Our First Trip on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas in a Promenade Stateroom
Helllloooo there Possums
I will admit that I was a little nervous before embarking on our last cruise. We had never had an interior room before and I was worried I would feel cooped up and claustrophobic in there. But with three rooms and six people to pay for, I was looking for savings any way I could. With the mindset that the room was only for sleeping in, we booked three Promenade Staterooms side by side.
I always book our cabins midship to be closest to the fulcrum of the boat. I get motion sick quite easily and would not even consider booking a room forward or aft down near the bottom of the ship. It may save money, but it would be a miserable and possibly technicoloured trip for me. Our Promenade Staterooms were no different. As close to the middle of the ship as possible to get the least rocking.
Looking at the deck plan and photos online, we could see that these rooms had a window that looked into the interior of the ship. We were hopeful that this would give us a feeling of space around us. The stateroom looked comfortable enough that we wouldn’t feel that we were living on top of each other for ten days. Mind you, we are consenting adults with our own stateroom; living on top of each other might not have been the worst outcome from the situation…
But I digress.
Arriving at our room, I was already cranky and sore. It had taken so long to get through customs and on to the ship that I had had a 40-minute long panic attack. I’d been badgered by well-meaning staff to have embarkation photos taken in front of green screens on the way in, all the while having my ribs punctured by a sharp pin that had worked its way through the fabric of my handbag. I was more than ready to snap at the next person that stopped me from getting to my room and dealing with the minor blood flow I was experiencing.
You would think that in my sore and sorry for myself mood, even minor things would have been blown out of proportion. That anything wrong with our room, be it too small and shoeboxy or the mattress too solid would be noticed and cause my brow to furrow. But upon opening the door to our room, I was pleasantly surprised.
My inherent cynicism has me permanently prepared for things not to be as perfect as they appear in photographs. But even the sceptic in me had to admit I was wrong. Everything was exactly as promised in the glossy photographs. The room was no smaller than staterooms I had stayed in with obstructed views on other cruise lines. It was comfortably appointed and the sofa built into the bay window looking down over the promenade was rather lovely. It almost had an inner city vibe about it. Our room looked out on the cobbled ‘street’ below, at people shopping, out for a stroll and having a drink out at the English style pub. Across the way were other windows exactly like ours, just like looking across at a hotel across the street.
Why I am Glad We Chose An Interior Room
- We weren’t woken up by the sun in the morning. There were mornings we woke up not realising we had almost slept through breakfast. The lack of light filtering in through the heavy curtains was blissful and offered us a chance to really recharge our batteries on sea days. Having an interior room really paid off for Hubby who is oftentimes wistful for a good sleep in.
- Not being party or crowd type people, we were able to indulge in a spot of non-stalky people watching while curled up with a good book. This was something our kids really loved doing in the evening. They would head down to the Café and grab some pizza and cookies to bring up their rooms then sit in the window and create stories to go with the people down below; their imaginations ran rampant.
- The room was well soundproofed. The only time we heard even a little noise was when there was a full on street party with live music below us. Even then it was over by 10 pm and I could easily have slept through the muffled music. In fact, it was rather fun to sit on our window seat and watch the crowds below as my worn out hubby snored his way through it all. This was something I would have missed out on if I had booked an outside cabin. My parents, who had a balcony cabin, had more noise filtering in from the parties on the decks above.
- At no point did the room feel ‘stuffy’. I had expected the lack of fresh air and light to give our interior room a dank feeling. However, the ventilation was superb and kept the room feeling fresh the whole time. Overall, it felt more airy and spacious having our sizable window open to the Promenade than a little porthole window with an obstructed view over the ocean.
- We could look down and see how crowded the Promenade Café and Crown and Kettle Pub were before we decided if we wanted to head down for a drink or snack.
Having had the experience of staying in a Promenade Stateroom, I certainly wouldn’t rule out the option of going completely windowless on another cruise. We did not miss the views at all and at no time did either of us feel boxed in by our interior room. We spent plenty of time out on deck watching the ocean glide by throughout the day. We ate our meals near windows watching the sun go down or islands drift past. The gym offered unparalleled views of the wake dissipating in the distance and often took a turn about the deck to stretch our legs and get some fresh air.
I did have the chance to compare our interior room to my parent’s balcony room, and while the balcony was lovely and the room bright and airy, I did not feel like I was missing out at all. Long story short, give an interior room a go. You might be pleasantly surprised at how much you don’t miss your porthole.