Staterooms

Staterooms: What are the difference between Royal Caribbean's D1, D2, D4, etc balcony rooms?

In:
Category: 
14Jul2016

A balcony stateroom on your Royal Caribbean cruise sounds like a great idea, with imagery of fantastic views of the oceans available anytime you want.  So when it comes to booking the stateroom, you may quickly discover there is not just one balcony stateroom, but rather, a number of options to consider.

Royal Caribbean breaks up its balcony staterooms into various sub-categories and this is your guide to understanding what the differences are between them all.

D1, D3, D8... what does it all mean?

When you look to book a balcony stateroom, you will see a variety of cabin designations among the balcony staterooms.  There will be stateroom codes, such as D1, D2, D4, E1, E4, etc.

Essentially, the difference between all the Category D staterooms is stateroom location, and potentially size of the room as well.  The lower the number, the more desirable the location of the room in terms of how close it is (or is not) to mid-ship.

As the numbers get higher, the stateroom location goes further aft/forward and/or stateroom size can change.

The differences can be very subtle from one category to another, but the price tends to drop as the number climbs (i.e. a D8 tends to be cheaper than a D1).

In addition, the difference between staterooms can include rooms that have third and fourth berths.  Rooms with this distinction can result in different pricing compared to staterooms that cannot accommodate third and fourth berths.

Other balcony categories

In addition to balcony staterooms that have the letter "D", there are other categories of balcony staterooms that may be on the same ship.

  • E
    • Usually, Category E balcony staterooms are slightly smaller rooms than Category D balcony staterooms, otherwise very similar. Between E and D, the difference is size -- the D is larger and this results in a sofa instead of loveseat.
  • C
    • On Oasis-class ships, this refers to Central Park facing balcony staterooms
  • B
    • On Oasis-class ships, this refers to Boardwalk facing balcony staterooms

Interior vs Balcony staterooms on a Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
Category: 
28Jun2016

A common question for guests planning a Royal Caribbean cruise is whether they should save money by staying in an inside stateroom or pay a bit more for the amenities, size and view in a balcony stateroom. Is it worth it to pay extra for a balcony cabin on a cruise? Do I really need a room with a balcony?

Like almost every hypothetical question posed by this blog, the answer is, "it depends."  I hope this post will be helpful in analyzing the most important features of each stateroom category to see which category has advantages.

Price

It should come as no surprise that inside or ocean view staterooms are usually cheaper than balcony staterooms.  The added room size, balcony and view of a balcony come with a higher cost.  The thing is, how much extra can vary.

The price gap between an interior stateroom and a balcony will vary from ship to ship and sailing to sailing.  Sometimes it is measured in the thousands of dollars, and other times it is just a few hundred (or less).

When considering the price difference, one should look at the nightly price and what that gets you.  Nearly everyone that books a Royal Caribbean cruise is on some sort of budget, so even if they want to book a balcony stateroom, it may not be financially viable.  It is important to at least consider the options because there are many scenarios in which the difference in price is quite low.

Often inside staterooms are the least expensive option, which means guests can spend less money on their cruise vacation or have more money to spend during the cruise on things like drinks, shore excursions, specialty restaurants or anything else for sale.

The difference in price will depend on factors like itinerary (balconies on Alaska itineraries are more expensive than Caribbean itineraries), time of year (peak vs low season) and ship class (newer ships have more balconies, so more supply).

Advantage: Interior staterooms

Room

Balcony staterooms are significantly larger than interior staterooms. As an example, on Allure of the Seas a standard interior stateroom offers 150-172 square feet of space, whereas a Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony comes in at 182 square feet, plus a 53 square foot balcony.

Room size is hard to quantify in a blog post, but every extra foot you have of living space does make a difference and it becomes noticeable quickly. It all adds up to more room for everyone to maneuver in and makes the entire experience less crowded.

Beyond the size difference, balcony staterooms have natural light, which makes the room feel less dark and gloomy.  You also get fantastic views of the ocean and ports you are visiting.  

Even the most ardent interior stateroom fan will be hard-pressed to debate the virtues of an interior stateroom over a balcony.  Personally, I think the best part of an interior room is the fact it can get pitch dark, which makes for excellent sleeping conditions.

Advantage: Balcony staterooms

Your vacation plans

Everyone vacations differently, and what you plan on doing (or not doing) may dictate which stateroom category makes the most sense for you.

Are you the kind of person that gets up at dawn, is doing every activity in the Cruise Compass and returns to their room only to shower and sleep?  Or are you someone that likes to take it easy and sleep in, or read a book?  

Many guests that pick an interior stateroom will tell you that they do not spend a lot of time in their room, so why should they pay for amenities they will not use.  It is a good point, although in my experience, I think the stateroom you book dictates to some extent what you end up doing.  If I book an inside room, I definitely do not spend as much time there as I do when I book a balcony. Having a balcony means I go there for sailaways and I bring food back to the room to eat.  The room can be the deciding factor in how you vacation in some cases.

Where you are sailing to also can be part of the decision.  Certain itineraries favor balcony staterooms over other itineraries.  In the Caribbean, it is not nearly as compelling to get a balcony stateroom over an interior stateroom compared to the Mediterranean or Alaska itineraries. That is not to say guests in an inside stateroom completely miss out on the natural beauty to behold, but they just have to do more to experience it.  

Advantage: Varies

Cruise Length

The duration of your cruise can be a major factor in deciding which stateroom category makes more sense.

Longer cruises, 7-nights or more, may offer more incentive to get a balcony so you can have your own outdoor space to relax.  Quick three- and four-night cruises may not necessitate spending money on a balcony since your time is limited and you may not spend as much time in your room.

One of the advantages of booking a balcony stateroom on a shorter cruise is the total price will not be as high as a longer cruise.  And some of the longer cruises (repositioning cruises) can offer great deals on all rooms, including balconies, because they are harder sailings to fill.

Generally speaking, the longer the cruise, the more advantageous a balcony stateroom, although the price factor that we spoke of earlier may supersede even the cruise length consideration.

Advantage: Balcony

Alternative choices

We would be remiss if we did not mention certain categories of staterooms that bend, blend or otherwise are a hybrid of the two categories.  Cruising has changed over the last few years, and Royal Caribbean has started offering new stateroom options that cater to different tastes and budgets.

One of our favorite room categories is a virtual balcony room, which is an inside stateroom with a 80-inch LED television that provides live high-definition views from outside the cruise ship, right into your stateroom.

There are balcony staterooms that do not face the ocean, but instead offer views of the Boardwalk and Central Park neighborhoods. These balcony staterooms have the same balcony experience of ocean-facing balconies, but often at a discounted price and perfect for people watching.

Speaking of people watching, Promenade view rooms offer a bay window view of the Royal Promenade, which provides the perfect vantage point for people watching and checking out what is happening on the Royal Promenade. It doubles as the perfect spot to view the parade!

Panoramic ocean view staterooms offer a floor to ceiling wrap around panoramic window that is 76 inches high by 103-321 inches wide.  That is a big window and you get amazing views without the balcony view price.

All of these stateroom categories offer guests the option of having a view without paying for the full balcony price.  Granted, none are exactly the same as having your own private balcony and the amount of living space is still more limited.  But for many guests, it is a "happy medium" between that balcony price and a standard inside stateroom.

Other

"Other" is not really a definable characteristic of any stateroom. Instead, this is a bit of a catch-call for other important features and amenities that do not fit in the above categories.  In addition to the critical categories above, another category that may be important is lifestyle. Being able to enjoy a glass of wine on your private balcony or have the ocean breeze enter your room are things that cannot be qualified objectively, but is important to some.

Likewise, sleeping in a pitch-black room of an interior stateroom can lead to some of the best sleep you have since college.  Many of us go on vacation to catch up on sleep and the notion of "quality of sleep" really means something when you avoid getting woken up by natural light entering the room.

How about romance? It seems like every cruise commercial out there that harps on romance on the sea has at least one shot of a couple enjoying the sunset on their balcony.  

Verdict

Whether it is worth it to you to pay more for a balcony stateroom depends upon your preferences, budget, and how much time you will be spending in your room.  If you like having extra space with views, balcony staterooms score points.  If money is an issue, the cost-savings of an interior stateroom will make you happy.  Plus, that is more money you can spend elsewhere on the cruise, like in a good specialty restaurant.

For us, balcony staterooms make a lot of sense for the extra space, private balcony and ambiance...provided the price is right.  We have a budget for every cruise we take, and the price difference between a balcony and interior stateroom is often a major deciding factor.  There is no question that when we have a balcony room booked, we spend more time in there than if we have an inside room.

For inside room fans, there are plenty of public places onboard to enjoy views anytime of the day or night.  The promenade deck, helipad (on select ships) and pool decks give us plenty of outdoor space when we need to "get out."

The interior staterooms are not for everyone, but we have nothing against them.  If it is the difference between going on a cruise or not, we will gladly book an interior stateroom.  A balcony is great, but not worth breaking the bank for it either.

Your thoughts

Is it worth it to you to stay in a balcony stateroom? Or, do you just save as much as money as possible by staying in an inside stateroom? Share where you normally choose to stay (and why!) in the comments!

Photos Harmony of the Seas staterooms

In:
24May2016

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas has a lot of great stateroom choices to consider, and today we have a look at some of these staterooms.

Royal Caribbean released photos from some very popular stateroom categories and since we love to daydream about staying in one of these staterooms, we are sharing these photos.

AquaTheater Suite

Royal Family Suite with Balcony

Owner's Suite with Balcony

Family Ocean View Stateroom

Presidential Family Suite

Boardwalk View Stateroom with Baclony

Which of these stateroom categories would you want to stay in? Tell us in the comments!

Secret Royal Caribbean staterooms: Extra large Oasis of the Seas balconies

In:
11May2016

Across Royal Caribbean's fleet of cruise ships, there are some interesting and unique staterooms that are slightly different than the rest of the staterooms in the same category.

Today, we are looking at some balcony staterooms on Oasis of the Seas that give you a lot more space for no extra cost.

Photo by Emmy Schaffer

Certain Central Park balcony staterooms offer guests almost double width balconies for the same cost as other Central Park balcony staterooms.

These rooms are to the aft of the Living Wall and are on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

Photo by Emmy Schaffer

The cabin numbers are on decks 10, 11 and 12:

  • 10229
  • 10629
  • 11229
  • 11629
  • 12229
  • 12629

It is worth noting that the larger balcony is not indicated on the deck plan.

If you are looking to book a Central Park balcony stateroom and want to get your family some extra living space, these staterooms are a great way to do it without breaking the bank!

Thank you to Emmy Schaffer for providing information for this post.

Royal Caribbean re-categorizing staterooms on some of its cruise ships

In:
Category: 
30Mar2016

Royal Caribbean has announced starting in 2017, it will re-categorize some of its staterooms across eight of its ships.

These new simplified categories are designed to make booking staterooms faster, easier and more consistent.

The changes are affecting Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas.

For Majesty of the Seas, the new category nomenclature remains unchanged. Features vary by ship.

Photo tour of Royal Caribbean Larger Panoramic Ocean View stateroom on Freedom of the Seas

In:
30Jan2016

Royal Caribbean's Panoramic Ocean View Staterooms are relatively new to the fleet, but already many guests are reporting back just how impressive a space they are.

Royal Caribbean Blog reader Hunt Lewis shared with us his photos from his Category P1 stateroom on Freedom of the Seas.

Large Panoramic Oceanview staterooms feature floor-to-ceiling wrap-around windows and these category P1 rooms feature even more space than usual.

This photo tour was of stateroom 1864 on deck 12 of Freedom of the Seas.

The larger panoramic ocean view staterooms feature 283 square feet of space and can accomodate up to 3 guests.

They have two twin beds that convert to a Royal King-sized bed.

Each stateroom also has its own flat-screen television, thermostat controlled air-conditioning, internet access, direct-dial telephone, radio, mini bar, individual safe, and 24 hour room service.

Secret Royal Caribbean staterooms: Freedom of the Seas stateroom 6305

In:
28Jan2016

Across Royal Caribbean's fleet of cruise ships, there are some interesting and unique staterooms that are slightly different than the rest of the staterooms in the same category.

Today, we are looking at a very different Promenade stateroom on Freedom of the Seas that has a very unique look to it, the Ben & Jerry "Sweet".

Stateroom 6305 on Freedom of the Seas (and also sister ships Liberty of the Seas and Independence of the Seas) is  the only inside stateroom on a Royal Caribbean ship to be considered a suite.

It is listed on deck plans as a normal cabin and not specifically mentioned in the catalog this "Ben & Jerry's" cabin is but one of the most unusual cruise ship cabins of all.

The stateroom sits directly above the Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop on the Royal Promenade and so, the room has a view of the two cows that are prominently displayed by the shop.  Thus, the view out the window is blocked.

Royal Caribbean decided to embrace the Ben & Jerry's motif by transforming this room into  the "Ben & Jerry Sweet". 

Throughout the entire room, there are cow sheets, pillows, pictures and other cow-related decorations.

The best part about this room are the perks you get for reserving it, which include

  • Daily complimentary Ben & Jerry's ice cream for each guest
  • Access to the Concierge Lounge
  • Reservations for the ice show

By far the free ice cream and concierge lounge access are the best part about this stateroom.  Concierge access is usually limited to guests staying in a suite.

Concierge access allows guests to enjoy

  • Use of the Concierge Club on deck 10
  • Continental breakfast served in the lounge from 8am to 10am
  • Hors d'oeuvres, petit fours and complimentary bar setup served in the lounge every evening before and after dinner from 4:30pm to 8:00pm
  • Daily menus displayed and pre-ordering for your dinner wine.
  • Reservations for any specialty restaurant, sports activities, shore excursions, salon and spa appointments.
  • Personalized port and shopping advice
  • Business services such as scan, copies, etc
  • Reservations for shows onboard

Would you want to book this stateroom? Tell us in the comments!

Top 5 different staterooms you should consider for your next Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
Category: 
15Jan2016

Picking the stateroom for your Royal Caribbean cruise means picking your home for 3, 4, 7 or even more nights and there are plenty of options to choose from onboard, but there are some categories that can be easily overlooked that are worth your time.

Over the last few years, Royal Caribbean has been adding different kinds of new stateroom categories to its offerings and these options give guests a greater variety of choice and flexibility in where they choose to stay.

The next time you are booking a Royal Caribbean cruise, consider one of these different stateroom categories, if they are available, that offers something different from the usual.

Panoramic ocean view

Ocean view staterooms are typically known for giving guests a porthole view to the ocean outside, but Royal Caribbean's Panoramic Ocean View Stateroom gives much more of a view.

These staterooms offer a floor to ceiling wrap around panoramic window that is 76 inches high by 103-321 inches wide.  That is a big window.

As you might imagine, the reason to book a stateroom like this is for the amazing views without the balcony view price.  

Panoramic ocean view staterooms are found on Navigator of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas.

Virtual balcony

Royal Caribbean rethought what an inside stateroom could be when it came up with its virtual balcony staterooms.

A virtual balcony stateroom is an interior stateroom with an 80-inch LED screen that shows live video from outside the ship in ultra high definition.

The screens are 4K ultra high definition capable screens that stretch from floor to ceiling and receive a video feed from the ship's cameras that are mounted at the stem and stern of the ship.

With virtual balcony staterooms, guests can enjoy a balcony experience without the balcony price.

Virtual balcony staterooms are offered on Navigator of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas.

Promenade view

Many Royal Caribbean fans absolutely love the Royal Promenade for everything it offers, and Royal Caribbean capitalizes on this by offering Promenade staterooms.

These Promenade view staterooms have bowed windows overlooking the Royal Promenade, creating an interior room with a view, and they offer the amenities of a standard stateroom.

The bowed windows give the room more room as well as the perfect vantage point for people watching and checking out what is happening on the Royal Promenade.  It doubles as the perfect spot to view the parade!

Promenade view staterooms are available on Adventure of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas.

Family ocean view

Royal Caribbean recognizes some families are more than just 3 or 4 guests and all families can always benefit from some extra space.  Enter, the family stateroom, which serves up a ton of extra space that is perfect for the family that needs to spread out.

Family ocean view staterooms can accommodate up to six people, with two twin beds, sofa and/or Pullman beds. Other amenities include a minibar (except on Vision of the Seas) and sitting area. 

These special rooms are perfect for larger families that want to stay in one room or families with older kids that just need some extra living space.

Family ocean view staterooms are available on Adventure of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Vision of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas.

Studio stateroom

Royal Caribbean has recognized the growing trend of solo cruisers by offering guests studio staterooms on select ships.

These rooms are designed for just one guest and do not carry with them the single supplement that drives up the cost for single cruisers.

There are studio virtual balcony staterooms as well as super studio ocean view stateroom with balcony.

Studio staterooms range in size from 101 square feet to 199 square feet and is the perfect option for someone who wants to cruise alone.

Various studio stateroom options are available on Brilliance of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas.

Have you stayed in any of these stateroom categories? Share your experience in our comments!

Secret Royal Caribbean staterooms: Freedom of the Seas stateroom 1400

In:
14Sep2015

Across Royal Caribbean's fleet of cruise ships, there are some interesting and unique staterooms that are slightly different than the rest of the staterooms in the same category.

Today we are taking a look at a balcony stateroom on Freedom of the Seas that has a really large balcony.

Photo by Jane Dandrea

Freedom of the Seas stateroom 1400 is technically a category D1 balcony.  If you read the official description of a D1 stateroom, the balcony should be 68 square feet.

Photo by Jane Dandrea

Photo by wovenwonder

As you can tell, this aft balcony is much larger than 68 square feet and has plenty of room for multiple chairs, including lounge chairs.

Booking this stateroom can get you a ton of extra space for nothing extra.  

There is a similar layout for stateroom 1700 as well.  In fact, other Freedom class ships also have the extra large balcony and room as well, so you can book this stateroom on Independence of the Seas or Liberty of the Seas.

Perhaps the only downside to these staterooms is the fact there is support pole in the middle of the cabin. Then again, for all the extra space, the pole can be easily overlooked.

Would you want to book this stateroom? Tell us in the comments!

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