Contributor Level: Captain

Suite Class all inclusive?

Royal Caribbean is announcing a Suite Class Category.

Virtually an All-Inclusive package. I'm betting that the cost will reflect that. This just leads into what some of us have been commenting on in this forum. A cheap initial price for the  cruise cabin, with adders for just about everything. With the removal of the MDR to, as some suggested, Spa Fees, Show tickets pre bought and paid for, room service charges, partial and complete drink packages " per person in each room" and a myriad of other "hidden fees" . We are going to see a transformation in all the cruise lines. I would like to hear thoughts, especially form professional Travel Agents. How are you going to sell these packages.


5 Answers

Contributor Level: Captain

The Suite class is not for us commoners.  A lot of cruise lines have this going now,  NCL has the Haven,  MSC has the yacht club, Celebrity has the Spa cabins and the concierge class,  some of Carnival ships have the spa cabins, More boutique cruises and river cruises have wine and beer included and shore excursions (and you boy do you pay for it).  Cunard has different dining rooms depending on the cabin class you booked.

I see this more as RCI trying to get some of the higher end clients to it's ships then trying to force us commoners into the high end.  Since the time of the titanic,  the bread and butter of cruise lines has been steerage with the icing of the cake being the few first class cabins.    I see this as lines trying to get part of the Icing as well as us bread and butter.  With all the new ships coming out every year they need the cabins filled,  us commoners are keeling them filled and afloat.

I have heard it called a Ship within a ship.  To me this is just bringing back class separation on cruise ships.

Contributor Level: Captain

I agree with JusMe here. There is a definite drift back to the old days where the ships were divided up by passenger class distinctions, what's next "steerage class" again? That is why we have stayed away from Cunard, friends who use them tell us that they really lead the parade toward "snob" class service. I have even shunned upgrades into suite status on HAL and Princess as I don't care for that little special exclusive lounge atmosphere they offer you when you book a cabin like that.

Having said that, some time back we did get a real deal on a Regent cruise, which is a so called "all-inclusive". Since everybody is treated the same, except for cabin size pretty much, one doesn't get the impression of inequality. It was great and we really enjoyed getting away from the nickel and dime game now being played out by  the majors.

However, there are down sides to that type of cruise as well, which I won't bother going into here. Anyway, we ended up doing about 120 days sailing on Regent and the total cost of the cruises weren't all that much more than we had been paying for on HAL and Princess for commensurate itineraries and cabin size. However, all good things come to an end though, I guess. Regent's cruise product has deteriorated slightly as their prices have escalated. Furthermore, I'm having a tough time finding an itinerary of their's that interests us. 

But the real crunch is the expense. In order to fairly compare Princess with Regent I have to factor in air since Regent provides "free", both way, airline coach tickets, we use business or first class so that is extra on Regent. Anyway, what I get nowadays is something like this. All costs cranked in Princess seems to run us about $500 a day per person while Regent is close to $800.       




Contributor Level: Captain

The Spa Cabins on Carnival, if they are supposed to be special, aren't. At least not on the Splendor. Neither is the Spa itself. 

Look, if you don't want to buy, or can't afford, those packages, then just spend what you can. Or choose a different line.  The way I see it, our cruising career may be coming to an end. Although we do want to do an around the world.  The cutbacks and costs are growing, and the quality has gone downhill.   The ships are getting so big, when they dock, they almost double the population of some of the islands for the day.   Actually, why even bother docking ?  Just sail around and enjoy all the ship has to offer. They have everything now. It won't be long before a ship offers its own  Swim with the Dolphin Experience

Contributor Level: Admiral

If I booked suites on all my cruises I wouldn't be able to take as many as I do.  I am happy with an Oceanview or balcony cabin.  I don't need a suite.  I never use a spa either.  I'll leave those for others who enjoy the luxury.  I guess I would just feel guilty being pampered.  That's just me.  I come from humble beginnings.

Contributor Level: Captain

Use of the spa, for us, is more necessity than luxury.  For a week we get to take care of our sore muscles, and joints. Between the thalossatherapy pool and the warming benches, we get relief we can't get at home.


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