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Think luxury cruising, and the first thing that comes to mind is a spacious suite the size of an opulent apartment.

But that may not be the best of luxury cruising.  There’s the intimate environment of small luxury ships, the incredible personalised service, fine dining, and the opportunity to pull up at smaller ports and enjoy exclusive experiences.

So what happens if you book the cheapest cabin on a luxury ship – cruising’s equivalent of the property market’s rule of thumb: for the best value, buy the worst house on the best street.

A Cruise Passenger survey of the cheapest cabins on luxury lines found it was possible to have the luxe experience at great value prices. Sleeping in an inside cabin still has lots of luxury benefits – and new ship designs mean even the lowliest stateroom might have a balcony.

Regent Seven Seas Deluxe Veranda Suite

Regent Seven Seas Deluxe Veranda Suite

The cheapest cabins on lines like Regent Seven Seas and Ponant are balcony suites while on lines like Silversea and Crystal Cruises, the lowest tier cabins are window staterooms. On Seabourn Cruises, it depends on which ship you board. The cheapest cabin on their newest ship Seabourn Ovation is a balcony suite, while on older makes like Seabourn Quest offer window staterooms as the cheapest option. Oceania Cruises offers inside cabins.

Silver Spirit Vista Suite

Vista Suite, Silver Spirit

In terms of cabin space, Silversea’s Silver Muse takes the crown with a total of 31 sq metres of in-suite area for their window stateroom and the Seven Seas Voyager and Seabourn Quest tie in second place with 28 sq metres. The Voyager however has an additional 5 sq metres of balcony.

On Regent Seven Seas, the cheapest balcony cabins on their older ships also offer significantly more room than new makes like the Seven Seas Explorer, with difference of almost 8 sq metres of in-suite space.

Oceania inside cabin

Oceania inside stateroom

Oceania’s cabins are the smallest, starting from 14.9 sq metres but their sailings also come at almost a third of the price of the most expensive lines like Silversea and Regent Seven Seas. Another line with small cabins is Ponant whose balcony suites only come up to 19 sq metres in total.

Ponant Deluxe Stateroom

Ponant Le Champlain deluxe stateroom

Some cabins also do not have baths and only feature showers due to space constraints. Lines like Crystal also do not offer butler service to the bottom two cabin tiers and Ponant only have them on select ships and cabin tiers. So if having a butler to attend to you is must have for a luxury experience, go with other lines.

Beyond that, most amenities in the room are rather similar.

For prices, we selected sailings that are around two weeks long and departing in October and November 2020. While majority of the sailings are in the Mediterranean, others are going to places like the Panama Canal, Mexico and Australasia. So use those prices as a rough guide while keeping in mind that different luxury lines offer different inclusions as well.

The cheapest luxury cabins at sea start at $199 per day on Oceania’s Sirena and go up to $708 on the ‘most luxurious ship at sea’ the Seven Seas Explorer. Tempted yet?

In fact, according to Kathy Pavlidis a cruise specialist at Travel Associates, many seasoned cruisers are open to move up to the next level of luxury cruising when presented with an amazing ‘one off’ deal.

And Ms Pavlidis warns, “once they have experienced luxury it is very hard to go back to the mass market. I’ve never had a client who tried luxury cruising come back saying they didn’t like it!”

Regent Seven Seas

Seven Seas Voyager

Year built: 2003, last refurbishment 2016

No. of guests: 700

Deluxe Veranda Suite – H

Dimensions

Suite: 28 sq metres

Balcony: 5 sq metres

Total: 33 sq metres

Layout and Amenities

  • European King-Sized Suite Slumber Bed®
  • 1 Marble Bathroom
  • Walk-in Closet With Safe
  • Accommodates Up To 3 Guests
  • FREE Unlimited WiFi includes one log-in, one device, per suite*
  • Welcome Bottle of Champagne with Fresh Fruit Arrangement
  • In-Suite Mini-Bar Set-Up and Refill
  • 24-Hour Room Service
  • L’Occitane® Mer & Mistral Soaps, Shampoos and Lotions
  • Regent Plush Bathrobes and Slippers
  • Vanity and Hair Dryer
  • Interactive Flat-Screen Television With Extensive Media Library, Complimentary Movies-on-Demand
  • Direct Dial Satellite Phone
  • Shoe Shine Service

Prices from $8,699 for 13-day Athens (Piraeus) to Barcelona departing October 8, 2020. $669 pp per day.

Seven Seas Explorer

Year built: 2016

No. of guests: 750

Deluxe Veranda Suite – H

Dimensions

Suite: 20.3 sq metres

Balcony: 8.1 sq metres

Total: 28.4 sq metres

Layout and Amenities

  • Intimate Sitting Area
  • 1 Marble and Stone Detailed Bathroom featuring a glass-enclosed shower instead of bathtub
  • Private Balcony
  • Built-in Closet With Safe
  • L’Occitane® Mer & Mistral Soaps, Shampoos and Lotions
  • European King-Size or Twin Bed Configurations Featuring our Exclusive Suite Slumber Bed®
  • Interactive Flat-Screen Television With Extensive Media Library, Complimentary Movies-on-Demand
  • Vanity and Hair Dryer
  • Regent Plush Bathrobes and Slippers
  • Mini-Bar Replenished Daily With Soft Drinks, Beer and Bottled Water — All Complimentary

Prices from $9,199 for 13-day Barcelona to Venice departing October 5, 2020. $708 pp per day.

Crystal Cruises

Crystal Serenity

Year built: 2003, last refurbishment 2018

No. of guests: 980

Deluxe Stateroom with large picture window

Dimensions

19.8 sq metres

Layout and Amenities

  • sitting area
  • queen-size bed or twin beds
  • wall closet
  • comfortable deluxe seating with soft leather sofa
  • large picture window
  • double-vanity bathroom
  • full bathtub/shower
  • ETRO bathrobes
  • kimonos and slippers
  • exclusive ETRO bath products
  • 24-hour room service
  • twice-daily housekeeping
  • evening turndown service

Prices from $7,573 for 14-day Quebec City to Miami departing October 30, 2020. $541 pp per day.

Oceania Cruises

Riviera

Year built: 2012, last refurbished in 2019

No. of guests: 1,250

Inside Stateroom

Dimensions

16.2 sq metres

Layout and Amenities

  • Ultra tranquillity king-size bed or twin beds
  • Vanity desk
  • Breakfast table
  • Refrigerated mini-bar with free and unlimited soft drinks and bottled water replenished daily
  • marble and granite-clad bathroom with a shower
  • ETRO bathrobes
  • kimonos and slippers
  • exclusive ETRO bath products
  • 24-hour room service
  • twice-daily housekeeping
  • evening turndown service

Prices from $2,499 for 12-day ‘Seas of Revelation’ Athens to Lisbon departing October 4, 2020. $208 pp per day.

Sirena

Year built: 1999, entered Oceania 2016, last refurbished in 2019

No. of guests: 684

Inside Stateroom

Dimensions

14.9 sq metres

Layout and Amenities

  • Ultra Tranquility Bed, an Oceania Cruises Exclusive
  • Refrigerated mini-bar with free and unlimited soft drinks and bottled water replenished daily
  • Complimentary and extensive 24-hour room service menu
  • Signature Belgian chocolates with nightly turndown service
  • Plush cotton towels
  • Thick cotton robes and slippers
  • Bulgari amenities
  • Twice-daily maid service
  • Handheld hair dryer
  • Flat-screen television with live satellite news and programming
  • DVD player with extensive media library
  • Direct-dial satellite phone and cellular service
  • Writing desk and stationary
  • Security Safe

Prices from $1,999 for 10-day ‘Canaries to Catalonia’ Lisbon to Barcelona departing October 4 2020. $199 pp per day.

Seabourn Cruises

Seabourn Ovation

Year built: 2018

No. of guests: 604

Veranda Suite (V1)

Dimensions

Suite: 23 to 28 sq metres

Balcony: 6 to 7 sq metres

Total: 29 to 35 sq metres

Layout and amenities

  • full-length window and glass door to private veranda
  • living area
  • queen-size bed or two twin beds
  • dining table for two
  • walk-in closet
  • interactive flat-screen television with music and movies
  • fully stocked bar and refrigerator
  • makeup vanity
  • bathroom with separate tub and shower

Prices from $11,999 for 14-day ‘Mediterranean Wonders’ Turkey roundtrip departing October 17, 2020.

Seabourn Quest

Year built: 2011

No. of guests: 450

Ocean View Suite (A)

Dimensions

Suite: 28 sq metres

Layout & Amenities

  • large picture window
  • living area
  • queen-size bed or two twin beds
  • dining table for two
  • walk-in closet
  • interactive flat-screen television with music and movies
  • fully stocked bar and refrigerator
  • makeup vanity
  • bathroom with separate tub and shower

Prices from $11,000 for 13-day ‘Panama & The Inca Coast’, Miami to Callao (Lima), departing November 7, 2020. $846 pp per day.

Ponant

Le Champlain

Year built: 2018

No. of guests: 180

Deluxe Stateroom

Dimensions

Room and balcony area: 19 sq metres

Layout and amenities

  • Private balcony
  • Individually-controlled air-conditioning
  • King-size bed or twin beds
  • Minibar
  • Flat screen satellite TV with video on demand
  • Satellite direct line telephone
  • Desk with stationery
  • Ipod(TM) players
  • Internet acces WiFi
  • Safe
  • Shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Bath robes
  • French bath products
  • 24hr room service

Prices from $4,200 for 8-day ‘Maya Treasure of the Yucatan’ Puerto Morelos roundtrip, departing November 10, 2020. $525 per day.

Silversea Cruises

Silver Muse

Year built: 2017

No. of guests: 596

Vista Suite

Suite: 31 sq metres

Layout and amenities

  • Dedicated butler
  • Large picture window
  • Sitting area
  • Writing desk(s) with personalised stationery
  • Twin beds or queen-sized bed
  • Pillow Menu
  • BVLGARI® bath amenities
  • Etro® bath robes
  • Slippers
  • Marbled bathroom with vanity, separate wet room with shower seat
  • Unlimited Standard Wifi
  • Two 42 “ / 106 cm Flat-screen HD TV with Interactive Media Library
  • iHome Radio / Alarm charging station (with USB cable or Qi wireless charging), NFC Bluetooth connectivity
  • Wall mounted USB-C mobile device chargers
  • Refrigerator and bar setup stocked with your preferences

Prices from $7,920 for 12-day Fremantle (Perth) to Bali departing November 21, 2020. $660 pp per day.

 

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