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Question #1

I'm finding that GS 2 bedrooms begin on deck 9 and above is it correct to assume that there are no GS2 configurations below deck 9? 

Question #2 

Also if we have a choice between deck 8-10 in an Aquatheater 2 bedroom what would you experience aqua suite cruisers recommend as far as deck, and why? 

 

Thank you!

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13 minutes ago, CruiseRoyalDad said:

Question #2 

Also if we have a choice between deck 8-10 in an Aquatheater 2 bedroom what would you experience aqua suite cruisers recommend as far as deck, and why? 

If budget will allow for the extra cost of deck 8 I'd go for that one. Key reason is being on the same deck as Central Park.

Otherwise I'd aim for deck 9. One advantage just being closer to the Aqua Theater action. Plus the room and balcony become slightly larger lower the deck.

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5 hours ago, CruiseRoyalDad said:

Also if we have a choice between deck 8-10 in an Aquatheater 2 bedroom what would you experience aqua suite cruisers recommend as far as deck, and why? 

Deck 8 is always my number one choice.  It does cost a bit more than decks 9 & 10, but you will get the largest ATS balconies and rooms on deck 8.  Also as mentioned you are at the Central Park level once you make it to to the center of the ship.  It's also only 2 flights down to the Boardwalk and 3 to the Promenade.

If you are debating between the ATS 2-bedroom and the 2-bedroom GS, definitely consider all the costs of the Star Class benefits that you will receive when you are trying to make your decision. 

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Yes, yes, and yes. When you come to where the cruise experts hangout expect sage advice!

You all have basically put my though process on "paper". Not a hijack @tonyfsu21 but an absolute must mention. We did do the lofts on (seaside view not aft...beautiful worth the slight upcharge) last cruise (Symphony summer 2019). It was absolutely beautiful and sky class is a bargain over star class for sure when you are in striking distance to CK and don't have to necessarily spring for drink package because of the proximity to free drinks from 11AM on and cocktails for a good chunk of evening. As such the lofts are always worth the consideration. Alas we recently added one more child to make us a family of 6! I'm pretty sure we can't jam 6 into a loft suite. A family of 5 required special permission from Royal but with one in crib it was easy. All that to say if we could be on 17 it would be the choice every time. We'd be there @Lovetocruise2002 on #teamdeck17 for ever! While I've tried to implement @Mattconnecting balcony room philosophy. I do find the availability of connecting rooms hard to come by and once we do the 3 and 3 combinations the price for us is close to sky class minus the perks. 

So to my question its based on not previously done Aqua or star class. I would have jumped on a grand suite 2 bedroom on 8 because we absolutely love deck 8 for the reason mentioned @CGTLH as Central Park feels like the heart of the Oasis Class ships to us. I don' t think GS2 exist on 6,7,8. That would save us some serious money on Star class (Aqua2) while leaving us only a short walk to the elevator and a quick jump to CK on 17. We had this experience previously (family of 5) in GS 1 bedroom (Allure) where we were on 8 and quick trips to CK and lounge were the norm. For us the purchase of couple of specialty dining nights with CK access is really all we need so sky class perks are more than sufficient.

But now with a larger family I'm seeing value in the much higher cost despite the long walk to Aqua 2. Not having had experience with that area of the ship or those suites I wasn't sure of preferable deck, though "8" caught my eye. @AshleyDillo I've now seen the youtubes and on 8 the ATS balconies are definitely bigger and have a markedly better view of the theater. Being able to watch shows from the balcony when after 3 oasis class cruises we've still only caught pieces would be great as the rising 1 and 4 year old sleep. The perk of included specialty restaurants with ability to have those in room and included drink package makes the frequent trips to suite lounge less necessary. Plus, as we're always running around with hair on fire trying to alleviate the FOMO being able to make last minute reservations and walk into prime seating at events via the genie would help.

I've heard that once you go up in class it's tough to go back and our room progression has proved that. It started with a balcony -> JS -> GS -> L1 -> ??? and we still haven't been able to revert.  This scares me a bit. 😁

I'm holding on to two separate Harmony Aqua 2 reservations in July 2022 trying to work up the courage to drop the deposit! 

Thank you all! Here's to the hope for HEALTHY, back-to-normal, mask free sailing soon! 

-Cruise Royal Dad aka BERT (Years long blog and message board consumer brand new contributor)

 

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30 minutes ago, CruiseRoyalDad said:

I've heard that once you go up in class it's tough to go back and our room progression has proved that. It started with a balcony -> JS -> GS -> L1 -> ??? and we still haven't been able to revert.  This scares me a bit. 😁

True story, you should be scared. lol

We are a family of 4.  But my daughters are now almost 13 and almost 15 so they need their space.  The connecting balconies never appealed to me because as you know, if you have been around, I am an unashamed suite snob.  While I would take the connecting balconies any day over not cruising, if given the choice, it would be suite.  With 4, we have bit more options than with your 6.  The ATS is basically a 2 BDR GS with a super large balcony and Star benefits.  If the price point is not much of a difference, definitely book the ATS.  The other thing I wanted to point out is have you considered the GT on Oasis of the Seas.  That is the only ship where there are hot tubs on the GTs of Deck 12.  Not close to Central Park, but definitely perk if you had to go with the GT.

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@Lovetocruise2002 Hey different topic stumbled into your live blog on Symphony from 2019 we'd cruised in a loft suite in May just prior to your #17. Jenny and Jackie were absolutely phenomenal in the SL! I did ask Jackie if she would every want to be a Genie and she said no she'd want to keep her sanity (I paraphrase)! We booked Symphony again May 2020 partly because we loved everything about that cruise and in the hopes that that dynamic duo my still be there. Of course that ended up being a covid cancel.  The staff can often improve an already great cruise experience. 

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1 hour ago, CruiseRoyalDad said:

Alas we recently added one more child to make us a family of 6! 

Traveling with 4 children, one still a baby, would push me towards a 2 bedroom grand suite. Unless you are bringing help, the Star Class drink package benefit would only be a tease.

If not traveling with help, use the savings of GT over A1 to splurge on some child care services for a night or two. 

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24 minutes ago, AlmondFarmer said:

Traveling with 4 children, one still a baby, would push me towards a 2 bedroom grand suite. Unless you are bringing help, the Star Class drink package benefit would only be a tease.

If not traveling with help, use the savings of GT over A1 to splurge on some child care services for a night or two. 

All good points. We do tend to travel with a small army though, grandparents are usually in the mix. A1 is not one of the options because your right the GT beats that option every time. A2 would be the splurge. Believe it or not the GTs between June and early August next summer are not available in abundance. I didn't pull the trigger on a reservation quickly enough for our ideal dates. Plus, between coffees, smoothies, and drinks we can usually break even on the drink package though we haven't purchased one since the Anthem summer of 2017 (pre sky class cruising). The sky class benefits, assuming proximity to CK and lounge, really reduce the ability to justify a drink package. That being said the more I look at it, the other star perks really help with ease of traveling considering our raucous audience. Flexibility is key when rolling with the littles and I don't see any greater offer of flexibility than the ability to rub that lamp. I'll do a harder look for GTs before making the jump. 

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For me watching the aquatheater shows from the balcony was absolutely the best.  We ordered Chops to be delivered one night and we were able to eat on the balcony at the large table and watch the show.  The balcony wraps all the way around so there is a more private side to sit and watch the water as well, plus you get those wake views 😍  You can look out from your balcony down and see if there's anything fun going on down at the Boardwalk at any particular time and you can almost high-five the rock wall climbers from your balcony.  You can send off your laundry, which I'm sure would be very helpful with having 4 kiddos!  If you end up with grandparents along and they aren't also going Star Class, they can still join you for meals in your room and at the restaurants as long as they pay for them. 

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