To experience how the other half lives, if just for a week, book a high-seas voyage in an ultraposh cruise-ship suite.
Sip chilled champagne, poured by your butler, as you lounge in extreme comfort on your private balcony — or in your private whirlpool with a view — and take a moment to think, "Wow, I've made it."
1. Royal Loft, Royal Caribbean
On the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas, these hip, two-story lofts are larger than many city apartments (1,524 and 1,599 square feet, respectively) and serve up ocean views from massive two-deck-high windows. Out on the large wraparound balcony, you can turn to mush in your own private whirlpool while watching the sea. Other nice touches include a personal welcome by a senior officer, a VIP pool and theater seating, and access to the concierge lounge. Sample price: $2,949 per person for a week in the Caribbean.
2. Sandringham, Cunard
Feel like royalty in the Sandringham suite, a 2,249-square-foot grand duplex fit for a king (real royals have stayed here) on the Queen Mary 2. A sweeping, curved staircase and a domed ceiling are among the art deco highlights, and the oversize balcony has its own lounge area. A stay in this suite entitles you, along with other top-tier guests, to dine in the fancy Queens Grill, or you can order up room service. Other niceties include an Xbox game console and in-room bar. Sample price: $23,487 per person for a weeklong transatlantic cruise.
3. Haven Garden Villa, Norwegian Cruise Line
This three-bedroom oasis on the Norwegian Pearl is the largest accommodation at sea and bigger than many houses — a whopping 5,000 square feet. The jazzy, modern decor includes a two-deck balcony with a big hot tub and an en suite steam room. You also have access to a private pool and sundeck and to a restaurant reserved for VIP guests. Fun features include a Bose entertainment center, complete with a CD-DVD library, and a wet bar. Sample price: $20,000 (for up to eight guests) for a weeklong Caribbean sailing.
4. Wintergarden, Seabourn
A glass-enclosed solarium with a whirlpool and a daybed make this 1,097-square-foot suite on the Seabourn Odyssey (and its sister ships) downright sexy. When you're not relaxing amid the modern Scandinavian interior decor — enjoying such nice touches as fresh orchids in the bathroom — or on your private balcony, accept the invitation from the ship's master for a bridge visit. The suite also has a stocked bar, an espresso machine and free Wi-Fi. Sample price: $11,399 per person for a weeklong cruise of the Dalmatian Coast and Greek Isles.
5. Owner's Suite, Oceania Marina
This trendy, 2,000-square-foot oasis is done up in Ralph Lauren Home furnishings, with a custom-made ebony baby grand piano as the centerpiece of the ocean-view entertainment room. A professional-grade entertainment system is equipped to play 3-D movies. In the living room curl up under a cashmere lap blanket. Outdoors, lounge in the whirlpool on your private veranda. For those who can't pack light, there are his-and-her walk-in closets. Sample price: $12,111 per person for a seven-day Greece and Turkey cruise.
Published October 2012
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