You Might Want To Avoid These Cabins On Your Next Royal Caribbean Cruise

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Planning your Royal Caribbean cruise is exciting! You get to pick where you want to stay on the ship. But did you know some rooms aren’t as great as others? Some are noisy, too crowded, or don’t let you see much outside. Picking the wrong room could make your cruise less fun. 

Icon of the seas cruising the ocean

I should note that there aren’t truly any “bad” rooms on Royal Caribbean ships. They all offer a good level of comfort. However, depending on what you like, some rooms might suit you better than others. It’s all about finding the right fit for you.

In this article, I’ll tell you about the rooms you might want to avoid when you book your next cruise.

1. Cabins Near The Entertainment

The outside theatre entertainment area of one of Royal Caribbean's cruise ship.

As I mentioned before, there’s never a dull moment on Royal Caribbean ships, with activities buzzing well into the night. Perfect for those who love to live it up under the moon! But, if your idea of a wild night is being snug in bed by 10 pm, dreaming of the next day’s adventures, then you’ll want to be a bit choosy about where your stateroom is.

Every Royal Caribbean ship boasts a theatre – great for show lovers, but not so much if your room is right above it. And the bars? They’re fantastic unless your stateroom is directly above or below one. Trust me, the sounds of a good party tend to wander.

The Playmakers Sports Bar, for instance, is the heart of late-night fun. But post-closing, it’s also the birthplace of impromptu passenger serenades. Charming unless you’re trying to count sheep rather than notes. If your lullaby doesn’t include a chorus of tipsy ballads, maybe pick a room a bit further away.

Since each Royal Caribbean ship is its own unique world, I can’t just give you a list of room numbers to avoid. But a quick look at the ship’s official deck plans will show you where the night’s hotspots are located. Just a little homework can help you steer clear of the noisier zones.

And hey, if you’re the type to close down the bar, then noise probably isn’t on your list of worries. You might just find your perfect match in a room right in the heart of the action!

2. Cabins Right Under the Pool Deck

An empty pool deck during the night with the sky bar waiting for guests to party

Here’s a fun fact for the not-so-early birds: the cabins under the pool deck can get noisy. And no, it’s not from midnight splash parties (though that would be quite the story!). It’s actually thanks to those enthusiastic morning people – you know, the ones who wake up at the crack of dawn to claim the best sun loungers by the pool.

It turns out those loungers aren’t just left out overnight. Nope, they’re neatly stacked away, meaning early risers end up dragging them across the deck to snag their spot under the sun. And those wooden deck floors? They’re not just good at holding up sunbathers but also pros at sending every scrape and dragging right down into the rooms below.

So, if you’re someone who greets the sunrise with excitement, you’ll probably be up and at ’em before the lounger shuffle even starts. The noise won’t bother you one bit. But for those who dream of sleeping in and savouring every moment of rest, choosing a room sandwiched between other cabins above and below might just be your ticket to morning bliss.

3. Lower Deck Cabins Overlooking the Promenade

A cabin above the promenade
Promenade room above Playmakers Sports Bar

Did you know some Royal Caribbean ships have this awesome spot called the Royal Promenade? It’s this airy, open space smack in the middle of the ship where you can hang out, found on their Freedom, Voyager, and Oasis Class ships. This place is buzzing with bars, places to eat, and it’s really the heart of all the fun on board.

Right along the promenade, there are these unique staterooms. They’re technically inside rooms but have windows that give you a front-row seat to all the action down below. It’s not your usual ocean view, but watching the lively scene can be super entertaining.

But here’s the thing – the windows are just regular windows. So, if your room’s on a lower level, people walking by might catch a glimpse into your space, just like you’re looking out at them! And yep, your neighbours right across can see in too.

So, if you’re in your room changing or just chilling in your PJs, you’ll want to remember to draw those curtains.

And while it’s all fun and games on the promenade till late in the night, keep in mind the rooms aren’t completely soundproof. They do a pretty good job, but if complete silence at bedtime is what you’re after, or if you’re shy about changing with the potential of an audience, these staterooms might not be your cup of tea.

4. Cabins Near The Elevators

A performer photographed using the cruise elevator on the fifth floor

Choosing a cabin on a cruise ship can be a bit like finding the perfect spot in a hotel—too close to the elevators, and you might hear the hustle and bustle of night owls returning to their nests. The elevators themselves are silent, but the people waiting for them? Not so much. They can turn the hallway into a lively social spot right when you’re trying to catch some z’s.

But let’s flip the coin. Ever thought about the trek back to your room if you’re stationed on the far end of the ship? Imagine this: it’s late, the little ones are in dreamland on your shoulder, and you’re navigating what feels like an endless corridor in your evening best. Now, add a pair of heels to the mix. Sounds like an adventure, right? Maybe not the fun kind.

It’s a common scenario across many cruise lines, and on some Royal Caribbean ships, it’s more than just a minor inconvenience. Some layouts mean you’re stuck with one path to your room—no shortcuts, no sneaky detours. Especially on ships with a Royal Promenade, getting to certain staterooms on Deck 9 might feel like you’re embarking on a mini-marathon, complete with a scenic tour of the ship before you even see your door.

So, here’s a pro tip: give those deck plans more than a cursory glance before you lock in your cabin. Make sure the route to the elevators doesn’t turn into your daily workout. And hey, if you do end up booking a room that’s a trek away, don’t fret. A quick call to your travel agent can often sort it out. 

The floor plan of the cabins on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship to what cabins are near the elevator

5. Small Porthole Cabins

A photo that shows where the Small Porthole Cabins are

Not keen on splurging for a Balcony stateroom but the thought of an Interior stateroom makes you feel boxed in? An Oceanview Stateroom strikes a nice balance. It’s a tad pricier than the inside option, but hey, natural light is a game-changer.

On Royal Caribbean’s fleet, the view from your room can vary. Some ships offer rooms with expansive picture windows, while others come with a porthole. And while “porthole” might conjure images of a tiny window, they’re usually quite generous in size, often spanning a few feet.

However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all deal. A few rooms come with portholes that are noticeably smaller. The tricky part? Royal Caribbean doesn’t exactly broadcast which rooms have the mini versions. They’re priced the same as their larger counterparts, leaving you in a bit of a guessing game.

These smaller portholes are typically found only on Deck 2. So, if you’re eyeing an Oceanview stateroom and want to ensure your view doesn’t feel like you’re peeking through a keyhole, steering clear of Deck 2 is a pretty solid workaround.

6. Obstructed View Cabins

A photo that shows what's blocking the cabin view that ruins the experience for anyone staying there
Lifeboats blocking the view

On Royal Caribbean cruises, and indeed many cruise lines, not all Outside and Balcony staterooms are created equal when it comes to the view. Some are categorised as having an “Obstructed View” because lifeboats might be hanging out, partially blocking your sea or port vistas.

But the plot thickens with Royal Caribbean. Beyond the lifeboats, if you find yourself on Freedom-class or Voyager-class ships, some of the staterooms at the back of the ship (aft-facing) on the lower decks come with their own unique obstruction. There’s a metal structure wrapping around the back of these decks, meaning your view isn’t exactly wide open. Instead, you’re peeking through gaps to catch a glimpse of the ocean or the ship’s wake.

Especially at the aft of the ship, which many consider prime real estate for its panoramic views, finding out your balcony view is more metal than the ocean can be a letdown. Surprisingly, these spots aren’t always flagged as having an obstructed view, so you could book one expecting grand vistas and end up playing peek-a-boo with the sea.

If a lifeboat-obscured view doesn’t bother you too much, opting for an officially obstructed view stateroom could actually snag you a deal. However, it’s wise to steer clear of those aft balconies on decks 6, 7, and 8 of the Freedom- and Voyager-class ships. The view (or lack thereof) just doesn’t justify the choice.

7. Cabins to Avoid if You’re Prone to Seasickness

A teenager holding back a vomit on the side of a cruise

A lot of people worry they’ll get seasick on a cruise, but the truth is, most people sail through without any trouble. If you’ve never felt seasick before, chances are you won’t start now. But, speaking as someone who does get seasick, I know the importance of choosing the right stateroom to avoid turning your dream vacation into a queasy adventure.

All ships sway a bit with the waves, which means you’ll feel more movement at the front (bow) and back (stern) of the ship, especially on the higher decks. It’s just how it goes when you’re out on the open sea.

The golden spot for those of us who do get seasick? Right in the middle of the ship. Staterooms located mid-ship and on middle decks are the sweet spot for staying steady. It might not cure seasickness for good, but it can seriously cut down on how much you feel the ship’s movements.

If snagging a mid-ship room isn’t in the cards, at least try to avoid the very front or back of the ship, especially on the higher decks. It could make all the difference in keeping those seasick blues at bay.

8. Interconnected Cabins

Interconnecting cabins on a cruise ship are a fantastic option if you’re travelling with a big group and want everyone to stick together. These cabins have a door between them that’s usually locked, but it can be opened for group bookings, turning two separate spaces into one big, shared area.

However, there’s a catch if you’re booking one of these cabins and you’re not with a larger group. The door that connects the two cabins isn’t as soundproof as a regular wall. This means even though the door will stay locked if you and your next-door neighbour aren’t booked together, you might still hear more from their side than you’d like.

So, if you find yourself in an interconnecting cabin, you might just have to cross your fingers and hope your neighbours are the quiet type, not prone to late-night chats or disagreements while you’re trying to catch some sleep.

The best way to dodge this potential noise issue is to avoid booking an interconnecting cabin altogether, especially if privacy and quiet are high on your list. You can spot these cabins pretty easily on the ship’s deck plans—they’re the ones marked with double-headed arrows over the rooms.

The floor plan for a Royal Caribbean cruise ship showing where are the Interconnected Cabins

9. Balcony Cabins Near the Bridge

There’s a bit of advice floating around suggesting you might want to steer clear of balcony staterooms that are in view of the ship’s bridge. Personally, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. It’s safe to say the ship’s officers are far too busy navigating and managing the vessel to be glancing back at guests’ balconies.

That said, on certain Royal Caribbean ships, especially those in the Quantum class, there’s a twist. Guests have the opportunity to step out onto a viewing area situated above the bridge, offering a unique perspective. So, while the bridge crew might not be peering into your balcony space, there could be fellow passengers up front who have a view from above.

10. Lower Deck Cabins Near the Propellers

On some Royal Caribbean ships, you have the option to book your stateroom on the lower decks, with Deck 2 often being where these accommodations begin.

Choosing a stateroom at the back (aft) of the ship on Deck 2 could lead to a bit more disturbance than you might anticipate. The ship’s propellers are near this area, and their operation can cause a noticeable vibration in these rooms. While it’s not overwhelmingly disruptive, it’s something that past guests have mentioned feeling during their stay.

Beyond the vibrations, there’s also the potential for some noise, not just from the propellers but from the anchor as well, especially as the ship docks at ports, usually in the early morning. The combined hum and vibration from these sources have been noted by some guests as a mild annoyance.

11. Cabins for Solos

When you’re setting sail solo on a cruise ship, there’s often an extra charge known as a single supplement. This fee compensates for the ship having one less guest to spend on room, drinks, and other onboard purchases. Typically, this supplement could cost as much as booking the stateroom for two people, meaning solo travellers might end up paying a double fare for a single stay.

A neat workaround offered by some cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, is opting for what’s called a Studio. These are specially designed single rooms, though they’re quite a bit smaller than your average stateroom and may come with just a single twin bed. For those accustomed to sprawling out in a double bed, this might feel a bit snug.

Interestingly, these Studios aren’t always the budget-friendly option you might expect. Sometimes, it’s actually more cost-effective to book a standard double room for yourself. Going this route not only potentially saves you money but also grants you Crown & Anchor loyalty points for both fares, which is a great perk. Plus, you’ll have a wider selection of rooms to choose from, making your solo trip a bit more luxurious.

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I'm Hannah and I've been cruising for as long as I can remember.

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