The first of the Royal-class ships to launch for Princess Cruises, Royal Princess is still one of the most popular ships in the fleet. But before you rush into booking your cruise, you’ll want to learn more about the different cabins available, so you can find the right one for you. There are a lot of options, including some that you probably want to steer clear of if you can.
To help you make your decision, I’ve spent over eight hours looking over the Royal Princess deck plan as well as reading plenty of comments from people on Facebook and various cruise forums. As a result, I’m confident that this extensive guide will give you everything you need when choosing your stateroom.
I’d always recommend reading the whole guide before you decide, but at the very least don’t miss out on the ‘cabins to avoid’ part. That will help you avoid a room that could spoil your whole cruise, especially if you’re someone who likes their sleep.
Royal Princess Cabin Types
There are five main cabin types available on Royal Princess.
|Accommodation||Sleeps||Size (incl. balcony)|
|Interior||2 to 4||158 to 162 sq. ft.|
|Balcony||2 to 4||214 to 222 sq. ft.|
|Deluxe Balcony||2 to 4||233 to 279 sq. ft.|
|Mini Suite||2 to 4||323 sq. ft.|
|Suite||2 to 4||440 to 1,500 sq. ft.|
While other Royal-class cruise ships that were built later, like Sky Princess, would introduce Ocean View cabins, there aren’t any on Royal Princess. Either you have an interior room with no view, or you have a balcony, whether that’s in standard Balcony cabin or one of the suite options.
When you choose your cabin on Royal Princess, it’s not just about the cabin type. You need to think about what you can comfortably afford (remembering that there are other things you’ll want to spend your budget on during your cruise too) and also the location of the room on the ship.
To help, I’ve made a handy checklist of things you need to be aware of when you’re choosing your cruise cabin. Get it for free here:
Royal Princess Inside Cabins
As with any cruise ship, the ‘entry level’ cabin is the inside or interior option. These are located on the inside of the ship, and so don’t have any windows or natural light at all. Usually designed for two people, there are some that can accommodate up to four. They’re also the smallest rooms on the ship.
This makes them perfect if you’re the kind of person who isn’t too bothered for seeing the ocean from your room (you’re never too far from an open deck if you want to go and check out the view), if you don’t spend much time in your room, or if you’re on a budget and want to prioritise other parts of the holiday.
The beds are flexible – they’re technically twin beds but can be converted into a queen-sized bed. The cabins that can sleep up to four people will have extra Pullman beds which are best suited to children but could be used by adults too.
Suggested read: What is a Pullman bed?
Pullman beds are either hidden in the ceiling or attached to the wall. On Royal Princess it’s the latter, which isn’t as good – a lot of people complain that they often bash their heads when they’re getting in and out of bed. So, if there are only two of you, you’ll want to avoid cabins with these extra beds at the ceiling.
Royal Princess Inside Cabin Grades
Every cabin on Royal Princess has a grade – these are two-letter codes that tell you more about the cabin. The first letter explains the type of cabin, and the second refers to where it is on the ship.
Inside cabins begin with the letter I, with the second letter running from A to F, with A being considered the better options and F the least desirable due to location.
The costs will vary – they aren’t just standard for all inside cabins, so if you want a better location you will pay a bit more.
|Grade||Sleeps up to||Average size (sq ft)|
|IB||4||166 – 175|
|IC||4||166 – 175|
Royal Princess Balcony Cabins
If you want a little more space than an inside cabin can give you, your next option is a Balcony cabin. This gives you your own balcony area, with sliding doors from your room, so you can sit and soak up the view.
Choosing the right Balcony cabin is important. You need to understand just how much space you’re getting (don’t expect an expansive one if you buy the cheapest grade), and you need to think about what kind of view you’ll get as well. You might be unlucky and never get that sunrise view you wanted just because of the direction the ship’s sailing in.
There are five types of balcony cabin on Royal Princess:
- Balcony with Obstructed View
- Deluxe Balcony
- Deluxe Balcony with Obstructed View
- Premium Deluxe Balcony
The Balcony cabins that have obstructed views are all on Deck 8 and are situated behind the lifeboats – that’s what causes the blocked view. However, you can play the system a little bit, and choose a cabin that’s between two lifeboats. Then, you only have a slightly restricted view, but you save money too. I’ll cover that in more detail later in this guide.
Royal Princess Balcony Cabin Grades
|Grade||Type||Sleeps up to||Average size (sq ft)|
|D4||Premium Deluxe Balcony||4||242 – 312|
|DW||Deluxe Balcony (Obstructed)||4||233|
Standard Vs Deluxe Vs Premium Deluxe Balcony
There are two main differences between Standard Balcony Cabins and the Deluxe or Premium Deluxe versions. The first of these is simply the space you get. Upgrading to a Deluxe will get you around 5% extra floor space, and upgrading to a Premium Deluxe will get you a further 18% of space on top of that.
The other major difference is in the bed configuration for three- and four-berth cabins. Deluxe or Premium Deluxe cabins will have a sofa bed, so the three-berth rooms won’t have any Pullman beds, while the four-berth rooms will have the sofa bed and one Pullman.
So, if you have younger children that you don’t want to put in a top bunk, then choosing to upgrade can be useful since they’ll be able to sleep on the sofa bed.
Royal Princess Mini Suites
Mini Suites essentially bridge the gap between Balcony cabins and full suites. You get extra space and a few bonus perks, but you don’t get all the benefits that a full suite would offer – nor do you have to pay the price for one either.
Royal Princess Mini Suite Perks:
- A sitting area with a sofa bed and coffee table
- A curtain to separate the sofa bed sitting area from the main bed
- An extra TV – one for the sitting area and one facing the main bed
- An enhanced bathroom with bathtub and massage shower
- A better bed with luxury mattress topper and better pillows
- Up to four chairs on the balcony (compared to the standard two)
- A glass of sparkling wine when you board
Royal Princess Mini Suite Grades
|Grade||Type||Sleeps up to||Average size (sq ft)|
|M1||Club Class Mini Suite||4||314|
|M6||Club Class Mini Suite||3||314|
|MB||Mini Suite||4||299 – 329|
Club Class Mini Suites
Within the Mini Suite class of accommodation, there’s a premium sub-category of Club Class Mini Suites. These have a few extra perks compared to the usual Mini Suites.
Royal Princess Club Class Mini Suite Perks:
- Priority embarkation and disembarkation at the beginning and end of your holiday
- A comfier bed
- Half bottles of red and white wine provided on embarkation day
- Bathrobes provided for each guest
- Evening canapes served in your suite (on request)
- Exclusive priority seating in the Main Dining Room with extra menu options
If you’re considering booking a Mini Suite, consider how much you think these extra perks are worth, and then look at the difference in price between Mini Suites and Club Class Mini Suites – this will tell you whether you should upgrade or not.
Royal Princess Suites
The absolute best accommodation on Royal Princess are the suites. These have even more space, with completely separate living and bedroom areas. You also get all of the perks of a Club Class Mini Suite, and quite the list of extra little touches too.
Royal Princess Suite Perks:
- Priority embarkation and disembarkation at the beginning and end of your cruise and for any excursions
- Priority lines at the shore excursions and guest services desks
- Priority booking for special dining restaurants
- Club Class Dining in a reserved area of the Dining Room with extra menu options
- Access to the Lotus Spa Thermal Suite
- Upgraded room service menu
- A welcome glass of Champagne on arrival
- A free mini bar, a fruit bowl (refreshed on request) and fresh orchids in your suite
- A free mimosa at breakfast each day
- Ice service, twice a day
- In-suite tea service
- Evening canapes (available on request)
- A cruise card wallet
- Use of umbrellas as necessary
- Free laundry, dry cleaning and shoe polishing services
- A free private portrait sitting with the ship’s photographer
Royal Princess Suite Grades
|Grade||Type||Sleeps up to||Average size (sq ft)|
|S3||Penthouse Suite||3||587 – 682|
Premium Suites Vs Penthouse Suites
There are two different options when choosing a Suite on Royal Princess. Premium Suites are better if you’re looking to accommodate four people, but otherwise, Penthouse Suites are considered the best. They’re more expensive, mainly because they usually (but not always) have more space, and they have prime locations.
The Premium Suites are situated towards the front of the ship, but they’re not forward-facing. They’re a little further from the elevators but they’re still a great option for a luxury stay.
The Penthouse Suites are situated at the aft of the ship, giving you the best views over the wake. The balconies wrap around the aft and are much larger than on any other cabin class on the ship.
The Penthouse Suites with the largest balconies are on the higher decks, specifically Decks 14 and 15. These are the very best options for accommodation on the whole ship.
If you have your heart set on a suite but haven’t yet decided which one to go for, then I recommend that you take a look at my guide to Princess Cruises Suite Perks which compares exactly what you get with each type of suite.
Special Cabin Types
Royal Princess Aft Rooms
Aft cabins are those situated at the back of the ship. They’re really popular because the view over the wake is considered to be the best you can enjoy. You also get the benefit of less wind, since you’re shielded by the ship moving in a forwards direction, and the rooms are often larger too.
On Royal Princess you can choose from the following aft-facing rooms:
- Premium Deluxe Balcony Rooms
- Penthouse Suites
All of the aft-facing rooms are located on decks 8 to 15. Each deck has two Penthouse Suites in the aft corners, and then four mid-aft Premium Deluxe Balcony cabins mid-aft.
Royal Princess Connecting Rooms
If your travelling party consists of more than four people, or you want to split your group between two rooms anyway, then it’s a good idea to look out for connecting rooms that have a door between them.
If you only want one cabin then it’s best to avoid these rooms – the connecting door will be locked but they aren’t as sound-proof as the walls, and you can sometimes get a draught through the door as well.
On Royal Princess there are a wide range of connecting room options:
- Two Interior cabins
- Two Standard Balcony cabins
- An Obstructed Balcony and a Standard Balcony
- An Obstructed Balcony and a Deluxe Balcony
- Two Obstructed Deluxe Balcony rooms
- Two Deluxe Balcony Rooms
- Two Mini Suites
- Two Club Class Mini Suites
- Royal Princess Accessible Rooms
Royal Princess Accessible Rooms
While you can navigate around the whole ship in a wheelchair or on a scooter with relative ease, only some of the cabins are designed to accommodate wheelchair or scooter users. They’re more spacious, have larger doors, no steps to get into the room and the bathroom is a wet room. They’re really popular and tend to book up quickly, so if you need one of these rooms you should book as far in advance as possible.
The accessible cabins available on Royal Princess are:
- Interior – Decks 8 and 9
- Balcony – Decks 9, 10, 11, 12 and 15
- Mini Suites – Decks 10, 11 and 12
- Club Class Mini Suites – Decks 11 and 12
- Penthouse Suites – Deck 14
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Royal Princess Cabins to Avoid
Everything above is designed to give you a total, factual overview of the different cabins you can pick from on Royal Princess to help you make your mind up about which one is right for you.
But that’s all the official information. What we’ll look at now is the stuff they might not tell you, so that you know which cabins you should avoid if you want to have the best holiday onboard.
1. Balconies that are out-of-bounds when you’re at sea
L101 to L108, M101 to M108
When the ship’s moving, the wind blows against the front of the ship. This means anyone who’s booked a room with a forward-facing balcony isn’t allowed to use it when the ship’s travelling, and can only make use of it while in port.
So, if the idea of relaxing on your balcony as the ship sails sounds like you’re idea of heaven, make sure you avoid a forward-facing room on Decks 15 and 16.
However, if you don’t plan on using the balcony too much but think it’s a nice touch when you are in port, these are actually a great choice, because the plus side is that these balconies are a lot bigger than those along the sides of the ship.
2. Cabins that will make any sea sickness worse
L101 to L129, M101 to M129
More a general tip for any cruise ship than one specific to Royal Princess, but the closer you are to the middle and bottom of the ship, the less likely you are to feel the motion of the ship on the waves.
So, if you’re someone who suffers from seasickness, then it’s a good idea to avoid any rooms that are on the top decks, right at the front or right at the back.
3. Obstructed view rooms… unless you want to save money
Most of Deck 8 – cabins beginning with E
If you’ve got your mind set on spending a relaxing time whiling away the hours on your balcony, then the last thing you want is a lifeboat blocking the view. It’s not a dealbreaker for everyone, but for those who like the comfort of their own space and want to enjoy the fresh air, you’ll likely want to avoid an Obstructed View room.
However, if you don’t mind the view and you just want to save money, and you’d like a balcony for the crisp sea air, then an Obstructed View cabin will be cheaper. You can also study the deck plans to find rooms that are between two lifeboats, where the view isn’t as restricted.
4. Aft balconies that can have soot buildups
Aft cabins and suites
This is another subjective one, because for most people the aft cabins are considered the best. You have amazing views over the wake of the ship. However, there’s also a risk of soot, particularly on the higher decks.
That’s because, with the ship moving forwards, soot from the funnels is travelling backwards towards the aft, and it can settle on the balconies. Often it’s a minor issue but some cruisers have commented on how they felt the balcony was unusable due to the daily build up. If you don’t want to risk it, consider choosing a cabin along the sides of the ship instead.
5. Interconnecting rooms if you don’t need them
Interconnecting rooms are a great way to keep larger groups together when you cruise, but if you’re only in a travelling party of up to 4 people, it’s better to avoid these cabins if you can.
You don’t need to worry about strangers walking into your room – the doors have locks on them, which are only unlocked at the request of a travelling party. But, they’re not as thick as the walls, which means more sound can get through. There’s a draft sometimes too. So for the most peaceful and private space, try to request a room that isn’t an interconnecting one.
6. Rooms with less privacy
M411, M415, M417, M419, M423, M425, R415, R417, R421, R423, R427, R429, A417, A421, A423, A427, A429, B417, B421, B423, B427, B429 (SeaWalk)
M722, M723, M724, M725, M726, M727 (Horizon Terrace)
There are some Balcony cabins where you might not have as much privacy as you like. Firstly, with the starboard (right) side of the ship, you have the SeaWalk on Deck 16, which is the glass-bottomed walkway that curves out from the ship. Not only will people on the SeaWalk be able to look down into your balcony, but you’ll have a rather cheeky view right up to them too. It’s less of an issue on lower decks, but it’s something to consider.
At the aft of the ship on Deck 16 again is the Horizon Terrace, where people often like to relax and enjoy the view over the wake. However because the back of the ship is staggered, this means they get a view right into the balconies of Deck 15 aft cabins.
If you don’t want anyone to be looking into your balcony, it’s best to avoid these cabins.
7. Noisy rooms in the morning or during the day
M302 to M436, L101 to L301
From Decks 9 to 14, cabins are surrounded above and below by other accommodation, so they should be pretty quiet. But, there are some parts of the ship where you might suffer from a bit of noise. During the day that’ll be on parts of Deck 15 below the pool area, and on Deck 16.
Early in the morning, people will head to the pool deck to reserve a lounger, and will often drag it around to get a good spot. To them, it’ll seem quite quiet, but on your ceiling, you’ll definitely notice it. And if you choose a room on the Lido Deck then you’ll be below The Sanctuary and The Retreat pool, where you may have similar issues.
8. Noisy rooms at night
E125, E130, E201 to E225, E445 to E612, E630 to E733
Noise at night will tend to come from the entertainment venues which are primarily situated on Deck 7, right below the first deck of accommodation. So, if you’re on Deck 8 you might hear some noise coming through the floor, and depending on where you are it could last until the early hours.
The places to avoid are above the Princess Theater, Princess Live!, and the Vista Lounge, which are all spaced out through the deck. But anywhere on Deck 8 will potentially have some noise into the evening. If you like to get an early night, it’s better to book a higher deck.
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The Best Cabins on Royal Princess
Now that we’ve discussed the cabins that you’ll want to avoid, here are some of the best cabins on Royal Princess that you should look out for if you see that they’re available when you come to book your cruise.
1. Luxury Penthouse Suites
If you have the budget, then choosing a Penthouse Suite will be something truly special. You not only get the most space both in the room and on your balcony, but you’ll get a long list of perks too, both in your room and as part of your general cruise experience.
Suites are pricey though, so it’s a personal decision. Think about how much time you’ll spend in your room, and how much you’ll make use of the perks. If you want the very best then go for it, but you can often pay for two cruises in a Standard Balcony room for the price of one in a Suite.
For a closer look at a Penthouse Suite on Royal Princess, take a look at this video:
2. The cheapest cabins
What makes the best cabin depends on the type of cruiser you are, but if you’re someone who intends to make the most of the ship’s facilities, attending theatre shows, relaxing in bars and so on, then you may only use your room to sleep, shower and get changed.
It might be that the best cabin for you is an Inside since you’ll be able to put more of your money towards experiences (or future cruises). And if you’re a larger family or group, getting connecting inside cabins will be the cheapest option available.
For a closer look at what you can expect from an inside cabin on Royal Princess, take a look at this video:
3. Extended balcony cabins
Due to the design of Royal Princess, some of the mid-ship cabins have slightly extended balconies, because they’re angled. Look out for one of these cabins if you want to make the most of your balcony space.
You can see an example from the deck plans here:
On the higher decks, this is only in Mini Suites and Club Class Mini Suites, but on Decks 8 and 9 it’s an option for Balcony and Deluxe Balcony cabins. Although be aware that on Deck 8 the view will be obstructed.
4. ‘White noise’ cabins
C316, C317, C322, C323, C328, C329, C334, C335
Something that a few cruisers have picked up on – there’s an air vent situated between the ‘sideways’ Inside cabins on Deck 10, from C316 to C335. It emits a constant, low-level noise.
Rather than cause issues, a lot of past passengers have said that the dull low sound is something you get used to quickly and that actually helps to dampen other sounds from the ship. It has something of a white noise effect, being calming and even helping you get to sleep. If you’re looking for an inside cabin and like the idea of a constant white noise then these could be good options!
Many people also prefer the layout of the ‘sideways’ cabins. The following video is from sister ship Regal Princess, but the cabin is exactly the same…
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Royal Princess Accommodation FAQs
Royal Princess has 15 decks that can be accessed by passengers, starting from Deck 4 lower on the ship up to Deck 19. The cabins and suites are located between Decks 8 and 16.
Royal Princess has 36 Suites, one of which is wheelchair accessible. The best suites are the S3 Penthouse Suites. There are also 314 Mini Suites, of which six are wheelchair accessible.
There are 1,088 Balcony Cabins available on Royal Princess, accounting for 80% of the total accommodation on the ship. 358 of these are classed as Deluxe Balcony, while 730 are Standard Balcony, 22 of which are wheelchair accessible.
There are 74 connecting rooms on Royal Princess, including a mix of Interior, Balcony and Mini Suite rooms. They aren’t shown by default on the deck plans, but there’s a tick-box you can select which highlights the connecting rooms.
Royal Princess was refurbished in 2018. This refurbishment saw the beds upgraded to the Princess Luxury Bed, and a revamp of the Lotus Spa & Fitness Center. She first launched in June 2013.
Don’t Overpay For Your Princess Cruise!
Here’s how I get the lowest price when I book a cruise…
Please don’t book with any old company just because they have a cheap deal. I recommend that you find the best price and then take it to a trusted travel agent who will beat it, as well as giving you the best service.
Get your cabin checklist
Want to get a free copy of the checklist I use when choosing a cruise cabin? You can get it here…
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