We had a large balcony room on the 9th floor at the front of the ship. It was only slightly more money than the regular balcony rooms and you get more than double the balcony size than you do in standard rooms. The number of large ... Read More
We had a large balcony room on the 9th floor at the front of the ship. It was only slightly more money than the regular balcony rooms and you get more than double the balcony size than you do in standard rooms. The number of large balcony (B6) rooms are limited (maybe 40ish), and we got one of the last 3 available, booking 3 months in advance. We greatly enjoyed the extra balcony space and the ability to have lounge chairs on the balcony in addition to the regular chairs and table. From what we saw, all large balcony rooms (and the large balcony mini-suites below us) had both sets of chairs).
The room itself was adequate for 2 people and we had plenty of drawer/storage space. Just make sure you utilize all the space that's available (Under bed, under sofa, & ottoman aren't readily noticeable spaces, but they were very handy). The only minor complaint I have about the storage is that the drawers under the sofa were a little hard to open since they compete with the carpet and the handle is in an awkward location under the lip of the sofa. They were huge drawers though so they were a must to use. I also highly recommend bringing a power strip as they only have 2 US-Style outlets in each room. They had a decent number (20ish) of hangers, but we brought extras as well, just in case.
The TV is really limited: 4 news channels, 2 unusable sports channels (unless you are a tennis fanatic since that's all I saw all week), 1 Nickelodeon channel for the kids, and 3 general channels that showed random rerun TV shows and movies. The movie channel actually had a few decent movies play throughout the week, so it wasn't a complete waste, but definitely don't plan on having much in terms of options. There also isn't a DVD player, but you could probably bring a portable one if you wanted to.
The bed was firmer than we're used to, but still pretty comfortable with plenty of pillows and blankets (We found extras in one of the drawers).
Bathroom was perfectly fine for 2 people even though the water pressure probably isn't going to be what you're used to at home (still functional though). I definitely wouldn't pay more for a mini-suite just to get a bigger bathroom unless you're trying to cram 4 people into the room and still get ready in a decent amount of time.
I never used the mini-fridge, but I wish we would have brought more water/soda from home. Getting a drink of any kind is a 10 minute excursion to either a bar or the buffet on deck 15. Other reviews said you could have your room steward clear out your fridge of the mini bar items so you could use it for your own stuff (I'll do that next time). Room Service is now an $8 charge for the "service", so just a heads up since the menus says the food is "free".
Our room steward (Michael) was great. He was friendly and always said hello when we saw him in the hall, but we never once found him in the room. He was like a cleaning ninja, where you'd leave for 20 minutes and come back and the room was spotless (which was great since I'd rather not have to uncomfortably watch someone clean my room while I sit there like a lazy bum). We got the usual towel animals on 3 or 4 nights of the cruise.
The only other potential negatives about our room category are: (1) the rooms sell out months in advance so there's not really an opportunity to price watch and get room credit if the prices drop. (2)The rooms above you can see the front half of your balcony so it's not completely private. Neither of these were an issue for us as I never saw the price drop for regular balcony rooms more than $50 after we booked and I couldn't care less if someone wanted to creepily watch me read a book on my balcony (which never happened to my knowledge). You may want to avoid doing anything you'd prefer others not have the chance to see though (remember, you do have a room).
(3) Also, many other reviews complained of the "hike" to get to the elevators from the front of the ship. While it was probably 75-100 yards, I can't say that it was noticeably inconvenient. Personally, I'm 60 pounds overweight and I'm all about sitting on my butt; however, I wouldn't pay more for a mid-ship room just to save myself some steps to the elevator. I even took the stairs (gasp) if it was only a couple of floors to where I wanted to go. On the plus side with the location is that you get almost no foot traffic by your door. I can count on one hand the number of times I heard a door slam the entire week and all of those times were before 10pm. Also, with this location, you are not directly above or below any entertainment venues so you never hear music thumping or drunk people screaming/singing. Also, since you're at the front of the ship and all of the outside entertainment is either middle or aft, you can't even hear music from your balcony. I sat on my balcony several nights during the evening "party" on deck 16 and never heard a sound. Read Less