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Royal Caribbean Suite Class – A Trip Report

Ship Overview

Recently a client and fellow DMD (Dad Married to a Doctor) set out on a seven night sailing aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas. Together, with his wife and 10 year old daughter, the threesome decided to book a Crown Loft Suite, part of Royal Caribbean’s Suit Class, more specifically part of the “Sky Class”.

Aside from the added space in these beautifully appointed suites, Royal Caribbean also includes the following with all Sky Class suites:

  • Exclusive Concierge Service
  • Coastal Kitchen Access
  • Voom, The Fastest Internet At Sea
  • Suite Lounge access
  • Access to Suite Sun Deck
  • Priority boarding and departure
  • Priority dining reservations
  • Reserved seating area in select entertainment venues
  • L’Occitane Bathroom Amenities
  • Luxury Pillow top Mattress
  • Bottled Water upon arrival

The Crown Loft Suite in particular is a dramatic two story loft suite with beautiful views of the ocean or the Boardwalk Neighborhood, spanning decks 17 and 18. Downstairs offers a large living space with a pull out couch, a bathroom with shower and an expansive balcony. Upstairs one will find the master bedroom with a “Royal King” size bed and full bath.

In addition to the amazing rooms, the most impressive feature might be access to Coastal Kitchen, the Suites only Restaurant, in addition to the Suites Lounge, all located just down the hall on Deck 17.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available in Coastal Kitchen for Sky Class Suite guests.

The Review

Was there any special reason you and your family decided to take this trip?
No, just the usual “escaping the snow” vacation

Whom did you travel with?
My wife and daughter (age 10)

How was your experience with embarkation/embarkation lounge?
Wonderful.  The new Royal Suite embarkation lounge is awesome.  There was no waiting in line to go through security or to check-in.  The Port of Miami is a mess due to construction, but I assume that will be cleared up in due time.

What were your first impressions of the ship?
The ship is obviously huge.  But The Allure is also well maintained.  Since it’s almost 10 years old I expected to to see some wear and tear, but I honestly didn’t see much.  

What  were your overall impressions of your room (Crown Loft Suite)?
The room is wonderful.  Designed to feel bigger than it actually is with the two floor design.  Lots of natural light.  Clean.

Do you feel the upgrade to a Sky Class Suite was worth the price for this sailing? 
Yes, definitely.  The Lounge and the Coastal Kitchen for suite guests was a big highlight.  Our daughter has food allergies so the wait staff and chefs at Coastal knew us and learned quickly what are daughter could and could not eat.  Also the free, unlimited VOOM internet was great.  Surprisingly fast and it allowed me to keep in touch with the office while I was away.    

What were your impressions of the kid/family offerings on this ship?
In my opinion, this is where Royal Caribbean shines the most, even if you don’t book go Suite Class.  There is a ton of things to do for all interests.  Since our daughter is 10 and kind of over “character meet and greets” this gave her access to a whole new world of things to do on a cruise.

How was the dining experience in the Suite restaurant/lounge? 
As mentioned above, the Coastal Kitchen for suite guests was great.  The service was excellent.  They tried to make it a special experience.  

What was your favorite part of the suite experience? 
My favorite part of the suite experience was being able to avoid the crowds.  On a ship with 6,000 passengers this was important.  From bypassing lines at check-in and having a special restaurant that was not chaos like the buffet, to having reserved seating at practically all the shows and chilling on the 17th floor where it was quiet; we were able to escape the mobs of people when we wanted to.  

How was your disembarkation experience?
This was great.  Royal didn’t seem to hurry us off the ship as quickly as other cruise lines (at least at the Suite Level).  We relaxed, had a leisurely breakfast, then disembarked on the second to last opportunity.  Our concierge host took us right to the front of the line to disembark and we exited through the Suite Lounge in the terminal. The only thing that was disappointing was they supposedly had an expedited customs line for Suite guests, but it was not marked and one of the security guards did not know about it so we went through the standard customs line.  However, the new Miami terminal had JUST opened so maybe they have figured this out by now. 

What advice would you offer to someone considering the Suite Class on Royal?
Definitely know the amenities for Sea, Sky and Star Suites because they are not all treated the same.  You wouldn’t want to expect something you don’t get or miss out on something you should have enjoyed.  Also, for those familiar with DCL’s (Disney Cruise Line) concierge, Royal Caribbean is a little different.  DCL clearly has a lower guest to concierge staff ratio so the DCL Concierge staff have the capacity to be way more attentive.  However, if you are willing to pay maximum dollar, the “genie” assigned to Star Suite guests on RCCL seems to top all.  We did not have one at the Sky Suite level, but we saw them helping other families. It was seriously like having a personal butler.  

In your opinion what does Royal need to improve upon? 
1) I did NOT see the staff aggressively sanitizing the public areas (handrails, door handles, etc).  Two weeks after our cruise there was a Norovirus outbreak.  On DCL you constantly see the staff in the public areas sanitizing and cleaning.  It seems to me DCL has way less issues with virus outbreaks. 
2) RCCL (Royal Caribbean) should add 1 or 2 additional concierge attendants.  There was always a 2 to 3 person line to talk to the concierge staff.  They also were hard to communicate with before the trip.  They answered emails ahead of the trip but they were brief, one line answers that did not contain all the info we needed.  They seem overworked.
3) Like DCL, RCCL supposedly offers the option to check your luggage from the ship all the way to your destination airport.  This is super helpful when traveling home, but unfortunately RCCL told us the new Miami terminal wasn’t prepared for that service.
4) On this trip we visited Labadee Haiti, instead the other private island.  The other private island may be nice, but Labadee was very mediocre.  The special beach for Concierge and the cabanas were not that great.  the food on the island was horrible.  I would have rather gone to another port than stopped at Labadee.  Our expectations may be high because we’ve been to Disney’s private island many times.  

Would you recommend this class of travel to your friends and why?
For those who are comfortable spending the money, absolutely.  At the Sky Class Suite level, Royal takes away a lot of the stress of traveling and cruising.  Also, if your family has special needs (like food allergies) you get more attention and personalization, which goes a long way to reduce the stress of traveling.   

Would you book another Sky Class Suite on Royal?
Yes, absolutely.  

What is your favorite memory from this trip?
Celebrating the New Year on the cruise.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate the quality of service and why? 
8; service was really good, missed a 9 or 10 because the access to Concierge Attendants needs to be improved.  

On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate the quality of food/dining? 
8; the food was almost always very good.  A few meals were a little bland or not described well on the menu. 

On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate the quality of public spaces?
9; this is where this class of ship really shines.  the way they broke apart the public areas makes it fun, gives you options, but most importantly, tricks you into not realizing there are 6,000 people on the ship.  

On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate the experiences available for children?
9; there was a lot to do for kids who are a little older.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate the quality of inclusions in this class of suite?
9; they included a lot at the Sky Suite level and we appreciated all of it.  Would have loved to have a Genie but the Star Class prices were outrageous (haha).

How to book?

Physician Travel Guide is part of the Pixie Vacations family, a full service travel agency, and would be happy to help you find the perfect vacation for your budget and travel styles. Make sure to ask about our DMD and PMG booking bonus!

Email us for your no obligation quote at john@pixievacations.com

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