Luxury Cruising on a Big Ship
If you enjoy the array of dining and entertainment options on a big, contemporary cruise ship but also want the type of amenities and service provided by a small luxury cruise ship, you’re in luck: some contemporary cruise lines are perfecting the "ship within a ship” concept. These cruise lines are selecting areas and/or services on their ships and reserving them for guests who want a bit of VIP treatment mixed with the fun of a large-ship cruise.
Usually, guests qualify to enjoy ship-within-a-ship facilities and services by reserving a certain type of accommodation. For example, on Celebrity Cruises ships, reserving an AquaClass stateroom will give you unlimited access to the Aqua Spa Relaxation Room (on Solstice Class ships) and the Persian Garden. AquaClass staterooms also come with wonderful extras, such as a concierge to arrange spa treatments and daily delivery of bottled water and tea.
If you reserve a suite (with the exception of Junior Suites) on some Royal Caribbean ships, you’ll receive priority service at check-in and check-out. Suite guests also enjoy reserved seating in the main theater, priority breakfast and lunch seating in specialty restaurants, VIP pool deck seating, complimentary pressing service on formal night, and Concierge Club assistance with personal requests.
On Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic, Jewel, Gem, Jade and Pearl, The Haven offers the ship’s most luxurious and spacious accommodations. Reserving an Owner’s Suite, Family Villa, Courtyard Penthouse or Spa Suite in The Haven will give you personal service from a 24-hour butler and concierge and use of a Haven-only sun deck. The Haven also provides lots of luxury touches, such as gourmet treats delivered to you each evening.
MSC Cruises’ ship-within-a-ship is the Yacht Club, a group of suites located on the ship’s foredecks for breathtaking ocean views. A concierge, butler service, use of the Top Sail Lounge and a private swimming pool provide the ambiance of a private club. You can even ask a butler to accompany you on a shopping spree of the ship’s boutiques during off-hours.
Even if your budget does not allow for these types of VIP accommodations, you will likely be able to find a spot of serene luxury on your cruise, no matter what the cruise line or ship. Ask if your ship has a quiet area for adults-only relaxation (a popular feature on Disney Cruise Line ships, to name one); poolside cabanas that can be rented by the hour or day; or a gourmet restaurant that’s off-limits to youngsters. Ask your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert for more ideas.