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What does stateroom guarantee (GTY) mean on Royal Caribbean?

14 May 2024
Calista Kiper

When you book your Royal Caribbean stateroom, you can select between various categories.

Guarantee cabin choice

Royal Caribbean cruises promise luxury of every sort, and this includes the staterooms.

Different stateroom categories, from suites to ocean views, allow you to choose a cabin that suits your preferences.

Whether you value a gorgeous view, a huge space, or sticking to a smaller budget, several options will fulfill your needs.

But while booking, you may come across some puzzling terms and run into several confusing acronyms.

It’s crucial that you clearly understand the differences between all the categories so that you can choose exactly which cabin will meet your needs.

If you’ve ever wondered what “GTY” means, and whether you should book it, this is your guide to demystifying the term.

Here's what stateroom GTY means, and how it can enhance your cruise experience.

“Stateroom Guaranteed”

“Stateroom GTY” stands for “Stateroom Guaranteed,” a category also known as a guarantee stateroom

When you’re booking your cruise on the Royal Caribbean website, this option also shows up as “We pick your stateroom.”

It means you select a certain stateroom category (interior, oceanview, balcony, or suite) on your booking.

Instead of selecting the exact cabin, this guarantees that you will receive one in that category.

When you select a GTY stateroom, the exact stateroom, number, and location will be assigned by Royal Caribbean based on availability.

You are promised at least your chosen category of cabin. 

If there is none available, Royal Caribbean will upgrade you to a higher category.

However, upgrades are rare and never promised. It is most likely that you will receive the cabin category you booked.

The promotional GTY categories also have acronyms that could confuse cruisers.

They are as follows:

  • WS: Suite/Deluxe
  • XB: Balcony
  • XN: Neighborhood view balcony (on Oasis and Icon Class ships)
  • YO: Oceanview 
  • ZI: Interior 
Surfside Family Suite balcony

On Oasis and Icon Class ships, you could be assigned a neighborhood view balcony stateroom with a view of Central Park, the Boardwalk, or Surfside.

Essentially, by booking a stateroom GTY, you opt for a guaranteed type of cabin, leaving the cruise line to assign you one from their selection of available inventory.

Should I book a guarantee cabin?

Harmony of the Seas interior cabin

The main draw to booking a stateroom guarantee is that it usually comes at a cheaper price than selecting your own stateroom.

A guarantee cabin is an excellent option for flexible cruisers who want to save money on their cruise cabin.

By leaving the stateroom selection up to the cruise line, you give up control of the cabin’s location but gain a good deal and the excitement of a mystery cabin.

Australian banknotes

A guarantee cabin suits cruisers who enjoy being flexible and adventurous, and who don’t have their heart set on a particular cabin type or location.

However, there are several details you should consider before jumping into this type of booking.

As with any decision, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.

First, ensure that the deal makes sense with your budget.


The discount you get from booking GTY varies, so first check that the difference is worth it for you.

Next, keep in mind that you won’t be able to select the cabin’s location at all.

If you have certain preferences, like wanting your stateroom to be away from elevators, in the middle of the ship, or have an unobstructed view, all of these will be out of your control.

Cruisers who experience seasickness could be assigned a far-forward or far-aft cabin that may worsen their symptoms.

Icon of the Seas traditional balcony cabin

Other than the stateroom categories, you have no way to ensure that your preferences are met.

Guarantee staterooms are also usually unbooked cabins, meaning that they are probably less desirable.

You’ll be receiving the “leftovers” essentially, locations that are far back or far forward, or close to a noisy location like the nightclub.

If you need a particular type of cabin, such as an accessible cabin or connecting rooms, you should opt to select your own cabin instead.


Also, if you are traveling with family or friends, and want to stay close to them, remember that booking a guarantee cabin will leave this out of your control. 

If you book several different staterooms, they could be spread out all over the ship!

Additionally, if you are sailing on a back-to-back cruise (two or more cruises taken consecutively) and book a guarantee cabin, you could be assigned different cabins on each cruise.

This means you’d have to move staterooms in between your back-to-back cruises.

When will I receive my cabin assignment?

Harmony of the Seas beds

Before the sailing, Royal Caribbean assigns an unbooked room to its guaranteed cruisers.

The Royal Caribbean website reads that this could happen “at any time up until checking in at the port.”

After booking, most cruisers find that they receive their cabin assignment around 5 days to 4 weeks before the sailing.

odyssey of the seas interior cabin deck plan

This timing is influenced by factors such as availability, popularity of the sailing, and cabin category.

After your stateroom is assigned, no particular email or notification will be sent out.

You simply have to check the website or app to see if you’ve received your assignment.

Usually, this shows up in the form of the cabin category and the room number.

Room booking on website

Once you receive this, you can look at the ship’s deck plans online to determine where the room is located.

Something to note, as well, is that you can still do Royal Up with a guaranteed cabin.

Royal Up is the process of bidding on a stateroom upgrade.

After booking your cabin and receiving a stateroom assignment, you can browse through further options.

You then select the amount you’d be willing to pay for each category upgrade. The more money you put down, the more likely you are to get an upgrade.

Royal Up bids

For example, if you’re interested in upgrading to an oceanview cabin, you can select that you’d be willing to pay $300 to receive one.

This is a bid priced per person, based on two guests per stateroom, and lasting for the entire length of the cruise.

You can bid on multiple rooms (this increases your chances of getting upgraded) but you’ll only pay for one.

If your bid is accepted, you’ll be charged the amount for the upgrade. If not, you keep the stateroom you have.

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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