Staterooms

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!

Debate: Why you should book an interior stateroom

In:
Category: 
30Jul2014

Yesterday we started a fun debate about booking a balcony stateroom versus an interior stateroom and today we get to show the other side of that debate with why you should book an interior stateroom.

Big savings

Booking an interior stateroom will save you money on your Royal Caribbean cruise, which is money you can turn around and use on the ship.

Since few of us have unlimited cruise budgets, saving a couple of hundred dollars can make a big difference to if a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation can happen or not.  Moreover, booking an interior stateroom may mean the money saved can pay for the bulk of the cruise's incidental costs.

Depending on the price difference, booking interior cabins can really add up to savings.

Sleep and shower, what else do you need?

Royal Caribbean ships offer so much these days onboard, from rock climbing walls to FlowRiders to the many activities and games offered throughout the day.  So with all that going on, who has time to actually spend in the stateroom?

Many people that opt for interior staterooms will tell you that they spend so little time in their staterooms that it's just not worth it to spend more on a balcony stateroom they just wont fully use.

Best sleep ever?

Have you ever slept in an inside stateroom? When it's time to go to sleep it's pitch black to the point you cannot see your hand in front of your face, whether it's 10pm or 10am.  

For those that like a good night's sleep, inside staterooms offer quiet and darkness no matter the time and it's been among my best nights of sleep.

Rooms with a view without the cost

Sure balcony cabins offer great views but there are inside staterooms that offer unique views themselves.

Virtual balconies, promenade view, Centrl Park view, and Boardwalk view staterooms are all available and they offer a great perspective without the balcony price. 

So which stateroom is right for you? Interior staterooms or balcony staterooms - post your vote in the comments below!

Debate: Why you should book a balcony stateroom

In:
Category: 
29Jul2014

Today we will begin a fun "debate" between the pros and cons of booking a balcony stateroom versus something less expensive, like inside or ocean view staterooms.  We will begin with the argument for balcony staterooms and then tomorrow will post the rebuttal for booking interior staterooms.

The view!

Without a doubt, the best reason to book a balcony stateroom on a Royal Caribbean cruise is for the view you can have anytime you want.  Waking up to the ocean breeze is something that never gets old.

Plus being on a cruise ship, there's always something to see and enjoy, from other ships and islands passing by to the wildlife and even just the sea.  It's a spectacle that when you see it, you know how great a view it is.

Dinner with a breeze

A really fun way to spice up your meals is to eat on your balcony.  Royal Caribbean provides a table in addition to chairs to enjoy whatever food you bring back to the stateroom on the balcony.

In addition, you can order room service (free of charge) and have it set up on your balcony.  Forget breakfast in bed, breakfast on your balcony is where it's at!  

Alternatively you can bring back a cup of coffee, small snack or full meal enjoy with your feet propped up as you watch the ocean go by.

Balcony means more space inside too

As you move up the categories of Royal Caribbean staterooms, balcony staterooms come with more space compared to interior staterooms.  As anyone that has cruised before will tell you, every square foot matters!

When you book a balcony stateroom, you get more inside as well as the space from your balcony.  It all adds up to more room for everyone to manuever in and makes the entire experience less crowded.

Great spot for sail away

When it's time for your cruise to begin or for your Royal Caribbean ship to leave port, nothing beats being outside to see the ship leave.

Having your own balcony stateroom means you get to experience this anytime without worrying about finding a spot.  You will always have a reserved place to enjoy the ship coming in and out of port.\

Royal Caribbean balconies are more than the ocean

Of course ocean view balconies are what Royal Caribbean offers most of but did you know that you can also get a balcony that overlooks other places onboard your ship?

On the Oasis-class cruise ships, you can choose between Central Park View or Boardwalk View balcony staterooms.

These unique balcony staterooms offer the outdoor experience but with a completely different take on them. Perfect for people watching as well as enjoying the view of what's happening onboard the ship right now.

Are you convinced yet to book a balcony stateroom?  Share your thoughts about booking a balcony stateroom in the comments below.

Tomorrow we will post our reasons why you should book an interior stateroom instead!

Understanding the differences in Royal Caribbean stateroom categories

In:
Category: 
11Mar2014

So you're about to book a Royal Caribbean cruise and you get to the part where you need to decide which stateroom to book.  Suddenly, you have multiple options for each category of stateroom and you wonder, "what is the difference?".

Four basic categories

There are four basic stateroom categories on any Royal Caribbean cruise ship

  • Inside staterooms
  • Ocean View Staterooms
  • Balcony Staterooms
  • Suites

Sounds simple enough but within each of those basic categories are a number of sub-categories to further define what you are booking.  At its very basic level, not all staterooms in one these four basic categories are the same.

Stateroom differences

When you compare sub categories of staterooms, you will need to compare a few different aspects of the stateroom to see what is most important to you.

Square footage

Generally speaking, the most basic differential for any stateroom category to the next is how much square footage the room is.  Usually, the more space a stateroom has, the more expensive the stateroom is. 

When we are talking about square footage, we are also talking about balcony size.  For staterooms that have balconies (balcony and suite categories), the size of your balcony may be just as big a difference as how large the living space is.

Location

Just like real estate, where your stateroom is located can factor into a difference in category (and price).  

The general thought is everyone wants to be mid-ship and high up for the stability and view, respectively.  Being in the middle of the ship means everything is equidistant from you and it's easiest to get everywhere.

Of course, some staterooms may be right in the middle but have outside factors that make it less desirable.  This includes balconies with obstructed views or staterooms above or below restaurants or public areas (noise bleed). 

Capacity

How many people you want to put into one stateroom will also dictate a difference between the rooms.  

Family staterooms offer much more space and capacity than regular staterooms but at a higher total cost.  Suites offer even more space, at an even higher cost than family staterooms.

Amenities

What you get in your stateroom also factors into the different types of rooms to choose from.

Virtual balcony staterooms are a new category of inside staterooms, where you will get a virtual view of the ocean as opposed to other inside staterooms with no such add-on.

Suites differentiate themselves by offering more than one bathroom, Jacuzzi, separate rooms and more.

Royal Caribbean Staterooms on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
15Jan2014

We have a brand new Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast to share with everyone, so get your downloads going!

Episode 24 is now available for downloading, where we are looking at the categories of Royal Caribbean staterooms.

This week, Matt discusses the categories of Royal Caribbean staterooms, including the differences between the stateroom categories, the good and bad about each, the importance of location, special categories and more.  We also have more listener comments to share with everyone.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 24.  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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