We normally get Balcony staterooms onboard Cruise ships, but after our recent “Suite Life” experience onboard Azamara Club Cruises… we don’t EVER want to go back. So yes, it is definitely worth it…
…But hey, you be the judge from reading about our experience below.
Side note: This blog in general is about our Suite experience on Azamara Club Cruises, but even if you are looking at booking a Suite on ANY of the Cruiselines, this blog will give you a good indication of what to expect so you can make the best decision for you whether to go for it or not.
If you are looking at a couple different suites on Azamara, trying to compare them, then you’ll have to keep reading as here is an experience we had onboard that doesn’t happen everyday…
…we luckily got to stay in not just one, but TWO of the Top Suites onboard the Azamara Quest… you can see them in the picture below. Later we’ll tell you, from going from one suite to the other, about the differences we noticed between the two:-)
True story: Quick and to the point:
We were in a gorgeous 501 square foot Club Ocean Suite at the very front of the ship (see the pictures & videos here) with a front row view/large balcony to go with it when, 3 days into our 12 night Cruise, our friendly Hotel Director came toward us with a mischievous smile and said, “with your permission, we would like to move you to the Owners Suite, an upgrade from your current Suite, as we would like to replace the carpet in your current room”. It was the largest suite on the ship, so of course we were delighted and immediately said OK with BIG smiles to follow!!
10 minutes later 3 staff members showed up and efficiently had us moved into our new digs in a flash.
Honestly, it is the greatest thing to happen to Cruise Consultants like us because as you know -we love getting the “inside scoop” and experiencing it ALL so we can report back to you. (personal experience trumps reading a cruise brochure ANY day of the week).
By the way, if you want to read more about life in general as a guest onboard Azamara Club Cruises, then you can read about our experience here: Azamara Club Cruises… One Of The Best Values In Small Ship Cruising!
Below is a summary of the benefits you receive by being a “Suite Guest” onboard a Premium Cruise!
During your time onboard, you get a B-U-T-L-E-R.
Sound’s excessive, right? We thought so too. But a butler can turn any seemly task into a “special moment”.
For example, our wonderful butler Rafael surprised us one afternoon with jumbo prawns, cheese & crackers and a fruit plate JUST when we were about to dress appropriately (AKA not prance around the ship in our jammies) & get a snack from the cafe and bring it back to our room. It was so much nicer, to NOT have to get dressed, and just sit in our PJ’s, relax, watch a little TV, and drink in the gorgeous ocean views from our over-sized balcony… awww!
After many nights of socializing & wanting to take off a night from going to the dining room, Rafael brought us course by course dinner from the specialty restaurant (for suite guests only) when we were just in the mood for a night off to put our feet up. And, in butler style, Rafael set it all up so elegantly on the balcony so we could watch the sun go down and we captured it below:
Other times he went to the reception desk and brought us movies to watch on our large flat screen TV- you get the point!
…and EVERY time, it was a pleasure for him, not a chore. As Rafael’s sole purpose was to go over and above for us. Excessive? Absolutely. But that’s the point of a Cruise vacation, isn’t it… to get spoiled? 🙂
The EXTRA BENEFITS you get when staying in a Suite trumps any other choice!
As a suite guest you also get priority seating for all the restaurants onboard and because the specialty restaurant fees are waived (which is normally $50 for 2 people/per visit), your butler can reserve them as many nights as you like. And, trust us, it makes a difference! Quiet & intimate dining with premium cuts of beef, lobster, finer wines, etc. verses a meal in the main dining room… it’s a no brainer!
We attended a private “VIP Special Invitation” cocktails & hors d’oeuvre hour & had a chance to mingle with the other suite guests. It’s always nice to get to know other people who have similar tastes as you.
And throughout the rest of the Cruise, invitations kept coming our way!
We had special invites to view the Bridge, and various parts of the ship not typically open to passengers, cocktail parties and on Azamara a VERY special evening Dinner with the Captain and ranking Officers for the top 10 Suites.
What extras do you get
when staying in one of the
… On top of the all-inclusive benefits each Suite receives:
1. English Butler Service (as we talked about already above)
2. Priority Check-in & Departure
3. Unpacking & Packing of Luggage (we unpacked our own undies though… blush!)
4. Complimentary pressing of 2 garments per person (one time)
5. Welcome bottle of Champagne- yes, the real stuff!
6. Tea & Hors d’oeuvres daily
7. Shoe shine service (they do a really good job!)
8. Assistance with reservations for the Spa, Land Discoveries & Specialty Dining for Prime C & Aqualina (they are f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s-!)
9. In-suite dining service from Discoveries & the Specialty Restaurants. (A must do for a little added romance!)
10. Upgraded Luxurious robes & slippers (Shawn regrets not buying a robe- because he’s mentioned it several times since we’ve been home.)
11. Complimentary Thalassotherapy pool passes…. Now that’s relaxation!
12. Upgraded “About Rose” amenities
What’s The Difference Between The “Club Ocean Suite” & The “Club Owner’s Suite?”
- Both were quite similar except a few key differences. With the Club Owner’s Suite:
- The Bathroom is more separated from the bedroom giving less noise & bathroom smells.
- The Closet space is much bigger as well as the Vanity… Running out of space won’t be a problem!
- The Owner Suite is at the Back of the ship giving more privacy as staff will periodically be in the front part of the ship working while you are on your Club Ocean Suite Balcony.
- The Balcony has two entrances-one from the living room and another from the bedroom (the Ocean Suite has one in the living room) and the Balcony is substantially bigger, as seen above…
- … It comfortably fits 2 over-sized loungers, 2 wicker chairs- each with foot stools and there own side tables, plus a table with four chairs… & room for more.
- The bed faces towards the ocean where the bed in the Ocean Suite faces the TV wall. You definitely want maximum views of the ocean, right?
In our opinion as we evaluated the pricing difference (at time of our sailing) & all the additions above, the Club Owner Suite is worth the step up/upgrade from the Club Ocean Suite. But of course if you’re already stretching your budget, you will be more then happy in the Club Ocean Suite too, that’s for sure.
On disembarkation day, we relaxed! As Suite guests we could have in-room breakfast until called to walk off the ship. So instead of making our way with all the other guests to breakfast (busy, busy) and then congregate near the exit to disembark- once again, on the comforts of our Balcony, we dined one last time…
RELUCTANTLY, we had to say goodbye & get off the ship. Now, after being spoiled & feeling SO special that whole time- can you imagine the sulking & pout on our faces as we walked back into the real world? We’re sure you could see the pouting from a mile away. 🙂
Seeing is believing though, so check out our Azamara Club Cruises Quest Pictures and Videos while we were onboard & if you have any specific questions about Suites on a particular sailing or Cruiseline you are interested in, you can give Shawn a call or email anytime and he will HAPPILY help plan and book your next “Suite” Cruise Vacation.
Get Experienced Knowledge and Cruise Well!
Nancy & Shawn Power
Your Trusted Cruise Experts!