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Are we only ones who don't book suites?


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DH and I both work, both in technology jobs and are fine financially.  Hadn't cruised much compared with most on here.  Then last summer we went on Mariner and DH caught the cruise bug too (it was his 3rd Royal cruise and my 4th).  So now we have 5 cruises booked between Mar 2019 and Mar 2021 (basically March break and end of summer each year).  We are tied to when our kids are off school so prices are up both on the cruise itself and for flights (from Ontario Canada).

For our cruises we have the following rooms booked (2 kids who are currently 9 and 13)

  • Symphony - a boardwalk room
  • Navigator - 2 connecting promenade rooms
  • Anthem - 2 connecting virtual balcony rooms
  • Mariner - a spacious balcony (this specific room is JS size)
  • Harmony - a central park interior

We select our ship for the date, and then book room(s) accordingly based on cost.  

I keep price checking a Junior Suite on Anthem, but today's price would cost us $1800 more (and we may be better of with 2 rooms anyways).  We could get a suite on Mariner for about $500 more , but we have that large corner aft room on deck 10 which is basically suite size so the $500 more on a 4 day cruise for similar room doesn't seem worth it. (We'd basically be paying $500 for 8 points instead of 4).  Symphony and Harmony...forget it as even a straight JS is crazy expensive.  And for Navigator we would lose 2 rooms and pay $1000 more for a JS so totally not worth it. 

Having said all that...reading others experiences on here...I feel like we should try a suite some day.  It would get us to Diamond sooner and just feel like we're missing out as most on here seem to book and really enjoy them.

Are we one of the few who sticks with interiors (or balcony if cost is reasonable)?  We "could" pay more financially but find a hard time mentally making the jump when we could use that for excursions or extras, or even adding a day or two Disney days to the cruises out of Port Canaveral, or towards another cruise.

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So I asked my fellow suite snob mother why she does the suite over the standard rooms.  She told me she didnt always do suites.  She and my father both have done everything from inside cabins all the

@WannaCruise...let me share our cruising history with you.... We began cruising back in 2002 and we were just married.  We sailed in a balcony cabin and that was huge splurge for our honeymoon. 

You all are bad influences!!!  I just booked a JS guarantee on Freedom September 20, 2020..  Sailing from San Juan PR.  It was right about the same as a OV Balcony on Harmony.. 

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My wife and I are retired and we cruise about once a year. We always book a junior suite because we are "large" people. (gravity challenged!) With the junior suite, you get the bathtub/shower combo instead of that little shower tube. You typically get a larger closet and a generally larger room. It's nice not to have to turn sideways to move through the room. If I was paying for kids or anyone else, I don't think we could afford the JS. I will say this, once you go to a higher grade cabin, it's difficult to go back to a smaller cabin!

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27 minutes ago, kontraxed said:

My wife and I are retired and we cruise about once a year. We always book a junior suite because we are "large" people. (gravity challenged!) With the junior suite, you get the bathtub/shower combo instead of that little shower tube. You typically get a larger closet and a generally larger room. It's nice not to have to turn sideways to move through the room. If I was paying for kids or anyone else, I don't think we could afford the JS. I will say this, once you go to a higher grade cabin, it's difficult to go back to a smaller cabin!

LoL...know exactly what you mean my 'turn sideways'.  There isn't much room between end of bed and wall.

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26 minutes ago, ranchlady403 said:

If you can get 2 adjoining cabins - you are better off space-wise.  You have 2 bathrooms and more actual square footage than one Junior Suite.    BUT - if you are going for points - the Junior Suite gives you double points and single bath.  Are you already getting double points for 2 cabins?  

 

No.  Single points for 2 rooms.

I admit that the c&a points gets us.  We keep coming back to Royal (but we love their ships!) But we are far off from Diamond that it really doesn't make a difference.  If we were to suite to JS for anthem then we would move up to Emerald .  Otherwise we have to wait until completing the 5th cruise on our list

  Having said that, it's really on Diamond where it makes a difference.

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@WannaCruise...let me share our cruising history with you....

We began cruising back in 2002 and we were just married.  We sailed in a balcony cabin and that was huge splurge for our honeymoon.  We fell in love with cruising and like you, living in Ontario and being a teacher, that left us with very little flexibility.  We cruised what we could from inside staterooms to balconies until 2017.  Every cruise was amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them.

In 2017, we discovered suite life, not because of these message boards, but because an upgrade that was reasonable and we thought...why not?  Suites are wonderful, the downside is that it is very hard to go back afterwards.  I won't deny it, and Hubby calls me out on it all the time.  My cruising habits have changed (or evolved lol) over the years.  What did not bother me before (like crowds and lines) bother me now.  That is one of the main reasons why I like suites.  When I reflect back on the Indy cruise that we just took, we still had a great time.  Was the cabin my first choice? No, but like you, price sometimes still dictates what we book.  We also pick the ship and date first and then the cabin comes after.

Moving forward, although I admit I am a suite snob, I will still book non-suites depending on the situation.  It is not needed to have a good time.  And with the kids, it makes it more complicated, especially tween girls.  Connecting staterooms still remains a great choice.

You have to be very careful here on these boards.  This is an awesome community.  So much knowledge and experience, but reading about the suite experience of others does make you want to try it.  After all, we are all enablers here lol.  I'll bet that if you did a poll, you will find that many don't book suites and still have great cruises!

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10 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

@WannaCruise...let me share our cruising history with you....

We began cruising back in 2002 and we were just married.  We sailed in a balcony cabin and that was huge splurge for our honeymoon.  We fell in love with cruising but like you, living in Ontario and being a teacher, that left us with very little flexibility.  We cruised what we could from inside staterooms to balconies until 2017.  Every cruise was amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them.

In 2017, we discovered suite life, not because of these message boards, but because an upgrade that was reasonable and we thought...why not?  Suites are wonderful, the downside is that it is very hard to go back afterwards.  I won't deny it, and Hubby calls me out on it all the time.  My cruising habits have changed (or evolved lol) over the years.  What did not bother me before (like crowds and lines) bother me now.  That is one of the main reasons why I like suites.  When I reflect back on the Indy cruise that we just took, we still had a great time.  Was the cabin my first choice? No, but like you, price sometimes still dictates what we book.  We also pick the ship and date first and then the cabin comes after.

Moving forward, although I admit I am a suite snob, I will still book non-suites depending on the situation.  It is not needed to have a good time.  And with the kids, it makes it more complicated, especially tween girls.  Connecting staterooms still remains a great choice.

You have to be very careful here on these boards.  This is an awesome community.  So much knowledge and experience, but reading about the suite experience of others does make you want to try it.  After all, we are all enablers here lol.  I'll bet that if you did a poll, you will find that many don't book suites and still have great cruises!

Thank you.  Puts it into perspective and makes me feel better. And you being up a great point.  We've stayed in promenade rooms twice and had an amazing time.  

Funny enough.. although not a suite, the room type you had on Indy is one that I'm also eyeing on Harmony.  But again for the savings we can put that towards say day at Disney (which I have yet to suggest to DH ...lol).

Sounds like you've tried suites and really love them and it's hard to go back...but you also will book non suite if pricing makes sense.

And true . probably a lot on here book the nicer to rooms but the interiors and the ocean views do sell out so people do book.

Its funny too as it's all relative as a JS is really just a normal hotel room size.

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Do you mean doing Disney as a shore excursion while docked in Port Canaveral?  I would not recommend that as it really cuts your day short.  But that is just me...

Just now, WannaCruise said:

Its funny too as it's all relative as a JS is really just a normal hotel room size.

This is exactly what Hubby says.

And I did not see what @twangster posted until after I posted, but he is right, non-suites is the majority.  We're just a bad influence 😉

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Just now, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Do you mean doing Disney as a shore excursion while docked in Port Canaveral?  I would not recommend that as it really cuts your day short.  But that is just me...

This is exactly what Hubby says.

And I did not see what @twangster posted until after I posted, but he is right, non-suites is the majority.  We're just a bad influence 😉

No...meant that our Harmony cruise is our of Port Canaveral and leaves on a Sunday.  So maybe leave Thurs night or Friday and do a day or two at Disney.  Prob won't happen as it's march break but was just thinking....

Disney is on the plan though after our Mariner cruise out of Port Canaveral if we can make it work.

Our anthem cruise has a stop but at most we may just Uber or rent a car and go to Disney Springs.  Unfortunately with the timing it doesn't make sense to go through the park.

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I keep a detailed spreadsheet of my cruise activity.  On Royal Caribbean I have historically used suites 2.6% of the time, 50% are balcony cabins (non-suite) and the rest interior.

Hint - suites are great, no question, but once away from your cabin the overall cruise experience is pretty similar regardless of your cabin type.   

Unlike some suite snobs (cough cough @Lovetocruise2002) I can return to an interior cabin after a suite.  Just wait until she does Harmony. Poor hubster doesn't stand a chance, it will be Star Class or nada. 

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24 minutes ago, WannaCruise said:

Thank you.  Puts it into perspective and makes me feel better. And you being up a great point.  We've stayed in promenade rooms twice and had an amazing time.  

Funny enough.. although not a suite, the room type you had on Indy is one that I'm also eyeing on Harmony.  But again for the savings we can put that towards say day at Disney (which I have yet to suggest to DH ...lol).

Sounds like you've tried suites and really love them and it's hard to go back...but you also will book non suite if pricing makes sense.

And true . probably a lot on here book the nicer to rooms but the interiors and the ocean views do sell out so people do book.

Its funny too as it's all relative as a JS is really just a normal hotel room size.

We only book a suite  at this point of time and only a Jr when the price is right, for our cruise last year to Alaska it was only a $700 upgrade, for our cruise this March it was less than a $600 difference.  I feel that if staying in a suite is cheaper than booking another cruise then it is worth the cost in order to get the double points, there is not much of a service difference between that and a balcony.  Once we get to Diamond level that may change but at this point I enjoy having more cash in my pocket and doing other things vs the suite privileges.  I know that will change as time goes on, especially once I find a room that is better than a Jr suite that is financially responsible.  Once we have made the change I know that it will be hard to go back down in class!  Just enjoy the cruise itself and don't sweat the suite, unless it is what you really want!  As I have already said elsewhere, my worst day at sea is still FAR better than my best day at work!!😁

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11 minutes ago, twangster said:

I keep a detailed spreadsheet of my cruise activity. 

Eye roll...why does that not surprise me one bit. 😉

10 minutes ago, twangster said:

but once away from your cabin the overall cruise experience is pretty similar regardless of your cabin type.

Great point.

11 minutes ago, twangster said:

I can return to an interior cabin after a suite. 

I'll admit it, that might be stretching it a bit for me lol.

12 minutes ago, twangster said:

Poor hubster doesn't stand a chance, it will be Star Class or nada. 

Hubster says he keeps spreadsheets too, and his spreadsheets say no, that will not be the case 😪

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I always keep an eye on suite pricing, but have never even come close to pulling the trigger because it never inks out. I firmly believe the "Ultra Spacious" rooms are the best values for 3-5 people as long as 1 or 2 of those are smaller sized humans(A.K.A. young kids). They are the same size or bigger than JS and you can get them in multiple categories. I will probably switch to 2 joining rooms when my kids hit high school, but for now I don't think you can do better than the Ultra Spacious. Furthermore, on most ships I'd have to go to a 2 room GS to be able to fit my family of 5. I'd rather just get 2 rooms.

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Never did a suite. Probably never will. It's now just me and the wife, we are both retired and a balcony/veranda stateroom is all the room we need. We do not do ballroom dancing in the room and I can't justify the expense being on a fixed income. I am pleased to see that those suite aficionados at this site, and RCL in general are the type of people I can easily associate with. On Disney cruises most of the suite and upper level cruisers were Disney Vacation Club members. You don't have to spot them, they will tell you in 5 minutes while seeking out others. I found them to be obnoxious, snobby and condescending. I checked with a deck officer and was not pleased when he told me I couldn't toss any of them overboard.  No offense to any DVC members here. I'm sure it wasn't you.

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1 hour ago, Sweety said:

I book my cruises due to my school schedule. But I book two years in advance. I can do this because Chicago never changes its schedule to Spring break.

Same here.  We booked march break 2021 when they were released in December. Then I am price watching daily...not only our stateroom category but other ones too.

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34 minutes ago, JasonL said:

I always keep an eye on suite pricing, but have never even come close to pulling the trigger because it never inks out. I firmly believe the "Ultra Spacious" rooms are the best values for 3-5 people as long as 1 or 2 of those are smaller sized humans(A.K.A. young kids). They are the same size or bigger than JS and you can get them in multiple categories. I will probably switch to 2 joining rooms when my kids hit high school, but for now I don't think you can do better than the Ultra Spacious. Furthermore, on most ships I'd have to go to a 2 room GS to be able to fit my family of 5. I'd rather just get 2 rooms.

Totally get what you mean.  We did go with the connecting rooms as you see in my original post, but while my younger one is not 100% independent (as she's currently 9 so I still supervise with showering and help blow dry her long hair), the 2 rooms don't get full advantage.  I also help organize/select their cloths for the day, or current activities, so will mean going back and forth between the rooms.  Having said that, our kids will get a kick out of having their own space when they try it for the first time in August, and most importantly, they get their own bed.

The ultra spacious room look great....too much of a price increase for us to jump on it for our Harmony cruise, but i do check almost daily.  One thing though that I am hesitant about with these rooms is that the ships that I've looked at, they are at the front of the ship.  So am concerned about movement.

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I'm more inline with the points quest when it comes to suites. Most cases two in a JS ends up very close to solo in two rooms. Now after hitting the 340 mark that might change the cost math.

Don't really care about the status and perks when it comes to a Grand or better, exception being Star Class of course. Not saying it isn't nice on Oasis and Quantum class ships not having to worry about picking show times is a nice perk. Voom included on those two classes of ship does help offset the cost a tad as well. Room service, don't normally use it that often even with it being included. Still at $7.95 plus 18% it isn't going to break the bank if I decide to use it.

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I know I might come off as a bit of a suite snob but many of my previous cruises I've sailed everything from balcony to oceanview (I do draw the line there because I have to look at the water)  My rationale is that I dont go on as many cruises as others do.  Maybe once a year or once every 2 years if I'm really splurging.  This is the same for land based vacations for me.  Hub and I do work wonderful jobs (I'm in IT and he's in manufacturing) but we are childless and have our debts pretty much all taken care of so the once a year vacation is our splurge.  

This year will be his first cruise because as a Marine his view of ship life is a little bit skewed.  He's a bit of a homebody and not the crazy social butterfly that I am, so more space in the room for him makes sense to us.  When I cruise solo or with friends or with my mother, I dont need all of the space of a suite because I'm out and about and that room is for one purpose, sleeping and sunrise watching.  But when taking him, I wanted something roughly the size of a hotel room so he could see that cruise ship rooms arent all tiny.  Yes some are tiny and I'm OK with being in a tiny room as long as its clean and comfortable, but for his first my goal was the size of the room.

Now granted, We're not going on an Oasis or Quantum ship.  We're going on Grandeur.  So we're not in one of the giant loft suites or aqua theater suites.  Our perks are less.... perky but still nice.  And the price was definitely right for us.   

Once he gets bit by the cruise bug like me, then my logic says that we can move towards the larger ships and promenade balconies or outside balconies.  Or maybe we just stay suite life and sate the cruise bug less.

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