Cramped cabins and portholes went out of fashion with Baked Alaskas – and while you'd be lucky to score a balcony at many hotels, on some ships these days, you'd be hard-pressed not to. "Cruise suites today are as marvelous as any hotel suite in the world," says Virtuoso travel advisor and agency owner Ruth Turpin of Fort Worth. "Over the past decade, competition between lines has introduced butler service, fine wine and spirits, prepaid tips, and every imaginable amenity to the spacious accomodations. They're perfect for travelers who love the likes of Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, and Mandarin Oriental hotels – plus, you get to settle comfortably into your space instead of moving from hotel to hotel during the trip."
Deluxe Owner's Suites, Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway
Located in The Haven -- a private, top-of-the-ship suites complex --the elegant 932-square-foot suites' large wraparound balconies and wet bars are perfect for entertaining. Guests gain access to The Haven's private restaurant, lounge, and two-story courtyard with a pool, whirlpools, and sundeck.
Owner's Suites, Oceania Cruises' Riviera and Marina
Walk through their dramatic ivory marble entranceway to discover faux crocodile and zebra accents and Ralph Lauren home furnishings. With a baby grand piano, ocean-view entertainment room, and multicourse, butler-served meals, these 2,000-square-foot suites are made for entertaining. Cashmere lap blankets keep you cozy on the balcony.
The Sandringham Suite, Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2
Make your grand entrance via a sweeping circular staircase in this 2,249-square-foot suite, which channels cruising's golden era with art deco and Biedermeier decor and a ceiling that mirrors the recessed dome entrance hall of England's Eltham Palace.
Reflection Suite, Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Reflection
At 1,830 square feet, the Reflection's top suite feels like a city condo, with dark-wood flooring and floor-to-ceiling windows. It even comes with a telescope to make use of its corner-location views.
Master Suite, Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Seven Seas Voyager
Newly redone with original artwork and residential accents, this 2,002-square-foot suite sleeps six and features two balconies, but what really makes waves is its sun-filled solarium with a seating area.
Wintergarden Suites, Seabourn's Seabourn Quest
Modern Scandinavian in design, these 1,097-square-foot suites feature a spacious veranda, dining for six, and a wet bar and espresso machine for entertaining, but the show-stopper is their glass-enclosed solarium with a bathtub and day bed facing the sea.
Crystal Penthouse with Veranda, Crystal Cruises' Crystal Serenity
A fresh remodel added a den and media room to the classically styled 1,345-square-foot suite. Keep up with the day's headlines or relax with a movie via waterproof TVs in the master bath -- one embedded in the mirror and another by the large, ocean-view Jacuzzi tub. Toast your voyage with a complimentary bottle of Cristal and music on the Bose sound system.