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 Name||Category Description|
|1A||FB||Ultra Spacious Ocean View with Large Balcony||Spacious room with large Balcony; Sleeps up to 6 guests|
|1C||D1||Ocean View with Large Balcony||Midship room with large Balcony; Sleeps up to 4 guests|
|2C||D2||Ocean View with Large Balcony||Midship room with large Balcony; Sleeps up to 2 guests|
|4C||D1||Ocean View with Large Balcony||Aft room with large Balcony; Sleeps up to 2 guests|
|1D||D2, D3||Ocean View Balcony||Midship room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 4 guests|
|2D||D4, D5, D6, D7||Ocean View Balcony||Midship room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 2 guests|
|3D||D3||Ocean View Balcony||Midship room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 4 guests|
|4D||D7, D8||Ocean View Balcony||Midship room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 2 guests|
|5D||D2, D3||Ocean View Balcony||Forward/Aft room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 4 guests|
|6D||D4, D5, D6, D7||Ocean View Balcony||Forward/Aft room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 2 guests|
|7D||D3||Ocean View Balcony||Forward/Aft room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 4 guests|
|8D||D7, D8||Ocean View Balcony||Forward/Aft room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 2 guests|
|1E||DO||Obstructed Ocean View Balcony||Obstructed View room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 4 guests|
|2E||DO||Obstructed Ocean View Balcony||Obstructed View room with Balcony; Sleeps up to 2 guests|
|2F||E6||Studio Ocean View Balcony||Studio room with Balcony; Sleeps 1 guest|
|XB||X||Ocean View Balcony Guarantee||Ocean 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.