Exclusive Cruise Travel: The Modern Class System
Photo by Jason Leppert
The days of rigidly defined classes onboard ships may be gone, but more cruise lines offer exclusive venues based on passenger accommodation category than one might think.
MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line are the primary examples of extensive ship-within-a-ship complexes available only to their highest suite guests, but others follow suit to varying degrees as well.
Celebrity Cruises offers its suite guests exclusive access to Michael’s Club complete with a dedicated concierge and complimentary drinks and tapas in the evening. Plus, the premium line recently introduced its new Luminae fleet-wide as a gourmet restaurant reserved just for those booked in suites. The health-conscious Blu restaurant is similarly set aside for AquaClass passengers.
Cunard Line is most historically linked to traditional class systems and offers several different dining room tiers dependent on guest staterooms and suites to this day. The exclusive Britannia Club, Princess Grill and Queens Grill restaurants are all assigned according to their similarly named accommodation levels, and Grill guests also have exclusive access to a dedicated concierge and the Grills Terrace and Lounge with bar service and afternoon tea.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line has its concierge level of staterooms and suites that naturally comes with dedicated concierge services as well as an exclusive lounge and sun deck aboard the Disney Dream, Disney Magic and Disney Fantasy with complimentary food and beverage offerings.
Holland America Line
Guests in Holland America Line’s Neptune and Pinnacle suites have private access to the Neptune Lounge onboard its ships including refreshments and concierge services, and the premium line is in the process of upgrading its suites on the Signature-, Vista- and R-Class ships.
MSC Cruises is one of the lines that offers a full ship-within-a-ship experience thanks to its MSC Yacht Club, a complex on select ships with a private Top Sail observation lounge, One Pool Deck, concierge reception, butler service, dedicated restaurant, private spa access and exclusive shopping opportunities. The line’s upcoming MSC Seaside will even feature a private solarium for Yacht Club guests.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line takes the ship-within-a-ship concept further by offering all of its exclusive venues in a contiguous complex called The Haven by Norwegian (pictured on the Norwegian Escape above). The expansive facilities on the company’s newest ships altogether include a private lounge, restaurant, courtyard with pool, sundeck, whirlpools, dedicated spa treatment rooms and concierge and butler service.
Royal Caribbean international
For its suite guests, Royal Caribbean International offers concierge services as well as a dedicated concierge lounge with included evening drinks on most ships. There are also private sun deck and restaurant options like the Coastal Kitchen, and the Royal Suite Class includes signature access to the line’s new Royal Genie butler service – both on the line’s latest ships.
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