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What are the differences between Royal Caribbean's 1D, 2D, 4D, etc balcony rooms?

In:
14Jul2020
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Balcony staterooms on a cruise are a very popular category of cabins, but Royal Caribbean breaks down its balcony rooms across a variety of subcategories leaving many to wonder what does it all mean.

Naturally, you might be wondering what the difference is between each category of balcony rooms, and why there are price differences.

Here is what you need to know about these balcony room to know the difference between them all.

1D vs 2D vs 5D vs 7D

When you decide to book a balcony stateroom, you will see a variety of category numbers: 1D, 4D, 1A, 1E, 2F, etc. There are sixteen sub-categories of balcony staterooms across Royal Caribbean's fleet (not including suites or interior balcony rooms).

The basic difference between each category code is the stateroom location and/or size of the room. The lower the number, the more desirable the cabin, in terms of size or location on the ship.

As the numbers start to climb, you will find rooms further away from the mid-ship, as well as less square-footage.

The differences can be very subtle from one category to another, but the price tends to drop as the number climbs (i.e. a 7D tends to be cheaper than a 1D).

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.

In May 2018, Royal Caribbean simplified and re-categorized their staterooms to have more consistency across the fleet. In some cases, D1 or D4 balconies simply became 1D or 4D rooms, while other categories were combined or broken apart.

Other balcony categories

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

  • A : Ultra Spacious Ocean View with Large Balcony
  • C: Ocean view with Large Balcony
  • E: Obstructed Ocean View Balcony
  • F: Studio Ocean View Balcony
  • X: Ocean View Balcony Guarantee
Category
Code
(May 2018
and beyond)
Category
Code
(Pre-
April 2018)
Category NameCategory Description
1AFBUltra Spacious Ocean View with Large BalconySpacious room with large Balcony; Sleeps up to 6 guests
1CD1Ocean View with Large BalconyMidship room with large Balcony; Sleeps up to 4 guests
2CD2Ocean View with Large BalconyMidship room with large Balcony; Sleeps up to 2 guests
4CD1Ocean View with Large BalconyAft room with large Balcony; Sleeps up to 2 guests
1DD2, D3Ocean View BalconyMidship room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 4 guests
2DD4, D5, D6, D7Ocean View BalconyMidship room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 2 guests
3DD3Ocean View BalconyMidship room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 4 guests
4DD7, D8Ocean View BalconyMidship room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 2 guests
5DD2, D3Ocean View BalconyForward/Aft room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 4 guests
6DD4, D5, D6, D7Ocean View BalconyForward/Aft room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 2 guests
7DD3Ocean View BalconyForward/Aft room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 4 guests
8DD7, D8Ocean View BalconyForward/Aft room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 2 guests
1EDOObstructed Ocean View BalconyObstructed View room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 4 guests
2EDOObstructed Ocean View BalconyObstructed View room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 2 guests
2FE6Studio Ocean View BalconyStudio room with Balcony; Sleeps 1 guest
XBXOcean View Balcony GuaranteeOcean View Balcony Guarantee

Which room should I book?

Now that you understand what the categories mean, you might be wondering which category is the right choice for your family.

First and foremost, you will be limited by the room capacity, so if you want a room that can handle 3 or 4 guests, then any category that can only sleep up to 2 guests is out of the question.  Similarly, rooms that can accommodate 4 guests may be "overkill" for what you need.

The other two considerations are price and location.

The location is arguably the next most important consideration, as where your room is on the ship (mid-ship, aft, forward, or somewhere inbetween) is an important consideration for some. 

If you are concerned about getting seasick, or prefer convenience to the elevators, then a room mid-ship should be your choice.

Lastly, price moves a lot of guests one way or another. Those higher balcony room numbers (6D and 7D) are going to cost you less, but expect a longer walk down the hall. The obstructed view rooms will save you money as well, but you will not have full view out of your balcony.

Ultimately, the rooms left to book and budget tend to dictate which room categories are really under consideration. Knowing how Royal Caribbean has categorized its rooms provides better insight into picking the right choice for you.