FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Luxury Cruise Ship Suites

Dec 16, 2013
2014 / January 2014

For passengers at sea, a suite has three advantages over a standard, cramped stateroom: a surplus of space, a largesse of luxuries and a plethora of perks.

Consider the experience of residing for a week in an owner’s suite on either of Oceania Cruises’ newest ships, the Marina or the Riviera. First you get space, oodles of it, with 2,000 square feet inside and a veranda outside spacious enough for its own whirlpool tub and flat-screen TV. Then there are luxury enhancements: separate living and dining rooms, a state-of-the-art media center, a fitness room and — what’s surely sheer luxury on any ship — his-and-her walk-in closets. Oh, yes, there’s a baby grand piano in there somewhere, too. Beyond sheer poshness, residents of Oceania’s owner’s suite receive early boarding, en-suite dining, access to private lounges and whatever else a passenger and the suite’s butler can dream up.

Every cruise company offers its own lineup of suites, from slightly enlarged staterooms to over-the-top maritime villas like those on Oceania. Suites exude their own sense of style and character, too. Cunard Line’s flagship Queen Mary 2, for example, has tailored its suites to reflect the Art Deco era. Cunard was the first company to take passengers on regularly scheduled trans-Atlantic crossings, and from the beginning it divided its accommodations by class, from steerage for the common man to suites for the upper crust. Something of this distinction survives today aboard the QM2, where Britannia Class passengers (85 percent) have an entire floating city to explore, but Grill Class passengers (15 percent) claim the grandest cabins. QM2’s suites, which come in many sizes and configurations, are grand indeed. The two-story Balmoral and Sandringham duplexes, with sweeping staircases and domed ceilings, are the largest, covering some 2,249 square feet, while the junior suites with private balconies and whirlpool tubs occupy a mere 381 square feet — still twice the size of standard Britannia Class cabins. Grill Class passengers enjoy their own concierge, lounge and sundeck and their own top-grade restaurant and afternoon high tea served by the fabled White Star staff.

Many premium cruise lines, such as Crystal Cruises, do not sail in the past, however. Instead, they add the latest technology and plenty of bling to their suites. After a redesign in November 2013, the 1,100-passenger Crystal Serenity gave its four 1,345-square-foot penthouse suites a thoroughly contemporary polish, introducing 3-D TVs to its den-library-media rooms and equipping its spacious ocean-view bathrooms with whirlpool tubs, separate showers, bidets, two sinks and two more TVs. Suites occupy their own two decks on the Crystal Serenity, and all come with butlers, afternoon tea service and evening hors d’oeuvres.

Crystal Serenity penthouse suite © Crystal Cruises

Crystal Serenity penthouse suite © Crystal Cruises

The suite experience, with its plus-size measurements, ample amenities and privileges, is not confined to larger lines like Cunard and Crystal. The 332-passenger M/S Paul Gauguin plies the South Pacific with nine suites aboard, four of which provide butler service, verandas and a complimentary cocktail party for eight. The suites on the 148-passenger Wind Star, a yacht-styled cruiser with computer-controlled sails, are not vast (376–575 square feet), but they cover more than twice the floor space of the standard cabins. The even smaller Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer, with 62 cabins, offers luxury river cruises for top-of-the-line Abercrombie & Kent tours in China; and two of its suites, at 1,183 square feet each, are the largest on the Yangzi. Even the tiny 88-guest S.S. Legacy, the newest vessel in the Un-Cruise Adventures fleet, has room for one suite, perched just behind the bridge on this replica turn-of-the-century coastal steamer now sailing Alaska and the Columbia and Snake rivers. The owner’s suite has a separate living room, bedroom and bathroom with whirlpool and period tile work. The living room features a library and dining table, evening hors d’oeuvres service, a 56-inch TV and a wet bar with Gold Rush-era copper sinks.

Suites are also an option on cruise lines that cater to families with children and grandchildren. Disney Cruise Line’s two newest ships, the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy, offer Concierge suites with living rooms, walk-in closets, media players, plush amenities and verandas. The Concierge Royal Suite, with hot tub and wet bar, is more than 10 times as large as Disney’s smallest standard cabin. And suite holders enjoy plenty of perks, including priority boarding and a special welcome reception, iPods on loan and the use of a private lounge and sundeck.

Some premium cruise lines, such as Silversea Cruises, offer nothing but suites, in categories defined by size and price. On Silversea’s newest ship, the 540-passenger Silver Spirit, choices range from the 312-square-foot Vista suites, with no balconies, to the two-bedroom owner’s suite with 1,614 square feet, making for a fully appointed apartment at sea. And while size matters, Silversea suites in all categories come with personalized butler service, a choice of nine pillow types, walk-in closets, separate showers and Laura Tonatto-brand diffused aromatherapy air fragrances.

On a recent cruise aboard the 450-passenger Seabourn Odyssey, another all-suite vessel, we booked a Verandah Suite. While not a large suite at 365 square feet, it was a stunningly spacious stateroom compared to a standard cabin. We had our own private balcony, a very welcome walk-in closet, his-and-her sinks, separate shower and tub, a flat-screen TV, makeup counter, veranda, sofa and dining table. While we needed no more, Seabourn offers larger accommodations. The Wintergreen suites are nearly three times roomier and provide dining for six, a pantry with wet bar, two flat-screen TVs, complimentary WiFi, a glassed-in solarium with soaking tub and lounge bed, and a veranda bowed out over the side of the ship. Wintergreen accommodations are certainly enhanced, but our smaller suite delivered all we desired, and more than we had ever received with any standard cabin, making the voyage especially enjoyable. A suite on a cruise ship is like a business-class seat on a plane or an executive-floor room in a hotel — it can make all the difference, especially over the long haul. If one expects to stretch out, satisfy the senses and recharge the brain cells on a cruise, a suite is the stateroom of choice.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jan 21, 2022

Reasons to Visit New Orleans This February and March

New Orleans has a full roster of activities, events and festivals enticing guests throughout February and March.

 Reconnect with the world in The Islands of Tahiti

Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for white-sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.

Daily
Jan 20, 2022

5 Remarkable South African Women Changing the Travel Industry

With Black History Month and Women’s History Month right around the corner, it’s time to highlight and recognize South African women working hard to make the travel industry better.

eFlyer Reviews
Jan 19, 2022

Cheval Blanc Paris Review

Since Cheval Blanc, an extraordinary, newly designed and refurbished 72-room hotel owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, launched in September 2021, it has been the talk of the town. Le Tout-Paris remarks about its WOW factor … and the hard-to-get reservations for the 30 seats at Plenitude, the intimate, first-floor gastronomic outlet headed by chef Arnaud Donckele, who earned three Michelin stars at Cheval Blanc Saint Tropez. Reservations are also recommended for Limbar, the ground-floor bakery/café/tea shop/bar where we watched Pastry Chef Maxime Frédéric preparing desserts and an absolute must-have for dinner at Le Tout-Paris, the 7th-floor, all-day brasserie. This brightly colored space, with its raised seating and Fauve-like floor tiles and the adjacent Milanese restaurant, Langosteria, both have access to terraces facing the Seine River, with amazing views encompassing Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower.

Seabourn: It’s Not an Escape, It’s an Arrival

Go ahead, take a nice, deep breath. Because a Seabourn voyage is all about this moment you’ve come so far in life to embrace. It’s not an escape, it’s an arrival.

eFlyer News
Jan 19, 2022

New Specials at Well & Beings’ The Spa at Red Rock, The Spa at Green Valley Ranch

Nevada-based The Spa at Green Valley by Well & Being and The Spa at Red Rock by Well & Being celebrate the start of 2022 with new health, wellness and spa treatments available through March 31. Both spas offer an array of treatments for guests wanting to relax and unwind before 2022 kicks into full gear.

Daily
Jan 19, 2022

“JEOPARDY!”, Lindblad Expeditions Announce “Explore Alaska Sweepstakes”

Now through Jan. 28, JEOPARDY! and Lindblad Expeditions team up for a viewer promotion, the JEOPARDY! Explore Alaska Sweepstakes. The contest will award 10 winners and their guests with an eight-day, small-ship cruise of Alaska’s coastal wilderness.

IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs

IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs for a smarter way to manage travel

Seabourn: It’s Not an Escape, It’s an Arrival

Go ahead, take a nice, deep breath. Because a Seabourn voyage is all about this moment you’ve come so far in life to embrace. It’s not an escape, it’s an arrival.