I have never booked a cruise suite because I usually cruise alone and I don’t spend enough time in my room that it necessitates a suite.
However, I was thinking of taking a trip with a friend and wondered if the itinerary I was looking at made sense with a suite.
I went to Vacationstogo.com and I did a custom search for cruises with the following criteria:
- Port stops in Barcelona and Lisbon
- Dates from July to November 2017
- Cruise ships: Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Regent, and Crystal
I picked four of the above cruises to compare and one from each cruise line.
To get true comparisons, I did the following:
- Priced the trip for two
- Used Business Class flights (Regent)
- Approximated cost of shore excursion for two people to be $1000
- Added drink packages and gratuities, where applicable
- Priced each cruise through its lines website to get accurate pricing i.e got price from RCL trip on royalcaribbean.com
- Used hipmunk.com to price flights from JFK
Celebrity Cruises is the winner because it is the lowest price for an all-inclusive suite. It also has a promotion for this cruise in the suite category that includes free premium drinks and gratuities.
A Sky Suite on Celebrity comes with:
- Personal butler service to help you pack/unpack, make your spa appointments, dinner reservations, shore excursions and more
- Dedicated private restaurant, Luminae, reserved exclusively for all Suite Class guests
- Access to the private Michael’s Club Lounge
- Priority check-in & debarkation
- Reserved theater seating on Evening Chic nights
- Full in-suite breakfast, lunch & dinner service
- Complimentary daily in-suite espresso and cappuccino
- Priority tender service
- Afternoon canapés and tea service, complimentary daily in-suite espresso and cappuccino
- Main & specialty restaurant seating preferences
- Pillow menu
- Fresh flowers
- Welcome bottle of Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine
- Bottled water on Embarkation Day
- Daily Delectables rotation of savory and sweet snacks
Why not RCL, Crystal or Regent?
Choosing to sail in a suite on RCL for this cruise is not a deal. A Junior suite on Royal Caribbean is basically a large balcony room with a tub. Junior suites also include tea and coffee service ensuite and terry bathrobes (for use onboard). The reason to choose this cruise is because you are traveling with children or you love the itinerary.
In contrast, all of Regent’s rooms are suites. Included in the price you pay is roundtrip air, unlimited shore excursions, Wi-Fi, unlimited beverages, specialty restaurants and gratuities. However, the price tag is high because you are paying for a luxury country club experience. I am not willing to pay almost twice the price of Celebrity for inclusive shore excursions.
Finally, Crystal Cruises was just too expensive. I can not imagine paying $32,122.96 when Celebrity offers exactly the same thing albeit with fewer luxury and entertainment options.