January 30, 2023

The Suite Life: Why upgrade to a suite on your next cruise?

Royal Suite Class RCCL

Firstly, the comment that “walking around the decks must be like attending the New Year store sales - an absolute bun fight – and the restaurants must be packed as well.”  Not true. Some passengers get their daily exercise walking around the deck - others love the pools.

Inside cabin passengers will often spend the day on a deckchair soaking up the sun and a good book – others relax in the kids free Solarium or head indoors to activities ranging from lectures to bingo sessions. The end result is it is never that crowded on the top deck. I am talking about days at sea by the way – when in port the ship is virtually deserted. As far as food goes, people can eat in the main restaurants downstairs, speciality restaurants, perhaps have a hot dog or simply order room service. The smorgasbord restaurant - Windjammer on Royal Caribbean ships, certainly is always busy - but never so packed you can’t find somewhere to sit down.

If you are looking for a big step up in service and comfort without breaking the bank you need to understand that these huge ships offer two very clear levels of service. Book a suite and suddenly a new world opens up. I must add here that the pampering I am about to discuss does not apply to a junior suite booking on Royal Caribbean. The suite life usually begins as soon as you arrive to board the ship. Just like when you travel on business on a plane you have your own embarkation check-in area. Your suite will be a lot bigger than standard balcony cabins and on an upper deck near the pool and gym - we have enjoyed a couple of monster grand suites over the years. The goodies roll on. You have a private concierge club where you can enjoy everything from continental breakfast to drinks and nibbles every evening. Full breakfast for suites is served in a private restaurant. Your concierge handles any problem with ease – on this cruise Danio Alves has solved any small problem for us on the spot. Suite guests get assistance with bookings, priority disembarkation, reserved seating at shows – the list goes on. Royal Caribbean ships boast speciality restaurants like the Chops Grille which come at a price - but it is not excessive. Package deals are available for the restaurants and wine. You can book on-line or when you arrive onboard. 

The reason I am going into such detail is to highlight the point that crowding is extremely unlikely. A suite guest might not ever use the smorgasbord or the downstairs restaurants. The combination of exclusive breakfast arrangements plus daily menus for ensuite dining and speciality restaurants keep this group very occupied. Another dimension to the cruise experience, even if you are not a suite guest, is offered to cruisers who remain loyal to one brand. On RCCL it is called the Crown & Anchor club. Build up your points and hit say diamond class and the goodies roll out again - everything from free drinks daily, shopping discounts and your own Diamond Club. The obvious next question is how does the cost compare with booking a more luxurious brand like Seabourn, offering ships accommodating around 800 passengers? Thing is you will be pushing to find a family suite and kids get bored very easily on ships designed for an older, more upmarket audience. Viking for instance has a no children policy.

A few other last comments. Don’t automatically book ship excursions - they can be ridiculously expensive. Check out local tour operators via Google. Email can also break the bank - and is frustratingly SLOW!  Better to hook up to a coffee shop or whatever on shore. RCL claims its system is the fastest at sea - all I can say is pity help other cruisers.

As we are currently cruising on Ovation of the Seas I have included the latest list of exclusive amenities and services for suite guests. They include:
  • A dedicated concierge club on deck 12 offering continental breakfast, cocktail hour every evening form 5pm to 8pm
  • Access to a specialty restaurant called Coastal Kitchen which I believe serves the best food onboard. Service is excellent as well.
  • Complimentary internet.
  • An exclusive sun deck
  • Priority seats in the Royal Theatre
We are also Diamond Plus status which also has its advantages including five free drinks daily, buy one speciality restaurant get one free, a couple of days of free internet and other goodies including a free wash and fold laundry bag. There is a diamond club lounge by the way On deck 4 where you can also enjoy everything from breakfast to drinks and snacks every evening.

PICTURED Top: Royal Suite Class RCCL. Suites on Voyager and Ovation.

No comments:

Support Traveloscopy - Support Responsible Travel.

Traveloscopy is a freelance journalism enterprise supporting the tourism and travel industries. We aim to encourage people to travel thoughtfully and responsibly and also support sustainable initiatives within the travel sector. You can help us cover our operating costs, even if in just a small way.

Last 30 Days' Most Popular Posts