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I sailed on one of Royal Caribbean's biggest ships. Look inside my 214-square-foot room that had a private balcony

26 Sep 2023
Calista Kiper

Just last week, I traveled on a 3-night cruise on Freedom of the Seas, sailing from Miami to Perfect Day at CocoCay and Nassau, Bahamas.

Originally launched in 2006, Freedom of the Seas is a Freedom Class ship and one of Royal Caribbean’s largest ships. She boasts 15 decks and a capacity for 4,635 guests. 

Freedom of the Seas in 2023

In 2020, Freedom did undergo a $116 million Royal Amplification, receiving upgrades to the pool deck, water slides, and new dining venues.

The ship itself holds 1,963 staterooms, and my home for the cruise was located on the 8th deck. 

My girlfriend and I stayed in a 214-square-foot deluxe balcony room for the length of the cruise.

We opted for a guarantee stateroom, selecting a lower price in exchange for an assigned room, rather than choosing one ourselves. 

The total price of the fare was $2,021.68, breaking down to $336.95 per night per person.

When the time came for our cabin to be assigned, we were lucky enough to get a deluxe balcony room with a gorgeous view.

Our stateroom was midship on deck 8, the perfect location to avoid seasickness. 

This location also gave us enough proximity to the Windjammer and pool on deck 11 and the Royal Promenade on deck 5 that we barely had to use the elevators. We only had to take a few flights of stairs to reach our destination. 

When we first opened the cabin door, we were greeted with a spacious room with a long gray couch and a queen-sized bed.

The room’s space is most visible in its length, stretching from the cabin’s front door to the back door leading to the balcony.

The floor between the couch and the deck/vanity was also wide enough that we could leave our luggage right there. 

We chose to leave the suitcases open on the floor instead of unpacking fully and still had enough space to walk about them.

From the cabin and its amenities, I could tell that Freedom of the Seas was an older ship. The features seemed run-down: lights flickered before fully turning on, and I found rips in the towels and stains on the sheets.

To the right of the stateroom door was the small bathroom. Where the stateroom had surprised me by its size, the bathroom felt pinched. 

The curved room was barely large enough for two people to use at the same time—we had to take turns brushing our teeth!

And the shower was even smaller, with only enough space for one person to stand in. However, I was satisfied with the water pressure and hot temperatures.

The sink and counter, although small, did have enough shelf space for our 3-night cruise. Two cups under the mirror served to hold our toothbrushes and toothpaste. 

The mirror was wide, and the counter was thin but long enough that we could spread our items out. However, I think we would have struggled to fit all our toiletries if we had been on a longer trip.

To the left of the stateroom door, we found a large closet with several shelves, a safe, and hangers for our larger clothes. The closet had enough floor space to store several pairs of shoes.

Directly behind that closet faced a floor-length mirror and the desk and vanity space opposite that.

The desk was long enough to hold makeup, jewelry, and multiple bags during our cruise. We also found shelves behind the vanity mirror.

Beside the mirror, we found a small TV. This TV wasn’t a smart TV, so we weren’t able to Chromecast or stream from our phones like I have on previous cruises. However, it had a few free channels available for viewing. 

The mini-fridge (or cooler, rather) was located underneath the TV. Although it was not a fridge cooling system, it kept food and drinks cold enough to store for a couple days.

Facing the desk was the long couch, large enough that I could have laid down to nap on it. However, the bed was so comfortable that we never felt the need to.

The highlight of this room was its large, comfortable bed. Although I found a few stains on the sheets, it was soft and restful for our stay.

Two large paintings above the bed brightened the room, adding to an already relaxing atmosphere with the cabin’s natural light.

On either side of the bed were two nightstands with lamps above them. 

They had helpful drawers and shelving but no charging ports other than one USB port on the phone. We had to plug in most of our devices by the desk. 

After unpacking, we met our stateroom attendant, Alex, who came and cleaned the room once a day. He usually left behind towels folded into cute animals, as well.

Lastly, at the very end of the room was our balcony door. Although heavy and hard to push open and close, the door led to a beautiful view.

The balcony held a small, round table and two deck chairs that could be adjusted to recline. 

The view itself was unbeatable: ocean water during the day and clear, starry skies at night. I also loved that we could wake up on port days and see the island right outside our window.

We also found that the cabin was peaceful and quiet: even when we sat on the balcony, we barely heard noises from other cabins. 

I’m someone who loves sunlight and natural views, so having the balcony attachment made the room so much more enjoyable. After experiencing my first balcony room, I don’t know if I could go back! 

The room felt large and luxurious. I loved this stateroom, from the size of the cabin, the beautiful balcony, and its convenient location in the middle of deck 8. 

I found that I didn’t experience any seasickness in the middle of the ship, and we enjoyed time spent relaxing in our room and on the balcony. 

Although we chose not to order room service, my girlfriend and I often brought back food from the Windjammer or leftovers from other restaurants and enjoyed our time eating in the stateroom.


Calista Kiper graduated from Wheaton College, IL, with a B.A. in English Writing. 

Growing up traveling around the world, she developed a passion for diversity and cross-cultural communication. From her first cruise on Wonder of the Seas, she has delighted in the intersection between travel, diversity, and writing in the cruising world.

Calista spends her free time reading, cooking, and researching the latest human-interest stories. 

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