9 Best Cruise Line Cabanas

by Donna Heiderstadt

9 Best Cruise Line Cabanas

by Donna Heiderstadt

It is possible to feel like a VIP on a ship with 3,000 passengers — just book a private cabana to enjoy some personal space (as well as attentive service). If your ship is calling at a private island you'll also be able to book private beachfront cabanas that are not only away from the fray, but have perks like air conditioning when you want to get out of the Caribbean sun. Remember that these spaces are exclusive, though, so book early before they are all snatched up for the entire cruise. Here are nine private cabanas worth the splurge.

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Eurodam's The Retreat / Holland America
Cabana Club on Nieuw Amsterdam
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1. Lido, Retreat, and Cabana Club Cabanas

Holland America's Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam have multiple options if you want to guarantee some personal space on board. Kids in tow? Reserve one of the curtained cabanas with ocean views at the family-friendly Lido Pool. The pool's retractable roof means you can hang out no matter what the weather is like outside. If you're seeking serious serenity, opt for an adults-only cabana in the Retreat on Eurodam or Cabana Club on Nieuw Amsterdam.

What they cost: Cabanas by the Lido Pool are $30 per day while in port or $50 during a sea day. You can also book a cabana for the entire length of your cruise, ranging from $199 for a seven-day cruise up to $499 for a 20-day cruise. Cabanas in the Retreat and Cabana Club are $45 per day while in port or $75 per day while at sea. Rentals for the length of your cruise range from $299 for a seven-day cruise to $599 for a 20-day cruise. Cabanas can only be pre-booked if you are reserving for your entire cruise. Daily rentals are available once you are on board. 

Holland America's Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam have multiple options if you want to guarantee some personal space on board. Kids in tow? Reserve one of the curtained cabanas with ocean views at the family-friendly Lido Pool. The pool's retractable roof means you can hang out no matter what the weather is like outside. If you're seeking serious serenity, opt for an adults-only cabana in the Retreat on Eurodam or Cabana Club on Nieuw Amsterdam.

What they cost: Cabanas by the Lido Pool are $30 per day while in port or $50 during a sea day. You can also book a cabana for the entire length of your cruise, ranging from $199 for a seven-day cruise up to $499 for a 20-day cruise. Cabanas in the Retreat and Cabana Club are $45 per day while in port or $75 per day while at sea. Rentals for the length of your cruise range from $299 for a seven-day cruise to $599 for a 20-day cruise. Cabanas can only be pre-booked if you are reserving for your entire cruise. Daily rentals are available once you are on board. 

The Sanctuary on Royal Princess
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2. The Sanctuary & Retreat Cabanas

While on board Regal Princess or Royal Princess, you can reserve a cabana at The Sanctuary, a spa-inspired, adults-only enclave. The four standard cabanas have a sectional sofa and a minibar, while the two luxury cabanas also have massage tables set up for treatments. Private cabanas are also available at the adjacent, adults-only Retreat Pool for those who prefer frequent dips without kids present.

What they cost:The six cabanas by the Retreat Pool cost $50 for a half day or $80 for a full day.Standard cabanas at The Sanctuary cost $140 for a half day and $220 for a full day, including treats from the mini bar.

Got extra cash to burn? The luxury cabanas are $1,500 for a half day or $2,000 for the full day, which includes unlimited massages for up to four people plus caviar and Dom Perignon. 

While on board Regal Princess or Royal Princess, you can reserve a cabana at The Sanctuary, a spa-inspired, adults-only enclave. The four standard cabanas have a sectional sofa and a minibar, while the two luxury cabanas also have massage tables set up for treatments. Private cabanas are also available at the adjacent, adults-only Retreat Pool for those who prefer frequent dips without kids present.

What they cost:The six cabanas by the Retreat Pool cost $50 for a half day or $80 for a full day.Standard cabanas at The Sanctuary cost $140 for a half day and $220 for a full day, including treats from the mini bar.

Got extra cash to burn? The luxury cabanas are $1,500 for a half day or $2,000 for the full day, which includes unlimited massages for up to four people plus caviar and Dom Perignon. 

The Alcoves
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3. The Alcoves

If you're a toes-in-the-grass type who enjoys a game of bocce ball and a picnic basket lunch, check out the Alcoves on the Lawn Club on Celebrity Reflection and Celebrity Silhouette. Each of the eight cabanas has space for eight people, and in addition to privacy you’ll get chilled towel, bottled water, and an iPad with music, games, and Wi-Fi. 

What they cost: The cabanas can be booked in advance, and go fast on some sailings. Rates range from $99 per person for a port day to $149 per person for a sea day.

If you're a toes-in-the-grass type who enjoys a game of bocce ball and a picnic basket lunch, check out the Alcoves on the Lawn Club on Celebrity Reflection and Celebrity Silhouette. Each of the eight cabanas has space for eight people, and in addition to privacy you’ll get chilled towel, bottled water, and an iPad with music, games, and Wi-Fi. 

What they cost: The cabanas can be booked in advance, and go fast on some sailings. Rates range from $99 per person for a port day to $149 per person for a sea day.

Suite Sun Deck Cabana
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4. Suite Sun Deck Cabanas

Royal Caribbean recently added private cabanas to the Suite Sun Deck on deck 17 of Allure of the Seas as part of its Royal Suite program. The glassed-in deck gives you the views without worrying about the weather, and each cabana has plenty of space to lounge. Other Oasis- and Quantum-class ships will add cabanas in 2016. 

What they cost: Cabanas are complimentary, but exclusive to guests staying in the Grand Suite category or higher. Act fast: they are first-come, first-served.

Royal Caribbean recently added private cabanas to the Suite Sun Deck on deck 17 of Allure of the Seas as part of its Royal Suite program. The glassed-in deck gives you the views without worrying about the weather, and each cabana has plenty of space to lounge. Other Oasis- and Quantum-class ships will add cabanas in 2016. 

What they cost: Cabanas are complimentary, but exclusive to guests staying in the Grand Suite category or higher. Act fast: they are first-come, first-served.

Pod on Norwegian Breakaway
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5. Vibe Beach Club “Pods”

More like sun beds with retractable awnings than cabanas, the five cozy pods on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway offer shelter from the sun and wind in the adults-only Vibe Beach Club. The sea views and comfortable loungers make these great places to relax between dips in the club's hot tubs. P.S. Ignore the child in the photo above; don't try to sneak yours into this 18-and-older space.

What they cost: The pods are only rentable for the length of your cruise (starting at $329 for a weeklong cruise), and include a $100 food and beverage credit at the club's eatery. They are only available to book once you are on board.

More like sun beds with retractable awnings than cabanas, the five cozy pods on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway offer shelter from the sun and wind in the adults-only Vibe Beach Club. The sea views and comfortable loungers make these great places to relax between dips in the club's hot tubs. P.S. Ignore the child in the photo above; don't try to sneak yours into this 18-and-older space.

What they cost: The pods are only rentable for the length of your cruise (starting at $329 for a weeklong cruise), and include a $100 food and beverage credit at the club's eatery. They are only available to book once you are on board.

Cabana on Labadee
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6. Barefoot Beach Club Cabanas

Not all private cabanas are found at sea. There are many options on private islands owned by the cruise line's as well. For example, the 20 thatched-roof cabanas at Royal Caribbean’s Barefoot Beach Club on Labadee island in Haiti all come with a service attendant, floating mats, and snorkel gear. There are four overwater cabanas and two are waterfront, while the five that are considered "hilltop" offer more privacy but are further from the beach.

What the cost: Barefoot Beach Club Cabanas start at $175 a day, including access to the private beach and an upgraded lunch buffet. Cabanas can be booked before you sail, but keep in mind that guests booked in suites get first priority.

Not all private cabanas are found at sea. There are many options on private islands owned by the cruise line's as well. For example, the 20 thatched-roof cabanas at Royal Caribbean’s Barefoot Beach Club on Labadee island in Haiti all come with a service attendant, floating mats, and snorkel gear. There are four overwater cabanas and two are waterfront, while the five that are considered "hilltop" offer more privacy but are further from the beach.

What the cost: Barefoot Beach Club Cabanas start at $175 a day, including access to the private beach and an upgraded lunch buffet. Cabanas can be booked before you sail, but keep in mind that guests booked in suites get first priority.

Cabanas on Great Stirrup Cay
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7. Cabanas on the Cay

These spacious, open-air cabanas sit atop a ridge with great views of the turquoise waters of Norwegian Cruise Line's Great Stirrup Cay. The 10 cabanas can each accommodate up to eight people and are stocked with bottled water, beach towels, and a large float to take to the water. 

What they cost: The smaller cabanas are located on Cabana Beach and cost $279 per day for up to six people. The larger cabanas on Fiesta Beach cost $299 for up to eight people. Additional people can be added at either for $25 per person. All include a $50 food and beverage credit to use on the island.

These spacious, open-air cabanas sit atop a ridge with great views of the turquoise waters of Norwegian Cruise Line's Great Stirrup Cay. The 10 cabanas can each accommodate up to eight people and are stocked with bottled water, beach towels, and a large float to take to the water. 

What they cost: The smaller cabanas are located on Cabana Beach and cost $279 per day for up to six people. The larger cabanas on Fiesta Beach cost $299 for up to eight people. Additional people can be added at either for $25 per person. All include a $50 food and beverage credit to use on the island.

Princess Cays Cabanas
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8. Princess Cays Cabanas

These wooden beach cabanas painted in vibrant Caribbean hues on Princess Cays (Princess’s 40-acre resort on Eleuthera in the Bahamas) are actually air-conditioned; some are designated for families, while others (for adults only) are situated in The Sanctuary at Princess Cays.

What they cost: Cabanas start at $199 for up to four people (two additional people can be added fro $26 per person). Sanctuary cabanas also accommodate four people and start at $250, plus $26 per person for two additional people. The cabanas can be reserved in advance, but if you need to add additional guests, that can only be done once you are on board. 

These wooden beach cabanas painted in vibrant Caribbean hues on Princess Cays (Princess’s 40-acre resort on Eleuthera in the Bahamas) are actually air-conditioned; some are designated for families, while others (for adults only) are situated in The Sanctuary at Princess Cays.

What they cost: Cabanas start at $199 for up to four people (two additional people can be added fro $26 per person). Sanctuary cabanas also accommodate four people and start at $250, plus $26 per person for two additional people. The cabanas can be reserved in advance, but if you need to add additional guests, that can only be done once you are on board. 

Half Moon Cay Cabanas
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9. Half Moon Cay Cabanas

Each colorful, wooden Caribbean-style cabana on Carnival's Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas (also visited by Holland America) comes with a refrigerator filled with soft drinks and snacks, air conditioning, and an outdoor misting shower. Groups of up to 12 (or 25 with an additional surcharge) can splurge on the 1,620-square-foot Oasis Cabana, which includes an eight-person hot tub, a barbecue grill, massage table, and a full bar.

What they cost: The 15 regular cabanas start at $280 for up to four people, including snorkeling equipment, beach towels, and floating mats (plus snacks, bottled water, and soft drinks). The Beach Villa costs $500 for up to eight people, while the over-water Oasis Cabana is $1,500 for the day and includes butler service and a dedicated chef, bartender, and lifeguard. Cabanas can be reserved online once you have booked your cruise.

Each colorful, wooden Caribbean-style cabana on Carnival's Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas (also visited by Holland America) comes with a refrigerator filled with soft drinks and snacks, air conditioning, and an outdoor misting shower. Groups of up to 12 (or 25 with an additional surcharge) can splurge on the 1,620-square-foot Oasis Cabana, which includes an eight-person hot tub, a barbecue grill, massage table, and a full bar.

What they cost: The 15 regular cabanas start at $280 for up to four people, including snorkeling equipment, beach towels, and floating mats (plus snacks, bottled water, and soft drinks). The Beach Villa costs $500 for up to eight people, while the over-water Oasis Cabana is $1,500 for the day and includes butler service and a dedicated chef, bartender, and lifeguard. Cabanas can be reserved online once you have booked your cruise.

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