Saturday, March 21, 2015

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous- Cabin Crawl

"Hello from The Royal Suite" 
Monday, March 8, 2015

Prior to embarking on the Serenade of the Seas we joined Cruise Critic (A FREE website where cruisers meet and share stories and reviews… I HIGHLY recommend it if you are cruising soon) as well as a “Roll Call” for our particular sail date. It is here that we met 4-5 different couples ahead of time and then further got to know them while on the ship. Several of them were frequent cruisers and loyal to Royal Caribbean. In fact, some of them had accumulated over 500 nights on Royal Caribbean ships alone. They had set up several get-together events during our week long cruise, including a Meet and Greet, pub crawl, poker run and slot pull. But the neatest one was a Cabin Crawl where we “crawled” (not literally… just meaning slowly) from stateroom to stateroom seeing it’s size and accommodations. In our 3 previous cruises Chris and I had never experience one of these and we were excited. Little did we know that we were in for a REAL treat. We saw all levels of staterooms including insides, ocean view, balconies, suites and even the highest level of stateroom for any Royal Caribbean ship… The Royal Suite where we ended this event. It was INCREDIBLE and Chris and I had a GREAT time!

We started by touring a lower deck Ocean-View (OV) cabin. This was an almost identical set up to balcony rooms we had cruised on before but had a picture window instead of a balcony and was significantly smaller. Most OV staterooms on most cruise lines are also on lower decks which is NOT appealing to Chris and I.

A standard Ocean View Room. 

Royal Family Suite
We then traveled to a Royal Family Suite. This was a 4 room suites with 2 separate bathrooms. It had a living area, a master style room with 1 King bed, a bar/ kitchen area and an additional room with bunk beds accommodating 4 people. The entire room was label as housing 7-8 people. Plus it had an enormous balcony with fancy wicker chairs and extra cushions (all suites had these).  If I was travelling with kids and grandparents I would want to have this room.

The pull-out couch inside the Royal Family Suite

The balcony on the Royal FAMILY Suite. 

A view looking into the Royal FAMILY Suite!

Then we made our way to OUR cabin. Not much to look at but a regular inside cabin. We were told, however, that it was a rather large inside cabin from a RCI frequent cruiser. He stated that most insides do not have a love seat but a chair instead and most do not offer a refrigerator either! I guess we were lucky!

Our home away from home! All 160 sqft of it! 

We saw 2 different categories of balconies while on our Cabin Crawl and each was almost identical to the balcony we had while on the Navigator in August 2014. However, we did notice that BOTH balconies had a slight obstructed view due to the lifeboats. This could have been just those 2 or ALL of the balconies on the Serenade. I personally thought our balcony on the Navigator was small compared to Carnival’s and these 2 balcony tours confirmed that. I am glad we saved the additional $500-600 and stuck with our inside this time.

A view looking out over a 8th deck balcony (mid-ship) on the Serenade

The inside of a Deluxe Balcony... 184 sqft!
(What we sailed on during our Navigator trip)

Grand Suite
This was a much larger room which featured a large sitting area with a full coach and chair as well. The room had a typical King bed (Royal King in fact, which is about 4 inches smaller on each side than a regular king). The bathroom had a jetted tub and separate shower as well as double vanities. The balcony was extended and also had the fancy wicker chairs with additional cushions AND 2 additional chaise loungers as well. One of these trips Chris and I will splurge on a suite such as this.

The bedroom and vanity area of one of the Grand Suites. 

The living room area in one of the Grand Suites. 

The balcony on the Grand-Suite complete with 2 sets of chairs. 

Grand Suite luxurious sitting area. 

Junior Aft Suite
Of all the rooms we visited we liked this one the most, besides the Royal Suite of course. . The room was slightly smaller than the Grand Suite but featured an aft balcony which was even longer than that of the Grand Suite and was a “wrap-around” balcony. It too had the 4 chairs which included 2 wicker and 2 chaise loungers. It had a full couch but not an additional chair. The bathroom also had a jetted tub and separate shower.

The extended Aft-facing balcony on one of the Junior Suites.

Looking down from the Aft-view Balcony!
This is a reasonable and attainable goal we are setting for ourselves for our 10 year anniversary cruise to Alaska in 2016! The timing of the booking is key... just waiting for the itineraries to be announced!

Royal Suite 
This was our final destination and it did not disappoint. It was 1,378 sqft (As large as our 1st house... in Shawnee) and featured a complete kitchen and bar, a dining room with pedestal table, a living room with 55” TV, couch, love-seat and 4 chairs, a master room with a Royal King bed, a true walk-in closet, a desk and vanity area, a master bath with a marble shower and tub with a  steam option and glass doors, a 2nd bathroom and a BABY GRAND PIANO! Not to mention the balcony alone was larger than our inside cabin at 204 sqft. I have never seen anything like and it was hard to fathom it could be possible on a ship… It had a ringing doorbell!

Seriously... at what point on a cruise does someone sit down and actually play a song
(Besides "Mary had a little lamb")? 

The living area of the Royal Suite!

The dining room area... decorated by Bruce for the occasion!

When staying in any of the suites a guest can have the Main Dining Room delivered via Room Service! SIGN. ME. UP. !!

The foyer area... seriously, it had a FOYER AREA!

The master bedroom with a small sitting area! 

The gorgeous marble bathroom and jetted bathtub and a steam shower!

The desk and office area of the Royal Suite!

The double door entrance to the balcony area which included an outdoor eating area. 

The door... complete with a working door-bell!

Proof we were actually there... The balcony on the Royal Suite!

This whole process took about 1.5 hours and we ended with a party in the Royal Suite with Bruce and CeCe, friends we met on Cruise Critic prior to our sailing! It was interesting to see how the "high-life" lives on cruise ships! It was somewhat depressing walking back to our inside room/ hole BUT then again we were on a cruise ship! 

Thank you Lord, once again, for this and many blessings! 

God is good.. All the time! 

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