A number of cruise lines have created special VIP areas which are designed 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.
The Palace, Dream Cruises
Dream Cruises, Asia’s first luxury line, features exclusive area, The Palace. The Palace is complete with suites, a private restaurant, gym, sundeck, swimming pool and other facilities. At the Palace, you’ll get 24-hour butler concierge and one to one staff-to-guest ratio.
The private restaurant in The Palace will serve authentic Asian delicacies such as herbal soups, abalone and bird’s nest dishes, a seafood buffet selection as well as premium Chinese tea. Members also have access to an expanded healthy breakfast and vegetarian lunch options at the Crystal Life Café.
The Palace also features a curated collection of enrichment programs called The Connoisseurs Circle. It hosts guest-speaker led events such as international wine tasting and insider talks on fine jewellery and watches. There is also a Palace Kids program that runs creative workshops and activities for children aged two to twelve.
The guests of the Palace also get an exclusive version of inclusions shipwide, including set meals at specialty dining restaurants, the premium beverage package, a welcome cocktail party with the captain as well as a selection of Palace exclusive shore excursions.
The is approximately 150 luxury suites in the Palace and the average suite size is over 42 square metres, with beds fitted with fine Italian linens from Frette, Nespresso coffee machines, complimentary mini bar and premium amenities from Etro. The Palace Villa even comes with its own whirlpool spa, sauna and private sun deck.
Suite Club, Royal Caribbean
The line has introduced the Suite Club on the Spectrum of the Seas which houses private dining rooms, lounges and an upscale Solarium.
The Gold and Silver class suites are found at the forward end of the ship on decks 13 to 16. Suite Club members have special keycard access to a private elevator and The Balcony, a private outdoor space where you can get the best views of the sunset. Guests can also make reservations for The Boutique for a private shopping session, tea ceremonies and more.
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.
Concierge Lounge, 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.
The line also has many adult-only venues so guests can come onboard to enjoy the themed ship and have quiet time away from the kids at the same time. There are two adult-exclusive dining options onboard. Palo serves Northern Italian cuisine and Remy has French-inspired cuisine for brunch and dinner.
On the deck, adults can also unwind at the Quiet Cove Pool and relax at the Cove Café. When the sun sets, you can also head to the nightclubs and lounges on board for live music, cabaret shows, broadcast sports, dancing, karaoke, and even beverage tastings.
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.
The Queens Grill suite will also be fitted out with a marble bathroom. You’ll find bespoke perfumer Penhaligon’s toiletries on the counter and the mini-bar stocked with your choice of wines and spirits. Fresh fruit and flowers are also delivered daily to your suite.