Spectrum of the Seas is the newest cruise ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet. I took the inaugural cruise from Barcelona to Dubai and stayed in a balcony stateroom. In this post, I will give you a tour of the stateroom and my honest review.
Note: Royal Caribbean refer to their cabins as staterooms but I will use both terms in this post to refer to the accommodation onboard.
What cabins are available on Spectrum of the Seas?
Spectrum of the Seas has a range of cabins/staterooms and grades available for guests that can be organised into the following categories:
- Interior cabin: a room without a window
- Oceanview cabin: with a window
- Balcony cabin: a balcony that could also have an obstructed view if it’s near the lifeboats
- Suite: a larger stateroom that typically has a bath and a mini bar
- Accessible cabin: a stateroom designed with wider doors, ramps and an accessible bathroom
- Ultimate Family Suite: a two-story suite complete with multiple bedrooms and children’s slide between floors.
Balcony cabin location on Spectrum of the Seas
We stayed in a balcony stateroom on Spectrum of the Seas located on Deck 8. We chose this location as it was reasonably central to the ship and away from public areas. Stateroom 8598 is on the starboard side, which was perfect for our Suez Canal transit. There is definitely more to see from this side of the ship when travelling from the Mediterranean.
Is it worth getting a balcony on a cruise?
I have stayed in interior, ocean view and balcony staterooms and the decision to have a balcony is likely be determined by a number of factors that you may want to consider.
If you are looking for the most cost-effective way to cruise, an interior stateroom is likely to be your best option. Look out for free upgrades that may be available at the time of booking.
An oceanview is a good option for checking the weather and adds a little natural light to the stateroom. It’s likely to be the same size as an interior cabin.
A balcony stateroom is a good idea if your cruise itinerary has some interesting landmarks and destinations. Many people like to spend time on their balconies away from public areas on the ship. I always like to see how big the balcony is on a ship as some are quite small to the point where you sit on the chair and your knees touch the glass!
Balcony cabin tour
Take a look at my video tour of our balcony stateroom, this was my initial look at the stateroom when we first arrived on embarkation day.
Balcony stateroom highlights
This was a good size stateroom for two people and there was ample storage space for our clothes. We took a 16-night cruise and it was the first time that we didn’t manage to use all of the drawers and cupboards.
There is a double hanging wardrobe on one side of the bed and a smaller space for hanging clothes on the other. One thing that was a big plus was the amount of clothes hangers. Usually we have to ask for extras but there were plenty in the wardrobes for us to use. There were ample shelves to put folded clothes and shoes, as well as drawers in the sideboard next to the desk. There were additional cupboards above the bed too that we didn’t even use.
The bathroom had a shower cubical with a glass door, I much prefer this to just a shower curtain, which can end up sticking to you in a small space.
There was space for storing toiletries on shelving and a platform under the wash basin for wash bags and towels.
Funnily enough, as it was the inaugural sailing, a few signs appeared during the cruise in the bathroom. The shower gel dispenser in the shower, turned out to be shampoo and conditioner once the label appeared one day!
For two people, the bathroom was an adequate size. I particularly liked the low light feature, which came in handy when I needed to visit the bathroom in the night so that I didn’t need to turn the main light on.
The balcony had two reclining chairs, footstools and a little table. Even with all the furniture, it didn’t feel cramped. Throughout the day there was still part of the balcony in the shade and this was particularly welcomed on the hotter days when I’d had enough of the sun.
The queen size bed was very comfortable indeed, probably on the firmer side, which I prefer; the pillows were equally agreeable and aided a restful night’s sleep.
On either side of the bed were wall-mounted lamps. There was a plug socket on one side and a telephone with a USB port on the other. This came in handy for charging mobile phones overnight. The only trouble I had was when I had a message left on the telephone and I couldn’t work out how to delete it. This meant a light was constantly lit on the telephone but I just placed something over it to block the light out at night. I did finally work out how to delete the message!
There were a number of channels on the television in a variety of languages. English, American, German and Chinese television channels were available to watch as well as Royal Caribbean information channels. The ships webcams were interesting to watch, particularly when it managed to show the Flowrider at the exact time when some wiped out!
The onboard enrichment lectures were available to watch on the television as well as safety videos and the ship’s current location.
I was a bit disappointed with the movies available to watch on demand. These were only available if you paid for them (around $12 for 24 hours), something unheard of on Princess Cruises. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t spend a lot of time watching TV in my cabin but sometimes it’s good whilst getting ready in the evening or when you are having a chill before dinner.
Plug sockets on Spectrum of the Seas
The main bank of plug sockets are located above the desk in the balcony cabin. There are two USB points, two American plug sockets and one European socket. This enabled us to charge all of our cameras and Go Pros from the desk. Surprisingly, there are no Chinese plug sockets available despite the ship being designed for the Chinese market.
The balcony cabin had one full length mirror near the door and a circular mirror above the desk with a light, ideal for doing hair and make-up. The bathroom has a large mirror across the wash basin area but no magnifying mirror that some people like to use shaving and applying make-up.
Balcony Cabin Amenities
Other notable features of the balcony cabin on Spectrum of the Seas was a hairdryer, found in one of the drawers, and a fridge. The fridge was particularly handy for storing bottles of water, soft drinks and chocolate.
A settee bed was situated next to the balcony windows and in all honesty was used more to store clothes and our backpack than for sitting on! Although possible, I don’t think that this cabin is adequately big enough for three or four people to share (especially not adults).
I discovered that there are actually three ways to open your stateroom door on Spectrum of the Seas:
- Cruise card
- WOW band
I tested all three ways and if you’re in the habit of wearing it all the time, the WOW band is probably the quickest and easiest although I didn’t wear mine very much as it wasn’t the most elegant thing to wear in the evenings.
WOW bands can be purchased for $4.99 each from Guest Services and can also be used to pay for drinks at the bars.
The room key feature can be activated on the Royal Caribbean International app on your smartphone, which can be downloaded before your cruise. Once onboard you can also use it to check the daily schedule and book activities such as the North Star and ifly. You need to open the app before swiping it across the door sensor to unlock it. It’s another way that Royal Caribbean is introducing technology on its ships but for me, the cruise card was still the most convenient way to open the stateroom.
We only had room service once during our cruise but it was one of the best meals we had. There is no charge per item but a $7.99 charge for delivery (again, I don’t recall a charge like this with Princess Cruises). This means that as long as you order everything together you only have to pay one fee.
I have to give a special mention to the burger I had, it was pretty special and we didn’t find it available anywhere else on the ship. The Cobb salad was very well presented and I would not hesitate to order again in the future.
Our room steward on Spectrum of the Seas was called Jun from China. He was always accommodating with everything we asked for including helping us with laundry. There are no public laundrettes on Royal Caribbean ships so we needed some of clothes pressing once they came out of our suitcase.
Jun had a fantastic range of towel animals that he left for us to discover every evening. I really enjoyed going back at the end of the night so see what he’d created.
- This was the largest balcony cabin we have experienced so far so top marks go to Royal Caribbean for the space and storage available
- There was an ample amount of charging points and plug sockets to use
- The glass shower screen was great instead of a curtain
- The location of the cabin was very good although there was noise from doors slamming, which came from the internal crew areas throughout our stay. We did complain but nothing changed
- The balcony was great for watching the ship dock in ports and catching the sunrise
- The quality of the room service menu was superb
- There was limited opportunities to chill in the room and watch a movie as the on demand offerings incurred a charge
- The towel animals were a fun novelty that appeared in our stateroom every night