A cruise is a fantastic setting for a bachelor party - exotic locations, budget-friendly, fantastic food, and depending on your ship, there's probably even an "all-inclusive" alcoholic beverage package to keep you busy cracking cold ones during the day and sipping scotch with your buddies at night. However, one question that I get frequently from guys who are looking to book a cruise with us is whether it makes sense to get individual rooms or try to get a big fancy suite and pack the guys in there. The answer is unique for every group I talk with, but it seems to be a topic that comes up regularly, so let's take a deeper look ...
Before we get too deep, let's set expectations about what it means to have a "suite" on a cruise ship. While you typically see advertised prices starting anywhere from $500-$1,000 per person (based on double occupancy). Most suites aren't really that much bigger than a standard balcony room - until you get to the really fancy ones.
For instance, on a sample voyage that I pulled up, their top suite on Celebrity's newest ship would be a whopping $77,780.70 (plus taxes and tips), and that works out to be $19,445 per person based on four guests - since it can accommodate up to six people, it would be even cheaper per person (I would need to contact their team for pricing on more than 4 guests in a room, so I wasn't able to do that for this article).
While that's far cheaper than if you were to book that room with only two people - $37,197 - the more affordable Retreat Suites are only marginally larger than premium balcony rooms, but two or even three times the cost per person. If you can afford it, though, grabbing a block of those smaller Retreat Suites would be the foundation of an absolutely epic bachelor party at sea.
Unlike hotel suites like you might compare a cruise to, the pricing model may be hard to understand. The critical difference here is that on a cruise ship, you're paying per person, and all the amenities are rolled into one. This makes it easier from a planning perspective but works against you compared to just getting a big suite at a hotel somewhere and turning it into a party pad for your bachelor party activities.
Instead, the type of accommodations that you should get for your bachelor party at sea will focus more on what amenities you want to enjoy on the cruise and how much you want to spend to enjoy them on one of Celebrity's award-winning cruise ships.
|Number of Guests
|More privacy per guest. Accommodates varying numbers easily. Easier to manage with a large group.
|Better for small groups of four or fewer. Encourages group bonding. Might be limited in space for larger groups.
|Individual choices can be respected. Minimizes disturbances for non-drinkers since they can opt out of the alcoholic beverage package.
|Centralized, private area for socializing and drinking. Non-drinkers may not appreciate the extra cost of having alcohol included in the fare.
|Comfort with Sharing a Bathroom
|Private bathroom. No need to share among other guests.
|Limited bathroom availability except in the largest suites. Requires coordination and comfort with sharing.
|Accommodation for Larger Guests
|Can choose rooms with suitable bed configuration, i.e. two twin beds vs. sharing a mattress or select single rooms or pack four guys into one room if you choose.
|Limited sleeping arrangements. Might be uncomfortable for larger guests, especially if sleeping on the floor is required.
The other factor here is that in any group of guys, there will be a few men for whom spending $20,000 on a vacation is no big deal - while there will be others for whom even just $1,000 requires scrimping and saving.
Most of the time when this conversation happens, our clients decide to work with us to set up a group booking so that each person can have their own space - or share the room with only one other guy. (some ships do offer single rooms and most ships allow one person per room, but charge a "single supplement" fee).
The nice part is that when working with the Groom and Best Man to organize the group, we can offer perks, and if the group is large enough, work with the cruise team to organize events like a private whiskey tasting, a conference room for private events, poker tournament, private room for a steak and whiskey dinner as well as coordinate shore excursions. Depending on the size of your group, it's even possible to host private parties in a lounge area too.
This ultimately takes all the effort off or you guys so you can just enjoy the trip.
Making the Final Decision
After taking into account everyone's preferences and the dynamics of the group, the onus is on you (or your Travel Advisor) to finalize the cruise ship accommodations for the bachelor party. It's a significant responsibility, but remember, the goal is to create an experience that fosters camaraderie, not regretting the decision.
We've based this article around Celebrity Cruises, but the core concepts remain the same for Carnival, Norwegian, MSC, and Royal Caribbean. We selected Celebrity to feature because they tend to have competitive pricing in the luxury space while maintaining a very good ship-wide level of consistency in terms of service and a more adult atmosphere compared to the other brands that cater strongly to families.
This ultimately means that you won't feel like you need to cram everyone in a suite together to avoid kids, and you still have access to great food, drinks, and service everywhere on the ship.
Keep these four points in mind when considering a cruise bachelor party:
- Ensure everyone is at ease with the decision.
- Thoroughly review all alternatives before making the final judgment.
- Reflect on the group's dynamics and how the selected accommodation will influence it.
- Keep in mind that a memorable bachelor party is more about the experience than just the accommodation.
Your choice can determine the success of the event, so make it thoughtfully.