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Are suites worth it - Currently


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Hey All, for the last 2 years I've been following along and preparing for our 15th wedding anniversary cruise. Then that little virus came and messed it all up, and so after 3 cancelled cruises, 2 vacations, a funeral, a motorhome, and countless home projects, we finally have this deal lined up. We'll be on a nice short little 3 day, Freedom of the Seas cruise Oct. 1. I checked into the Royal up site just to get an idea, and the option of the Grand Suite is there. 

So I have a personal Question, and then a larger open question. For us (2 people, second cruise ever, Honeymoon was the first and on NCL) does it make sense to try for a suite on Freedom for such a short trip. the minimum is 150pp up to 450. We're in a standard balcony room, and this cruise has already been ultra affordable (maybe around 1K total for both of us). I don't really see any advantage of upgrading through Royal up (no extra C&A points, not to mention it's our first RC anyway). It seems like all we would be getting is a bigger room, which doesn't really matter to us, and access to the limited suite lounge. Am I missing anything under the current circumstances? I already have an early check in time, and with crowds being presumably low, it just seems like a lot of the advantages on this boat are limited. 

Obviously on some of the other newer and bigger boats, the different levels of Suites may offer more options, but that kind of led me to the topic discussion. what are the current advantages of a suite, knowing that most sailings are going to be limited for a while. Also is there an article anywhere that really and easily lines out the levels of the suites and boats and what perks come with all of those individually? I've looked and I know YMMV on some of the options but, I feel like I've struggled to really put together a great understand of them all.  

ps this site has been invaluable over this time, the video's, the blog posts, the forums, seriously a ton of amazing information, so thank you all for helping on that. 

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I will give my personal opinion here.  For those of you who travel to land based destinations, say Las Vegas and stay at somewhere like the Signature MDM, Delano, Venetian or even the Cosmopolitan you know what a Suite is like.  Unfortunately when you are talking JR Suites all the way up to Grand Suites the rooms and amenities just wont compare with those land type suite experiences.  Yes the rooms are larger, yes they look a bit nicer but i would never put any Cruise Ship suite in the same category as even the all suite hotels i listed above.  If you enjoy staying in the room more and not feeling "squeezed" into a smaller room then perhaps a suite would be worth it but keep in mind typically a junior suite is around 300 sq feet while most suites at a land hotel are 600 - 900 sq feet.  

I personally like to spend as little time in the room as possible, especially since i cant even stand up straight in the rooms anyways (6'9).

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We are sailing in our first suite ever on Saturday.  Our Royal up was successful @ $250 pp. 
 

It’s a junior suite, so no perks like GS and above, but we are excited about having the extra space. 
 

I don’t know that we could currently bring ourselves to book a suite since we are still a frugal as we were 30 years ago (Inside cabins are so damn cheap), but this might change our minds…at least as far as booking a junior suite. 
 

Look at some video tours of a regular balcony, then watch some of the various suites.  The square footage difference is quite noticeable. 

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We have booked suites several times.  Rule of thumb for us is the Quantum and Oasis class only.  You get the best bang for the buck with those classes, and the accountant in me can justify the cost. 😄  Dedicated suite lounge and restaurant.  

If a cheap RoyalUp came along on the other classes, we might hop on it, but it would have to be cheap.

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I agree with @barbeyg the larger class ships at least have perks to justify the cost. On the non oasis/quantum class ships, a suite in my opinion is only worth it if you want bigger space. Since you don't care about that, I wouldn't upgrade. That extra $150-450 per person could be used to purchase better perks than what you would be getting, probably at a more reduced price.

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It's worth it if:

 

1) You're comfortable with the price or want to splurge for a special occasion

2) You'll take advantage of the suite perks

3) You want the double points

 

If you just want a bigger room, go with the jr suite, which doesn't get you 2) above, but gets you extra points.

 

If you need to flip a coin on if getting a suite is worth it, remember if you or someone in your party gets quarantined, it's a lot nicer with the bigger room (even if a bigger room isn't all that big of a deal for a normal day)

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Suites are worth it currently and permanently. If suites are overpriced, they will not be booked and the price will drop. The fanciest suites are often the first to be sold out (limited quantities) so an argument could be made that suites are underpriced.

Supply and demand is a magical thing.

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Well....look at it this way......there is now a higher chance of being asked to stay in your room for extended periods while on board should you come into contact with someone who then tests positive for covid.....would you rather spend a day watching tv in an interior....or sitting in the hot tub on your private balcony?

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For me, a first time RC cruiser, I loved our suite on Jewel, one of the smaller ones. The balcony was impressive, could lie on two loungers side by side, with my wife 🙂

The concierge lounge was one of the most sociable areas in these Covid times. Free drinks/snacks early in the evening. Other lounges a bit too big. Seating at bars were not allowed except for the casino for some reason. If your big breakfast fans there was a special area in Chopps. Light fare in the lounge.

Well worth it to us hence another booking in a month.

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Started out with simple balconey rooms then made the plunge to a Jr. suite.  Stayed in JSs for a while then moved to a Loft suite when we got a great deal on the move up.  We haven't looked back since.  I guess we use the old saying about you only live once and you can't take your money to the grave.  So we enjoy it while we can.

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I would have said 100% a suite is worth it but on Freedom with so much to do and for such a short trip...I think a balcony is okay. The perks of being in a suite are great (my favorite being the double points and the complimentary room service from both the regular menu AND the MDR) but if you're not planning on spending at least a full day in the room to enjoy the space and room-related perks...it's okay to skip here.

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12 hours ago, CrimsonCruiser said:

I would have said 100% a suite is worth it but on Freedom with so much to do and for such a short trip...I think a balcony is okay. The perks of being in a suite are great (my favorite being the double points and the complimentary room service from both the regular menu AND the MDR) but if you're not planning on spending at least a full day in the room to enjoy the space and room-related perks...it's okay to skip here.

agree on other than Oasis and Quantum Class ships with Coastal Kitchen the in room MDR menu is a definite plus and done a couple nights each cruise.  On Quantum class we enjoyed wake up omelets at 6am.   At least JS for the extra room and a full deluxe beverage package (is this really needed if your Diamond ) and unlimited specialty dining package really worth the extra per person for the prestige to be in a suite.  Doing the math for the most cost effective enjoyable vacation, considering we love to cruise.

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I've been in interior, never going back. I've been in oceanview, is okay I think for a Bermuda cruise where you are overnight in port or longer. Oceanview is good because you will be on shore the most.  I have my first balcony booked in 22 days, price was about $1000 per person, I've decided I'm never going back to anything other than balcony for the sheer fact of fresh air.  

Jan 2023 I have a two bedroom grand suite booked on Enchantment of the Seas for 12 days.  This does not have the same perks as the Oasis class suites I found out but it still has some perks.  I booked this room because we are going with my parents and my father has limited mobility, and sometimes due to PTSD can't be around large crowds.  With the suite, it gives him and Mom their own room, their own bathroom with just a shower, the balcony(Which is much larger due to location), plus if Dad doesn't want to go to the dining room, room service is included.  Since there is a central living area we can play cards, watch tv, read and not feel like we are stuck in our bedrooms.  I think it ended up being $2500 per person including tax, tips, and insurance.

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On 9/2/2021 at 9:17 AM, teddy said:

We are sailing in our first suite ever on Saturday.  Our Royal up was successful @ $250 pp. 
 

It’s a junior suite, so no perks like GS and above, but we are excited about having the extra space. 
 

I don’t know that we could currently bring ourselves to book a suite since we are still a frugal as we were 30 years ago (Inside cabins are so damn cheap), but this might change our minds…at least as far as booking a junior suite. 
 

Look at some video tours of a regular balcony, then watch some of the various suites.  The square footage difference is quite noticeable. 

We’re currently in our Junior Suite Royal Up.  Coming from inside cabins, it’s great.   The extra space, larger balcony, and tub are really nice.  The walk in closet is simply amazing. 
 

All that being said, we’ve decided that for the short term future, if booking an inside means being able to cruise 3-4 times a year versus 1-2, we will book the inside.

We are looking at booking a Mariner cruise in March 2022, and two connecting balconies would be cheaper than a suite guarantee, even with the double occupancy charge for each.  Not that we would book two, but we thought this was interesting.  
 

In a couple years though , all bets will be off as far as booking suites. At that point we will be finished remodeling our house and all the money we are spending on that will have to go somewhere (we are cash-flowing our remodel). 


We will go up to Platinum after this cruise, so we’re interested to see if there will be any noticeable difference in the rates. 

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Suite perks are very limited right now.  I just got off ovation in a 2 bedroom gs.  There was no reserved seating for shows.  We had to make show reservations for all shows.  No priority boarding or disembarking (at end of cruise).   Those are generally the things that make a suite worth it to me. In addition to the lack of perks, there was only one concierge and she was essentially worthless.    We were not a demanding group.   Pre-boarding, I requested beds to be split into twins in both rooms and CK reservations for 6:30 each night.  She replied that dinner reservations were made(turned out they weren’t-fortunately, the CK maitre d realized that we planned to eat all meals there and was able to accommodate us, even if the times available were not our preference).   I was disappointed and felt bad that the CK staff had to adjust due to the failures of the concierge.    She also told us that the second bedroom only had bunk beds, not a bed that could be split. She was wring but that caused a few minutes of concern.  

Generally, I love suite class, but I did feel we got few benefits this trip. 

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Royal has to do a better job in their non Oasis or Quantum class suite perks. I only sail those 2 classes if anything longer than a weekend booze cruise just because the value isn’t there. 
It’s ridiculous that you could get a Royal suite on a freedom class and still not have drinks included. The room has a piano in it……

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8 hours ago, Boneric said:

Royal has to do a better job in their non Oasis or Quantum class suite perks. I only sail those 2 classes if anything longer than a weekend booze cruise just because the value isn’t there. 
It’s ridiculous that you could get a Royal suite on a freedom class and still not have drinks included. The room has a piano in it……

I couldn't agree more !  There was a time when they were saying that they were expanding Star Class to the "other" classes.  I really don't know why they never did that.  Even if they only had a few suites that feel into the category (maybe the RS and some of the 2-BR suites) it would be so nice.  They could get by with just 1 Genie.  I don't really see why they haven't ever done it.

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On 9/4/2021 at 2:12 PM, wozswoman said:

I've been in interior, never going back. I've been in oceanview, is okay I think for a Bermuda cruise where you are overnight in port or longer. Oceanview is good because you will be on shore the most.  I have my first balcony booked in 22 days, price was about $1000 per person, I've decided I'm never going back to anything other than balcony for the sheer fact of fresh air.  

My husband and I had almost this exact conversation following our last 7 day interior on Allure. We love the sunshine and quiet that a balcony offers. 

I could probably be convinced to book an interior for a < 4 night sailing, but I'd be eyeing those balcony prices. 

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