Alt Text!

Suites

How to maximize the value of a cruise ship suite

In:
Category: 
09Jul2020

Booking a suite on a cruise ship means enjoying some of the most lavish and expansive cabins available onboard.

All of that luxury comes at an expensive price, but just because you are paying more does not mean you cannot get a lot of value back from the room.

While suites are definitely a splurge, there are some easy ways to maximize the value you get from staying in a suite on a cruise ship.

Look for an email before your cruise

About a week before your cruise sets sail, the suite concierge should send you an email to welcome you onboard and give you an overview of what to expect once you board the ship.

This email is not only a great way to know your suite concierge's name, hours and where to find him/her, but it also gives a good overview of the amenities available to suite guests onboard.

This email is also your first opportunity to book certain suite-only offerings, such as cabanas or reservations at special events.

In addition, you can email the concierge with any special requests.

Use the suites-only check-in

When you get to the cruise terminal on the first day of your cruise, look for a special check-in area just for suite guests.

Even if you have elevated status in Crown and Anchor Society, the suite entrance has shorter lines and a special waiting area that ensures you will be among the first guests to board the ship.

If you happen to overlook the suites check-in area, one of the cruise terminal employees should redirect you back to the suites line, but save yourself time and keep an eye out for it.

Spend time in the Suite Lounge

The focal point of the suite experience is the Suite Lounge (also known as the Concierge Lounge on some ships).

This special area allows suite guests not only a restricted access space just for suite guests, but it also provides complimentary snacks and hors d'oeuvres throughout the day.

In the evening, there is complimentary alcoholic beverages served, which adds a great deal of value to being in a suite. The exact hours will vary, but it is usually for 3-4 hours per evening, and it is unlimited drinks while in the lounge.

Many suite guests also enjoy the lounge as an opportunity to meet other guests and talk about cruising, their experiences that day, and otherwise chit-chatting. Frequent suite guests look forward to the social aspect of being in the suite lounge and enjoying meeting others.

Take advantage of the concierge

The suite concierge is more than just a glorified guest services option.  The concierge is there to save you time and make your cruise experience easier.

It is a good idea to meet the concierge at some point on the first day of the cruise. Some guests stop by the suite lounge in the afternoon of the first day, and a lot more will visit the lounge on the first evening when the complimentary beverages are available.

The concierge can handle everything the front desk of the ship can do, such as billing issues, re-issuing SeaPass cards and more.  

The true value of the concierge is they are your go-to problem solver. Need to make a dining reservation? Not sure what to do in a port? Having an issue with your stateroom? The concierge knows exactly how to rectify these issues quickly.

In short, get to know the concierge early and do not hesitate to reach out them with questions or concerns.

Enjoy reserved seating at shows

Suite guests are able to take advantage of reserved seating at the major shows during your cruise.

You can speak to the concierge about the exact location, but performances in the Royal Theater, Two70, Studio B and AquaTheater have a special area for suite guests to go and enjoy the show.

These seats are on a first-come, first-taken basis, so be sure to get to the show on time.  In addition, if no suite guests claim the seats by a certain time, they can be opened up to other guests.

You should be aware that while these reserved seats exist, they may not be exactly where you want to sit. It is a good idea to investigate where the seats are, and determine if you are better off finding your own seats elsewhere.

Go to the private beach in Labadee

At Royal Caribbean's private destination, Labadee, there is a special beach area just for suite guests known as Barefoot Beach Club.

This beach is reserved only for suite guests, and provides an exclusive area just for suite guests, complete with a lunch buffet area just for them.

In addition to the complimentary beach for suite guests, there are cabanas available to rent. These cabanas can be reserved via the suite concierge.

If you want a cabana, be sure to act fast as they sell out quickly. Your best bet is to reply to your suite concierge's email before the cruise to reserve one.

Complimentary tours

On most sailings, suite guests will be invited by the concierge to enjoy a complimentary backstage tour.

These tours will vary, but can be tours of the ship's bridge, galley or theater.

Invitations will be sent in a card, so keep an eye out for it.  If you do not see it, there is no harm in politely asking the concierge if there are any tours available for suite guests.

Escorted disembarkation

Perhaps my favorite perk of being in a suite is the escorted disembarkation process, which means no waiting in a line to get off the ship.

On the final morning of your cruise, the suite concierge will have select times where he/she will walk you off the ship and bypass nearly all the lines.

This has the potential to save a lot of time, as lines to disembark the ship can easily back up quite a bit.

Royal Suite Class

If you happen to be in a suite on an Oasis or Quantum Class ship, then the suite benefits get taken to a different level with the Royal Suite Class.

The Royal Suite Class represents the very best suite benefits across the fleet, and if you want to get the most out of your suite experience, you would be best served to try one on an Oasis or Quantum Class ship. Guests staying in the Royal Suite Class are entitled to certain benefits not available on other classes of ships.

Most notably, Sky Class guests get complimentary WiFi for every person in their room (even kids), and Star Class guests have access to a Royal Genie.

The Royal Genie is part concierge, part butler, and part wish maker. If you book a Star Class room, plan nothing in advance and let your Royal Genie take care of all the details. They can hook you up with pretty much everything you would need onboard the ship.

10 Surprising things you didn't know the Royal Caribbean concierge can do for you

In:
Category: 
20Apr2020

Staying in a suite while on a Royal Caribbean cruise is a real treat, and the Concierge staff is always looking to enhance your stay as much as possible.

Cruising in a suite is more than just being in an extra large and opulent room.  It is about being treated like royalty, with enhanced service.

Here is a list of ten things you might not have known that the suite concierge can do for you!

Skip the Guest Services line

The suite concierge is your express line to getting things sorted out, and a faster alternative than Guest Services.

Whether you need a copy of your bill, SeaPass cards reissued, billing discrepancies addressed, or pretty much everything Guest Services can do, the concierge can handle it for you.

Book specialty dining

If you are in the mood for steak, hibachi, or lasagna, you could try calling the restaurants directly, or simply let the concierge handle it for you.

The concierge can not only save you a step, but they can often take care of things quicker. Moreover, I have witnessed on multiple occasions the concierge "sweet talking" a restaurant manager into squeezing in one more reservation.

Of course, the concierge can also take care of your My Time Dining reservations.

Reserve a cabana

If your Royal Caribbean cruise visits Labadee, the concierge is your primary means of reserving a cabana.

About a week before your cruise, the concierge will email you a welcome letter with a list of services and expectations. Among them is the opportunity to book a cabana at Barefoot Beach, the exclusive beach area for suite guests in Labadee.

My advice is to email back a cabana request as soon as possible. Cabanas are limited, and they sell out quickly.

Escort you off the ship in any port

Lines? Yea right!

The concierge is there to escort you off the ship at any port you visit. This helps reduce the wait time during busy disembarkation, and is extremely helpful in ports where you tender.

Pre-book specialty restaurants if you have a dining package

I mentioned earlier that the suite concierge can reserve specialty dining, but one of my favorite "hacks" is to have the concierge reserve specialty dining if you have purchased a dining package.

Ordinarily, the dining package requires you to wait to make reservations once you get onboard the ship.  If you are in a suite, you can email the concierge after they contact you and start placing reservations early.

Not only is this a step-up, but it will save you time once you get onboard from having to deal with making reservations.

Make show reservations

The first class entertainment on Royal Caribbean is always a must-see for my family, and the concierge can hook you up with seating to ensure you can see it all.

Depending on the ship, there is usually reserved seating for suite guests in the theater, so speak to the concierge about getting in on specific show times.

Genie service

It is hard to talk about suite service without mentioning the ultimate suite concierge service: The Royal Genies.

Available to the top suites on Oasis and Quantum Class ships, Royal Genies are a blend of suite concierge, butler service, and fairy dust.

I could write an entire article just about what the Royal Genies can provide, but if you happen to book one of the suites that has access to them, you should know there is little they cannot deliver.

Genies can arrange to have specialty restaurant food delivered to your stateroom, set up a private party on your suite balcony, and even take you on shopping tours onboard.

Escort you off the ship on the last day

Perhaps my favorite service the concierge can provide is a quick exit off the ship once the cruise is over.

I am never in any hurry for my vacation to end, but waiting in lines to disembark is the pits.  Suite guests have the opportunity to be escorted off the ship and bypass much, if not all, of the line. 

For families, I love this option because kids are anything but patient when it comes to lines, and since we all wake up early on that last morning, this service is incredibly helpful.

Allow you to check-in for flights home & print documents

If you do not have a Royal Caribbean Voom internet package, the concierge can assist in checking in for flights home, as well as print important documents.

This is a helpful service, especially if you have a third-party shore excursion and need to print tickets, or if you want to have a paper boarding pass for your flight home.

Offer behind-the-scenes tours

On select sailings, the suite concierge will offer suite guests a complimentary behind-the-scenes tour.

Usually, guests have the choice of a tour of the bridge, galley, or theater.  

Not only are these tours informational and fun, they are complimentary!

Video: Is a suite on Royal Caribbean worth it?

In:
Category: 
17Mar2020

Perhaps no stateroom category is as enticing to book as a suite, but is all that space and service worth the bigger price tag?

Suites are all about splurging, and I have a look at what you get in a suite, and what to consider if this sounds like a great option for your family.

And if you love this video, there’s plenty more for you to enjoy over 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: Do you think a suite is worth the extra cost?

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

Spotted: Fast Track priority boarding

In:
31Jul2019

Guests sailing on Symphony of the Seas this week noticed a new option to allow select guests faster boarding back onboard their Royal Caribbean ship.

Known as Fast Track, the program is available in the ports of call the ship visits and allows for expedited boarding for guests who are in any of these groups:

  • Star and Sky Class Guests
  • Pinnacle Members in Crown and Anchor Society
  • The Key guests
  • Assistance Needs
  • Families with infant strollers

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Lovetocruise2002 spotted this on the current Symphony of the Seas sailing.

Fast Track was advertised in the Concierge Lounge on Symphony of the Seas, as well as on the front page of the Cruise Compass.

Is a suite on Royal Caribbean worth it?

In:
Category: 
19Jun2019

Staying in a suite will get you the most expansive and luxurious accommodations Royal Caribbean, but it also comes with the highest price tag.  With that in mind, we present the important information you should know about what a suite gets you, and if it is a good investment.

Benefits

Without a doubt, the most compelling reason to get a suite is all the extras that come with the room. 

Unlike other stateroom categories, suites come with their own batch of services, amenities and options that are part of the price you pay. This includes a full size bath tub, upgraded bedding, reserved areas of the ship, personalized service and more.

The exact benefits will depend on the stateroom category you pick, along with the ship you sail on.  The most notable set of benefits are found on Oasis or Quantum Class ships, which feature the Royal Suite Class. The Royal Suite Class represents the very best suite benefits across the fleet, and if you want to get the most out of your suite experience, you would be best served to try one on an Oasis or Quantum Class ship.

All suites have access to a dedicated check-in line for boarding, in-suite Mr. Coffee/Tea service, personalized service from a suite attendant, and a pillow top mattress. Junior Suites, Grand Suites, Ocean View/ Panoramic (No Balcony) Suites, and Owner’s Suites all receive priority boarding, and Royal Suite and Villa Suite guests are escorted onboard by an officer.

Traditional Suites

 Junior SuiteGrand Suite, Ocean View/Panoramic Suite & Owner's SuiteRoyal Suite & Villa Suite
Royal Caribbean Classic Bathrobe  
BioEnergy 50 ml Bathroom Amenities  
Royal Caribbean Luxury Bathrobe 
Pillow Menu 
Complimentary Pressing on First Formal Night 
Access to Barefoot Beach (Cabana Reservations are Available at an Extra Charge, First Come, First Served) 
Gilchrist & Soames Bathroom Amenities 
Priority Departure 
Concierge Service 
Priority Dining Reservations 
Priority Spa Bookings 
Priority Shore Excursion Ticketing 
Suite Party Invitation (On Itineraries of 5+ Nights) 
Bridge, Galley & Backstage Tours 
Suite Lounge/Concierge Club Access (Hors d’oeuvres and Cocktails Each Evening) 
VIP Pool Deck Seating (Voyager Class and Above, First Come, First Seated) 
Priority Tendering (Where Applicable) 
Welcome Fruit Amenity 
Welcome Evian Water 
Main Dining Menu Available for In Suite Dining (During Operating Hours) 
Complimentary 24-Hour Room Service 
Private Lunch Seating Available on Ships without Coastal Kitchen (Location Varies by Ship and Sailing) 
Private Breakfast Seating Available on Ships without Coastal Kitchen (Location Varies by Ship and Sailing) 
Departure Breakfast 
In Room Mr. Coffee/Tea Service (kettle) 
Reserved Section in Theater - Main, Studio B, AquaTheater, 270 (Where Applicable) 
Complimentary Pressing on First Formal Night 
Sign-up Fee Waived for Luggage Valet Service (Where Applicable) 
Welcome Moet & Chandon  

Royal Suite Class

 SEA
CLASS
SKY
CLASS
STAR
CLASS
Dedicated Check In Line
Priority Boarding
Coastal Kitchen Dinner
Royal Caribbean Classic Bathrobe
L'Occitane 50 ml Bathroom Amenities
In Room Mr. Coffee/Tea Service (kettle)
VOOM 
Concierge Service 
Exclusive Signature Activities 
Suite Lounge/Concierge Club Access 
Priority Departure 
Royal Genie  
Complimentary Gratuities  
Complimentary Specialty Dining  
Complimentary Deluxe Beverage Package  

Budget

With all those benefits comes a price, and suites are the most expensive stateroom category you will find on a Royal Caribbean cruise. 

Just because the room has a higher price tag than other staterooms, does not mean it has to break the bank. Depending on a variety of factors, the price for a suite will vary.  These factors include, but not limited to:

  • Ship class
  • Time of year
  • How many other suites are booked/available
  • Type of suite

When it comes to price, it will be a personal decision because one person's expensive price tag, is another person's reasonable price tag.  In almost every instance, while a suite offers some lovely benefits, it will likely come with a premium price overhead. Just like flying first class, it is a splurge to treat yourself.

Living space

One of the top reasons someone will book a suite stateroom is for the extra living space. Sometimes families opt for a suite to provide enough room for everyone to stay in the same room, while other times it is just about having extra space to sprawl out.

Suites will offer the most square footage of stateroom and private balcony space of any stateroom.  You will also find multiple bathrooms and/or bedrooms in a suite. In short, suites are the largest staterooms available on a Royal Caribbean ship.

The higher suite categories will even offer more opulent amenities, such as pianos, Jacuzzis, multiple stories and more. 

Bottom line: Is a suite worth it?

When staying in a suite, so many little things are just a little better, nicer, or easier. The bedding is plusher. The bathrobes and slippers are more plentiful. There is not a singular thing or list of things I could put together to say if you should book a suite.

Staying in a suite is about rewarding yourself and treating your family to a delightful experience.

Is the price for a suite likely more than other rooms? Yes. Is the added service and amenities nice to have? Yes. It boils down to being comfortable with the inflated price tag, and taking advantage of the bonus options that come with a suite.

Royal Caribbean adds virtual stateroom tours for suites

In:
Category: 
18Apr2019

Royal Caribbean has begun adding virtual stateroom tours for select staterooms on the Royal Caribbean website that allow guests to take a 360-degree view of suites.

The new virtual tour options are powered by Matterport and allows the user to move virtually around the room, with special features highlighted during the tour.

Currently we have only spotted this new virtual tour option for suites on Symphony of the Seas.

Here is a link to each stateroom type that offers a virtual tour:

Thanks to Lovetocruise2002 for alerting us to this feature.

As a bonus, there is a 3D tour provided by Matterport of the Boardwalk neighborhood on Symophony of the Seas.

Cruise Critic names Royal Caribbean best cruise line for entertainment & suite life

In:
05Dec2018

Royal Caribbean came away with a few awards from the 11th annual Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards.

Royal Caribbean was the winner in the following categories:

Best Entertainment: Royal Caribbean International

"Royal Caribbean continues to entertain with original Broadway-style productions, parades and now, laser tag. State-of-the-art technology, including drones, has enhanced new shows in the skating rink as well as with amusements like Sky Pad, a bungee-trampoline experience that also employs virtual reality. And as always, you can still surf, slide and fly (by zipline or skydive simulator) onboard many of Royal Caribbean's ships."

Best Ship Refurbishment: Mariner of the Seas – Royal Caribbean International

"Royal Caribbean invested $120 million into the refurbishment of Mariner of the Seas and the results are astounding. From the bright yellow globe at the top of the ship that houses the virtual reality trampoline experience Sky Pad to the addition of two restaurants, two bars, FlowRider surf simulators, the Perfect Storm water park and an escape room, Mariner's got plenty to keep you entertained."

Best Suites: Royal Caribbean International

"The lavishness of Royal Caribbean's top cabins as well as their inclusiveness and variety -- some ships offer up to a dozen suite categories -- can't be beat by any other mainstream cruise line. Just imagine, suites as deluxe as luxury penthouses. Royal Caribbean's got them. And this year, the line even introduced the Ultimate Family Suite, a visual marvel complete with a bedroom-to-living room slide."

9 things you should know about Royal Caribbean suites

In:
Category: 
13Aug2018

Have you ever thought about making the jump up to a suite stateroom for your next Royal Caribbean cruise? Suites do come with a higher price tag, but they also have their own set of perks and benefits that may factor into that decision.

Here's a few things you should know when you start to consider if the increased price is "worth it".

Royal Caribbean has suite benefits exclusive for Oasis & Quantum Class ships

In 2016, Royal Caribbean began offering a completely different suite benefits program on its Oasis and Quantum class ships., known as the Royal Suite Class.

The Royal Suite Class is only offered on these ships, and it aims to expand upon the standard Royal Caribbean suite benefits (some of which are listed below).  Essentially, these ships offer expanded suite benefits and paying for a suite on these ships certainly gets you a lot more.  Of course, suites on these category of ships usually come with a higher price tag too.

The Royal Suite Class has the Sea Class, Sky Class and Star Class categories, and they deliver luxurious suites, as well as additional exclusive services and amenities, depending on the class you book. On the whole, Royal Suite Class accommodations are among the most spacious at sea, with some truly magnificent rooms you can book, such as the two-story Royal Loft Suites or Ultimate Family Suite.

These suites go far beyond your typical hotel digs, sporting private balconies—some with private Jacuzzis—expansive bathrooms, dining areas, kitchens, and even lofts. They also feature special “Royal Genies” ready to help customize your vacation every day—arranging private dining, reserving seats for every show, making reservations at the suites-only restaurant and more.

The Royal Suite Class experience includes the Ultimate Beverage Package; unlimited VOOM internet access; and luxe linens and bath products in select suites.

Special embarkation day perks

Getting onboard your Royal Caribbean ship is something everyone has to do but if you're a suite guest, Royal Caribbean makes the entire process a little easier.

Being in a suite means you will have dedicated port agents to help you check in.  Priority check in means less time waiting to get yourself checked in compared to everyone else on the ship.  

Then you get a special area just for you to wait, often with nicer furniture and perhaps some refreshments too.  Even before you board, you're already living the "good life" with those suite perks.

You will get a gold SeaPass card

All guests who staying in a suite will have a gold color SeaPass card, which helps Royal Caribbean easily know if you're a suite guest or not.

Besides that good feeling deep down of having a special card, the gold card allows staff immediately know you are a suite member.

So when you get to the theater or pool deck and there is special reserved seating for you, the crew member will direct you to it.

Note, if you are on an Oasis or Quantum Class ship, the Royal Suite Class SeaPass cards are different colors to indicate if you are in Sea Class, Sky Class or Star Class.

Concierge lounge access

On most Royal Caribbean ships (a concierge lounge is not available on Majesty of the Seas), there is a concierge lounge for suite level guests that offers you a private area to get away from the hustle and bustle of the ship.

One of the chief benefits of the concierge lounge is access to complimentary alcoholic drinks every evening, which include beers, wine by the glass and select liqueurs. There also au d'oeuvres served in the evening, along with snacks during the day and a light breakfast in the morning. A 24 hour coffee and espresso machine is also available to use in the Concierge Lounge.

Access to the lounge is available for your use 24 hours a day and is staffed with a dedicated Concierge, who will attend to your individual needs.  The staff can help you reserve specialty restaurants, shows or any assistance you need on the cruise.

There are some pretty sweet rooms

It's important to remember that your suite itself comes with a lot of neat features not found in other staterooms as well as a lot more space.

Royal Caribbean designed their suites to be quite desirable with furnishings you'd be surprised to find at sea.  Pianos, wet bars, jacuzzis, extra large balconies and more are typical with most suites.

Looking at photos of suites, you quickly realize why people pay a lot more for these special staterooms. They are exquisite and depending on how far up the suite ladder you go, the word "luxurious" really gets its definition. 

Special sun decks for suite level guests

On Quantum, Oasis, Voyager and Freedom class ships, you will find a private area of the pool deck for suite guests.  

The lounge chairs here are a little more comfortable than other chairs in the area and are reserved just for those staying in a suite, which means less competition to fight for a chair.  It makes getting a spot on the pool deck much easier and you also get a great vantage point of what's happening around the pool.

On Voyager and Freedom Class ships, the Suite area on the pool deck is comprised of reserved lounge chairs.  On Oasis and Quantum Class ships, there is a private area of the pool deck that includes lounge chairs, bar access and more.

Double Crown and Anchor Society points

One of the best benefits of staying in a suite is it helps catapult you up the Crown and Anchor Society ladder much quicker.

Each Royal Caribbean cruise you book in a suite gets you double the regular Crown and Anchor points.  That means instead of 7 points for a week-long cruise, you will now get 14 points.  If you stay in a suite by yourself, you will get triple Crown and Anchor points!

For anyone looking to accrue points fast and reap the benefits of Diamond status or above, staying in a suite can really help.

Complimentary pressing service on formal night

Photo by Jeff Goldberg

You pack all your clothes for your cruise and as hard as you may try, inevitably, when you unpack onboard your clothes are wrinkled or have creases in them.  If you're a suite guest, for formal night you don't have to worry about wrinkles or creases!

Suite guests get complimentary pressing service that will iron your clothes for you and return them so on formal night, you can look your finest.  This is a service that usually costs a few dollars per item, but it's one less thing you will have to worry about now.

Junior Suites do not have all the benefits of other suites

It is woth noting that Junior Suite staterooms may have the word "suite" in the name, but they are not considered a "full suite".  This means it does not get the full level of benefits outlined earlier in this post.

Junior Suite guests do get some nice benefits, such as:

  • Priority embarkation/disembarkation
  • Double Crown & Anchor Society points for each night
  • Walk-in closet
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Full bathtub
  • Sea Class benefits  (Oasis and Quantum Class ships)
    • Coastal Kitchen access for dinner only
    • Luxury Pillowtop Mattress
    • L’Occitane Bathroom Amenities

Junior Suite guests do not have access to the Concierge Lounge, Concierge service or suites-only areas of the ship.

Pages