Suite Escapes: Top Accommodations on New Ships

As the travel industry navigates into the last half of 2022, Luxury Travel Advisor has selected five luxury cruise suites to spotlight. Two are suites on Windstar Cruises and Silversea Cruises, and we bring first-hand experience as we sailed a week in each suite this year.

Others for Seabourn, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and Regent Seven Seas Cruises represent a sampling of suites on just launched ships or those setting sail in 2023. So, here’s our look at five pampering, luxurious “suite escapes.”   

Seabourn Venture’s Wintergarden Suite

Recently delivered, Seabourn’s first new-build expedition ship, Seabourn Venture, is now sailing the high seas. Built to PC6 Polar Class standards, this new 264-passenger vessel is designed to transport guests to remote, far-flung places across the globe. The ship carries an onboard expedition team of 26 experts, and with 24 Zodiacs, guests won’t have to wait for an excursion time slot. All guests will be able to explore at the same time.

Cruisers will enjoy complimentary Seabourn Expedition amenities such as Zodiac cruises, hikes, nature walks, scuba diving, and snorkeling, as well as additional curated complimentary excursions. In addition, the ship will offer optional shore excursions and optional Seabourn Expeditions with kayaking and two custom-built submersibles at select destinations. 

Seabourn Venture offers 132 oceanfront veranda suites, among them the luxurious, two-deck Wintergarden Suites, No. 735 and No. 736, are on Deck 7. Guests can spread out with 1,044 square feet of space including a 129-square-foot private veranda. What’s nice is that those guests bringing friends or family can add an adjacent bedroom and bath to create the ship’s grandest accommodation—a two-bedroom Grand Wintergarden Suite, with 1,399 square feet of space, including two verandas totaling 205 square feet. 

In both configurations, guests can lounge around in plush robes and slippers provided by Seabourn and feel akin to a king or queen as they climb the sculpted interior staircase leading to the upper level. That level’s master bedroom sports a queen-sized Duxiana Axion 15 adjustable high-performance sleep system. The bed is positioned facing the expansive windows for great scenic views. 

Wintergarden Suite
The living room of the Wintergarden Suite on Seabourn Venture offers double-height glass views, a dining table for four, a writing desk anda fully stocked wet bar and refrigerator. (Seabourn)

On this upper level, guests will also find a wall of closets, walk-in closet and an LG OLED TV integrated into the cabinet in front of the bed—with a pop up/down function. The five-piece bathroom is equipped with a whirlpool spa tub and separate shower.

When relaxing in the living room below, guests will have double-height glass views, spacious comfortable seating, a dining table for four, writing desk and a fully stocked wet bar and refrigerator. For example, travelers will receive a customized selection of spirits. The suite’s entertainment system features a high-end Bang & Olufsen Beolab 28 speaker system and Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H95 Bluetooth headphones.

And again, if the guest has chosen the Grand Wintergarden configuration, this lower level also contains the adjacent second bedroom and bathroom with separate tub and shower. This definitely isn’t your grandfather’s expedition ship. 

One nice perk? While in their Wintergarden suite, guests will be able to spot wildlife and view stunningly gorgeous vistas with a tripod-mounted Swarovski ATX Interior spotting scope; far-off sites and critters will seem close up with the scope’s 25-60x85 lens capability. 

Star Pride in Argostoli
The revitalized and lengthened Star Pride’s guest capacity has increased from 212 to 312. The ship is shown here in Argostoli, Greece. (Windstar Cruises)

Just Back: Star Pride’s Star Balcony Suite

This summer, Luxury Travel Advisor sailed for a week in the Mediterranean on Windstar Cruises’ revitalized and lengthened Star Pride. In just a tad of background, the 312-passenger ship emerged in spring 2022 from the line’s $250 million Star Plus Initiative upgrades, which sister ships, Star Legend and Star Breeze received in 2021. 

Most notably, the ship gained capacity, up from 212 passengers previously, as the ship was split and a new mid-section with 50 more suites added. Plus, the ship’s larger footprint meant the addition of two new specialty dining venues, a larger spa and an enlarged, redesigned pool deck.

Within the ship’s new section is No. 609, a new Star Balcony Suite (SBS category), which we called home for the cruise. There are 22 of these on the ship. How does it differ—or not—from the ship’s Balcony Suites (BS category), which were there before the updates? Mainly, it’s the layout. 

Both have small, step-out French balconies and both span 277 square feet. But the new Star Balcony Suites have the bedroom area immediately adjacent to the full-length sliding glass door. In contrast, the pre-existing Balcony Suites offer the living room area adjacent to that balcony.

So, what’s the benefit of each type? In our Star Balcony Suite with the living area closest to the entry door, we liked the feeling of openness. That living area was outfitted with a comfortable light blue, long couch (our converted to a bed, some others don’t) and a coffee table. Directly across the room were two small chairs with a small table in between. There was plenty of walking room within this space.

Star Pride
Star Pride, which emerged from a $250 million Star Plus Initiative upgrades in Spring 2022, now has an enlarged, redesigned pool deck.  (Windstar Cruises)

Adjacent to the couch was a cabinet with a stocked mini-refrigerator, glassware, and water carafes (refilled by the cabin steward), along with two refillable water bottles for guest use. Also accessible from the living area is a door that reveals a walk-in closet with small triangular shelves, hanging space and a multi-drawer cabinet. 

Seated or standing in the living room, we’d look to the bedroom and beyond to see the world outside. That bedroom area for #609 is immediately adjacent to the suite’s floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door and small step-out balcony (not large enough for furniture). The bedroom area is also home to an elongated vanity/desk surface with a magnifying mirror, several drawers and a desk chair.  

The suite’s large wall-mounted flat-screen TV is easy to view from the bed and also can be viewed from the couch too. While the TV is not viewable from the chairs, they’re easily moveable if guests plan a movie night. 

So, the big question is really which type of layout guests prefer before reserving their SBS or BS accommodations. If they love sitting up and lounging in bed, reading a book there or watching TV, while looking out to outside scenery, then the new layout for the Star Balcony Suites is likely best. In contrast, if they prefer to sit on the living room couch or chairs and gaze directly to the outside views, then the pre-existing Balcony Suites may be the right choice. 

Star Pride
On Star Pride’s Star Balcony Suite, the bedroom area is adjacent to the full-length sliding glass door, while the living area is closest to the entry door. (Windstar Cruises)

Both types of suites have a soothing, new color palette comprised of cream, tan and light blue. In addition, both the new SBS and pre-existing BS accommodations have all new soft goods, carpeting, curtains, linens and sumptuous new queen-sized mattresses. However, the pre-existing Balcony Suites have the same furniture they did pre-refit, while the newly added suites have all new furniture. 

As for the bathrooms? In both layouts, they’re “all new” with double sinks, toilets and a lovely, tiled shower with a rainforest shower head as well as a separate showerhead with hand-held spray option. The bathrooms offer L’Occitane bath amenities. Some suites do have a tub and a shower. 

Evrima’s Owner’s Suite 

Exuding a contemporary look and residential feel, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s first yacht, the 298-passenger Evrima, is slated to sail on its inaugural cruise from Athens, Greece, on August 31, 2022. Look for a vibe reflecting the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Sunny Isles Beach and Miami Beach, FL, as well as Los Angeles, CA. 

While there have been “ups” and “downs” in the schedule, given shipyard woes during the pandemic, the ship has completed sea trials so the inaugural voyage is just a few weeks away. The new yacht brand was created by The Ritz-Carlton and maritime expert Douglas Prothero in collaboration with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management.  

The ship’s most pampering suite is the 1,091-square-foot Owner’s Suite with a 635-square-foot private terrace. Guests can soak in the sea views while relaxing in that terrace’s whirlpool. The ship has two of these, No. 736 and No. 737.


This suite will offer a luxurious and modern living and dining area with a convertible sofa. In addition, it will have a bedroom with a custom king-bed sleep system; a double vanity bathroom with modern soaking tub and separate shower; walk-in wardrobe; a second bathroom and more. 

Guests will enjoy custom luxury bed and bath linens, as well as luxury bath amenities and individual robes and slippers. The Owner’s Suite also has an Espresso machine with complimentary coffee and teas; plenty of plug and USB ports and complimentary Wi-Fi; a digital flat-screen television and use of high-zoom binoculars. Guests will receive a complimentary chilled bottle of champagne upon arrival. 

All suites on Evrima will offer personal concierge service, 24-hour in-suite dining, private terraces, floor-to-ceiling windows and higher than normal ceiling heights. After the inaugural cruise from Athens, Evrima will operate Mediterranean voyages through late fall. Then, the yacht will head across the Atlantic to the Caribbean for winter 2022-2023. 

The Owners Suite_Dayroom Evrima
The Owner’s Suite on Evrima, here and above, will offer a modern living and dining area with a convertible sofa; a bedroom with a custom king-bed sleep system; and a private terrace. (The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection)

Just Back: Silver Dawn’s Accessible Silver Suite

Earlier this year, Luxury Travel Advisor attended the onboard christening and sailed on Silversea Cruises’ new 596-passenger Silver Dawn. While aboard, we stayed in No. 931, on Deck 9. It’s the only wheelchair-accessible Silver Suite on the ship. 

Located on Decks 9, 10 and 11, there are multiple Silver Suites on the ship, though, each offering 786 square feet of space. Some of these (although not the wheelchair accessible one) also connect to an adjacent suite. That can enlarge overall suite space to 1,119 square feet in the two-bedroom configuration.

Now, here’s some feedback from our first-hand look at No. 931. Upon arriving at this accessible accommodation, guests swipe their key card on a wall panel. Presto, there’s a buzz, the door opens automatically and shuts a minute or so later automatically. It’s quite efficient. After entering, guests stroll down a corridor. A guest bath entrance is off to the left.

As guests move down the corridor, they’ll pass expansive wall storage, including cupboards, hanging closets and drawers. Then, guests reach the dining area and, across the room, the living area. Both have sliding glass doors with an automatic accessibility plate that slides over the frame to allow a wheelchair to move easily outside onto the private terrace. 

What’s different about the interior space of this accessible suite versus other Silver Suites? Overall, the space is the same, but the size of individual areas varies. For example, the living room and dining area are a bit narrower in layout within No. 931. Yes, there’s plenty of room for a wheelchair to maneuver, but the narrower footprint then provides more space for a wheelchair to navigate within both the bedroom and master bathroom. 

Silver Dawn

The dining room table has four chairs; one can be removed by the butler to allow a guest to use a wheelchair at the table. Mounted on the dining room wall is a large HDTV video screen, viewable from both the living and dining area. Nearby is this suite’s desk area. We particularly liked the desk that allows a wheelchair’s arms to easily slide under. 

Between the dining and living area is an entertainment bar armoire that’s fully stocked with the guests’ selection of wine, beer and sodas, plus a selection of complimentary “addictive” nuts such as peppered cashews. As needed, the butler will eagerly refill the nut stash and water bottles in the mini-fridge here.

Within the living room, guests will relax on a comfortable couch (convertible to a third berth) and one upholstered chair. A coffee table completes the small area. But again, while this living area is a bit more compact than the typical Silver Suite, the open design on one side allows a guest using a wheelchair to easily join family or friends seated here.  

Whether enjoying sea or destination views from the veranda or relaxing in the large sitting room, Silver Suites are a comfortable haven on the high seas. The private terrace has two lounge chairs and a table with two chairs. If the elongated terrace space is a bit too tight for a wheelchair to maneuver, the suite butler will happily rearrange the furniture or perhaps remove one of the lounge chairs.  

Silver Dawn
The accessible Silver Suite on Silver Dawn, here and above, has plenty of room for a wheelchair to maneuver. (Susan J. Young)

This accessible Silver Suite’s bedroom is spacious, allowing for wheelchair access to the bed and for transit between the living room and master bathroom. In addition, one entire bedroom wall is filled with storage space (similar to the entry corridor set-up) with drawers, shelves and hanging space. The suite’s second, large wall-mounted TV faces the bed. And, as an extension of Silver Dawn’s new Otium Spa concept, suites now feature sumptuous new mattresses and Rivolta Carmignani linens.

“Sliding pull doors” provide easy access between the bedroom and both the living area and master bathroom. That bathroom has very good wheelchair maneuvering room, a slew of grab bars, a single sink, toilet and an exceptionally large, wheel-in shower. There, guests will find a large bench seat, hand-held shower apparatus and also a rainforest shower. From the master bathroom, another door opens to the guest bath too — providing the convenience of that second sink and toilet. Overall, we liked this suite very much and appreciated the accessibility features.

Seven Seas Grandeur’s Master Suite

When the 750-passenger Seven Seas Grandeur, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ newest ship, launches in 2023, it will beckon luxury travelers with a range of sumptuous ultra-luxury suites. Think of these as relaxing, spacious personal retreats that combine luxury, comfort, modern design and a litany of pampering perks, including butler service in Penthouse Suites and all higher-level categories. 

Getting ample spotlight, as it did on sister ships, Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor, is the 4,443-square-foot Regent Suite. However, since we’ve covered that top-of-line suite in several recent articles and as there’s only one Regent Suite on the ship, we’re focusing here on the next best thing—the ultra-luxury Master Suite (MS) category. 

Guests who opt for a Master Suite will find space, glorious space as well—1,895 square feet to 2,108 square feet. That’s comprised of between 1,114 square feet and 1,064 square feet of interior space, plus the private balcony space of 831 square feet to 984 square feet. Guests have a choice of four Master Suites, two (Nos. 878 and 879) on Deck 8 aft, and two (Nos. 966 and 967) on Deck 9 aft. 

The Master Suite
Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Master Suite is the next to the top Regent Suite, offering 1,895 square feet to 2,108 square feet of space.  (Regent Seven Seas Cruises)

Reflecting chic Park Avenue style, the Master Suite will offer an expansive living area with rosewood furniture and crystal chandeliers. Luxury Travel Advisor would suggest that booked guests plan to host family, friends or others met onboard for a butler-arranged, wine-and-cheese tasting while a pianist performs on the suite’s grand piano. This pampering suite also has two spacious bedrooms and two marble-and-stone-detailed bathrooms. 

More new ships are on the horizon too, with snazzy new suites planned. But for now, there’s much new to celebrate, as the cruise industry looks ahead to growth and more guests accommodations choices for late 2022, 2023 and beyond.

More Cruise Tidbits

Certainly, the big news of the summer in luxury cruising was the recent announcement by A&K Travel Group Ltd.—owned by Geoffrey Kent and Heritage (the industrial holding company chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, former owner and executive chairman of Silversea Cruises)—that it has acquired both Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. After an extensive refurbishment, the two ships will resume sailing in 2023 under the “Crystal Cruises” brand name, also acquired by A&K Travel Group Ltd. Earlier this year, Crystal ceased sailing and closed its U.S. offices, given parent Genting Hong Kong’s financial issues. 

The new luxury lifestyle travel brand of the MSC Group, Explora Journeys, recently celebrated the keel-laying for its second luxury ship, Explora II, at the Fincantieri shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia, Italy. With 461 luxury oceanfront suites, the vessel will be delivered in summer 2024. The brand’s first new ship, Explora I, is slated to begin sailing in late May 2023.

Holland America Line
Holland America Line has unveiled three new seafood dishes, shown below, from Chef Ethan Stowell. The dishes were developed in alliance with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). (Holland America Line )

For guests eager to explore “down under,” Azamara Quest will be the first Azamara ship to return to Australia. Departing December 10, 2022, from Singapore (overnight stay pre-departure), the 684-passenger ship will set sail on an 11-night “Bali & Western Australia” itinerary. In addition to many sea days, the ship will call at Benoa (Bali), Indonesia (overnight); Geraldton, Australia; and Perth, Australia (overnight).  An optional, two-night, post-cruise Perth land package includes a private Perth Mint tour, river boat lunch cruise, Swan Valley sightseeing and winery visit, among other perks. 

On the foodie front, Holland America Line unveiled three new seafood dishes from Chef Ethan Stowell, a member of the line’s Culinary Council. Now served in the main dining rooms of all six Holland America ships sailing in Alaska, the dishes were developed in alliance with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). Guests can indulge in a fried Alaska cod sandwich with malt vinegar aioli and savoy cabbage slaw; Alaskan salmon chop with cucumber, tomato, avocado, bacon and green beans; and roasted, fennel-crusted Alaska halibut with artichokes and Taggiasca olives. Also, the partners plan more new recipes, onboard Alaska seafood trivia, and destination and cooking demonstration videos.

Holland America Line

Oceania Cruises has debuted its 2024 Collection with itineraries from seven to 82 days. What’s special? Both loyal Oceania guests and new-to-brand guests likely will appreciate the large number of maiden port calls. New 2024 ports of call will include: Beppu, Japan; Bluff, New Zealand; Castro, Chile; Coron, Philippines; Djupivogur, Iceland; Gatun Lake, Panama; Heimaey, Iceland; Port Royal, Jamaica; Kumamoto, Japan; Limerick, Ireland; São Francisco do Sul, Brazil; Seydisfjordur, Iceland; Szczecin, Poland; and Taranto, Italy.

For multigenerational family groups seeking razzle-dazzle, “big ship” amenities, one new mega-ship on the horizon for a 2024 launch is Royal Caribbean International’s new Utopia of the Seas. Recently, the line celebrated the ship’s keel laying ceremony, signaling the start of construction at the Chantiers d’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. On the eco-side, LNG (liquid natural gas) will power the new ship. While the line hasn’t yet publicly shared the new ship’s capacity, other Oasis-class ships carry between 5,479 and 5,734 guests at double occupancy.

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