How to choose the perfect accommodation

Cruise Advice

Choosing the ship for you can be something of a juggling act. Someone might have told you that the all-inclusive luxury of the 'six star' ships is always going to be better value, with drinks and gratuities, alternative restaurants and so forth included in the fare. But there may be other considerations to take into account, and sometimes you will find that to book a top suite on a premium ship is the better choice for you.

Travelling with the family

If you are travelling with children and grandchildren, they may be looking for facilities that would not always feature on your list of essentials. With a far widerranging choice of entertainment and children's programmes, a busier night-life, and more going on throughout the day and night, a premium ship could be a better choice for multi-generational travel. For example, whilst you enjoy all the space of your Royal Suite on Celebrity Reflection on a summer Mediterranean cruise, your family will take advantage of theatre shows, Kids Fun Factory / XClub, live music and comedy shows, Rosetta Stone language courses, a range of swimming pools and hot tubs, gaming lessons, the Celebrity iLounge, cinema, solarium, Lawn Club, lectures, cooking demonstrations, croquet and other lawn games, art and craft lessons, wine workshops, nightclub, basketball court and much much more.

Grand Voyages and World Cruises

A standard suite on a top luxury ship will be comfortable and spacious for a couple of weeks, but what if you are planning a couple of months away? In that instance, it might be more appealing to take a suite on Holland America's Rotterdam. In a Pinnacle Suite, your extensive walk-in wardrobe and dressing room will enable you to take all the clothes you need, and the included laundry is perfect for daily use. There is plenty of space for dining privately, indoors or out, and indeed to invite friends for drinks or a meal. You can create a real home from home in what is effectively an apartment, with over 1,000 square feet of space, and if you feel like a change, you have access to the private Neptune lounge to make new friends, have a peaceful breakfast, or meet with the Concierge to plan your time ashore, or make your restaurant or spa reservations.

No flying

There is nothing quite like the luxury of driving to your departure port, an easy check-in, a short walk on board et voila! You are on holiday! Whilst six star vessels offer occasional UK departures, for more choice of both Northern and Mediterranean cruises, not to mention further afield, you need to pick a premium ship. A sumptuous Master or Grand Suite on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth gives you loads of space, and you can easily escape the crowds in your Queens Grill haven - a private single open seating dining room, Grills Lounge and deck area. Venture forth for the excellent shows and alternative dining restaurants, and you will enjoy a gracious style throughout.

Best value per day

Standing out at great value for money are the palatial Owner's Suites on Oceania's Marina and Riviera. Spanning the entire beam of the ship, these lavishly furnished apartments, with more than 2,000 square feet of space including a large 'den' style living room, king-size bedroom with two walk-in closets, indoor and outdoor whirlpool spas and a dramatic entry foyer with a music room, are really special. Benefits include 24 hour butler service, access to the private Executive Lounge with dedicated Concierge, complimentary in-suite bar setup, priority reservations, unlimited access to Canyon Ranch SpaClub® private Spa Terrace, FREE Unlimited Internet and, of course, access to Oceania's wide choice of amazing gourmet restaurants - this option HAS to appear on your list

Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

More about Edwina
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