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I spent $2800 for 7 nights in a 157-square-foot room on the world's largest cruise ship. Take a look inside my tiny cabin

07 May 2024
Calista Kiper

Last week, I went on a 7-night cruise on Icon of the Seas, which is the world's largest cruise ship.

To get the cheapest possible price, I booked an interior stateroom through the guarantee cabin process.

The total cost came out to $2897 (including pre-paid gratuities), which was divided out for two people over seven nights. That breaks down to $207 a night, per person.

Icon of the Seas is the world's current largest cruise ship, standing at a whopping 20 total decks and weighing 248,663 gross tons. 

Read moreShould I book a guarantee stateroom on a cruise?

She has 2,805 staterooms, and mine was assigned a few weeks before the cruise.

I received an Interior Plus category room, which is described on Royal Caribbean's website as having "a deluxe closet and dressing area."

"There's no such thing as overpacking in these staterooms," the deck plans read.

The website indicated the room measures 157 sq. ft. in total, but I was excited to see how it felt in person and as a home for the next seven days.

Because I opted for a guarantee cabin instead of picking a specific cabin, I assumed the leftover cabin choices would result in a less desirable location.

I received stateroom 10411, which is located far forward on deck 10.

Although this was close to the forward elevators, the deck was so crowded with staterooms that it was difficult to get orientated for the first couple of days.

We kept getting lost on the way to the stateroom, confused by the winding halls and multiple elevators.

Although I didn’t suffer too much seasickness from being so far forward, I did find that the room location was extremely noisy.

Sometimes we would hear stomping feet from above, or loud bangs coming through the walls.

It was so loud that I woke up in the middle of the night multiple times, thinking that someone was knocking on the stateroom door.

But the pitch black darkness you can only get in an inside stateroom and comfortable beds made it easy to fall back asleep.

When I first opened the stateroom door, I was shocked at how tiny living space was.

It narrowly fit the two stateroom beds and single armchair with a footrest.

This room was decorated with cute tropical paintings. Everything looked clean and bright, with warm lighting that spoke to how upgraded the room was.

With the two beds split apart, each one had a small shelf with a lamp on top. They were comfortable and clean beds, with large, fluffy pillows. 

The beds were what I expected, but I did feel like the blankets were lighter and more comfortable than on older Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

Read more5 busted Icon of the Seas myths

The stateroom’s television faced the beds.

When I was preparing for my cruise, I eagerly looked forward to the possibility of casting from my phone to the smart TV. 

Casting allows you to send movies and shows to the TV with your phone, projecting them onto the wider screen, but it is only available on Royal Caribbean’s newer ships, such as Wonder of the Seas.

Since Icon is the cruise line’s newest ship, I fully expected the TV to also have casting abilities.

However, it did not, limiting us to watching the 25 free channels, which included sports, news, kids' shows, and Royal Caribbean information.

Beside the television there was a touchscreen temperature control unit. This modernized unit could adjust the temperature of the air conditioning, as well as change light settings.

With a touch of the finger, we could choose between four adjustable moods: morning, evening, movie, and sleep.

I enjoyed playing around with these settings and appreciated the fact that it saved me the trouble of going around to adjust each lamp and light switch individually.

Just in between the television and the main stateroom door, I found the door to the bathroom.

If I had been disappointed by the stateroom’s size, the bathroom made up for it.

It was wide, with a long sink and ample shelves.

Three shelves sat below the sink, and three shelves sat to the upper left.

There was also a deep drawer to the left of the sink and above the trash can, which I didn’t even need to use because the space had so many storage options.

Opposite the sink sat the toilet and a series of shelves going all the way down the wall.

Even with two people traveling for seven nights, we did not get close to filling up all the shelving space in this bathroom.

The best upgrade to this cabin—one that a comedian onboard even mentioned during his set—was the increased size of the shower.

I’m used to tiny, tube-like showers on Royal Caribbean ships, that have a tunnel so small that opening the door takes up all the space.

This shower was about twice the size of the typical showers I’ve been used to, and it even had a seat to the left. 

There was enough space in the shower to move around, bend over, and even sit down.

Although the water pressure was a little low, the water got hot quickly and made for an enjoyable shower.

As I walked back and further into the room, I saw the reason for the main room’s smaller size.

Typically most inside staterooms have one large area with the beds, chairs, closet, and desk/vanity combination.

However, in this Icon stateroom, the sleeping area and the closet and vanity area were divided into two separate spaces.

Past the bed on the far wall, I walked into a doorway.

This deluxe dressing area stored the room’s combination desk/vanity, a long desk with a ring light surrounding the oval mirror.

Below the desk, there was a drawer for storage and a beanbag chair to sit on.

This style of chair is another new aspect of Icon of the Seas. I thought that they were plenty comfortable, but I missed having a chair with a back on it so I could throw towels or jackets on top.

To the right of the vanity, I found the tall closet. One of my favorite aspects of the room was how this closet brought together almost all the storage elements into one space.

Read moreI took the inaugural cruise on Royal Caribbean's newest ship. It was a giant party, but not everything was totally ready

The first compartment was a tall hanging area, perfect for long clothes like dresses or suits. The second compartment also had hangers for shorter clothes like jackets.

At the bottom of the closet, there was a small safe on top of a wide shelf space.

Below that, two black metal baskets were set inside shelves, and to the right, I found the small cooler.

It helped to have one space to store all my clothes, items, and food.

However, the baskets were a confusing addition to the room. 

They didn’t seem to fit well in the shelves: they were heavy and slid harshly over the wood below. They didn’t slide as easily as a drawer, and I had to pull them all the way out if I wanted to get an item out of the basket.

In the end, I placed the basket on the larger shelf space above and used the shelves below to fold and stack my clothes.

The safe was small—barely the size of a book—so I was only able to fit my passport inside. All other valuables had to go unprotected.

The cooler, however, kept drinks, milk, and sandwiches just cold enough.

At the end of this small vanity room was a full-length mirror, the perfect complement to the classy lighting in this clothing area.

I loved this one area to get dressed and ready in, but recognized that it made the stateroom feel smaller overall, by becoming divided into two areas instead of one large one.

The stateroom also had more charger options than typical Royal Caribbean ships. Usually, the only chargers are located above the stateroom’s desk. 

But on Icon, I found charging ports at the desk, below the TV, inside the bathroom, and on the left bedside table.

Although the cabin was small, I was happy overall with the comfort, convenience, and organization of 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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