Staterooms

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!

6 of the best reasons to stay in a balcony Royal Caribbean stateroom

In:
Category: 
03Sep2015

When someone thinks about taking a Royal Caribbean cruise, odds are they imagine staying in a stateroom that has a large sliding glass door that opens up onto a balcony with a gentle breeze flowing in.  Of course, that is because balcony staterooms have become the idealized way to enjoy a cruise and there is no question that a balcony stateroom offers guests a lot.

We recently looked at the reasons to stay in an inside stateroom but today we are moving on up to a balcony stateroom and listing our top reasons to stay in a room where you can enjoy the outdoors just as much as the indoors!

6. It may not be that much more money

Once upon a time, balcony staterooms were not as common as they are today, and so, prices for balcony staterooms were significantly more than an inside stateroom.

Today, Royal Caribbean is offering more balcony staterooms on its ships than ever before and that means the price difference is generally not as great as it once was.

Odds are you will still pay more for a balcony stateroom compared to an inside or oceanview stateroom, but the cost difference may only be a couple of hundred dollars difference.

It is always worth pricing out a balcony stateroom to see how much more it will cost, because in many cases there is not a large price discrepancy.

5. Some itineraries make a balcony a must

Photo by moknits

The view you get from a balcony stateroom is always impressive but on certain itineraries, past cruisers will tell you a balcony is a must.

Sailings that go to Alaska, the Mediterranean or other scenic destinations mean having a balcony gives you your own private spot to watch glaciers go by or be able to see beautiful ancient architecture.

Having the ability to simply walk out of your stateroom at any time and enjoy the view is an important factor for reserving a balcony stateroom. 

4. Balcony staterooms are bigger

At its core, a balcony stateroom will usually offer more living space than inside or oceanview staterooms.

This means more space to spread out and enjoy the room.  

Instead of doing that "inside stateroom shuffle" to get around people and objects, a balcony stateroom can allow you the space to more casually walk around your stateroom.

In addition, the balcony itself gives you extra square footage of living space to enjoy beyond what you will find inside.

3. Crown and Anchor Society members can get discounts on balcony staterooms

If you are a Platinum or higher member in Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program known as Crown and Anchor Society, then you can qualify for a balcony discount.

Royal Caribbean offers its repeat customers balcony discounts, with the exact amount depending on your status in the program.

The special rates get you a per stateroom dollars off discount that is open to Platinum, Emerald, Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle Crown & Anchor Society members.

The exact discount depends on the length of your cruise, how far in advance you book and your standing in Crown and Anchor Society. 

2. Royal Caribbean balconies are more than the ocean

On Royal Caribbean's Oasis class cruise ships, staying in a balcony can be more than just a view of the ocean.

On these ships, guests can also book balcony staterooms that overlook Central Park, the Boardwalk or the AquaTheater.  

Instead of looking at out the ocean, guests can enjoy the ambiance of these amazingly decorated neighborhoods and get a view that is completely unique to these ships.

These staterooms are perfect for people watching and enjoying a view of what is happening onboard the ship at that moment.

1. Having your own private space outdoors

Most guests that book balcony staterooms over and over again will tell you the reason they do so is to have your own spot outdoors, away from the crowds.

You can have room service bring your meals out there, or perhaps enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea in the morning and enjoy the sunrise.  

Balconies are also great spots for a nap, reading a book or having the door open to let in the ocean breeze.  These are just some of the experiences that bring balcony cruisers back again and again.

Do you prefer staying in a balcony stateroom? Post your thoughts in the comments!

6 of the best reasons to stay in an inside Royal Caribbean stateroom

In:
Category: 
26Aug2015

Royal Caribbean offers staterooms at different price points to cater to all kinds of budgets: inside, ocean view, balcony and suites.  

Inside staterooms are usually the least expensive option and here are six reasons why an inside stateroom is a great idea.

6. You may not spend that much time in your stateroom

Royal Caribbean offers so much to see and do onboard its ships and in the ports you will visit that often, many guests feel they do not spend that much time in their staterooms.

If you will be busy spending time away from your stateroom most of the day, then an inside stateroom would make sense because why invest in a space you will not spend a lot of time in?

All of Royal Caribbean's staterooms offer the same basic ammenities, so if you plan on enjoying every second of your cruise experience, an inside stateroom can make a lot of sense.

5. Can be a good choice if you get motion sick

If you are prone to motion sickness, the best location for a stateroom is low and at the center of the ship to reduce the sensation of movement.

When you talk about staterooms on a lower deck and in the middle, that is usually an inside stateroom.

Obviously an inside stateroom at this location is not a guarantee to avoid getting motion sickness, but everything you can do to lessen the triggers of motion sickness will be a benefit.

4. Inside does not always mean small

When folks hear an inside stateroom, usually they start imagining a small stateroom.  The truth is, not all inside staterooms are necessarily small.

Royal Caribbean offers a few different sub-categories of inside staterooms and some do offer quite a bit of space.

The Large Interior Stateroom category can offer up to to 178 square feet of space.

The Family Interior Stateroom ranges in space between 260 square feet to 324 square feet.

3. Great for sleeping

Maybe this is just me, but sleeping in an inside stateroom is perfect if you like somewhere that is pitch dark, lots of air conditioning and the movement of the ship to rock you to sleep.

Sometimes, when the sun rises and light starts to peek through the windows of a stateroom, it becomes hard to sleep in.  With an inside stateroom, it will look the same in the room whether it is 9am or 9pm.

When you add the gentle movement of the cruise ship, it adds up to being a great sleeping spot for naps or at night.

2. Some have a (virtual) view

One of the most exciting innovations to come to Royal Caribbean in recent years is the virtual balcony.

The saying goes, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" and so on newer Royal Caribbean ships (as well as some refurbished older ships), inside staterooms have been transformed with the addition of a virtual balcony.

Virtual balcony staterooms are inside staterooms that have an 80-inch LED television that provides a live feed of outside your ship, to give guests a view just like a real balcony stateroom would offer.

This is a really cool technology and once you see it in person, I think you will be impressed by the option.  You may never look at an inside stateroom the same way again!

1. Cost savings

Without a doubt, the best reason to book an inside stateroom is for the cost savings relative to other stateroom categories.

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.

Unfortunately, not all of us have budgets that can allow booking the other stateroom categories.  Nonetheless, an inside stateroom will get you onboard the same ship as someone in a pricier stateroom category and any cruise vacation is better than no cruise vacation!

Do you like staying in an inside stateroom? Post your thoughts in the comments!

Royal Caribbean Secrets: Unique Royal Caribbean staterooms

In:
19Jan2015

Royal Caribbean ships are amazing floating hotels that offer so much but each class of ships offers something a little different. Usually this means something different in terms of entertainment, activities or dining.  But there are some rather unique stateroom options in the fleet that you may not be aware of that would make for a great pick.

Kudos to blog reader and podcast listener Keith Davis for coming up with the idea for this blog post!

Vision Class

If you're looking for a little extra balcony for the money, try the deck 7 aft staterooms in the D2 category.  These staterooms cost the same as other D2 balconies but you get a significantly larger balcony.

Radiance Class

Just like the Vision class, the Radiance class ships have balcony cabins on the ship's "hump" that give more than double the normal balcony size.  The "hump" is the section of the ship that if you are looking at the deck plans, appear to pop out and create a hump, relative to the rest of the ship.  

Ranging in category from D1 through E2, these are among the largest balconies you can get and gives you an incredible amount of space for the money.

Our large "hump" balcony on #jeweloftheseas

A photo posted by Royal Caribbean Blog.com (@royalcaribbeanblog) on

Voyager/Freedom class

The deck 7 corner aft on the Freedom-class and the deck 10 corner aft on the Voyager-class.  The aft staterooms have a lot of subtleties in both of these classes. 

There are different shaped balconies because of the ship’s superstructure, the large flat deck behind the balconies on deck 6, the crew deck below on 5.  This is one spot where doing your research and understanding what you are getting will save you some possible disappointment.

On the non-balcony front, there is the Ben & Jerry’s sweet on the Freedom-class ships, which have an unique bovine themed room that costs the same as a Promenade View stateroom but comes with suite amenities. You can read more about this stateroom here

On the Voyager class, the balconies have differences depending on which ship you are on.  If you're interested in opening up balcony dividers on Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas, the balconies are attached to the ships' hull and cannot be removed.  But on sister ships Navigator of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas, their balcony dividers aren't attached and can be removed.

Oasis Class

There aren't a lot of hidden gems in the Oasis-class.  There are of course the D1 cabins, which have a bigger balcony, plus a couple of stray cabins located at the front or back of the two “humps” (not really humps, just to areas of extended balconies).  

There are, however, a number of staterooms on Oasis-class ships that do not give you much extra in space but do offer an interesting view.  Let's start with the Boardwalk balcony staterooms that allow a great vantage point of anyone coming down the zip-line that fellow guests can ride across the neighborhood.

In addition, you will find the only interior-facing balcony staterooms in the Boardwalk and Central Park staterooms.

If you've got money to burn, try the AquaTheater Suites that feature 600 to 800-square foot balconies with unbeatable views of the AquaTheater below.

How do I upgrade my stateroom?

In:
Category: 
20Aug2014

You've booked a stateroom on a Royal Caribbean cruise but now you want to upgrade your stateroom to a higher category because perhaps the price has dropped or you have more money to spend.  Regardless of the reason, here's what you need to know on how to upgrade your stateroom.

Know before you upgrade

You should be aware of a few basic rules about upgrading staterooms.

First, generally speaking when you upgrade your cabin, what you're really doing is cancelling your existing reservation and then booking a new reservation.  Doing this will usually negate any booking incentives you got when you initially booked.  So you might upgrade your stateroom because of a price drop but you may lose the free gratuity offer when you initially booked.

Second, you can only upgrade your stateroom up until the final payment date without any penalty.  After the final payment date, if the price for the next category of stateroom up from you drops to what you paid or less, you can upgrade to that category for the same price.  

Third, you can't undo this if you change your mind later.  You could downgrade but it will be at the prevailing rate that day (assuming your old stateroom category was still available), not the price you initially booked your first stateroom for. 

Call a travel agent

My preferred way to upgrade a stateroom is to call a travel agent.  I book with a travel agent for the great convenience I get and I'd rather have them deal with Royal Caribbean when upgrading.

If you booked with a travel agent, you have to go through your travel agent to contact Royal Caribbean to upgrade you.  

Your travel agent will give you the new price and apply payments you have made towards the new stateroom.

Call Royal Caribbean directly

If you booked your cruise on your own directly with Royal Caribbean, you can call Royal Caribbean directly and give them your reservation number and tell them you want to upgrade.

The Royal Caribbean operator will price the new stateroom out for you and tell you what the new price will be.  Any payments or deposits you've previously made can be applied to the new reservation.

Upgrading your stateroom onboard

It's possible, though unlikely, that you can upgrade your stateroom on the day you sail onboard your ship.  

Since Royal Caribbean cruise ships sail full these days, availability is slim but there may be an opportunity to upgrade if there's an open stateroom.

You can go to Guest Services to speak with them immediately upon boarding but I would not bet on this being an option at all.  

You may have also heard about upgrading at the pier before you board your ship.  Years ago this practice was more prevalent and you could get some decent discounts for these literally last-minute staterooms.  However, ships are sailing full and the practice in general has been abandoned.

If upgrades are available, they will be at a reduced cost by speaking with the Pier Coordinator.  There's no harm in asking but upgrades are rarely available these days.

Everything about Royal Caribbean's Promenade View staterooms

In:
Category: 
05Aug2014

An iconic area on many Royal Caribbean ships is the Royal Promenade, a boulevard of shops, restaurants and bars.  In addition, there are staterooms that look down on the Royal Promenade that offer sweeping views of the area so we thought it would be useful to look at what this stateroom does (and does not) include and why you might want to consider booking it for your next cruise.

A look inside a typical Promenade stateroom - Photo by Royal Caribbean

What is a Promenade stateroom?

The Promenade stateroom is a lot like an ocean view stateroom, in that it's a category of stateroom that offers a window and more square footage, compared to a standard inside cabin.  

The attraction of a Promenade stateroom is it offers bowed windows that overlook the Royal Promenade.

The exact size of Promenade stateroom varies depending on the class of ships. Voyager and Freedom class ships Promenade staterooms are 160 square feet, whereas on Oasis class ships they are 193 square feet.

Promenade stateroom windows as seen from the Royal Promenade - Photo by TravnKC

There is also a special category of Promenade staterooms for families called the Promenade Family Stateroom.  It's only available on the Freedom class of Royal Caribbean ships but it offers a more than double the space, with 327 square feet.

Family Promenade Stateroom - Photo by ADPMOM

What are the benefits of booking a Promenade stateroom?

The best part of a Promenade stateroom is the opportunity to watch the activities happening on the Royal Promeande.  From parades, to dance parties to just people watching, there's usually something going on and it's a fun way to scope everything out.

In addition, the bay windows included offer a nice place to sit and a little extra space in your stateroom.  For kids, being able to watch the Royal Promenade anytime from their room gives them entertainment anytime.

They tend to be an excellent value and the couch that is built into the bay window adds more another sitting area and of course, lots to see.

Since the Promenade staterooms surround the Royal Promenade, these rooms are right in mid ship, making the convenient to everywhere.

What are the disadvantages of booking a Promenade stateroom?

Parade going by - Photo by skjoiner

The same bay windows in a Promenade stateroom that let you look down on the activity on the Royal Promenade let everyone in the Promenade see right back into your stateroom.  Not to worry, Royal Caribbean provides two curtains to retain your privacy but for some people the idea is too voyeuristic.

In addition, the rooms can get noisy, especially during the parades.  The first night is usually the noisest due to the parade and cruise kick-off celebrations but it's usually very quiet after that.

Some cabins on the Oasis-class ships have pieces of the ship's structure or store fronts partially blocking the cabin's view. Not enough to ruin the view, but it's noticable, especially compared to Voyager and Freedom class ships that have no blockage at all.

Summary

Promenade staterooms on Mariner of the Seas - Photo by Rennett Stowe

Overall, Promenade staterooms offer a fun view that is an unique Royal Caribbean experience.  Promenade staterooms are certainly more interesting than inside or ocean view staterooms and the extra couch in the bay window is a real plus.

The staterooms are conveniently located and for kids, it's a wonderful source of entertainment since they can constantly watch the Royal Promenade activities.  

Like nearly every stateroom category, it's important to note what is above and below your stateroom.  We've heard reports of noise from shops during early or late hours.  Noise bleed isn't unique to the Promenade staterooms but it is worth noting when choosing your exact cabin.

If you're wondering which level of staterooms to choose, it's a very subjective question. The lowest deck offers the closest views but with the most noise (relatively speaking).  The highest deck is a little far from the "action" but it gives you a little more privacy.  Generally speaking the middle and upper deck are the most popular.

Have you stayed in a Promenade stateroom? Do you want to stay in one? Post in the comments below and share your thoughts!

Interior vs balcony staterooms on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
Category: 
30Jul2014

Our newest podcast episode is out to help give you a quick "audio escape" to a Royal Caribbean cruise!

Episode 52 is available for downloading which has a look at the internet options while on your Royal Caribbean cruise.

Matt broadcasted this episode live and invited listeners to call in and share their thoughts on if booking a balcony stateroom is better than an inside stateroom.  Cost versus space and everything inbetween!

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 52. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSSStitcher or on iTunes!

Take a listen and as always, let us know what you think! Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes and leave your comments below!

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