity Reflection
Among the many premium advantages of sailing in the Reflection Suite on Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Reflection, few compare to the one-of-a-kind Hansgrohe cantilever all-glass shower that extends out over the ship from the bathroom. A contender for the world’s most scenic shower, soap and rinse while taking in untethered views of the horizon. For those who seek more privacy, the shower glass turns opaque with the touch of a button. The Reflection Suites measure in at 1,636 square feet, and come with assistance unpacking, in-suite meals, and a private restaurant, Luminae, for suite guests only. Starting in January 2016, Reflection Suite guests will begin their journey with a bottle of Perrier-Jouët in addition to a bottle of vodka and a bottle of gin or scotch with mixers for a celebratory toast to the life of luxury at sea.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Celebrity Cruises Guide