Top 10 most luxurious cabins on cruise ships

If you're planning the cruise of a lifetime – or have plenty of spare cash to splash around – why not book the best cabin on the ship? Of course, they're not called 'cabins' at this level, but suites; even inside cabins are called staterooms these days.

And what should you expect from the best accommodation at sea? While they vary in size from ship to ship, the top suites generally have separate sleeping and living spaces, two bathrooms (one for your visitors, and one featuring a whirlpool), walk-in wardrobes, top of the range TV and sound systems, and expansive balconies.

A butler should be available 24/7, to show you how everything works, unpack your clothes, organise shore excursions, and serve canapés and cocktails in your suite. Amenities usually include designer-name bathroom products, a pillow menu, Egyptian or Italian bed linen, fresh flowers and fruit baskets that are replenished daily, plus your choice of drinks stocked in the fridge.

Here's our Top 10 choice for top-notch suites at sea ...

Celebrity Reflection: The Reflection Suite

Being part of the Royal Caribbean family, Celebrity Cruises likes to introduce new concepts to cruising – just think of the lawns on the Solstice-class ships. The 152-square-metre Reflection Suite is the new big thing on the line's latest ship, Celebrity Reflection. It has two bedrooms, living and dining areas, and a 18-square-metre wraparound balcony fitted with a spa bath. However, its standout attraction is the bathroom, which is cantilevered over the side of the ship to offer the ultimate sea views.

Expect to pay: $20,399 per person for 11-night Eastern Mediterranean round-trip cruise from Rome, June 29, 2015; 1800 754 500, celebritycruises.com.au

Queen Mary 2: Queens Grill Grand Duplex

Cruise the world in true, grand Cunard-liner style in a Queens Grill Grand Duplex on Queen Mary 2. The two-deck suites have a bedroom and two marble master bathrooms on the upper level and living/dining areas and a guest bathroom on the lower level. The centerpiece of these elegant, spacious (209 square metre) suites is a sweeping staircase – perfect for photo opportunities. There's also a show-off private terrace area and Grill Class passengers have access to all the Queens Grill amenities including the dining room, a special lounge and a dedicated sun deck. Expect to pay: $26,069 for an 8-night transatlantic crossing Southampton to New York, August 11, 2015; 13 24 41, cunard.com

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Crystal Serenity: The Crystal Penthouse with Verandah

This super-stylish, 125-square-metre suite has, along with the rest of the five-star ship's accommodation, been redesigned to "evoke Fifth Avenue elegance". Features include a master bathroom with ocean view and jacuzzi, a his and hers walk in wardrobe, a private workout area, guest bathroom, library and pantry (for the butler). Your butler is on call 24 hours a day and he or she offers a range of services, including serving pre-dinner cocktails and canapés in the suite, and organizing shore excursions.

Expect to pay: US$13,650 for a 12-day Rome to Istanbul cruise, May 31, 2015; 1800 251 174, crystalcruises.com

Europa 2: The Owner's Suite

The luxury German cruise line's newest ship (sister to the esteemed Europa) was launched last year and offers eight types of cabins and suites. Top of the range is the 114-square-metre Owner's Suite, which includes a 15-square-metre veranda, separate living and bedroom areas, a guest bathroom and big walk-in wardrobe. The décor is clean-cut, Scandinavian in style, with lots of pale wood, glass and subtle lighting, but the gee-whiz factor is the bathroom. It is equipped with an enormous whirlpool, a daybed and TV, and the floor to ceiling windows offer perfect ocean views. Expect to pay: fares for Owner's Suite on application only; 1300 136 846, hl-cruises.com

Oceania Cruises' Marina and Riviera: Owners' Suites

The Owner's Suites on the near-identical, 1250-passenger sister ships Marina (launched 2011) and Riviera (2012) are not only huge –185 square metres – but beautifully appointed. Furnishings are by Ralph Lauren Home and the suites each have a living and dining room, bedroom with a king-size bed, and two whirlpools (one in the bathroom, one on the balcony). Standout features include a media room, the music room - complete with a grand piano - and exclusive access to the private Executive Lounge staffed by a dedicated Concierge.

Expect to pay: $18,100 for 14-day London to Stockholm cruise on Oceania Marina, June 3, 2015; 02 9959 1370, oceaniacruises.com.au

Royal Caribbean International's Oasis & Allure of the Seas: Royal Loft Suites

As you'd expect on the two biggest cruise ships in the world, their two-storey Royal Loft Suites are suitably vast. There's 148.5 square metres of living, dining and bedroom space, which doesn't include the 81-square-metre wraparound balcony that has its own dining area and whirlpool. The master bedroom is upstairs in the loft and the adjoining bathroom features a tub, shower, dual basins and a bidet. There's also a downstairs bathroom with a shower. There's a baby grand piano, should you feel the urge to provide your own entertainment. Royal Loft Suites accommodate up to six people.

Expect to pay: $4329 per person for 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on Oasis of the Seas, roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, November 14, 2015; 1800 754 500, royalcaribbean.com.au  

Seabourn Odyssey: Penthouse Spa Suites

Seabourn has introduced four elegant Penthouse Spa Suites to Seabourn Odyssey just in time for the boutique luxury vessel's upcoming Australian summer visit. The 50-square-metre suites are located just above the fabulous Spa at Seabourn, so you have easy access to the Spa's Serene Area and all its facilities and pampering services. Penthouse Spa Suites have spacious balconies, living and dining areas, a bathroom with special spa shower and a minibar stocked with healthy snacks and juices. An unusual feature is the calming L'Occitane fragrance that is diffused throughout the suite during the evening turndown.

Expect to pay: $15,299 for 16-day Singapore to Dubai cruise, March 23, 2015; 13 24 02, seabourn.com

Sea Cloud: The Owner's Suite, Marjorie's

This romantic, four-masted windjammer was built for Edward Hutton and his wife, Marjorie Mereweather Post, in 1931. The husband and wife owner's suites have been lovingly restored over the years and still feature the original, lavish furnishings. Marjorie's 38-square-metre white and gold suite is small by today's standards but there's nothing else like it at sea. There's a draped, king-size bed, a decorative fireplace, and the spacious Carrera marble bathroom has golden swan fixtures and two portholes. Edward's suite is slightly smaller, and the wood-panelling gives it an appropriately masculine, 'clubby' ambience.

Expect to pay: 3425 euros per person for a four-night Barcelona to Nice cruise in September 2015; 1300 583 572, seacloud.com

SeaDream I and II: Owner's Suites

The 41.5-square-metre Owner's Suites on SeaDream's two 112-passenger 'mega yachts' are not the biggest at sea but one of the line's drawcards is the sophisticated-casual sensibility that keeps passengers returning year after year. This extends to being able to sleep under the stars – a wonderful luxury that really makes you feel as though you're sailing on a private yacht. There are 10 double Balinese Dream Beds aft of the Top of the Yacht Bar and one huge bed forward, which are made up with fine linens. Personalised pyjamas and a bottle of champagne are provided.

Expect to pay: $8099 per person for a five-day Monte Carlo to Civitavecchia cruise on SeaDream II, May 25-30 2015 (Owner's Suite); 02 9958 4444, seadream.com

Silver Spirit: Owners' Suites

Silversea's newest ship, the 540-passenger Silver Spirit, has two Owner's Suites. At 120 square metres (including the balcony), they are sleek, sophisticated and spacious; and they can be made even more spacious when configured as a 150-square-metre, two-bedroom apartment with the adjoining Vista Suite. Your butler will offer you a choice of soaps, pillows, drinks for your minibar and even ask whether you prefer to sleep on the soft or firm side of the custom-made mattress on the queen-size bed.

Expect to pay: $11,250 for 7-day cruise roundtrip from Rome, May 27, 2015; 1300 306 872, silversea.com

All fares quoted are per person.

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