Staterooms

What is the best room on a cruise ship?

In:
Category: 
19Feb2020

When you book a cruise vacation, you will need to choose a cabin and entails determining the best stateroom for your family.

Naturally, you might be wondering what is the best room on a cruise ship. Here is a look at what to know before booking your cabin.

Picking the best room on a cruise

The short answer is there is no single option for everyone that is "the best." Rather, the best cabin for anyone is relative to their preferences, budget and tastes.

Royal Caribbean provides a great deal of staterooms to choose between on any cruise, that run the gamut of price, location and amenities.

When it comes to picking the best stateroom, you will have to weigh these considerations:

First and foremost, how much you can spend on a room will dictate largely your choices.  If you are cruising on a slim budget, suites and perhaps even balcony rooms are going to be out of the question.  If you have more to spend, then you will have more choices.

Perhaps the toughest decision is what type of stateroom to pick. There are good arguments to be made for every type of room, from inside rooms to balconies to suites.

An inside room will save you a lot of money, and makes a lot of sense since the ship has so much to see and do that you likely will not be spending much time in the room.  You could spend a little bit more and get an oceanview room and gain some natural light.  Or perhaps you go for a balcony room, which provides a private area to step outside and enjoy the ocean breeze as you see fit.  And of course, a suite means having the ultimate in luxury onboard and being in a room that nice, you will find good reason to enjoy time in there.

Choosing the right room for you is about how you like to cruise, and what you are looking to do onboard.  Shorter cruises means you will likely be running around trying to see and do everything, so investing a ton in an expensive room may not make financial sense.  On longer sailings, having a larger room means more space to spread out and enjoy to nap, read or watch the world go by.

Deciding if a balcony room is worth the price is something many cruisers have to consider with each booking. Ultimately, it depends on your budget and how much more it would cost to move up to a balcony room (or suite) from a lower category.

How important is location

Where your room is located plays a factor in determining what the best location is on a cruise ship.

The primary concern for most people when choosing a room is noise bleed.  The good news is that most rooms on Royal Caribbean do a good job at blocking out most noise, but no stateroom is soundproof.

A good rule of thumb when choosing a room is picking one that has no public spaces directly one deck above or one deck below it.

When choosing a room, you will need to look at if it's on a higher deck versus lower deck, as well as midship versus forward or aft.

In general, the most popular spot to be on a cruise ship is midship on a higher deck because these rooms are centrally located. Moreover, cabins towards the middle of the ship have the reputation of providing a smoother ride when the ocean is rough. The sensation of movement due to the ocean is perceived differently by everyone, but it is worth noting.

Staying on a lower deck has the advantage of being closer to popular common areas, such as the Royal Promenade, theaters and dining rooms. This means less dependency on elevators.

A room on a higher deck provides more desirable views, as well as being closer in proximity to the pool deck. On warm weather sailings, this may be a very convenient choice.

Which is the best side of a cruise ship to be on?

Many readers are curious which side of the ship they should pick for the room, and I believe it does not matter at all.

First and foremost, there is no set side that is always going to face one particular direction in port or at sea.  It varies depending on a variety of factors, and none of them are going to be known until you are onboard. Moreover, there is plenty to see in all directions when it comes to most sailings.

When docked, the crew can tie up a ship on either side. This means that one side does not consistently have better views when in port.

Ultimately, where your room is located on the ship (midship versus forward or aft) is an arguably more important consideration than the side of the ship.

Room upgrades & Guarantees

If all of this has made sense up until now, here are two other stateroom options that may change up your decision, while potentially saving you money.

Bidding for a room upgrade

Royal Caribbean offers guests on most sailings the opportunity to bid for a stateroom upgrade through something called RoyalUp.

RoyalUp asks guest to provide a blind bid for a stateroom upgrade on the chance the room is available.  Once a bid is made, Royal Caribbean will consider it until such time that there is an upgrade opportunity. 

The advantage of upgrading your room via RoyalUp is that you could move up to a higher, more desirable room, for less than booking it outright.  However, there is no way to know if there is even an upgrade opportunity (the program is used quite often by the cruise line as a backup incase someone cancels at the last minute) and there is no way to know if your bid is "good enough" to win.

If your RoyalUp bid is accepted, Royal Caribbean will assign your room automatically, leaving little to no choice in its location.

Guarantee Rooms

If you want to save money on the a cabin, and are not particular about the exact location, then a guarantee room assignment might be the choice for you.

Booking a stateroom guarantee means Royal Caribbean will pick the exact room assignment for you, while guaranteeing you will get that room category or higher.  

So if you booked a balcony guarantee, you would be assured of getting at least a stateroom with private balcony somewhere on the ship, with the exact room assignment coming later.  Guarantee rooms could potentially provide a higher room category, although this is a rare occurrence.

For guests who do not care that much where exactly on the ship their room is located, a guarantee room booking can save a lot of money on the cruise fare.

What is the best location on a cruise ship?

In:
Category: 
20Jan2020

Which is the best side of a cruise ship to be on? Is it better to be on a higher deck on a cruise ship? Where is the best place on a cruise ship to avoid seasickness?

New cruisers often are curious about how important their cabin selection is, and what is the best spot for them on a cruise ship.

There are a number of considerations when it comes to picking the best place to stay on a cruise ship, and a lot of has to do with convenience and seasickness.

Cabin size and cost

Likely the first consideration when picking the perfect stateroom for you is the price and how much space it offers.

Just like picking a hotel room, your cruise ship cabin options come in a variety of sizes, layouts and prices.

When choosing a room, you will first have to figure out which stateroom category you desire, which places the stateroom in a ballpark of price and amenities.

Interior rooms will offer the least amount of space at usually the lowest price. Balcony rooms and suites offer the most space and amenities with also the highest price tag.

Exact room dimensions, layout and price will vary and you can see a large discrepancy in price depending on a variety of factors (check out How far in advance should I book a cruise to get the best price).

Location

Where the room is located can dictate price and options. In general, many cruisers prefer mid-ship room locations on a lower deck, especially if getting seasick is a major concern.

Rooms that are located at the very front or very aft of the ship, and/or rooms on higher decks have a reputation of there being more noticeable movement.

Whether your room is on the port or starboard side of the ship is in most cases totally irrelevant. There are a few rare itineraries where the side of the ship your room is on may matter subjectively, but it is not a factor that I recommend considering.

Picking the right room is often a question of determining which public areas you prefer to be near.  Rooms in close proximity to pools, restaurants, Adventure Ocean, elevators, the fitness center and more may be something to look into when picking the right room.

When in doubt, go for a room towards the center of the ship. Getting a mid-ship cabin means shorter walks to get places, because you are always near what is happening onboard.

If mobility is a concern, picking a room near an elevator towards the middle of the ship is usually the best course of action.  In addition, Royal Caribbean offers special accessible room categories for those in a wheelchair.

When picking a room, be sure to consider what is one deck above or below your room. Public venues above or below your room can sometimes lead to unwanted noise bleed.  Consulting deck plans for your ship is the best way to figure out what is around your cabin.

Views

What you can see from your cabin is a major consideration when picking the perfect room. 

Inside staterooms tend to be the cheapest option available, because they offer no windows or balcony and the least living space. You could move up to an oceanview room, which features a porthole to the ocean.  Adding a private balcony means much more living space in your room, and outdoor space to see, smell and take in the views around you.  Then you have suites which offer the most space and balcony area, at the highest price.

There are some rooms that offer obstructed views, which means you get a discount on the normal cost of the room, but something is blocking your view outside. How much of your view is blocked will depend on the room.

Royal Caribbean also offers staterooms that face inward to the ship, rather than to the ocean. Central Park Balcony rooms, Boardwalk Balcony rooms and Promenade View rooms are all examples of staterooms that offer windows and private verandas sans the ocean around you. These can be fun alternatives, that are often much cheaper than their ocean-facing counterparts.

Which cabin location on a cruise ship is best?

The short answer is, there is no one cabin location that is best for everyone. 

You have to weigh the considerations outlined here and decide which is most important for you.

Overall, the cost and location of the room are the primary factors when picking the perfect room on a cruise. This may mean paying more than others to get that awesome stateroom in the perfect spot.

Many first-time cruisers are very concerned with getting seasick, and while it can happen, it should not be a primary concern when choosing a room. Do not let this fear force you to overpay for a cabin that looks to be the only choice worth considering. Yes, staying somewhere toward the middle of the ship on a lower deck is the best spot to minimize the sensation of movement, but you can venture a bit off center if it means saving a lot of money.

Balcony room on a Royal Caribbean cruise: Is it worth the price?

In:
Category: 
23Dec2019

When booking a Royal Caribbean cruise, you might be wondering if it is worth spending more money to upgrade to a balcony stateroom.

Balcony rooms offer more living space, as well as private balcony to enjoy. Of course, that comes at an additional cost and many cruisers are curious if that extra space and fresh air is worth spending more to enjoy.

Here is what to consider when deciding if a balcony cabin on a cruise is worth it.

Trip length

Depending on how long your cruise is, the decision to get a balcony may be more important.

On shorter sailings, where the amount of overall time you have on the cruise limited, you may find a balcony unnecessary since there is not much to enjoy it. 

However, if your cruise is 7-nights or longer, that provides significantly more time to relax and enjoy the private balcony area, especially on sea days.

Where will you spend your time

Part of the decision is to determine what your plans are for the cruise and how much you plan on taking advantage of the room.

Royal Caribbean ships offer an incredible amount of activities, places to dine, and things to do onboard that you may not find much reason to stay in your stateroom, balcony or not. For some cruisers, a cabin is where you sleep, shower, and not much else.

While rock climbing walls, the casino, water slides and other activities are compelling options for some, other guests know they prefer to enjoy the weather from the comfort of their balcony. Book readers often cite having a balcony as a favorite activity.

Itinerary

Cruise experts will often say depending on the itinerary, a balcony room may be more important than on other sailings.

If your cruise sails to Alaska or the Mediterranean, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that a balcony is worth spending more.   

Moreover, if your cruise is going on a warmer route, you are more likely to spend time outdoors and enjoying a balcony, than if your cruise will experience colder weather.

How much more is a balcony?

 

No matter the itinerary, weather, or type of cruiser you are, sometimes it all boils down to price and how much more moving up to a balcony will cost.

The money you spend on a balcony is arguably money that could be used for other aspects of a cruise vacation.  Money saved on a balcony room can be used towards other activities, such as a memorable shore excursion.

In addition, cruise experts recognize that sometimes the inflated price of a balcony room may be too much to justify. Royal Caribbean ships tend to have quite a number of balcony cabins, so the price to move up may be negligible.

Prices will vary from sailing to sailing, and every guest has their own notion of what is expensive, so it may boil down to personal budgets.

How to decide

Ultimately, the answer is a matter of personal preference that factors in the four considerations above to formulate an answer.

Someone who been on multiple cruises and wants to book more cruises may look at this conundrum as an opportunity to save money for a future cruise and book an interior stateroom.  Plus, they have already experienced a balcony cabin in the past.

New cruisers may see a balcony room as a good investment and opportunity to try cruising in an ideal environment.

I always advocate speaking with a good travel agent to get an idea of not only price options, but also to help you decide on the right stateroom for your family.

Your thoughts

Have you cruised before and stayed in a balcony room? Is a balcony room always a must-book option? Or is it better to spend money on another cruise or awesome excursion instead of a balcony? Let us know in the comments!

Oasis of the Seas Category 6N Ocean View Stateroom Photo Tour

In:
22Nov2019

One of the new staterooms added to Oasis of the Seas during her 2019 amplification was the category 6N Ocean View room on deck 14. We had the chance to take a look into the room to see what these rooms look like.

Located on Deck 14 forward, these rooms can accommodate up to 5 guests and feature 179 square feet of space.

The defining quality of this room is the large windows that provide an unobstructed view of the front of the ship, with sweeping views through the day or night.

Being a new room, these rooms feature an updated bathroom design.

Also unique to these rooms are the built-in USB plugs.

Video: Important things to do after getting into your cruise ship cabin

In:
Category: 
19Nov2019

When you get onboard your Royal Caribbean cruise, you are probably ready to hit the ground running with all the fun things you have planned.  To ensure you have a great cruise, we are sharing a few important things you want to do as soon as you step foot into your cruise ship room.

In today's video, I have a few tips for what you should take care of in your room as soon as your cabin is ready. Since your room is your home base of operations for the duration of the sailing, these steps will get your cruise vacation off on the right note.

And if you love this video, we have lots of other great cruise videos to watch on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single video!

So check out the video and then let us know: What do you usually do when you first enter your room? 

How to upgrade your cabin on Royal Caribbean

In:
04Nov2019

Now that you booked a Royal Caribbean cruise, you might be wondering if there is an option to upgrade your stateroom to a larger, better or conveniently located room. 

Perhaps the price dropped, or your financial situation has changed, or perhaps you simply want to splurge. Whatever the reason, here are the ways to upgrade your cabin.

 

What to know about Royal Up

Royal Caribbean has introduced a new way to upgrade rooms with its Royal Up program.  This is a blind stateroom upgrade bidding program, where close to your sail date you can let Royal Caribbean know how much you would be willing to pay if an upgrade situation presented itself.

With Royal Up, there is a suggested bid price for an upgrade, but there is no way to know how much to bid beyond that. Moreover, Royal Up's options are not indications of an actual cabin upgrade availability.

How to upgrade the traditional way

My preferred way to upgrade a stateroom is to call a travel agent and have them price out the room upgrade choices and then make the switch. 

If you booked with a travel agent, you have to go through your travel agent to contact Royal Caribbean to upgrade you.  

Your travel agent will give you the new price and apply payments you have made towards the new stateroom.

If you booked your cruise on your own directly with Royal Caribbean, you can call Royal Caribbean directly and give them your reservation number and tell them you want to upgrade.

The Royal Caribbean operator will price the new stateroom out for you and tell you what the new price will be.  Any payments or deposits you've previously made can be applied to the new reservation.

How to upgrade with Royal Up

Prior to your cruise, you may have the option to place a bid with Royal Up to get a room upgrade.

Check on the Royal Up website to determine if you are eligible for an upgrade.

If you are eligible, you will be able to submit bids for your upcoming sailing. The bid amount is per person for the entire duration of the cruise. Offers are based on two occupants per stateroom - only the first and second guest will be charged. 

Once your bid is accepted, your card will be charged immediately, and the upgrade amount paid is final and non-refundable. Moreover, the cabin location is not something you can choose and subject to availability.

You may modify or cancel your offer up until 2 days prior to departure, provided that your offer has not already been accepted.

Your offer can be accepted anytime from the moment it is submitted up until 2 days prior to voyage departure. 

Upgrading your stateroom onboard

It is possible, though unlikely, that you can upgrade your stateroom on the day you sail onboard your ship.  

Since Royal Caribbean cruise ships sail full regularly these days, availability for upgrades is slim, however, there may be an opportunity to upgrade if there is an open stateroom.

You can go to Guest Services to speak with them immediately upon boarding but I would not bet on this being an option at all.  

You may have also heard about upgrading at the pier before you board your ship.  Years ago this practice was more prevalent and you could get some decent discounts for these literally last-minute staterooms.  However, ships are sailing full and the practice in general has been abandoned.

If upgrades are available, they will be at a reduced cost by speaking with the Pier Coordinator.  There is no harm in asking but upgrades are rarely available these days.

First look at the Ultimate Panoramic Suite on Oasis of the Seas

In:
30Oct2019

Debuting on Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean is giving us a look at a brand new type of suite stateroom -- the Ultimate Panoramic Suite.

One of the changes coming to Oasis of the Seas as part of her Royal Amplification is the addition of the Ultimate Panoramic Suite, which offers 914 square feet of space and sweeping 200 degree views from wall to wall and floor to ceiling glass windows.

This new room type also offers a walk-in closet, and upgraded bathroom with panoramic views of its own.

The Ultimate Panoramic Suite can accommodate up to 4 guests.  They will be on either side of the ship on deck 14 forward. The room numbers are 14128 and 14528.

Since this room is a Star Class suite in the Royal Suite Class, guests can expect a number of benefits including:

  • Royal Genie
  • Exclusive Complimentary Dining
  • Complimentary Ultimate Beverage Package
  • All Day Access to Suites-Only Coastal Kitchen
  • Still and Sparkling Water Replenished Daily
  • Complimentary Coca-Cola Beverages and Water
  • Nespresso Coffee Maker
  • Access to Exclusive Activities such as the Bridge, Galley and Back Stage Tours
  • Spa Bathrobes for Use Onboard
  • Complimentary In-Suite Movies
  • Luxury Bathroom Amenities by L’Occitane
  • Duxiana Mattress and Frette Linens

Royal Caribbean reveals what its new Spa Stateroom will look like

In:
Category: 
26Oct2019

Royal Caribbean released a new photo of what its new Spa Stateroom will look like once it debuts in 2021.

Announced last week, the new stateroom category will offer guests new  in-room amenities and spa privileges. It will be available for guests to book on Radiance, Voyager, Freedom, Quantum, Oasis and Quantum Ultra Class ships.

The Spa Staterooms will offer exclusive amenities and perks, like lush bedding and bath products, daily tea and bottled water, and priority spa reservations.

The brand-new category will be available beginning with the cruise line’s 2021-22 sailings.

Royal Caribbean simplifies stateroom categories

In:
Category: 
17Oct2019

Royal Caribbean announced to its travel partners it will be recategorizing its staterooms in an effort to simplify room types for both travel agents and guests.

The latest categorization effort will result in a reduction in the number of categories and a 40% reduction in deck plan colors. In addition, deck plans will result in more intuitive identifiers.

Royal Caribbean is also making connecting staterooms easier than ever to identify and book with designated categories. Connecting staterooms will be double occupancy in both connecting rooms and available on all ships in the fleet except for Majesty and Empress of the Seas starting in 2021.

Royal Caribbean also announced its new Spa Stateroom category. Spa cabins will be featured on Radiance, Voyager, Freedom, Oasis, Quantum and Quantum Ultra Class ships. They will be open for booking later this month for cruises departing in 2021.

Royal Caribbean creates new Spa Stateroom category

In:
Category: 
16Oct2019

Royal Caribbean announced they are creating a new stateroom category, the Spa Stateroom that adds in-room amenities and spa privileges.

Here is what is included with the Spa Staterooms:

  • 50% off one spa treatment of your choice per stateroom
    • Spa treatments cannot be prebooked, must be booked onboard
  • Priority when booking spa treatments
  • Upgraded carpet & balcony cushioned balcony furniture
  • Upgraded mattress and pillows
  • Upgraded jetted shower head
  • Upgraded toiletries
  • Welcome gift of fresh fruit on embarkation day
  • Refreshments delivered daily
    • Water, coffee & tea
  • King-size down feather pillows
  • Cozy slippers and luxurious robes
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Succulents
  • Tranquil artwork

These new Spa Class rooms will be double occupancy only.

Spa Staterooms will be available on all on Radiance Class ships and above as of May 2021. Bookings for the Spa Staterooms will become available beginning the week of October 28, 2019.

UPDATE: These staterooms will eventually be available on Radiance, Voyager, Freedom Oasis, and Quantum Class ships. They will be below a suite, but above a standard ocean balcony room.

Four new Spa Category rooms:

  • SB -  Spa Oceanview with Large Balcony
    • Not available on China itineraries
    • On Freedom, Voyager or Radiance Class these will be known as Spacious Spa Oceanview Balcony
  • S2 - Mid Ship Spa Ocean View Balcony
  • S4 - Forward/Aft Spa Ocean View Balcony
  • XS - Spa Gurantee Category

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