The cruise industry can be compared to a three-tiered cake, with mass-market cruise lines forming the broad base, premium cruise lines in the middle, and luxury lines making up the smaller top tier. But here's a secret not many know: ultra-luxury cruises can actually be more affordable than the suites on mass market or premium cruise lines. Let me share a recent comparison I made, which may just change the way you perceive the value and affordability of ultra-luxury cruises.
Regent Deluxe Suite
I priced out two November 2024 western Caribbean cruises, one with Celebrity Cruises and the other with Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Celebrity, a well-known premium cruise line, offered their S1 suite, measuring 254 interior sq ft, for $13,500.80 - a non-refundable rate is $11,296.80. Meanwhile, Regent, an ultra-luxury cruise line, offered their H - Veranda suite, slightly smaller at 219 interior sq ft, for $7,598.00 - that is a whopping difference of $5,902.80 in REGENT's favor. To make these comparisons fair, I deleted included airfare and a pre-cruise hotel night from the Regent cruise fare which is always an option.
The price difference becomes even more apparent when comparing larger suites. The Celebrity Suite, boasting 460 interior sq ft, was priced at $16,140.80. The larger Regent Seven Seas Suite, with 557 interior sq ft, surprisingly came out cheaper at $15,698.00.
But here's where the true value of ultra-luxury cruises shines through: the inclusive amenities. With Regent, the price includes unlimited free shore excursions in most ports. Imagine the savings when you're not shelling out extra money for each activity at every stop.
Regent Prime 7
Furthermore, on Regent, all gourmet specialty restaurants on board are included in your fare, no upcharges like on Celebrity. This means every meal can be a 5-star dining experience without any additional cost. And let's not forget the convenience and cost-saving aspect of unlimited valet laundry included in Regent's standard price.
You might be thinking: why are ultra-luxury cruises often perceived as more expensive then? Well, it's because people often just compare the base fare of a cruise without considering all the extra costs that add up on a mass market or premium cruise line.
In addition to the base fare, there are additional costs for shore excursions, specialty dining, laundry service, and other amenities on mass-market and premium cruise line suites. These can add up significantly, making your total cruise cost much higher than the initial quote.
On the other hand, ultra-luxury cruises like Regent Seven Seas include most of these in their base fare, resulting in a more all-inclusive experience. This not only means fewer surprises when it comes to your final bill, but also a more relaxed and hassle-free vacation.
This is not to say that mass market and premium cruise lines don't have their place. They offer a great variety of experiences and often have larger ships with more onboard activities. However, when it comes to booking a suite, it's important to explore all your options.
So next time you're planning a cruise vacation, consider checking out ultra-luxury cruise lines like Regent Seven Seas. You might be surprised to find they offer a higher level of luxury and a broader range of inclusions at a price that can be more affordable than a suite on a mass-market or premium cruise line. After all, who doesn't want more value for their money?
Regent Seven Seas Cruises Complete Guide
Celebrity Cruises Complete Guide