Saturday, April 04, 2009

Cruise ship suites prices tips

Buying a suite on a cruise ship can look extravagant, but in some cases it can be a smart move. In many cases of corporate events on cruises, purchasing a suite can be economically justified.

Some cruise lines like NCL offer giant suites with thousands of square feet, with private hot tubs and other amenities while other cruise lines have only a few suites and some cheap cruise lines like Costa have no suites, at any price!

On Royal Caribbean, one great benefit of a suite is the private concierge lounge, an exclusive area with a dedicated concierge who attends to your every need. This is Gershwin, the suite concierge on the Independence of the Seas, currently the world’s largest cruise ship.

Janet Burleson and Gershwin aboard the Independence of the Seas

If you are entertaining large groups, the suites are perfect, especially since you can save thousands of dollars on wine and liquor costs, as they are complementary:

Suites come with free alcohol for entertaining!

We entertained dozens of clients ion our suite (it was a business cruise) and we saved a small fortune on liquor costs, which can average over five dollars per drink!
Janet and Robin especially like the concierge lounge, available only to those with a suite. They have snacks and free drinks in the evenings and a continental breakfast:

The exclusice concierge lounge is a great perk for buying a suite

As a general rule, cruise ship suites are priced according to the square footage. For example, the owner’s suite is about 4x the size of a normal balcony stateroom, and it’s about 4x the cost.

The Oasis of the Seas now has two-story suites (not a great value, IMHO)

On the Freedom class ships, we got the “owners suite” a large room about four times the size of a regular room:

The owners suite has room to entertain

It also had a great large bathroom, as large as some of the small inside staterooms. The bathroom even has a real doorknob with a lock, and one of those fancy french butt-washer bidets:

But remember, there are only a few suites on each sip, and the suites can book-up a year in advance, so book them early!

We signed-up for several suites on the Oasis of the seas, the new mega-ship arriving in December 2009. For our extended family, the aqua suite is great because you can stuff up to eight people in it, making it a very affordable option. For the price of eight standard balcony rooms, they can share a huge indoor space and a colossal balcony:

On the Oasis, the aqua suites have a giant balcony that overlooks the outside auditorium.

Aqua suites have a great balcony view!

In sum, cruise ship suites are expensive and opulent, but under some circumstances they make good economic sense and the costs can be justified!

For more details on cruise ship suite costs, see my full notes on cruise ship suites costs and prices.