You may be surprised to hear that we recently cruised for 7 nights with Celebrity Cruises on their “Alaska Hubbard Glacier” itinerary as we tout constantly that mainstream cruising is not like it once was which is the reason we typically stick to River & Small Ship Cruises.
But Celebrity has upped their game for Suite guests by adding a ton of perks & amenities and promising to WOW luxury cruise guests, so we HAD to go onboard and see what this was all about.
It is true that year after year mainstream cruiselines nickel and dime guests more then ever once onboard and those price-tags for basics like room service, specialty coffees, teas, gelato, water, soft drinks, alcohol, gratuities, etc. go up and up.
If you cruise each year this can be disappointing which is what happened to us so we moved on to better products that are more all-inclusive and provide superior service.
…Celebrity encouraged us to go onboard to see the changes they made and honestly, we were intrigued because the big ship cruise lines DO offer things that river and small luxury cruise lines cannot provide… more destination choices and a smorgasbord of specialty restaurants and entertainment!
So, IF they can pull it off and offer exclusivity to Suite guests, then us & our clients can have the best of both worlds where you can enjoy pampering, all inclusiveness AND all the fun a big ship has to offer.
Soooo, here we are to give you our review and to tell you all about what it is like to stay in a Suite onboard Celebrity Cruises.
FIRST off, after booking the Royal Suite on the Celebrity Infinity, we were given a toll free # to call at our convenience to set up our preferences BEFORE we arrived to the ship… they called it their “Cruise Enhancement” line. (FYI, this particular perk is not availbale to all classes of Suites… if you visit here you’ll see which types of Suites get which particular perks)
When we called a happy representative answered and asked our preferences for alcohol (you get two bottles with the Penthouse & Royal Suite- so we ordered a Shiraz and a bottle of Bailey’s), what we would like stocked in our mini-fridge, would we need extra hangers, extra pillows, if we were celebrating a special occasion (which we said yes to- it was our 9th wedding anniversary while onboard) and specifics about dining reservations, etc.
We were told the answers to the above would go straight to the ship so they could prepare for our sailing. Typically Suite guests are not asked these preferences till onboard and you end up waiting to have it all arranged… but having everything prepared exactly how we preferred it upon arrival was a first for us in the 49 cruises we have been on & certainly a great first impression!
The “Suite Life” Complimentary Services:
After being onboard we can tell you that these inclusions listed below REALLY DO make a difference to the overall onboard experience! Celebrity made it easy for us to avoid the crowds and this is a BIG DEAL considering that the main complaint about Large ships is herding and line-ups.
Here are the complimentary services available to ALL Suites guests:
*Personal butler service
*Priority check-in (a quick and enjoyable experience!)
*Priority debarkation (no line-ups, yay!)
*Reserved Theater seating on Evening Chic nights (just another way they make you feel special!)
*Full in-suite breakfast, lunch & dinner (these days you pay for certain room service items if you are not in suites. Want a steak? That will be $20 please!)
*Afternoon canapés and tea service delivery (a great service so you can stay in your sanctuary and keep on relaxing!)
*Priority tender & port services (here again- avoiding line-ups & feeling special!)
*Access to a private restaurant called “Luminae” (deliciousness & exclusivity all rolled up into one!)
*Access to the private lounge “Michael’s Club” (a private venue to pamper you further!) **NOTE** 2 years later we sailed in a Suite again onboard Celebrity… as mentioned here “Michael’s Club” is now called “The Retreat” and on most ships they’ve added a private outdoor Sundeck which makes the experience & value for Suite guests even better!
And depending on the Suite you choose some will receive additional benefits such as…
When staying in the Penthouse and Royal Suite, on top of the amenities above, it also has a separate shower & jetted tub in the bathroom, a whirlpool on the patio, Free specialty dining, Free laundry and lots of other little perks that we will talk more about below.
Suite Perks & Promotions:
Depending on the promotion you book your Cruise under you may be entitled to even more great inclusions onboard. For example, over the past several months most sailings also include the below 4 perks when booking a Suite:
1 Free premium beverage package for the first 2 guests in the room
1 Free internet account for the first 2 guests in the room
Free onboard gratuities for the first 2 guests in the room
$300 of onboard credit for your room
Again though, these 4 promos are not on all sailings and are not applicable to all rates so check with Shawn when booking to see if you qualify. Sorry, we know this is a bit confusing, but that’s why we are here to help you!! 🙂
About Our Personal “Suite” Experience Onboard:
We stayed in this spacious & luxurious Royal Suite and it is “the perfect” suite for SO many reasons. Honestly, we really didn’t want to leave…
The suite itself was a Sanctuary, that’s the only word to describe it.
It allowed us so many comforts including the ability take a hot bath for two in the comforts of our luminescent lit jetted bath…
…which is a “pretty big deal” to have an oversized tub in your stateroom, isn’t it? Normally in a regular balcony or inside room you can barely fit in the shower as the rooms themselves are only 150-200 sq.feet- so a tub is a L-U-X-U-R-Y on ships!
If that wasn’t enough, the whirlpool on our private patio (see the pic below) made it SUPER special to watch the scenic ocean views & Alaska Glaciers as we gently floated by. Just think about the preparation & effort it takes to get to the pool deck and into a public whirlpool with 1,000+ of your closest friends standing by, then having to walk back to your room in a wet bathing suit- not fun, but…
…Having a Suite is a Night and Day Experience!!
In Alaska, it was cold at the Glacier, so people wore winter jackets and gloves while trying to stay warm and take pictures through and around the crowds of people up on the public decks. Not us! Shortly after we had breakfast served in our room by our Butler we sat in our veranda’s hot tub- cozy & warm as can be, just the two of us, snapping pictures at our leisure while sipping hot chocolate. No obstructions. Pure pleasure!
Our patio was so big, we didn’t need to move chairs to “fit in” the small space. It also had a large table ready for dining in comfort and REAL lounge chairs (see Nancy in the pic above). You know- the ones where you can stretch out instead of having to steal your spouses chair to put your feet up. LOL
The suite had a separate bedroom and we DID NOT have to move or push each other out of the way or stub our toe to get to the other side of the stateroom. If you’ve cruised a lot you know this is common practice in a standard room onboard a ship. 🙂
On top of our retreat of a suite, our butler Benjamin whom we got to know well, filled our every request from making our “priority” dining reservations for the exact time we wanted, he would fill our bar fridge with ice and limes for our beer and escort us to the Theater one evening to our own private sitting area. Here is Shawn with Benjamin as he brought us in to our reserved seats (talk about being treated special-wow!)…
…he presented us, plate by plate, with breakfast, lunch and dinner in our Suite and on our patio upon request like you can see in this picture below with Shawn getting ready to enjoy a scrumptious breakfast one morning…
…he came around at 4 pm daily to offer us tea, coffee and treats…
…Benjamin also presented us with private & exclusive suite guest invitations to dine with the Captain, a Helipad scenic approach to select Ports so we could have the very best crowd-less viewings, private seminars, exclusive live music in Michael’s club, and MUCH more!
Exclusivity & Private Areas Onboard for Suites Guests!
Now, we touched on it already, but for Suite guests Celebrity has some exclusively reserved areas for you to indulge:
Luminae Restaurant: Offers a first class dining experience for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for Suite guests only. We couldn’t have felt more special. We had the same waiters each time who welcomed us like family and pampered us with attention to our every need… and we are NOT exaggerating!
The food was higher quality then the main restaurant (and much quieter as there was only 70 seats in there rather then the over 1,000 in the main restaurant) but you could also order from that menu as well. Check out the pictures below of the delicious food & restaurant.
Michael’s Club: (As mentioned earlier in this post, these days it’s called “The Retreat”) A cozy lounge where you can meet other suite guests like yourself, to enjoy complimentary premium drinks, coffee or tea, to listen to live music and take in special presentations. It’s a great perk because it’s quiet, private and gives you that special feeling of exclusivity. Plus, there is a friendly Concierge available who we relied on a few times for dining reservations and answers to our questions. And yes, it was as cozy as this picture reflects!
A Good TIP For You:
If a Suite doesn’t work for your budget and you’re staying in a regular Balcony or Oceanview room many times you’ll receive a free “Classic Beverage” package unlike the Suites that get a “Premium” one. If that’s the case we suggest you upgrade to the Premium (ask Shawn how when booking) as it includes some great things the classic does not.
For example, one of the best places on the ship to have a cocktail, to socialize and be entertained by the bar staff is at the extremely popular & F.U.N. “Martini Bar” but because most of the drinks here are “premium”, the classic beverage package does not include these beverages. 🙁
Here we are enjoying the icy Martini bar one evening…
On top of that, because we were in Alaska, we sampled some fantastic locally crafted Alaskan beers (this will change depending on your itinerary) which in our opinion is all a part of the experience and culture of the region you are visiting, to taste locally! The Classic beverage package does not include this nor does it include all the wonderful higher-end wines we got to sample from all over the world.
If you are not staying in a Penthouse or Royal Suite, you guessed it- there is a charge to eat in the Specialty Restaurants with prices anywhere from $25-$45 per person to a la cart charges. The Sky & Celebrity Suite guests receive a $300 onboard credit so technically, they can eat here for free too.
We did not go to the free main restaurant this entire cruise because with the Unlimited access to Luminae and ALL the Specialty Restaurants, we didn’t need to. Besides, the specialties are quiet and more exclusive whereas the main restaurant has a lineup to get in. See the difference by looking at This video we took. (Be sure to watch it).
On this Alaska itinerary we indulged in fresh Alaskan King Crab, which you can see from the picture below we enjoyed very much, along with the tasty Alaskan beer that came with our complimentary Premium beverage package!!! For us, the cost was $0 but for normal guests it’s $25 per person for one leg of King Crab with fixings and extra money for the beer too!
We happily dined at “Sushi On Five” for lunch & dinner as it was SO good. You may recall us telling you we are sushi connoisseurs- and this sushi was d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!! They gave us specialty drinks straight from Japan offered nowhere else on the ship and our bill was zero dollars. Normally guests pay a la cart, easily a $70+ USD meal.
Have a look at the sushi we had…
Another great Specialty restaurant we ate at was “Qsine“… probably the most unique restaurant anywhere at Sea. You order from an iPad and the friendly staff deliver some of the most uniquely presented (and delicious) food you’ll ever see! It’s $45 per person to dine here or Free for Royal & Penthouse guests.
Below is called “M’s Favorites” on the menu. Ask for extra lamb chops, they are T&T- tender and tasty! 🙂
Be sure to order these too, sushi lollipops. VERY good!
The other Specialty restaurant onboard was “Tuscan Grille” Steakhouse… Go hungry!! We ordered the most delicious appetizers and a porterhouse steak that was melt in your mouth scrumptious. Like Qsine, it is $45 per person but Free for Royal & Penthouse Suites.
Needless to say, the food and service was fantastic!!
Is your mouth watering for that delicious steak or maybe for the cruise itself? Can’t blame you if it is! 🙂
Maybe you want more information? If so, then head on over to our Celebrity Cruise Pictures and Videos Gallery where you’ll get lots of additional information by checking out the pictures & videos and reading the captions under each one.
After that, if you have more questions about Suites on a particular Celebrity sailing or about the inclusions & promotions, you can give Shawn a call or email anytime and he will HAPPILY help plan and book your next Celebrity “Suite” Cruise Vacation.
Well that’s it from us. Our next blog post will be about our Lower Danube River Cruise in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia & Hungary Onboard the Avalon Passion that we did back in August, so look out for that next month!
Get Experienced Knowledge and Cruise Well!
Nancy & Shawn
Your Trusted Cruise Experts!