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P&O’s claim of “affordable luxury” in penthouse suites aboard the Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden has sparked a debate over just how much cruisers should pay for the best accommodation on the sea.

Cruise Passenger put other Australian-based lines to the test, including Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Princess Cruises.
P&O revealed earlier this week that its newly refurbished suites will have large spa baths, walk-in wardrobes and floor-to-ceiling glass window open onto expansive private balconies with modern furnishings.
The idea is to make the suites accessible to a wider range of cruisers.
As P&O’s Cruise Senior Vice President Sture Myrmell said, “We like to think of it as affordable luxury.”
A penthouse suite on Pacific Eden’s four-night Comedy cruise which departs Sydney on December 4, 2015, starts from $2649 per person, twin share.
While Pacific Aria’s three-night Food & Wine cruise starts from $2,749 per person, twin share – equating to around $916 a night.
On Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas, guests get a private balcony, separate living area, large bathtubs and concierge service. This is the suite with the biggest floor area at 516 square feet.
As well as walk-in wardrobe, computer connection and a dining room for four people, a two night cruise from Sydney to Brisbane will set you back around $3,290 per person, twin share.
A three night weekend sampler from Sydney onboard a Carnival Cruises ship will cost from $1,280.
On the Carnival Legend, the Vista Suite has a specialty wraparound balcony that provides wide, stunning views an a unique panoramic inside view as well.
Onboard a two night cruise from Sydney to Brisbane onboard the Sun Princess, guests pay from $1,059 per person, twin share.
For the suite with balcony, guests will get a separate seating area with a sofabed, a private balcony, evening bed turn-down with chocolates on your pillow, and upgraded amenities.
P&O’s Pacific Eden and Pacific Aria will be launched at the end of the year.