Royal Caribbean suites finally have their own neighborhood, which ups the ante for travelers seeking high-end fun. And while Wonder of the Seas is the first ship in the fleet to offer this neighborhood, every indication is that the focus on suites will continue on Royal Caribbean's upcoming new Oasis-class ships as well as Icon of the Seas and its two sister vessels.
But what, exactly, does a Royal Caribbean suite deliver? From a private suite sundeck to suite-only Coastal Kitchen, the Royal Caribbean suite neighborhood on Wonder of the Seas has an away-from-it-all vibe on a ship that's absolutely packed with things to see and do.
To help you decide whether you're ready to upgrade to a Royal Caribbean suite, check out the top- five reasons you should consider the high life on your next Royal Caribbean sailing.
Royal Caribbean's ships -- especially behemoths like Wonder of the Seas -- are action packed. Nearly every deck has at least one destination worth visiting, and when these megaships are at capacity, the vibe can be busy and boisterous.
If you want to be near the action, but not right in it, the Royal Caribbean suite neighborhood is a perfect spot. The entire space immediately feels calm and uncrowded, done up with striking art and sharp dark tones.
The private sundeck is also a gem (even if it overlooks ziplining and minigolf on Wonder of the Seas). Comfortable padded loungers and crisp daybeds all face aft toward the sea, and a bar and waiter service mean pampering is never far (the cold towels are a nice touch, too). You can also take a dip in the whirlpool or post up on the wading pool loungers to cool off.
Expect the Royal Caribbean suite experience to get an even bigger upgrade on Icon of the Seas when it launches in 2024. There will be significantly more outdoor space for suite guests only, plus even more types of suites to choose from and an additional suite-only Mediterranean restaurant.
Back in your private quarters, simple perks come standard with most Royal Caribbean suites. For starters, massive balconies are included with many suites, including one-bedroom Owner's Suites, Grand Suites and AquaTheater Suites. Contemporary, padded balcony furniture and -- in many -- enough space for outdoor dining come standard.
Small in-room details like bathrobes and high-end Malin+Goetz bath products also distinguish the Royal Caribbean suite experience from other rooms onboard. And while it might sound trivial, the ability to make your own fresh coffee from Lavazza espresso machines (and take it to your sunkissed balcony lounge chair) is a huge bonus. After all, trekking to the buffet in your pajamas or having to wait for busy room service to bring your coffee isn't the most pleasant experience whether you're a luxury traveler or not.
According to Kara Wallace, Royal Caribbean's chief marketing officer, booking a Royal Caribbean suite doesn't wall off travelers from the Wonder of the Seas experience (or any forthcoming Royal Caribbean ship).
"The suite guests might not want to do fine dining every night or a long meal," she told Cruise Critic aboard Wonder of the Seas in December 2022. "They want the casual option too. They want that night where it's just easy -- so it is having that mix."
While many suites are in the exclusive suite neighborhood, that is still in close proximity to hives of activity on decks 15 and 16 -- where you'll find pools, waterslides for the young and young at heart, and numerous bars and casual daytime dining spots. Concierge service and Royal Genies, however, can help make things like seating at popular shows and specialty restaurants that much more seamless.
While some luxury travelers might want the high-end experience in all aspects of their cruise, the contrast of Royal Caribbean's casual and energetic overall vibe and its swish, peaceful suite experience creates a dynamic vacation that you might not find on more pricey suite-only and luxury lines.
The inclusions that come with Sky and Star Suites can also help make your sailing smooth when it comes to more typical luxury-level experiences. That's particularly true about concierge and Royal Genie service. Reservations at high-end restaurants like 150 Central Park, Chop's Grille, Wonderland and Coastal Kitchen are far easier with their help. They can also help snag coveted dinner time slots and spa bookings, plus cabanas and access to the upscale Coco Beach Club at Perfect Day at CocoCay.
While price points can be high for suite stays, normally expensive Wi-Fi, specialty meals, drink packages and soft drink packages are all included for Sky and Star Suite guests.
While in-room coffee is an underestimated perk (as any cruiser can tell you), perhaps one of the nicest benefits of a stay in Royal Caribbean's suite neighborhood (or any suite on the ship) is breakfast at Coastal Kitchen.
The morning buffet experience -- while packed with dizzying arrays of options -- can be a hectic and noisy way to start your day. And while the main dining room can provide a slightly more civilized breakfast, the vastness and formality of these venues on megaships like Wonder of the Seas might not quite fit the start-the-day mood.
Coastal Kitchen has chic brunch-spot vibes, and there are no long lines or chaotic scrambles for tables that you're likely to find in the buffet. The menu has more-than-ample choices of sweet and savory items, and service is attentive. It makes for a peaceful way to start the day (bathed in sun streaming through aft-facing windows), and sets the right tone for the perfect relaxed vacation.
Updated December 16, 2022