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Grand Suite question


Huntr104
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1 hour ago, Huntr104 said:

We're thinking of booking a Grand Suite on Explorer OTS.  We've never stayed in a Suite other than Jr. Suites so can you tell me any pros, cons, tips, advice on booking a Grand Suite?  Thanks

The biggest benefit is the size of the room. Explorer has a suite lounge but no Coastal Kitchen.  

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1 hour ago, wordell1 said:

The biggest benefit is the size of the room. Explorer has a suite lounge but no Coastal Kitchen.  

If there is not a Coastal Kitchen I usually do not book Grand Suite.  I will stay with Jr Suite.  The room is large enough for us.  And we can buy the internet package cheaper that upgrading to GS.  I am Diamond+ so do get some perks with that also.  Everyone needs to make the decision to upgrade with what benefits mean the most to them.

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On 12/31/2021 at 5:02 PM, Linda R said:

If there is not a Coastal Kitchen I usually do not book Grand Suite.  I will stay with Jr Suite.  The room is large enough for us.  And we can buy the internet package cheaper that upgrading to GS.  I am Diamond+ so do get some perks with that also.  Everyone needs to make the decision to upgrade with what benefits mean the most to them.

We'll be travelling with our kids age 13 and 9.  So the extra room would be nice.  I'm just not sure if the Suite benefits are worth the extra money on the Voyager Class ships.

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I think it's all personal preference. We're a family of 4 that sails in the 2 br grand suite. DD is on the spectrum and needs a place that is our own to skip around in the afternoons. She and DS are old enough that sharing a pull out doesn't work. DH gets up before dawn and needs a place of his own so the rest of us can sleep until a decent hour. I love the suite lounge and concierge, but we would book this room even without the benefits.

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21 minutes ago, Huntr104 said:

We'll be travelling with our kids age 13 and 9.  So the extra room would be nice.  I'm just not sure if the Suite benefits are worth the extra money on the Voyager Class ships.

We typically book connecting balcony rooms.  You get 2 bathrooms and more space than a suite for a fraction of the cost.  We put the kids in one room with the twin beds and we stay in the other room.  The balcony can be opened up on most ships and there is an inside connecting door that is open.

I should also mention we travel with Autism on the Seas so we get many of the suite benefits anyway like priority boarding, private venue time, reserved section for the shows, etc.  Many of the suite benefits are not needed.

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48 minutes ago, Huntr104 said:

I've seen people say it's not worth booking anything higher than Jr. Suites on ships other than Quantum or Oasis Class ships because you won't get as much bang for your buck.  What are your thoughts on this?

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3 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I know others don’t feel the same but we will always go full suite unless there’s a serious price difference.  We always enjoy the exclusive breakfast venue for suites and often (but not always) enjoy going to the suites lounge for cappuccinos and the occasional evening beverage.  We also really like having separate suite lines for security and check-in and a reserved seating area for entertainment.  That last one, of course, has temporarily (hopefully) suspended for COVID.  Are the suites perks better on O and Q class ships ?  Yes…but we still find enough value in the full suites -on all classes - to book a full suite almost every time.

 

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On 12/31/2021 at 1:36 PM, Huntr104 said:

We're thinking of booking a Grand Suite on Explorer OTS.  We've never stayed in a Suite other than Jr. Suites so can you tell me any pros, cons, tips, advice on booking a Grand Suite?  Thanks

We had a GS on Vision quite a number of years ago and while the extra room was nice we thought is was too much for our needs.  We book Jr. Suites now mainly to get the double nights awarded to our C&A standing.  We also discovered a JS on Quantum class ships has a 1/2 bath plus a full bath.  

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1 hour ago, Pooch said:

We have a JS booked on Explorer in October for 3 adults.  I am toying with upgrading but the lack of additional amenities is holding me back.  Our adult daughter is only 4’11” so she folds pretty small!

We sailed in a jr suite on Explorer in 2020, and loved the cabin.  We felt we had more space, and better laid out, than in some Grand Suites we have stayed in.  I loved the walk in closet, and the sitting area.  Granted, the bathroom is nicer in a GS.  But I would not hesitate to stick with a JS for 3 on that ship.  DD will be on a sofa bed either way, and the closet is big enough to change clothes in, so you actually would have more flexibility for privacy than a GS with just bathroom and main cabin.

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1 hour ago, melmar02 said:

I think it's all personal preference. We're a family of 4 that sails in the 2 br grand suite. DD is on the spectrum and needs a place that is our own to skip around in the afternoons. She and DS are old enough that sharing a pull out doesn't work. DH gets up before dawn and needs a place of his own so the rest of us can sleep until a decent hour. I love the suite lounge and concierge, but we would book this room even without the benefits.

I understand your situation.  I think we can make the sleeping situation work for us.  If not, I'd probably ask for a cart if possible.  I haven't priced out a 2 BR Suite yet and the only other option would be adjoining balcony staterooms but we would miss out on the Suite perks.

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Thank you for the replies everyone.  I have no idea what I want to do.  lol.  This initial cruise was for April of '21 on Odyssey, that was canceled due to the ship not being finished, so we switched it to Oasis.  Then that was canceled, now we're booked for Oasis for this coming April and we're going to push it back to '23.  If we get to go next year it will be 6 years since we last cruised, which is WAY to long of a wait.  So now I'm looking at Suites just to make it special.  I'll figure something out.  I just really like the 8 night Southern Caribbean itinerary from Florida.  So I'm limited in choices.

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Having done nothing but GS since our first cruise, I think they are worth it for the free room service (even from the MDR!), concierge desk, happy hour drinks, reserved seating section in the theater and ice rink, and the expedited boarding and debarkation.  Add to that the extra room in the cabin and the MASSIVE bathroom I think they are absolutely worth a splurge.

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4 hours ago, Huntr104 said:

We'll be travelling with our kids age 13 and 9.  So the extra room would be nice.  I'm just not sure if the Suite benefits are worth the extra money on the Voyager Class ships.

I still book GS and above on non-Quatum/Oasis class ships.  We like our space, we spend a lot of time hanging out in our cabin (and this is even pre-covid), I like the suite lounges.  That alone makes it worth it enough for me to book GS and above.  I am really excited, we have the RS booked on Freedom this coming July and it's just going to be the two of us lol.

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10 hours ago, Huntr104 said:

We'll be travelling with our kids age 13 and 9.  So the extra room would be nice.  I'm just not sure if the Suite benefits are worth the extra money on the Voyager Class ships.


Have you looked at booking 2 cabins with 1 adult and 1 child listed in each one?  That gets you 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms which you don’t get in lost suites.  This usually prices out to about the same or less than booking a junior suite ……/. There’s even the option of 2 cabins that have a connecting door ……….. plus with 1 adult listed in each cabin, the one adult doesn’t have to buy a drink package if one doesn’t drink much but the other does.

 

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We have booked both Junior Suites and Grand Suites on Explorer and Voyager. Last time we were on Explorer the suite lounge was on deck 10 tucked away with with no windows so unless you really want a cabin with a little bit more room and a bigger bathroom I would stick with the JS. Otherwise you are paying quite a lot extra for access to a lounge and concierge which the primary amenity for GS and above. It would be cheaper to buy the unlimited drinks package than effectively pay for lounge access.

Oh I do also remember you get access to Chops for breakfast in a GS if you don’t want to face the masses in Windjammer.

‘All that being said the Grand Suite is still a really nice option if you want to treat yourself. It really depends on what is important to you.

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4 hours ago, F1guynz said:

We have booked both Junior Suites and Grand Suites on Explorer and Voyager. Last time we were on Explorer the suite lounge was on deck 10 tucked away with with no windows so unless you really want a cabin with a little bit more room and a bigger bathroom I would stick with the JS. Otherwise you are paying quite a lot extra for access to a lounge and concierge which the primary amenity for GS and above. It would be cheaper to buy the unlimited drinks package than effectively pay for lounge access.

Oh I do also remember you get access to Chops for breakfast in a GS if you don’t want to face the masses in Windjammer.

‘All that being said the Grand Suite is still a really nice option if you want to treat yourself. It really depends on what is important to you.

Great to see you again !  How are things in NZ ?  I hear the COVID protocols are pretty Draconian.

I think we both agree that the only time the GS is not a good upgrade option (compared to a JS) is the GS on a Quantum class ship.  I really, REALLY dislike the Q class GS and would never choose it again.  IMO the JS is a much better choice (as far as staterooms alone, go).

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5 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I think we both agree that the only time the GS is not a good upgrade option (compared to a JS) is the GS on a Quantum class ship.  I really, REALLY dislike the Q class GS and would never choose it again.  IMO the JS is a much better choice (as far as staterooms alone, go).

Hi…I am certainly considered an amateur when it comes to my knowledge about both cruising and stateroom info.  I am trying for my first Royal Up and it is on Anthem in March.  In your opinion is it better to increase my bid for the JS rather than the GS?  I have only stayed in ocean balcony rooms and really want to experience something bigger…if possible…

Thanks for your expertise!  I have always enjoyed your posts and hope the cruise industry makes changes to their protocols soon to allow everyone onboard so you can get back to being on the ocean!

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7 minutes ago, PPPJJ-GCVAB said:

Hi…I am certainly considered an amateur when it comes to my knowledge about both cruising and stateroom info.  I am trying for my first Royal Up and it is on Anthem in March.  In your opinion is it better to increase my bid for the JS rather than the GS?  I have only stayed in ocean balcony rooms and really want to experience something bigger…if possible…

Thanks for your expertise!  I have always enjoyed your posts and hope the cruise industry makes changes to their protocols soon to allow everyone onboard so you can get back to being on the ocean!

Hi !!

This is really JUST a personal opinion and many may disagree with it.  If it were me, I would not pay a dime more for a GS on Anthem UNLESS you are really into the suite perks.  The GS itself, IMO, has LESS usable living space than does a JS.  This is b/c there is a wall that partially separates the bed area and the living area which completely cuts the room up into 2 small spaces rather than 1 large space.  The bathroom is a mess, IMO.  They have disconnected, bizarrely arranged sinks and 2 exit doors (one to the bedroom and one to the entrance hallway).

If the suite perks are important to you (ability to eat all meals in the Coastal Kitchen, complimentary Voom, Suite Lounge/Concierge access, etc.) then you will not get those in a JS (except possibly dinner in the CK) and you should consider the GS.  If you're only looking for a bit more cabin space, I would say definitely go for the JS and leave the GS alone.  

I would consider ANY other full suite over the GS....but the chances of RU to any of the higher end suites is probably pretty remote.  There are more GS than there are any of those other suites.

Would I turn down a GS if it were offered to me at no charge ?  Nope...but I will never book another Q class GS intentionally if I am paying !

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22 hours ago, ChrisK2793 said:


Have you looked at booking 2 cabins with 1 adult and 1 child listed in each one?  That gets you 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms which you don’t get in lost suites.  This usually prices out to about the same or less than booking a junior suite ……/. There’s even the option of 2 cabins that have a connecting door ……….. plus with 1 adult listed in each cabin, the one adult doesn’t have to buy a drink package if one doesn’t drink much but the other does.

 

I did price it out last night.  You're right.  It's about the same price as a Jr. Suite. This may be an option for us.   Thanks. 

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11 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Great to see you again !  How are things in NZ ?  I hear the COVID protocols are pretty Draconian.

I think we both agree that the only time the GS is not a good upgrade option (compared to a JS) is the GS on a Quantum class ship.  I really, REALLY dislike the Q class GS and would never choose it again.  IMO the JS is a much better choice (as far as staterooms alone, go).

Oh wow,  what didn't you like about the GS on the Quantum Class? There is a itinerary I'm looking at on Anthem that we could drive to instead of flying to Florida. 

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On 1/8/2022 at 6:20 PM, Huntr104 said:

I did price it out last night.  You're right.  It's about the same price as a Jr. Suite. This may be an option for us.   Thanks. 

this is exactly what we did on our last cruise with our 2 teenage kids.  It was perfect!!!  2 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms, connecting door, large balcony because they removed the divider.  It was perfect!!!  My husband doesn't drink so we put myself and my daughter in one room and my husband and son in another.  I bought the drink package and we just bought the soda package for the kids.

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On 1/9/2022 at 4:03 AM, WAAAYTOOO said:

Great to see you again !  How are things in NZ ?  I hear the COVID protocols are pretty Draconian.

I think we both agree that the only time the GS is not a good upgrade option (compared to a JS) is the GS on a Quantum class ship.  I really, REALLY dislike the Q class GS and would never choose it again.  IMO the JS is a much better choice (as far as staterooms alone, go).

Hi, Yep no cruising and vaccine passports in use at the moment. No omicron in NZ yet but that will be here within the coming weeks I am sure. Hopefully the beginning of the end of restrictions and we just learn to live with it.

I definitely agree about the GS on Quantum ships, I can see what the concept was when they put the wall in to separate the bed from the living space but it just makes the whole room feel so claustrophobic compared to the non-quantum ships even though the square footage is not that different.

We have booked the Royal Loft Suite on Quantum next year to try something new, I don't think space will be an issue with this cabin 😀, just have to hope the cruise will go ahead next April.

We are also keen to book the Crystal Endeavor to the Antarctica some time in the next couple of years to experience a once in a lifetime holiday.

 

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3 hours ago, JJef said:

this is exactly what we did on our last cruise with our 2 teenage kids.  It was perfect!!!  2 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms, connecting door, large balcony because they removed the divider.  It was perfect!!!  My husband doesn't drink so we put myself and my daughter in one room and my husband and son in another.  I bought the drink package and we just bought the soda package for the kids.

See my previous post.  This is what we do when we cruise.  I have two teenaged kids and put them in one room and my husband and I stay in the other room.  Inside connecting door and we also have the balcony separation opened for a bigger balcony.

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On 1/8/2022 at 9:25 AM, WAAAYTOOO said:

Hi !!

The GS itself, IMO, has LESS usable living space than does a JS.  This is b/c there is a wall that partially separates the bed area and the living area which completely cuts the room up into 2 small spaces rather than 1 large space.  The bathroom is a mess, IMO.  They have disconnected, bizarrely arranged sinks and 2 exit doors (one to the bedroom and one to the entrance hallway).

I have to say, I unfortunately agree. We did a GS on Odyssey and while in pictures and video the room looked okay, once we (2 adults) were trying to live in it, it was really awkward.

The bedroom area was absolutely not designed to even think of splitting the beds apart which meant that my mom and I were forced to shimmy between a very narrow gap between wall and bed edge anytime we needed to get to the primary bedroom closet or vanity. We often ended up with fingerprints or clothe smears along the TV from this because the TV is on said wall.

In addition, yeah..the bathrooms. You lose all the great counter space seen in any other grand suite because they split the sinks and one is directly in front of the toilet which is always weird to me cuz I feel like I'm staring at myself...

Finally, the living area is long and narrow with a heavy and sharp(ish) glass table in the middle of the walkway. We ended up immediately pushing it up against the TV to lessen the risk of bruised calves and knees. You also lose the bar island thingy seen in most GS. Instead you get 2 smaller ones on opposite walls. We managed to make these work but in comparison to the classic GS layout, we had less space to keep our used room service tray (a small but present inconvenience).

I'm not sure if i will bump down or up on the next Quantum class I'm on (whenever that's bound to happen) but I do think I'll think a bit harder on a standard GS.

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  • 8 months later...
18 minutes ago, Snotarni said:

Can you grab a soda from the Suite Lounge on Explorer during non-cocktail hours (like you can make funky coffees?).  We're in an OS next week, and contemplating the soda package.  Thanks!

No, when the Suite Lounge is unstaffed on Explorer the only thing you can get is coffee. Sometimes they will leave bottle of water out, but don't count on it.

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