A suite on a cruise is expensive, but it's also one of the most sought-after types of cruise cabins because of how enjoyable the experience is.
The price of a suite will vary considerably, with the Ultimate Family Suite on Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas costing $80,000 per week. That's at least ten times what a balcony cabin would likely cost, but it's also a microcosm of the demand suites get by cruise ship passengers.
The attraction to a book a suite is all about the service and benefits you get by staying in one. There many types of cruise ship suites, but you can expect a bigger room than standard cabins on cruise vessels, better location onboard, and plenty of extra perks included for the price.
Free wifi, extra restaurants, added service, and less waiting in lines are just a few of the perks available with some suites.
Read more: Royal Caribbean suites guide & review
While a suite is likely not a dollar-for-dollar value, it is compelling enough a proposition that some cruisers jump at the chance to move up to a suite.
If you're debating if a suite is worth it, here are the best reasons to book one instead of a standard cabin.
My favorite benefit to staying in a suite is less lines to deal with during the cruise.
Staying in a suite is the closest thing cruise lines offer to an express line to bypass lines, or at least reduce them. By paying extra, you get added service and shortcuts along the way.
On embarkation day, there will be a special line in almost every port for those staying in a suite. This provides a shorter line to wait in to check-in, and when it's time to board the ship, suite guests get to go first.
Onboard the ship, there can be opportunities for suite guests to bypass lines. There can be reserved seating in shows, and if you have a Royal Genie, you can forget about waiting in just about any line on the ship.
The saying, "time is money" applies to suite guests, and it's nice to have bypasses along the way.
Exclusive areas on the ship
If you're in a suite, there will be special areas of the ship reserved just for you.
Royal Caribbean does not have a "ship within a ship" concept that other lines have, but there's still a few spots reserved just for suite guests and these alone can be worth the price of a suite.
Every ship has a suite lounge, where you can go anytime to socialize and enjoy complimentary drinks and light snacks at certain times.
You'll also find reserved seating on the pool deck for suite guests, which is immensely beneficial on sea days when the pool is the busiest.
On Royal Caribbean's newest ships, there are entire neighborhoods for suite guests. Wonder of the Seas and Icon of the Seas both have a section of the ship for the exclusive use of suite passengers.
If you think having more space in your room doesn't matter, wait until you see how much more space there is in a suite.
Cruise ship cabins are typically smaller than hotel rooms, but suites will make you feel like you're back at home with the square footage found in them.
Some suites have extra bedrooms, bathrooms, or even a dining room. The really large suites are incredible to see, because it's hard to fathom just how large these cabins are compared to other rooms.
The Ultimate Family Townhouse measures 1,772 square feet and is three decks high. Compare that to a balcony cabin on Icon of the Seas that comes in at 204 square feet.
More conventional suites are still quite large. A Grand Suite on Icon measures 431 square feet, which is more than double that of a balcony.
Read more: Icon of the Seas cabins and suites guide
Having that extra space is a major reason why a lot of people book a suite. They want to feel like they can spread out, and if they're sharing the room with others, every extra foot makes a difference.
It's amazing how much better your cruise can be with the help of the suite concierge.
The concierge is there to be a dedicated resource for suite guests. Think of them like Guest Service just for suite guests, but with less lines and more service.
They can assist in making reservations, including pre-cruise. They can escort you off the ship, get you a tender ride without a wait, and be your aid should a problem arise.
Their job is to make your experience on the ship better, and it's a really nice way to solve problems or simply enhance it all.
Depending on the ship you pick, staying in a suite can get you a lot of extras included in your cruise fare that you would otherwise have to pay extra for.
All suites across all ships include free alcoholic beverages in the Suite Lounge each evening, which means there's less of a need to purchase an unlimited drink package.
If you cruise on a Quantum, Oasis, or Icon Class cruise ship, the included perks drastically increase. For Sky Class passengers, you'll get complimentary Wi-Fi access, access to a special restaurant, and room service too.
Star Class guests get pretty much everything included, including any specialty restaurant, extra-cost beverage, and gratuities.
Read more: What is Star Class?
Twice a day cabin service
Royal Caribbean cut back housekeeping to once a day on its cruise ships, but suites still get service twice per day.
Having your cabin attendant service your cabin in the morning and evening is a pleasant benefit, and it means towels get replaced quicker, beds are made if you took a nap, and your room just feels tidier.
I've grown accustomed to this change in standard cabins by now, but having that twice-a-day service is a really nice benefit.
More loyalty points
If you're looking to move up the ladder of Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program faster, staying in a suite is the best strategy.
Royal Caribbean will give you an extra point per night for staying in a suite, so that means two points instead of one (or three, if you're staying solo in a suite).
Getting to Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle Club really adds significant value to how you cruise, so booking a suite to get there faster might be a really good idea.
Better cabin location
Want to reduce your walking distance when getting around the ship? Stay somewhere with less movement? A suite is the easy button for that.
You'll typically find suites in the most desirable places on the ship so that you can have the best views, stability, and convenience.
To avoid getting seasick on a cruise, you'll want a cabin mid-ship (definitely not at the front), and it's no coincidence that you'll find suites in these areas.
Read more: The 5 best cabin locations on a cruise ship
Is a suite on a cruise worth it?
It won't be cheap, but a suite has a lot of nice perks that come with it, and it might make sense for you to spend extra to stay in one.
When you consider what you get for booking a suite instead of a regular cabin, the higher price might make sense if you can take advantage of the added value.