Is a balcony stateroom worth it on a Royal Caribbean cruise?

In:
13Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean cruises offer a ton to see, do and experience onboard the ship and in the ports you visit.  So with so much to do, do you really need a stateroom with a balcony?

If you are on the fence about whether to get a balcony stateroom or not, here are some considerations to factor into your decision.

Length of cruise

The longer your cruise, the more time you will have to actually spend on your private balcony.  

Sailings that are at least seven nights will afford you more time to enjoy days at sea, sailaways and quiet time on your balcony.  

On shorter sailings, you will have less time to enjoy that balcony space, which makes getting the value out of it less compelling. 

Price

Inevitably, the cost to move up to a balcony from a lower category stateroom may dictate how practical a balcony room is from a budgeting standpoint.

Depending on the season, booking demand and availability, the price of a balcony stateroom may be a significant price jump, or just a nominal fee extra.

In addition, the longer the sailing, usually the higher the price tag for that private balcony experience.

Privacy

One of the most compelling reasons to get a balcony stateroom is to have your own private space to enjoy the view of the ocean, ports and anything inbetween without competing with other guests.

Public space around the ship to view what is around you is surprisingly ample, but some folks prefer the seclusion that their own balcony can provide. Whether it is somewhere to enjoy a morning coffee, read a book, or take photos, a balcony stateroom offers all of that and more.

Of course, your neighbors can easily peek around or through the balcony divider into your balcony and there is no guarantee they will not be talkative on their balcony, so total serenity is not certain. Your balcony, however, is certain to be quieter than the pool deck.

Extra living space

A balcony room not only provides more square footage in the balcony, but the rooms are larger inside than lower category rooms.

By having extra living space, it limits the claustrophobia that sometimes comes with small cabins on a cruise ship. 

Moreover, balcony rooms are great for giving you that much needed bit of personal space when sharing a room with someone else. If your cabin mate wants to nap or sleep in, but you are wide awake, a balcony offers you a place to hang out without disturbing them. And having your own outdoor space for reading or relaxing while the kids nap inside, or for having an additional spot for snacking or playing games, feels especially decadent during your days at sea or even in port.

Motion sickness concerns

If you are new to cruising, or simply worried about the effect of the ocean's movement while cruising, a midship balcony stateroom can greatly assist.

 Having a balcony also enables you to consistently focus on the horizon line, which tends to keep what you see in sync with the ship’s movement, thereby minimizing any feelings of motion.

X-Factor: How much time will you spend in the room

In my opinion, the real question when it comes to booking a balcony or not is how much time will you really spend in the room to take advantage of the balcony.

Interior staterooms tend to be the starting point in terms of pricing and square footage, and they are ideal for anyone who does not plan to spend much time in their rooms beyond sleeping and showering. A balcony room offers more space and great views, but with so much going onboard your ship it is easy to end up elsewhere beyond your room.

Unfortunately first time cruisers will not know until they actually get onboard which parts of the ship they will gravitate towards, so it is more of a guess.  

Ultimately, you need to consider what your plans are for onboard the ship and on shore and think about how much a balcony stateroom would enhance your cruise vacation.

Your thoughts

Do you think a balcony room is worth it? Have you stayed in a balcony room before? Share your experiences in the comments below!

5 things I've changed my mind about on Royal Caribbean

In:
12Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Our newest RoyalCaribbeanBlog video is now available, where Matt shares a few aspects of a Royal Caribbean cruise Matt has changed his mind about.

Things change over the years, along with my opinion on certain offerings, and we have five specific examples of options, destinations, add-ons and more that Matt thinks about totally differently now.

And if you love this video, we have lots of other great cruise videos to watch on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single episode!

So check out the video and then let us know: Have you changed your mind about anything on Royal Caribbean?

Interview with Paul Thornton on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
12Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Our newest podcast episode is out to help give you a quick "audio escape" to a Royal Caribbean cruise!

Episode 306 is available for downloading where Matt interviews author Paul Thornton about his newest book.

Paul wrote a book about people who have had their lives change because of cruising.  Matt talks to Paul about the stories and insight he found while talking to a number of cruise enthusiasts about how cruising changed their life.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 306. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSSStitcher or on iTunes!

Take a listen and as always, let us know what you think! Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes and leave your comments below!

Royal Caribbean appoints Chris Perry as Vice President of Private Destinations

In:
11Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced today announced Chris Perry will serve as its new Vice President of Operations - Private Destinations. 

Perry will oversee hospitality and managerial operations, as well as provide input on the design and best practices for the cruise line’s private destinations, including Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas. He joins the Hotel Operations team, led by Mark Tamis, Senior Vice President, Royal Caribbean International.

“I’m thrilled to join Royal Caribbean and create great vacations at our game-changing private destinations where friends and families have both ‘thrill’ and ‘chill’ experiences to create memories they will relish long after they’re home,” said Chris Perry, Vice President, Royal Caribbean International. “I can’t wait to show my family, especially the kids, the immersive, innovative features Royal Caribbean brings to the vacation experience on land and at sea.”

 Perry joins Royal Caribbean from Icon Global Partners Limited, where he served as CEO for the amusement operational consulting and management firm, focused on developing and managing amusement facilities in emerging economies. Prior to joining Icon Global Partners Limited, he spent time with Club Med, WhiteWater West Industries Ltd. and 17 years at Dubai-based Jumeirah Group’s Wild Wadi Waterpark – with 11 years at the helm. Under Perry’s leadership, Wild Wadi was the first waterpark to achieve International Standards Organization (ISO) certification and Green Globe certification, among numerous quality, training and safety awards within the amusement industry.

As a theme park ambassador, Perry has maintained a multifaceted presence in the dynamic industry, often speaking at global trade shows and holding leadership positions across various organizations, such as: director of the Ellis & Associates International Aquatic Safety School; member of the board of directors of the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) and global chairman of its Waterpark Committee; and founding member of the Middle East & North Africa Leisure and Attractions Council (MENALAC).

While living in Dubai, Perry hosted Travel Channel’s amusement series “Epic Attractions,” where he provided viewers with an all-access, backstage pass to the world’s most epic attractions.

Perry holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Eastern Illinois University and an MBA from London Business School.

Perry is moving from Bangkok, Thailand and will be based in Miami with his wife and two children."

Video: Royal Caribbean Unveils Up, Up and Away on Private Island Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas

In:
10Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

On Royal Caribbean International’s newly opened private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, an unrivaled combination of first-of-their-kind thrills and ways to chill make their debut. At the center of the destination’s $250 million transformation is an iconic helium balloon that vacationers can’t miss, Up, Up and Away. Guests of all ages will score the best and highest vantage point in The Bahamas, literally taking adventure to new heights – up to 450 feet to be exact. Securely tethered to the ground and manned by two trained pilots and a team of experts, go under the hood to see how this intricate system works.

Spectrum of the Seas offers overnight sailings in Tokyo in 2020

In:
10Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean will offer overnight stays in Tokyo, Japan during the summer 2020.

In summer 2020, Spectrum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas will each sail two special cruises into Tokyo’s brand-new cruise terminal, Shinkyaku Pier. Spectrum will depart on July 25 and August 2 from Shanghai, China to Tokyo, and Voyager will offer itineraries beginning July 26 out of Hong Kong and August 2 from Tokyo, each staying overnight. Adding to the excitement, Quantum of the Seas will begin sailing from Singapore in 2019, and with both Spectrum and Quantum sailing from Singapore this year, this marks the start of Royal Caribbean’s Double Quantum Year in the region.

“Our ships are designed and created to deliver unforgettable vacation experiences to our guests, and we are proud to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience in Tokyo next summer,” said Bert Hernandez, President, Royal Caribbean China. 

Royal Caribbean launches stateroom bidding program in Asia Pacific

In:
10Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced guests who live in the Asia Pacific region can now bid for a stateroom upgrade via RoyalUp. 

RoyalUp is Royal Caribbean's stateroom bidding program, where the cruise line may offer guests the opportunity to bid for a higher stateroom category by inviting them to submit an offer of their choice. If the offer is accepted, the guests will be automatically charged and upgraded.

Accepted offers will be automatically charged, and the guests will be upgraded to their desired staterooms, marking the perfect start of their Royal Caribbean holiday. In the case of unsuccessful bids, the guests will keep their original staterooms without incurring any charges.

The program is currently available for most Royal Caribbean International ships, including Voyager of the Seas in Singapore, Ovation of the Seas in Alaska and Oasis of the Seas in the Mediterranean.  Guests will have a chance to bid for upgrading to a variety of higher category staterooms including the luxurious two-storey Loft Suites on available sailings of the Oasis and Quantum Class ships. 

Angie Stephen, Managing Director, Asia Pacific of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said, “We are seeing very strong response for ‘RoyalUp’ from our other markets because of the great value it brings to our guests, and we believe that many guests in our region will likewise take advantage of this programme to pamper themselves even more on our cruises, starting from their accommodation.”

Royal Caribbean launched the program in North America in November 2018, and Australia/New Zealand in February 2019.

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: June 9, 2019

In:
09Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Happy Sunday! We hope you are having a great weekend and ready to talk a little Royal Caribbean.

The big news this week came when the U.S. government announced it would no longer allow cruise ships to travel between the U.S. and Cuba. As a result of this policy change, Royal Caribbean cancelled all scheduled visits to Cuba.

The two ships that were offering cruises to Cuba, Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas, have had alternative ports secured.

In addition, Royal Caribbean is offering the option of guests on affected sailings remaining on the cruise and receiving a 50% refund, or they can cancel their cruise and receive a full refund.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 305th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, and we are sharing our best tips for first time cruisers.

In this episode, Matt interviews Claudia Diaz-Gonzalez about her work in making the Perfect Day at CocoCay transformation into a reality. Claudia provides a behind-the-scenes look at the hard work she and her team engaged in to bring Perfect Day to CocoCay to life.

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

New RCB Video: Royal Caribbean cruise mistakes that are not really a mistake

Have you subscribed to the Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel? We share some great videos there regularly, all about taking a Royal Caribbean cruise! This week, we are sharing our latest video — Royal Caribbean cruise mistakes that are not really a mistake  — and don’t forget to subscribe here.

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

Readers Digest listed the cruise lines that have a private island.

Shack News provided the history and evolution of CocoCay.

Travel Pulse looked at the culinary delights on Oasis of the Seas,

diginomica reported on Royal Caribbean's digital tools that aim to enhance the customer experience.

Cruise Habit shared information on cruising during hurricane season.

Save up to 30% off pre-cruise purchases with Royal Caribbean Cruise Planner sale

In:
07Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has kicked off a weekend cruise planner sale, where guests can save up to 30% off pre-cruise purchases.

The Splash into Savings sale runs between June 6 – 10, 2019 and is valid on sailings from June 12, 2019 – December 30, 2019. It is valid on all ships, except for Spectrum of the Seas and Empress of the Seas.

BEVERAGE: Up to 30% off on select sailings.

  • Deluxe Beverage Package + VOOM Surf & Stream 1 Device: Discount varies by ship. (Excludes NE, SC + Charter Sailings). •Deluxe Beverage Package: Discount varies by ship. (Excludes NE, SC + Charter Sailings).
  • Refreshment Package: 30% off onboard prices. Discount varies by ship. (Excludes NE, SC + Charter Sailings)

SHORE EXCURSIONS: Up to 25% off on select sailings.

  • Save up to 25% on select tours on select sailings. Discount varies by ship. (Excludes NE, SC + Charter Sailings)

INTERNET: Up to 60% off on select sailings.

  • VOOM Surf + Stream Voyage Package 1, 2, 3, 4 Device(s): Discount varies by ship. (Excludes NE, SC + Charter Sailings).
  • VOOM Surf Voyage Package 1, 2, 3, 4 Device(s): Discount varies by ship. (Excludes NE, SC + Charter Sailings).

DINING: Up to 50% off on select sailings.

  • Unlimited Dining Package on 3 Night – 9 Night sailings. Discount varies by ship. (Excludes NE, MJ,  SC + Charter Sailings)
  • 3 Night Dining Package: Save up to 50% off on select sailings. Discount varies by ship. (Only on OA 8/22/19 + SY 9/3/19)

ACTIVITIES: Up to 10% off on select sailings.
•All Access Ship Tour: 10% off. Discount varies by ship. (Excludes NE, SC + Charter Sailings).

Video: What to know before booking a Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
07Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

We have a brand new RoyalCaribbeanBlog video to share with you, all about the important things to know BEFORE you book a Royal Caribbean cruise!

We love going on Royal Caribbean and freely advocate others try it out as well, but it is important to know a few things before you put down a credit card to book that first cruise. Between logistics, saving money and learning about what each ship offers, we have some essential advice for anyone looking to book a cruise vacation.

And if you love this video, we have lots of other great cruise videos to watch on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single episode!

So check out the video and then let us know: What is your top tip for anyone booking their first cruise?

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