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While it may seem that cruising is strictly a mass market vacation with ships carrying up to 6,000 passengers and activities geared towards families with little kids, endless buffets and cabins smaller than most kitchens, there's another side that is decidedly more refined. Aboard a handful of luxury ships are suites with sublime creature comforts like butler service, private verandas for watching the sun sink below the horizon with a glass of bubbly, separate embarkation, marble bathrooms and space so enormous you can throw a party for dozens of fellow passengers.

Granted, these enormous staterooms (frequently called the owner's suite) come with a hefty price tag but sometimes one wants to sell the family farm and hock the silver just to experience the ultimate in pampering.

If these super suites tempt you, don't wait to book one. The top suites, no matter how expensive, sell first!


Sea Cloud Owner's Suite
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Heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post -- Sea Cloud's first owner -- had exquisite taste and you can book her personal suite on this glorious tall ship. With 441 sq. ft. it's not the largest owner's suite, but you'll find golden bath fixtures, Carrara marble, precious woods, solid brass and antique furniture. Carrying only 64 passengers, Sea Cloud was built in the 1930's and calls in the toniest ports. An eight day Baltic voyage will cost around $10,000 per couple when staying in this opulent stateroom.
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