Many of us can only dream of spending a fortnight in a top suite on our next cruise, but with the market becoming increasingly price competitive, we thought now would be a good time to compile a countdown of the ultimate luxury accommodations at sea!
There are a few things you'd expect to come as standard as a suite guest, such as a handy butler and pillow menu, but we have hunted high and low for those that go a whole lot further.
Our first entry comes from a P & O's Aurora. At 76,000 tons she is no super liner, yet still manages to have one of the most impressive suites to be found at sea. Situated at the very front of the ship are two exclusive Penthouse Suites. Spanning through two decks, the 937sqft suites consist of two balconies, a sweeping spiral staircase, dining room, living area, Jacuzzi bath and a choice of a baby grand piano or a library, but most striking of all, the area is highlighted by floor to ceiling window and patio doors providing fantastic sea views.
At a modest 360sqft including balcony, you may wonder how Costas Samsara Suites made it into our top countdown. The answer is; size is not everything. These suites may not have enough room to throw your own party, but they do have direct access to the largest wellness center at sea, covering more than 2000sq meters over two decks.
Suite guests receive a "welcome ritual" package which includes daily entry to the Thermal baths and Thalasso Pool, two spa treatments of their choice, two fitness or meditation lessons, access to relaxation area plus table reservations at the exclusive Samsara Restaurant which serves a range of wellness foods. A stay in a Samsara Suite pretty much guarantees a truly relaxing cruising
experience, and certainly, one where you may just go home a few pounds lighter than you arrived!
Celebritys Millennium class ships have dominated the prestigious Condé Nast readers' awards over the past four years, achieving the top four ranked ships in the world.
With that in mind, you would expect a celebrity suite to feature as one of our top spots.
And it is well deserving of its place with a suite that is over 1400sqft, impressive enough, however, when this has a 1098sqft surrounding balcony providing 180-degree ocean views attached to it, makes this pretty outstanding!
The two suites, located at the very back of the ship on Penthouse Deck, feature separate living and dining areas, baby grand piano, exercise equipment and a marble bathroom with whirlpool bath. The suite is well equipped with entertainment facilities such as TVs, DVD player, music center, fax machine and internet station. Your suite experience with Celebrity starts at boarding with priority embarkation and welcome champagne.
Runners up in our countdown are Cunard. Awarding the largest of the famous trio – the Queen Mary 2 -a liner featuring the most lavish suites afloat. Lucky guests accommodating either the Balmoral or Sandringham Duplex Suites can enjoy no less than 2249sqft of luxury. Spread across two floors, you can expect to find an oversized balcony, marble bathroom and expansive living area downstairs. This truly is a home away from home.
Cunard have also reserved areas of the ship for suite guest's access only, the Queens Grill for single seating dining and the Queens Grill Lounge – so preventing any inconvenient encounters with less cabin accomodators! (Or maybe just a nice quiet area for suite guests to enjoy)
We are near approaching the end of our countdown, and so far we have seen some of the largest, most luxurious and innovative accommodation at sea. So, it has to be something pretty spectacular to be awarded our top spot.
How about a 5750sqft three bedroom, three bathroom area that can sleep up to six but entertain up to 100 people? Announcing Norwegian Cruise Lines Garden Villas!
A collection of 10 unique suites located up on their own deck, each with private garden, sundeck and hot tub with alfresco dining and exclusive access to a courtyard area with private pool for you and your neighbors only.
Each contemporary, oversized villa has a lavishly decorated living room, dining room and an incredible bathroom, all framed with windowed walls for amazing sea views.
So there is, in our opinion, the best accommodation currently available available sea. And if your budget does not quite stretch? Well, what harm is a little indulgent day dreaming?