Royal Caribbean cruises offer a ton to see, do and experience onboard the ship and in the ports you visit. So with so much to do, do you really need a stateroom with a balcony?
If you are on the fence about whether to get a balcony stateroom or not, here are some considerations to factor into your decision.
Length of cruise
The longer your cruise, the more time you will have to actually spend on your private balcony.
Sailings that are at least seven nights will afford you more time to enjoy days at sea, sailaways and quiet time on your balcony.
On shorter sailings, you will have less time to enjoy that balcony space, which makes getting the value out of it less compelling.
Inevitably, the cost to move up to a balcony from a lower category stateroom may dictate how practical a balcony room is from a budgeting standpoint.
Depending on the season, booking demand and availability, the price of a balcony stateroom may be a significant price jump, or just a nominal fee extra.
In addition, the longer the sailing, usually the higher the price tag for that private balcony experience.
One of the most compelling reasons to get a balcony stateroom is to have your own private space to enjoy the view of the ocean, ports and anything inbetween without competing with other guests.
Public space around the ship to view what is around you is surprisingly ample, but some folks prefer the seclusion that their own balcony can provide. Whether it is somewhere to enjoy a morning coffee, read a book, or take photos, a balcony stateroom offers all of that and more.
Of course, your neighbors can easily peek around or through the balcony divider into your balcony and there is no guarantee they will not be talkative on their balcony, so total serenity is not certain. Your balcony, however, is certain to be quieter than the pool deck.
Extra living space
A balcony room not only provides more square footage in the balcony, but the rooms are larger inside than lower category rooms.
By having extra living space, it limits the claustrophobia that sometimes comes with small cabins on a cruise ship.
Moreover, balcony rooms are great for giving you that much needed bit of personal space when sharing a room with someone else. If your cabin mate wants to nap or sleep in, but you are wide awake, a balcony offers you a place to hang out without disturbing them. And having your own outdoor space for reading or relaxing while the kids nap inside, or for having an additional spot for snacking or playing games, feels especially decadent during your days at sea or even in port.
Motion sickness concerns
If you are new to cruising, or simply worried about the effect of the ocean's movement while cruising, a midship balcony stateroom can greatly assist.
Having a balcony also enables you to consistently focus on the horizon line, which tends to keep what you see in sync with the ship’s movement, thereby minimizing any feelings of motion.
X-Factor: How much time will you spend in the room
In my opinion, the real question when it comes to booking a balcony or not is how much time will you really spend in the room to take advantage of the balcony.
Interior staterooms tend to be the starting point in terms of pricing and square footage, and they are ideal for anyone who does not plan to spend much time in their rooms beyond sleeping and showering. A balcony room offers more space and great views, but with so much going onboard your ship it is easy to end up elsewhere beyond your room.
Unfortunately first time cruisers will not know until they actually get onboard which parts of the ship they will gravitate towards, so it is more of a guess.
Ultimately, you need to consider what your plans are for onboard the ship and on shore and think about how much a balcony stateroom would enhance your cruise vacation.
Do you think a balcony room is worth it? Have you stayed in a balcony room before? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Royal Caribbean is introducing a new bid-based stateroom upgrade program, known as RoyalUp.
RoyalUp begins on November 28, 2018. Guests will receive an email if their sailing is eligible and they will have the opportunity to browse through staterooms available for upgrade on their sailing. They will select the dollar amount they are willing to pay for the upgrade and submit their bid.
The RoyalUp offer 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. If there are more than 2 guests in the reservation (between 2 and 5 passengers), the offer amount submitted will be per guest but only for the first and second guest on the reservation.
Guests cannot choose the location or specific features of the upgraded cabin, as it depends on availability.
In terms of groups, Royal Caribbean cannot guarantee that all reservations traveling together will be upgraded. Under the circumstance that all reservations are upgraded, Royal Caribbean cannot guarantee that all the upgraded cabins will be close together.
Guests can make bids across multiple categories to increase your chances of having an offer accepted. If using a travel agent, they can handle the entire bidding process for you.
Upgrade bids can be accepted anytime from the moment it is submitted up until 2 days prior to voyage departure. You will receive an email notifying you of the accepted offer.
Guests can modify or cancel the offer up until 2 days prior to departure, provided that the offer has not already been accepted by RCI and provided their credit card has not been charged.
What do you think of this new offer? Will you be using it? Share your thoughts in the comments.
We have a brand new Royal Caribbean Blog video today, and we are listing the top reasons to book a balcony cabin on your Royal Caribbean cruise!
There are many great stateroom choices when booking a cruise, and certainly a room with private balcony is one of the most intriguing options. Having your own private space to enjoy the view of the ocean, a gentle breeze and the activities in port are a fabulous way to spend any cruise.
Why would booking this type of cruise room be a good idea? We are sharing some compelling reasons to go for a balcony cabin when you book a cruise.
We have a brand new Royal Caribbean Blog video today, and we are listing the top reasons to book an inside cabin on your Royal Caribbean cruise!
Is it worth it to book an inside cabin on a Royal Caribbean cruise? Royal Caribbean's ships have plenty of inside cabins to offer and they tend to be the smallest and cheapest rooms, and yet plenty of people book them. In fact, on most sailings the cruise line will fill every one.
Why would booking this type of cruise room be a good idea? We have a few good reasons why an inside cabin is a great choice.
If you are looking for a fun and very different kind of stateroom, there is one on Liberty of the Seas that is a coveted choice among veteran cruisers (especially those that like ice cream).
On Liberty of the Seas, there is a specific Promenade stateroom known as the Ben & Jerry "Sweet".
Photos by Jeanne Fulton
Stateroom 6305 is actually considered a suite by Royal Caribbean despite it being a Promenade room. The reason is because this particular room is blocked by the signage for Ben & Jerry's ice cream directly below the room.
The stateroom sits directly above the Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop on the Royal Promenade and so, the room has a view of the two cows that are prominently displayed by the shop. Thus, the view out the window is blocked.
Royal Caribbean decided to embrace the Ben & Jerry's motif by transforming this room into the "Ben & Jerry Sweet".
Throughout the entire room, there are cow sheets, pillows, pictures and other cow-related decorations.
Besides the cute design, the room also has its own list of special benefits, which make the room highly desirable.
Guests staying in this particular cabin get:
Complimentary Ben & Jerry's ice cream for each guest (seven visits per guest)
Access to the Concierge Lounge
Without a doubt, the complimentary ice cream and concierge lounge access make this room a great deal. Usually, concierge access is limited to guests staying in a suite (or high up Crown and Anchor members).
Sister ships Freedom of the Seas and Independence of the Seas also offer this special kind of room.
Would you want to book this stateroom? Tell us in the comments!
Guests sailing in an Ocean View Panoramic Suite (category VP) will now be entitled to the same suite benefits guests sailing in a Grand Suite or higher category stateroom enjoy.
A few Royal Caribbean Blog readers have shared they have received indications from Royal Caribbean that their previously booked Panoramic Suite rooms will receive full suite benefits.
Prior to this change, the Panoramic Suite staterooms had the equivalent benefits of a Junior Suite, but with this change, guests in these sort of rooms will now get more benefits.
Panoramic Suites were added to Voyager and Freedom class ships in the past few years. Most of these rooms are categorized as Spacious Panoramic Ocean View Stateroom (category 1L), but the Ocean View Panoramic Suite offer more space and are the rooms that qualify for these upgraded benefits.
In addition, the VO Class stateroom on Grandeur of the Seas will receive benefits equivalent to Grand Suites.
Royal Caribbean announced to travel agents that it will expand the amount of staterooms across the fleet of ships that offer a capacity of three guests per room with the addition of sofa beds. The cruise line hopes the change will greatly improve the availability of higher occupancy staterooms, particularly beneficial during peak vacation periods such as summer and holidays.
As of June 1, 2018, ten ships in total will have added triple occupancy staterooms. These ships include
Symphony of the Seas
Harmony of the Seas
Allure of the Seas
Oasis of the Seas
Independence of the Seas
Liberty of the Seas
Adventure of the Seas
Mariner of the Seas
Navigator of the Seas
In order to identify which staterooms have these new sofa beds, deck plans will be updated with the introduction of a "partial triangle" as the symbol to denoate sofa bed staterooms. Digital deck plans were updated on-or-before June 17th, 2018; whereas printed versions of deck plans will be refreshed in advance of the next print run.
Sample deck plan from Mariner of the Seas with sofa bed option showing
Despite the the addition of these sofa beds, Royal Caribbean says the maximum guest counts remain unchanged for each of the impacted ships, "This initiative simply allows the opportunity to further maximize the number of guests on each sailing, as well as offer additional triple staterooms for those in need of higher occupancy accommodations."