For my recent cruise onboard Adventure of the Seas, my mom and I stayed in the cheapest cabin available.
I selected an inside guarantee cabin around two months before the sailing departure. A significant factor as to why I selected this cabin type was because of the cost. I definitely don't mind cruising in inside cabins, so I thought the $2,160 price was reasonable for a seven-night Western Caribbean sailing.
Read more: How much does a cruise cost?
Because this was an guarantee cabin, I was not able to select its location on the ship. Of course, I always prefer to get a cabin midship for the smoothest possible sailing. I tend to get motion sick, so being in the middle of the ship is ideal for less movement.
However, from my experience with inside guaranteed cabins, it usually ends up being in the very front or back of the ship. For this sailing, we were in the very back of the ship.
About two weeks before our sailing, I checked the Royal Caribbean app and noticed our assigned cabin was 9379. This cabin was situated on the starboard side, in the aft of the ship.
This cruise was the first time I purchased The Key, so upon opening the door to our stateroom, I saw my purple carry-on on the couch. It was so convenient not to lug it around for the first several hours onboard the ship!
My first impression of the cabin was that it was tidy and clean.
We noticed right away that the cabin was quite spacious at 160 square feet. The decor wasn’t dated, but the drawers had a pink tint to them that reminded me the ship is in fact 22 years old.
As soon as you walk into the cabin, you are met with a large closet. The closet had 18 hangers and six wide, wire shelves for all the clothes we packed.
The beds were separated per our request prior to embarkation. Next to both of our beds was a side table with a drawer and an open compartment. One side table had a phone on top that took up the majority of the space.
Each bed had a wall light above our heads. This was perfect for reading and getting all settled in before turning off the lights and the cabin becoming pitch black. The darkness made for good sleeping; this is one of the advantages of an inside cabin.
Our cabin included a full-sized couch. This was nice for another place to sit instead of our beds. Sure there were a few stains on the cushions, but it was nothing terrible. We even lined up our shoes (yes, my mom brought seven pairs of shoes) under the couch for easy viewing and access.
The vanity is a great feature of the cabin because of all the storage. It had nine drawers: six deeper ones and three shallow ones. I found the shallow drawers hard to use, especially since one had a hair dryer in it, rendering it unusable for other things. On both sides of the vanity were glass shelves for additional items.
On the right side of the vanity was a TV that could swivel in different directions so wherever we were in the cabin, we could see the screen. My mom loved this because she slept on the same side as the vanity and was able to position the TV to be at the foot of her bed so she could watch TV while falling asleep.
Above the TV was a safe and two deep shelves for more storage.
Below the TV was a mini refrigerator. The refrigerator was useful primarily for keeping water and sodas cool. It didn’t get super cold. We tried to put a plate of complementary fruit we received in there, but it didn't fit. We wished it had a deeper shelf so we could have stored more in there.
The biggest disappointment in our cabin was the lack of outlets. By day two, we were really wishing we had packed an approved power strip so we would have more outlets to charge our cell phones, iPads, watches, camera, and laptop. We were constantly shuffling devices based on need and usage.
Before the sailing, I thought I had read online that there was another outlet behind the beds. I looked under and behind both beds and unfortunately didn’t find one.
The bathroom was certainly not glamorous, but it got the job done (literally!).
The major thing that caught my eye was four Salt + Breeze bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion on the bathroom counter on embarkation day. This was the first time I’ve had that in a cabin.
We later asked our room attendant and she said that was a perk for Diamond and above guests. I was very happy to have these toiletries because I am not a fan of the all-in-one soap in the shower.
Behind the right mirror were three shelves for various toiletries. I didn't need this extra storage, so my mom utilized it. We had two sets of towels hanging up when we arrived, but after asking our stateroom attendant, we had three sets each day which was helpful.
The shower (I call it a space pod!) was compact, but it always had plenty of hot water and good pressure. If you are curious, the approximate diameter of the shower was 29 inches.
Overall thoughts about our cabin
We really appreciated the location of our cabin. There was only one room next to us before you turned the corner to the suites that are across the back of the ship. This meant there was very little foot traffic throughout the day and night, making the location pretty quiet.
Read more: The 5 best cabin locations on a cruise ship
Another aspect of the cabin location we enjoyed was the proximity to the Windjammer and pool deck. We only had to walk up two flights of stairs to be near all the excitement!
Something random we noticed was how extremely heavy our cabin door was when trying to open or close it. On the plus side, I think the weight of the door may have helped cut down noise from the hallway.
Our luggage was delivered to our door by 1:30 p.m. on embarkation day, so as soon as we got them, we started to unpack everything. After unpacking, we hid our suitcases under the beds so they could be out of the way to leave as much open space as possible.
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Not long after receiving our luggage, we met our stateroom attendant. This was my first cruise since the new housekeeping change (one cleaning per day instead of two), so she explained to us that she was available every day from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then again from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and asked what time we preferred. Since we had early dining room seating at 5:30 p.m., we selected 6 p.m. each day.
We had no issues with the once-a-day cleaning. It was nice not having to worry about knocking on the door in the early mornings and waking me up. I also liked not feeling rushed to leave our cabin in the morning so the attendants can clean before their afternoon breaks.
Our stateroom attendant was wonderful and bought extra pillows for us and gave us a paper Cruise Compass every night on our beds (per our request).
Overall, I would say I was pleased with our tiny stateroom. Considering the ship's age, she is in respectable condition. I believe because of the quietness, ideal location on the ninth deck, and convenience to the Windjammer and pool deck, I'd recommend this cabin to future cruisers.