Royal Caribbean upgraded their suite benefits last year, primarily on the Oasis Class ships – and it’s a huge improvement! I’ve taken a number of cruises on Royal Caribbean and have always upgraded to a Grand Suite (mostly for the added living space), but the new Royal Caribbean suite benefits on the Oasis are a real game changer. For those of you that are ready to take your cruise experience to a new level (but aren’t quite ready for the luxury cruise liners just yet), I highly recommend splurging on a suite – you will not be disappointed. I will lay out all the benefits that we were able to take advantage of during our week long cruise this summer.
There are a number of different suites on Royal Caribbean with various price points. We always opt for the Grand Suite which is the smallest of the suite collection. But, it comes with all the benefits of the larger suites in the sky suite category. There is also a star suite category, but that is for the largest suites and comes with a lot more benefits. Someday I hope to stay in one of those suites and report back on that amazing experience!
First, let’s talk about the amazing amount of space in the Grand Suite. The suites are large – 381 sq ft, with room for a full size sofa, 2 chairs, coffee table, and king size bed. The bathroom has 2 sinks and full bathtub/shower. If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you have most likely taken a shower in a tiny crammed space, barely enough room to turn around and rinse off. The shower in this suite is a full home size shower with detachable shower head. There is also a large closet with plenty of hangers to comfortably hang all your clothes. These suites are larger then most hotel rooms on land.
One of the reasons we always opt for a suite is because we spend a lot of time on our own deck and the deck on the Grand Suite really delivers! At 105 sq ft., they are roomy enough for 2 deck chairs and table with chairs. We spent each sail away on our deck, enjoying drinks and appetizers.
- If you are sailing on the Oasis Eastern Caribbean itinerary, be sure to get a stateroom on the starboard side. The views are better from this side and you’ll see more of the ports while docked. This is where a travel advisor can be so helpful when you are booking your cruise vacation. We know where the best staterooms are located!
- Suite guests receive free room-service (other staterooms incur a $7.95 charge per visit). So grab a few drinks from the bar, order up some food before sail-away, and enjoy the privacy of your deck while leaving each port.
Just check out our view of the Bahamas as we were leaving!
Besides the extra space, there are added amenities when you stay in any of the suites. The amenities you will find in the suites that other staterooms do not receive are:
- Free clothes pressing before 1st formal night
- Spa Bathrobes for use on-board
- Luxury bathroom amenities by L’Occitane
- Specialty bottled water and baked cookies (upon arrival)
- Free unlimited VOOM high speed internet for each person in the suite (one login account per person)
- Make sure to give the steward your formal clothes for pressing by 9am the morning of formal night. This will ensure you get them back by 5:30pm.
- There are 4 types of bed pillow styles to choose from, so don’t hesitate to ask your steward for more choices, if needed.
- Each person receives one internet password. If you bring more than one mobile device, you can simply log in and out of multiple devices.
Dedicated Pool Area
The Oasis of the Seas is a huge ship with thousands of passengers, so spending time at the pool, especially on sea days can be challenging. While I felt Oasis did a fantastic job making sure there were plenty of lounge chairs (both in the sun and shade), finding a quiet spot to enjoy the warm Caribbean days can be difficult.
One of my favorite suite amenities was the use of the VIP suite deck, only available to suite guests and Diamond Pinnacle members. It was never crowded and it had a separate fully stocked bar – no waiting for pool drinks! Infused fruit water and fresh fruit cups were also available, something I didn’t see anywhere else on the ship. There is a large deck with loungers and an area with table and chairs overlooking the main pool area. There are also a few semi-shaded private cabanas (first come, first serve) that overlook the solarium. We were able to enjoy the cabana on a couple of occasions. The bartender even came over to serve drinks. On a crowded sea day, the private pool deck was a favorite location for us.
- Head to the pool bar anytime you want a drink during the day. There is never a line and you’ll be served right away.
- Arrive early to get a cabana. On sea days, these go fast and there are only a few available.
Coastal Kitchen and Suite Lounge
By far, my favorite suite benefit was access to the Coastal Kitchen and Suite Lounge. We ate every breakfast and dinner at Coastal Kitchen and it was fantastic! The Coastal Kitchen has a separate kitchen and they are cooking for only 50 or so guests at a time – much different than the thousands of guests that the main dining room is serving. This makes for a much better quality dining experience. The entire staff is extremely accommodating and made each meal feel like a special occasion.
As soon as we embarked, we headed over to the lounge and made our dinner reservations for the week (which I recommend!). There are a number of tables for two and we were sat at a window seat each evening except once. The restaurant was never crowded and we were always seated right away.
- As soon as you board the ship, head over to the restaurant to make your dinner reservations for the week to avoid waiting to be seated when you arrive.
- Since the Suite Lounge bar is open during dinner, you can be served complimentary wine and cocktails while dining.
- Coastal Kitchen is open for lunch on embarkation day, so avoid the crowds and enjoy a full gourmet lunch (and free drinks) instead of the frenzied Windjammer.
- Oasis also has a spectacular chef’s dinner and wine tasting event each evening. We signed up on the first day and only paid $60 per person instead of the usual $90.
- Arranging excursions. The line at guest services can get really long so head to the concierge all your excursion plans.
- Comedy club reservations. This is a must! Without a reservation, you will not get into the comedy club. Suite guests have first priority.
- Arrange for priority disembarkation.
- After making your dinner reservations, head to the Concierge (located at the entrance to the Suite Lounge) and get your reservations for the Comedy Club. These shows are always sold out and they hold a certain number of tickets for suite guests. Making your reservation the first day will ensure you go on the night and time you want.
- If you don’t want to leave the ship early on disembarkation day, head over to the Suite Lounge for coffee, fruit, and pastries. You can stay in the lounge until the very end (usually around 10 or 10:30 in the morning).
Priority Embarkation and Debarkation
Before our trip, I had a hard time finding out exactly how embarkation works for the Oasis of the Seas and how suite guests are prioritized, so I’m happy to write about it here. First, we showed up in a shuttle so I only know how the luggage process works when you arrive via shuttle. Our bus parked in the shuttle area and we were let out. Valets are standing by and take your luggage right away (make sure you have your luggage tags already attached to your suitcase to expedite this process!). The valets took our luggage and we were able to walk straight to the terminal. I’ve had other cruises where I’ve had to stand in long lines just to drop off luggage, so this was a welcome change.
Upon entering the terminal, you first need to go through a metal detector to scan your carry-ons. There is a sign for suite guests that is much shorter than the standard line so we were through the metal detector within 2 minutes. We then walked up the stairs where you enter a large room where the boarding process takes place. There is a sign for suite guests and you will be directed to a separate line where you will be immediately sent to boarding agent. Again, no wait! After receiving our seapass cards, we simply walked on board.
The entire process from the time we got off the shuttle bus until we were on the ship was 10 – 15 minutes.
As a suite guest, you have the option to be escorted off the ship without standing in lines. There are two times to be escorted, approximately 7:45 and 8:30 am. If you opt for this service, you meet the concierge in the lounge and you are personally walked off the ship and directly to your waiting luggage.
We opted to stay until the end since our flight didn’t take off until late in the afternoon. We had a leisurely breakfast in Coastal Kitchen and then headed back to our room to grab our luggage and then headed to the Suite Lounge. By staying until the end, we didn’t have to put our luggage out in the hall the night before. We relaxed in the lounge, had a little espresso, and waited until 10:00 am when final call was announced. Then we casually walked off the ship. By this time, there were no lines and disembarkation was a breeze. We also avoided the hassle of looking (and hoping) for our luggage in the large terminal.
Another suite benefit is VIP seating for all shows. While most guests are required to make reservations for the shows (or hope for enough empty seats), suite guests have the option to arrive without reservations since there is a separate reserved seating area. These are first come – first serve, and are any remaining seats are opened up to the general public 15 minutes before the show.
So, if you are ready for a new cruise experience, definitely book a suite on one the Royal Caribbean Oasis Class ships. I promise you will never go back to a regular stateroom again!