Vessels boast luxury suites and facilities that are roped off to most passengers
Contrary to the popular idea that cruise ships are egalitarian and all one class, many new ships have separate luxury areas reserved for the wealthiest passengers, such as suites and spacious high-class spas. The “cruise masses” sometimes stumble upon them onboard only to be politely turned away. It all seems like a return to the segregated seagoing vessels of the early 20th century, which had three classes of passengers.
On the recently launched Disney Dream, for example, passengers in 41 upmarket rooms on the concierge level enjoy use of an exclusive sun deck and lounge with free food, alcoholic drinks, high-quality coffee and iPads on loan. The 4,100-passenger Norwegian Epic carries 75 “Courtyard Villa” suites, a zone that has its own private restaurant, fitness centre and pool. MSC Cruises’ new Fantasia and Splendida vessels have Yacht Clubs with private restaurants, pools, lounges and a 24-hour butler service. They can even ask for shops to open after hours. All of this comes at a price, of course – $2,159 per person for one of Disney Dream‘s concierge-level rooms with balcony, compared to $439 per person double occupancy in a regular stateroom with balcony.
Wall Street Journal
[pictured: Disney Dream]