I tried a Junior Suite to see if it’s worth it. I spent $1200 extra to upgrade from a balcony cabin

In:
24 Oct 2023

One of the most challenging decisions you can make is trying to determine if it's worth it to spend extra to move up from a balcony cabin to a Junior Suite.

Junior Suite on Serenade of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's cabins come in many configurations, and there are pros and cons to each. You can find great value with an inside cabin, look for the perks of a suite, or find comfort in a balcony. Everyone picks a room for different reasons.

The Junior Suites on Royal Caribbean fall into a blend of both balcony and suite, and it is difficult to make a general rule why you might pick it over a balcony cabin.

The reason choosing between a balcony or Junior Suite is challenging is because of how close in nature they are and because the price gap can be so different depending on the sailing you pick.

serenade-of-the-seas-dreamstime

Not only that you could also be choosing between moving up to a Junior Suite or even going further and booking a Grand Suite.

On my Serenade of the Seas 7-night cruise to Canada and New England, I decided to book a Junior Suite and spend right around $1200 more to move up to a Junior Suite and I think it was worth it.

Room differences

Junior Suite on Serenade of the Seas

I'm fond of describing a Junior Suite as, "an extra large balcony room" because in many ways it boils down to that.

Most balcony cabins on Serenade of the Seas will have 179 square feet of living space and a 41 square foot balcony.

The Junior Suite comes in at 300 square feet and 65 square feet of balcony space. That's not quite double, but it's close to it.

Junior Suite on Serenade of the Seas

If you're sharing the cabin with one other person, the Junior Suite can feel palatial in terms of how much extra space you have to walk around. It's noticeable when you try to get around the other person without having to shimmy or slip by them.

Junior Suite on Serenade of the Seas
Junior Suite on Serenade of the Seas

I think a lot of people that book Junior Suites love the bathroom configuration, as you'll get a full-size tub instead of the standard shower.

Junior Suite on Serenade of the Seas

The balcony is also larger, and if you spend a lot of time on your balcony, then there's a good reason to move up to a Junior Suite. Having not just chairs but a lounger makes it feel like a spot you would want to spend time in, and there's enough room on the balcony that it feels like a big space.

One other difference with a Junior Suite is there is a walk-in closet.  On Royal Caribbean's older ships that don't have as much storage space as newer ships, it's so nice having plenty of closet space.

Junior Suite balcony on Serenade of the Seas
Junior Suite balcony on Serenade of the Seas
Junior Suite balcony on Serenade of the Seas

Like all cabins, you'll get a mini fridge, safe, vanity sitting area, and storage space.

What you get for staying in a Junior Suite

Junior Suite on Serenade of the Seas

While not a full suite, you do get certain perks for booking a Junior Suite.

  • An extra point per night in Crown and Anchor Society
  • Priority boarding
  • Dinner at Coastal Kitchen on Oasis Class and Quantum class ships
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Bathtub
  • Walk-in closet

What I liked about my Junior Suite

Junior Suite on Serenade of the Seas

Walking into my Junior Suite on Serenade of the Seas, I was immediately struck by the width of the room. If you've never been in a Junior Suite, you will immediately notice how much bigger it is.

The room isn't actually that much longer, but it's certainly wider.  There's more space to walk when moving past the bed, and then there's a sofa, table, and chair and ottoman.

Junior Suite on Serenade of the Seas

I really loved the chair and ottoman much more than I thought I would, and it was the perfect spot to get work done while being comfortable.

I also found the shower to be much more enjoyable because it's not the usual "space tube" shower.  I'm sure those that prefer having a tub will find it even more important.

Junior Suite on Serenade of the Seas

Then there's the balcony, and I find I spend so much more time on my balcony when it's not very hot outside. Being this was an October cruise to Canada, heat was not an issue.

We stayed in the two bedroom panoramic oceanview suite on Serenade last year when sailing to Alaska, and it lacked a balcony in favor of windows.

Read more: Royal Caribbean Alaska guide

In retrospect, I much rather prefer the balcony now because I like having the fresh air, sound of the ocean, and being able to peek my head over the balcony railing to see what's coming up.

Junior Suite on Serenade of the Seas

I would be remiss if I did not talk about the fact it's not really a suite, so there's no Suite Lounge access or Concierge host benefits.

This doesn't bother me much on this sailing because I was with a large group of friends sailing on a Royal Caribbean Blog group cruise, so I wouldn't want to spend much time in the Suite Lounge anyway.

However, you still get two Crown and Anchor Points per day for staying in a Junior Suite, which makes it an easy way to move up the ladder of Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

Cost difference

Junior Suite on Serenade of the Seas

I don't think any factor weighs as much in if it's worth it to book a Junior Suite than how much more it will cost.

You can wax poetically all about why it's worth booking any cabin, but money is what makes the world go 'round and it's a major reason for anyone to pick a cabin.

The cost difference between a standard oceanview balcony and a Junior Suite on this sailing was $1258.

Balcony room on Serenade of the Seas

My Junior Suite cost $4181 for two people, including gratuities and it was a refundable cruise fare. My price dropped to $3913 when my wife was dropped from the reservation because she could not sail.

Someone else on my cruise staying in an oceanview balcony paid $2655 for two people in their room.

The cost difference will vary considerably for every cruise, and sometimes the price gap is negligible, and other times it's substantial.

So why did I think it was worth spending extra?

Ultimately, I valued the space it provided and because at the time of booking, I thought it would be a cruise for just me and my wife and why not splurge a little bit to get a bigger room.

I'll spend extra when my kids cruise with us, but I have a tendency to assume if it's just me or my wife, that we don't need a lot of space.

Serenade of the Seas balcony

Given that I knew the itinerary would be new and not hot outside, I thought a balcony was necessary.  Having a larger balcony was equally interesting.

The more I thought about it, the more I felt a Junior Suite was an affordable splurge. I certainly could have saved the money and used it towards something else, but I wanted to treat my wife to something bigger than a balcony without going up to a suite.

Is a Junior Suite worth it?

Junior Suite

Depending on your sailing, the price difference will vary considerably.

The extra space, double Crown and Anchor Society points, and tub shower are nice perks to have. Just like any larger cabin, when you get onboard and have the extra space, you'll likely forget about the bill you paid a few months earlier.

The primary decision for most is the cost. The difference can be just a few hundred dollars or up to thousands.

JS balcony

The decision can be more worthwhile to move up to a Junior Suite if you have more than two people in a cabin. This is when that extra space can really come in handy.

It can also be worth it to book a Junior Suite if you're chasing Crown and Anchor points.  Getting an extra point per night makes it easier to get to the higher tiers faster.

Ultimately, I compare the price of a Junior Suite to a balcony and then think about who I'm sharing the room with, the itinerary, and if I think I'll spend a lot of time in the room or not.

I paid $300 to upgrade my inside cabin to a suite. Take a look at our entry-level suite

In:
08 Sep 2023

I almost always book an inside cabin for my Royal Caribbean cruises. Because these staterooms are both affordable and functional, I can save so much money by staying in an inside stateroom. However, once in a while, I will make a splurge to stay in a more spacious and luxurious cabin. But, I still try not to break the bank when I upgrade to a higher-end stateroom. 

Odyssey of the Seas

Last October, I sailed on a bucket-list 12-night itinerary from Rome to Israel onboard Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas with my family. We originally booked our stateroom more than a year in advance, but opted to place a last minute bid to upgrade our room for this special cruise with our parents. Although I initially booked an inside cabin with my sister, I ended up placing a bid for a junior suite through the cruise line’s Royal Up program.

Much to our surprise, our minimum bid was accepted within a few weeks of our sailing! My parents also bid on a junior suite and their bid was accepted as well. For just $300 per person, my sister and I were able to upgrade from an inside cabin to a junior suite during our 12-night itinerary. The Royal Up program shows how competitive your bid is, and this $300 bid was considered very competitive. 

Since Odyssey of the Seas is part of the Quantum Ultra-class, suites onboard are considered part of the Royal Suite Class. Our entry-level junior suite was considered part of the Sea Class, which is the lowest tier; but, we still received upgraded amenities during our stay, such as luxury shower products, mattresses and bathrobes. We also had access each evening to enjoy dinner in Coastal Kitchen, which is only available to suite guests. 

Take a look inside our junior suite onboard one of Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ships - and why it was absolutely worth the $300 upgrade!

For this cruise, we were assigned a junior suite on Deck 10. We would be staying in 10638 during the cruise, which was conveniently located mid-ship.

Odyssey of the Seas

Being located on a higher deck, the suite also had quick, easy access to the pool deck and Windjammer buffet. Since we had many early morning excursions in Israel, being close to the buffet saved us time each morning. We appreciate the convenience of being located in a premium spot onboard. 

Since our parents were staying in a junior suite too, we were pleased to find that out that our rooms were literally right next to one another. This was presumably since we had our reservations linked, but it was a relief to know we would be next to one another. 

However, when you bid through the Royal Up program, you do not have the option to choose the specific stateroom. Instead, you are assigned a stateroom through the cruise line if your bid is accepted. This is a risk you take when you bid on a stateroom through the program, as you could get a less-than-ideal location onboard. Luckily, our gamble paid off, but we know this is not always the case. 

Once we boarded Odyssey of the Seas in Italy for our 12-night cruise, we were blown away by the junior suite!

To start, the cabin was extremely spacious and featured a beautiful, modern design. We found there to be a large bedroom area with two night stands, along with a small living room with a sectional. There was also a large bathroom with a separate space for the toilet, meaning we had dual sinks to use. The balcony was extra large as well, which gave us sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea. 

Our junior suite was 300 square feet - this is about double the size of a standard inside cabin on most cruise ships. The balcony was an additional 80 square feet, so we had plenty of space to enjoy the sea views. 

The sheer size of the cabin was very impressive and much bigger than we had expected. I am accustomed to the coziness of an inside cabin, so having this much space really did feel like a luxury. We really needed the extra space since we our suitcases were packed to the brim!

Also, because junior suites are classified as entry-level, these staterooms are not the largest or most luxurious suites onboard. These are more affordable suites that provide extra room and a few special amenities. For us, the extra space and amenities made this cruising experience extra memorable.

As you can imagine, we had generously packed our suitcases in anticipation of a 3-week trip to Europe with multiple climates. 

My sister and I independently visited Paris before the cruise, which was experiencing cool fall weather. But, we still had to pack for the hot, summer weather in Israel with highs in the 90s. As such, we had both filled up our suitcases to the brim with necessities for our European adventure.

Our stateroom had a large closet and vanity for storage. We quickly filled up the shelves, hangers and drawers with clothes for our 12-night adventure to Israel. After lugging around two suitcases to Paris and then Rome, we were both excited to get settled into our cabin for the entirety of the cruise. The junior suite really became our home away from home during this cruise. 

Our suitcases fit under the twin beds after we had unpacked all of our clothes. This kept the suite feeling roomy and less cluttered. I find this is always important regardless of which stateroom you stay in, as it really optimizes the space. 

Because I was sailing with my sister, we opted to have the room configured with two separate twin-sized beds instead of a king bed.  

The beds were located between a small sectional and the bathroom in our cabin. Directly across from the bed was the TV, vanity and closet. The room was so wide that we had more than enough space to navigate around the stateroom. 

When we arrived to our suite on the first day, the beds were configured into a king-size bed. Although I typically prefer to have the beds together in this manner, my sister was insistent that we separate them. We asked our stateroom attendant to separate the beds, and this was quickly done while we were at dinner on the first night. 

With a very port-intensive itinerary, it was vital that we had good rest each night so we could have energy for our 13-hour excursions! The mattresses in our junior suite were considered elevated from a standard mattress onboard. We both agreed the beds felt extra comfortable, but this could have been the result of long-days exploring in port and fighting off jet lag.

I find that separating the beds in a smaller cabin can make the space feel more open; however, in a larger cabin like this, it really does not make much of a difference. 

Because our stateroom was part of the Royal Suite Class, we received some extra perks, including access to Coastal Kitchen and an espresso machine in our stateroom.

If you choose to stay in a suite on your cruise vacation, you will typically receive extra perks and amenities. Top-tier suites will come with a laundry list of amenities and perks. Because a junior suite is considered entry-level, you will only receive a full suite benefits compared to higher-end suites. 

As you know, we received upgraded shower products, a more luxurious bed and also softer bathrobes. In addition, our junior suite also featured an espresso machine on the vanity to use throughout the week. This was perfect for our busy mornings getting ready for the day. 

For junior suite guests, Royal Caribbean provides evening access to Coastal Kitchen, but access is a little restricted. Junior suite guests can dine here as long as there is room onboard for all suite guests and Pinnacle loyalty members to dine as well. This exclusive dining venue is only for suite guests and it is supposed to provide higher-quality service and meals. 

We had to make an individual reservation each evening, as we could not be guaranteed a dining slot for the entire cruise. We were excited to try out this venue for the first time, but we found the ambiance to be a little too snooty and uptight for our liking. We also did not find the service or menu to be worth the nightly reservation debacle or unwelcoming vibe. 

This could have been a one-off bad experience for us, but we opted to go to the main dining room for the rest of the cruise. We ended up meeting nice table mates next to us, who we enjoyed chatting with each evening. This was a much more welcoming experience and we throughly enjoyed the food and service in the main dining room.

Finally, we also received priority embarkation and disembarkation as additional perks of staying in a junior suite. In our experience, it was a breeze getting on and off Odyssey of the Seas at the port of Civitavecchia so the priority embarkation and disembarkation was not as lucrative as a more congested port could be.  

The junior suite featured an oversized balcony, which is nearly double the size of a standard Royal Caribbean balcony. 

One of the biggest perks of a junior suite is having an oversized balcony. Since I am used to not even having a window, let alone a balcony, having this private veranda was a huge luxury. We were able to watch the ship pull into port each morning from the balcony, which was very nice.

Having a private balcony meant we could take advantage of the views right from the comfort of our suite. In an inside cabin, you have to venture to an outer deck to see any sort of views from our cabin. If you’re sailing somewhere scenic, this means you spend more time outside of your stateroom than inside. 

In addition, the balcony featured upgraded furniture with padded chairs. We had two plushy loungers to enjoy on our cruise, along with a small table. This was the perfect space to relax during sea days or in the evenings while the ships sailed away from each port into the Mediterranean. The sunsets were unbelievable each evening and we could watch them from the comfort of our own suite. 

Our favorite feature of the junior suite was the upgraded, large bathroom with a separate space for the toilet. 

The best feature of our junior suite was the amplified bathroom with a bathtub, walk-in shower, marble-designed flooring, and an entirely separate area for the toilet. This separate space had an additional vanity, mirror, sink and shelving, which was a huge time saver in the morning when my sister and I were both getting ready. 

The bathroom was beautifully designed with modern finishings, such as the marble-designed flooring. This made the bathroom feel bright and more spacious than any bathroom I've had in a cruise ship cabin.

Our bathroom also featured a full-sized bathtub. I am not one to take baths frequently at home, but this tub was nicer than the one in my own home. So, you can bet that I took a few relaxing baths here during the cruise!

I had never experienced a split-bathroom in a cruise ship cabin before; however, I hope this is a trend that sticks around! Having the separate space felt like another luxury, as my sister and I could each get ready at the same time without having to take turns using the sink and vanity. 

Additionally, the walk-in shower was by far the nicest and most modern shower I’ve ever used on a cruise ship. The floor had a marble design and featured a ledge for sitting and tons of space. An inside cabin, especially on an older ship, normally has a shower capsule that is barely big enough for one person. This shower was truly one of the best features of the junior suite!

I found myself spending more time in the suite than I normally do when sailing in a lower-end cabin.

Inside cabins are very cozy, so I tend to not spend as much time in my stateroom when cruising. Instead, I will spend more time exploring the ship and enjoying views from places like the Solarium.

On this cruise, I ended spending more time in the junior suite because it felt so much more luxurious than a typical cruise cabin. I enjoyed spending my time there and wanted to retreat to this quiet space where I could take in the sweeping balcony views to myself.

The suite was so warm and welcoming that it felt like a comfortable place to relax each day - and I did not have to worry about missing out on any of the ocean views. 

Spending $300 each to upgrade to a junior suite was absolutely worth it for this 12-night itinerary. 

Staying in a junior suite truly amplified our cruising experience onboard Odyssey of the Seas. Being in an entry-level suite on a newer ship was quite the luxurious experience, especially since my sister and I tend to sail on older ships in an inside cabin.

At the end of the day, it felt like a steal snagging this junior suite for just $300 each. Having the extra space was more than worth this upgrade cost. We felt lucky that our bid was accepted for this price, especially considering we received a suite located mid-ship. Having our parents right next to us with their accepted bid as well.

We appreciated having access to Coastal Kitchen, although the reservation system felt cumbersome, especially when Odyssey of the Seas has so many dining options. Having the upgraded amenities, such as the plush loungers on the balcony, soft bathrobes and higher-end shower products, were all nice touches to elevate the experience even more. 

My sister and I both agreed that having the extra space alone made this junior suite worthwhile, especially for a longer itinerary where we had packed much more than we normally do. I would not hesitate to book, or bid on, another junior suite in the future.

Royal Caribbean Junior Suite Perks

In:
27 Apr 2023

Those looking to book their next cruise in a suite onboard a Royal Caribbean ship might be wondering about the differences between a Junior Suite and higher tiered suites. 

A Junior Suite is the entry-level suite on all Royal Caribbean vessels, meaning that you will not be able to enjoy the full suite experience. Even though these staterooms have a few additional perks than standard cabins, they can be thought of like larger balcony cabins. 

Here's everything you need to know about staying in a Junior Suite and the associated perks. 

What ships have Junior Suites onboard?

Junior Suite on Rhapsody of the Seas

Junior Suites can be found on all Royal Caribbean ships; it does not matter if you are sailing on a Vision Class ship or the world's largest cruise ship, Wonder of the Seas. Since it is the lowest tier of suite available, there are more onboard than say, for instance, Grand Suites or Owner's Suites. That being said, the number of available Junior Suites will be fewer on older ships.

Vision of the Seas, for instance, has 77 Junior Suites. In comparison, Wonder of the Seas has over 100! 

How big are Junior Suites?

The exact size and layout of Junior Suites varies between classes of ships. In essence, though, they are large cabins that offer more square footage, both inside and on the balcony, than standard balcony cabins.

Most fall somewhere between 240 and 300 square feet with balconies ranging from 50 to 80 square feet. The best way to tell how large the Junior Suite you are looking at will be is to check out the ship's deck plan. 

In most cases, Junior Suites come equipped with a Royal King bed than can be covered into two twin beds that covert upon request, a sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, larger closet, and en-suite bathroom with a bathtub and larger vanity area. 

What perks come with staying in a Junior Suite?

Junior Suite on Harmony of the Seas

Unfortunately, staying in a Junior Suite does not grant you access to the full list of suite amenities. 

If you want to utilize the concierge, have priority access to dining reservations and spa bookings, access the suite lounge, or enjoy a private breakfast in a specialty restaurant (or Coastal Kitchen), you will need to consider booking a Grand Suite or above. 

In terms of what comes with a Junior Suite, the primary benefits that you will get are Royal Caribbean bathrobes for onboard use only, a Lavazza espresso machine in your stateroom, luxury bathroom amenities, and priority boarding.

Colored SeaPass card

If you stay in a Junior Suite, your SeaPass will be a different color than the standard blue SeaPass for regular cabins. 

It will be silver for those staying in Junior Suites onboard Vision, Radiance, Voyager, and Freedom Class ships. Since Oasis and Quantum Ships have the Royal Suite Class onboard, SeaPasses on these ships are determined by what category of suite you are in: Sea, Sky, or Star. 

Junior Suites are the only suites that are part of the Sea Class, which comes with a blue-green SeaPass card. 

Note that colors can vary based on ship and sailing!

Coastal Kitchen

If you are sailing on an Oasis or Quantum Class ship, you will find that there is a dedicated suites-only restaurant called Coastal Kitchen. While those staying in Grand Suites and above can access it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Junior Suite guests can only eat here for dinner based on availability.  

You will want to make sure that you head to Coastal Kitchen on embarkation day to make any reservations. A good tip is to be flexible with your dining times. If you are set on eating at 7:00pm everyday, for instance, you may be disappointed if they say they can only seat you early or late. 

Extra Crown & Anchor loyalty points

Royal Caribbean ships docked with gangway

Those staying in standard staterooms will get one Crown & Anchor loyalty point for each night of the cruise. For a 4-night vacation, for example, you would earn 4 points, and for a 7-night cruise, you would earn 7. 

Those staying in a Junior Suite, however, will be awarded two points per night, so a 3-night cruise would get you 6 points, while a 7-night would get you 14. 

Staying in a Junior Suite is one way to climb the Crown & Anchor loyalty ladder faster to get rewarded with additional perks, such as daily drink vouchers, free laundry, welcome waters in your cabin, and more. 

What do Junior Suites not include?

Royal Caribbean ships docked with gangway

Guests staying in Junior Suites will not get the majority of suite benefits that are available to those staying in Grand Suites and above. Here are the benefits those guests receive from staying in a regular suite:

  • Pillowtop mattress
  • Priority departure 
  • Concierge service
  • Suite Lounge/Concierge Club access with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails every evening)
  • Priority dining, spa, and shore excursion bookings
  • Bridge, galley, and backstage tours
  • VIP pool deck seating (not available on Vision or Radiance Class)
  • Priority tendering 
Desk in a suite
  • Welcome Evian water & fruit 
  • Ability to order from the Main Dining Room for in-suite dining (during operating hours)
  • Complimentary 24-hour room service
  • Private breakfast and lunch seating (location varies by ship and sailing)
  • Departure breakfast 
  • Reserved seating for shows 
  • Complimentary pressing on first formal night

And, of course, since Junior Suites are in the Sea Class on Oasis and Quantum ships, they will not be eligible for any Star or Sky Class perks. 

The main perk is the additional space. For a family of four staying in one cabin, this would be much more comfortable than one standard balcony!

How much does it cost to stay in a Junior Suite? 

Junior Suite on Allure of the Seas

Since Junior Suites are the lowest tier of suite available on Royal Caribbean cruises, they are also the cheapest. If, however, you are trying to cruise on a budget, you may find that they are still relatively expensive compared to other cabin options. 

The cost depends on the ship, time of year, and length of itinerary, and as with most cruises, the newer the ship, the most the suite will cost. 

odyssey-of-the-seas-junior-suite

A Junior Suite on a 7-night Greek Isles cruise on Odyssey of the Seas departing in August 2024 starts at $2,423 per person, based on double occupancy. In comparison, an obstructed ocean view balcony is currently being advertised for $1,763 per person.   

junior-suite-rhapsody-of-the-seas

A 7-night Southern Caribbean cruise onboard Rhapsody of the Seas that also departs in August 2024 starts at $1,393 per person, based on double occupancy, for a Junior Suite. In this case, a balcony is not too much less, as they begin at $1,238 per person! 

rhapsody-of-the-seas-balcony-stateroom

There is no set price for a Junior Suite, so if staying in one on your upcoming cruise interests you, take the time to do some research or reach out to a travel agent who can assist you with the booking process.

Sometimes, getting a Junior Suite is worth the cost because the price difference between it and a standard balcony stateroom is minimal.

And while it may not include as many benefits as other higher tiered suites, there are enough perks to (often) justify the up charge, with one of the most important being the double Crown & Anchor points. An extra couple of hundred dollars to help you upgrade to the next tier may well be worth it.

Royal Caribbean's Junior Suites: What you need to know

In:
26 Jul 2016

Guests looking for a larger stateroom that provides a few suite perks combined with a balcony experience often look to a Junior Suite on Royal Caribbean's cruise ships.

Junior Suite on Symphony of the Seas

While not a full suite in terms of the space provided or amenities included, Junior Suites do provide a lot more living space than balcony cabins.

Junior suite staterooms are available on all Royal Caribbean cruise ships and this blog post is aimed at helping everyone understand better what a Junior Suite cabin offers and why you might want to book one.

Junior Suite Basics

Junior Suites are the first type of suite staterooms that Royal Caribbean offers.  Despite its name, Junior Suites have more in common with balcony staterooms than suites.

The exact layout and size of a Junior Suite will vary between classes of ships, but they all are essentially a large cabin with private balcony that offers more perks than a regular balcony stateroom.

In most cases, you will find in a junior suite two twin beds that convert to a Royal King, a sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony and a private bathroom with a bathtub.

Couple in Junior Suite

The exact size of a junior suite varies from ship to ship, anywhere from 112 square feet on Empress of the Seas to 299 square feet on Brilliance of the Seas.  Most junior suites are about 290 square feet.

The size of the balcony ranges as well, from 40 square feet  to 161 square feet, depending on the ship.

Junior Suite benefits

The most common question about a Junior Suite is why book this category of stateroom and what benefits does one receive by staying in one.

Without question, a Junior Suite offers more space than a regular balcony stateroom and that means more living space in your cabin.  This extra space is in both the cabin and the balcony.  When it comes to accommodations on cruise ships, every extra square foot of living space is wonderful.

In addition to the living space, Junior Suites offer a full size tub, which is is great for families or those who like having more space in their shower, as well as a walk-in closet. 

Junior Suites also offer guests double Crown and Anchor Society points, which means guests can move up the ranks of the Crown and Anchor Society levels much faster. 

If you would like to attain a higher status in Crown and Anchor as soon as possible, booking Junior Suites is one strategy to maximizing the cruises you take to accomplish that goal.

Junior suites also include tea and coffee service ensuite and terry bathrobes (for use onboard). In addition, junior suite guests receive silver SeaPass cards to distinguish themselves as suite guests to Royal Caribbean staff.

Royal Suite Class

Junior Suite on Allure of the Seas

In May 2016, Royal Caribbean ushered in a new revamped approach to its suite benefits program called the Royal Suite Class, and Junior Suites are included in this.

Available on Quantum- and Oasis-class cruise ships, Junior Suites qualify for Sea Class benefits.  These include:

  • Dinner access to Coastal Kitchen (dinner only)
  • Luxury Pillowtop Mattress
  • L’Occitane Bathroom Amenities

What Junior Suites do not include

Junior Suite on Radiance of the Seas

Despite the word, "suite" being in the name of the Junior Suite, guests staying in a Junior Suite do not receive the full suite perks.  

This means guests do not receive the same level of benefits and access that guests staying in Grand Suite or higher staterooms do.  Most notably, this includes access to the concierge lounge, concierge service or reserved suites-only areas of the ship.

How much do Junior Suites cost?

Junior Suite on Harmony of the Seas

Like all cabins, the price you'll pay for a Junior Suite will vary from ship to ship, and sailing to sailing. Moreover, a Junior Suite on an older ship will cost less than one on a new ship.

The real question is how much more will a Junior Suite cost compared to a standard balcony cabin.

For a 7-night Caribbean cruise, a Junior Suite for two people could be as cheap as $2,000 or approach $10,000.  There are so many factors that influence the price of any cabin, such as:

  • Time of year you sail
  • How many other cabins are already booked
  • Ship
  • Class of ship

Are Junior Suites worth it?

The bottom line is Junior Suites are extra large balcony staterooms that provide a less-expensive means of splurging for accommodations on a Royal Caribbean cruise without breaking the bank.

The extra living space and perks of a Junior Suite are a nice to have benefit, that provide for a much more enjoyable experience while in your stateroom. Between the extra storage space, larger balcony and bathroom upgrades, many guests easily can see and appreciate the extras.

Junior Suite on Rhapsody of the Seas

Many Royal Caribbean veterans will tell you the determining factor to if a Junior Suite is worth the price is it depends on the price difference between it and a regular balcony stateroom.  Many times, a Junior Suite upgrade cost is nominal, while on other sailings the price difference has been more substantial.  

While a Junior Suite may not offer nearly as many perks and incentives as a traditional suite stateroom, it does include enough advantages to satisfy the needs of most guests looking to enjoy something nicer than a balcony stateroom but cannot or will not opt for a more extravagant suite.

Everything about Royal Caribbean's Junior Suites

In:
02 Jan 2014

If there's a type of Royal Caribbean stateroom that gets more questions than any other, it's probably the junior suite.  This stateroom category is available on all Royal Caribbean cruise ships and we thought it would be useful to look at what this stateroom does (and does not) include and why you might want to consider booking it for your next cruise.

Junior suite on Freedom of the Seas. Photo by Royal Caribbean

What is a junior suite?

The junior suite stateroom is the first category of suites Royal Caribbean offers.  The layout and decorations of junior suites vary by ship, but at its core it's a large cabin with private balcony.

In most cases, you will find in a junior suite two twin beds that convert to a Royal King, a sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony and a private bathroom with a bathtub.

The exact size of a junior suite varies from ship to ship, anywhere from 221 square feet on Majesty of the Seas to 299 square feet on Brilliance of the Seas.  Most junior suites are about 290 square feet.

The size of the balcony ranges as well, from 61 square feet on Majesty of the Seas to 94 square feet on Freedom-class ships.  When Quantum of the Seas launches later this year, junior suite balconies will be 161 square feet in size!

Oasis of the Seas Junior Suite - Photo by boynup

What are the benefits of booking a junior suite?

There are two main benefits to booking a junior suite. First and foremost, is the space this category of stateroom gives you.  Compared to regular balcony staterooms, junior suites give much more living space as well as balcony space on average. 

The other main benefit to booking a junior suite is you get double the Crown and Anchor Society points.  All suites are eligible for double Crown & Anchor Society points.

Of course, junior suites are the least expensive of the suite category and often priced competitively with standard balconies.  For many, booking a junior suite does not require much more money to upgrade yourself to.  

Junior suites also include tea and coffee service ensuite and terry bathrobes (for use onboard).  In addition, junior suite guests receive silver SeaPass cards to distinguish themselves as suite guests to Royal Caribbean staff.

Independence of the Seas Junior Suite bathroom - Photo by David & Cheryl M

What are the disadvantages of booking a junior suite?

Despite the word "suite" being in its name, junior suites do not receive the benefits associated with being a suite guest on Royal Caribbean.  Specifically, this means no access to the concierge lounge or the concierge service.

Summary

Junior suites are spacious staterooms that for many people are an affordable way to splurge without breaking the bank.  

The increased living space makes a big difference when compared to smaller staterooms. It allows for much more comfortable living and avoids the whole "get by your roommate shuffle".  The full tub is also a big deal for many guests, especially many women we hear from.

Granted, you do not get the suite perks that many aspire to get access to, but the double Crown and Anchor Society points are still a good way to move yourself up in the system.

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