For the cruiser who wants it all, the ship-within-a-ship concept has been taking off the last few years with many lines creating these exclusive havens for a select few.
It’s ideal for those who love all the aspects of big ship cruising – the food, the entertainment, the water slides and the rides – but want some peace and quiet away from the rest of the ship.
Most of the private areas have their own access and come with additional amenities like a private dining room, gym, a separate pool area and even butler service.
And you’ll often find well-appointed suites – everything from spa suites to garden penthouses.
So we’ve done a round up of the cruise lines who offer these beautiful areas.
MSC Yacht Club
The original members-only cruise club boasts lavishly appointed suites, an exclusive 24-hour butler service, a dedicated concierge as well as plenty of private facilities.
Members will have exclusive access to private facilities like the One Pool Deck that has a swimming pool, whirlpool baths, sun deck bar. Yacht Club members also can enjoy the panoramic Top Sail Lounge that promises spectacular views.
The lounge is fitted out with comfortable couches, TV, complimentary bar, afternoon tea service and light food selection for most of the day and has live music available every night. The unlimited beverage selection also extends shipwide.
Club members also have a dedicated restaurant on each ship where they are free to choose their dining time during restaurant opening hours. Book a Yacht Club cabin on MSC cruises and you’ll unlock exclusivity and privacy.
The Haven, Norwegian Cruise Line
Similar to MSC’s Yacht Club, The Haven is hidden away at the top of the ship. This section of the ship features a 24-hour butler service and a concierge service. Guests of the Haven will have a gorgeous sun deck and courtyard with a pool, two whirlpools, sauna and fitness center all to themselves a even private entrance to the Mandara Spa.
The lounge features a bar, plenty of seats where guests can relax with light bites and drinks. Other perks for Haven guests also include a cordoned-off seating area up front during live stage productions.
For dining, Haven guests on Norwegian Breakaway, Getaway and Epic get access to an exclusive, private restaurant while the guests on other ships get to dine in the specialty restaurants.
Suite Class passengers on Celebrity cruises gain exclusive access to plenty of suites-only venues such as The Retreat Sundeck, The Retreat Lounge, Michael’s Club lounge and private restaurant, Luminae.
Guests can skip the breakfast rush and enjoy their breakfast in the quiet Michael’s Club lounge which is open 24-hours. Pre-dinner drinks and tapas are also served daily. Other amenities in the lounge include a TV, and a reading area stocked with magazines, newspaper and books. The concierge there can also help arrange specialty dining, shore excursions, and even handle inquiries about various ports of call.
The Retreat Sundeck and Lounge are newer offerings on Celebrity which is created in collaboration with celebrated designer Kelly Hoppen. The private areas show off a modern aesthetic with the Retreat Sundeck fitted out with plenty of cabanas and floating chairs where you can watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand. Meanwhile, the Retreat Lounge is designed to be light-hearted and calming.
Neptune Lounge, Holland America Line
Guests staying in a deluxe verandah or penthouse suite when cruising with Holland America Line will get to access their Neptune Lounge. Complimentary sparkling wine is served upon embarkation in this lounge.
Think of this space as a living room. This private area is stocked with books, newspaper, TV, with specialty coffees served throughout the day. The lounge also serves continental breakfast, afternoon and pre-dinner snacks.
Their concierge services include booking reservations at the Pinnacle Grill restaurant, express booking for shore excursions and arranging spa appointments.
Concierge Lounge, Princess Cruises
This lounge is available to suite passengers traveling on board Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess. The lounge is fitted with couches, TV and a selection of books and magazines. Light snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are also offered throughout the day.
Concierge services are also available for suite passengers at the lounge. It also remains privately available to suite guests on disembarkation day so guests can enjoy a relaxed end to their holiday.
Disney Cruise Line
Guests that are booked in a suite or concierge class cabin will be able to enjoy the Concierge Lounge which serves complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. There will be a private welcome reception in the lounge when guests embark the ship and on disembarkation day, guests will be invited to have their breakfast in the lounge as well.
Concierge services are also available in the lounge where guests can book excursions, make restaurant reservations or in-room dining arrangements, secure spa appointments, organize child care services or help plan special occasions.
Guests will also be able to access a private sun deck and a covered outdoor deck where they can relax on lounge chairs with a host and complimentary sunscreen.
Cunard Line is not quite mass market but has offered a tiered system on its ships for decades. Queens and Princess Grill class passengers on their ships have access to exclusive restaurants which even offer single seating.
Other perks include a butler and concierge service, priority embarkation, pre-dinner canapés, a private lounge and terrace and in-suite dining with selections from the Queens Grill menu.