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My $1,400 stateroom on Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas wasn’t impressive despite being on the world’s largest cruise ship

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My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

  • Royal Caribbean International invited me to spend two nights in the Wonder of the Sea’s balcony stateroom.
  • My stateroom — which starts at $1,400 for 2023 itineraries — had all the essentials but minimal decor. 
  • The rest of the ship was a sensory overload but my stateroom felt underwhelming.
I spent two nights in a balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship, the Wonder of the Seas.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

At 1,188 feet-long, it’s currently the world’s largest cruise ship.a rendering of the Wonder of the Seas sailingThe Wonder of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean

But for a ship this grand, I was underwhelmed by my stateroom.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Before I dive into the negatives, I have to start on a positive note.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

My balcony stateroom was in a great location on deck eight, home of the ship’s Central Park neighborhood.Central Park aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

This open-aired walkway was lined with live plants, music, speciality dining venues that looked like everyday restaurants, and shopping.Wonder of the Seas Central Park

Brittany Chang/Insider

And given its proximity to my stateroom, this tranquil park — which looked nothing like the rest of the ship — felt like my temporary backyard.Central Park on the Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

But besides this optimal location, I don’t have an endless index of high praises to give my hotel room at sea.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Fair warning, I do have a handful of trivial complaints even though my stay was covered by the cruise line. Royal Caribbean hosted the two-night non-revenue sailing for travel agents and media.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

But given the price tag of this stateroom — which starts at $1,400 in 2023 — I believe these grievances are warranted.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Like any typical cruise ship stateroom, the bathroom was well-sized for one person.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Luckily I was traveling alone — This bathroom would’ve been uncomfortably small for two people.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Despite its size, it had all the expected amenities.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

There were shelves that held my toiletries as the waves rocked the ship …My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

… a glass-walled shower next to the toilet …My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

… and a long countertop that led to the narrow sink.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

The clothesline and hooks in the shower were perfect for drying off my bathing suit.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

But the two-in-one body wash and shampoo felt cheap, although I am glad it was provided in a refillable dispenser.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

I acknowledge that I shouldn’t be too judgemental given the ship’s 7,084-guest capacity. That’s a lot of body wash and shampoo to provide.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

I’m just glad I brought my own conditioner.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

The deep shelves provided plenty of storage for my toiletries. This became a necessity as the countertop was too narrow to hold more than a few of my belongings.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

The sink was equally small. And because the faucet head was positioned close to the edge of the sink, water splashed out of the basin whenever I washed my hands.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

This is definitely more of a personal pet peeve. But it felt like an issue that could’ve been easily fixed during the design phase.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Outside the bathroom, I don’t have too many complaints about the bedroom. The “room” in “bedroom” is used loosely in this context.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Here, the comfortable queen bed was lined with plush pillows that enveloped me the moment I laid down.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

And the bed faced a wall-mounted television that provided some background noise while I worked and scrolled through my phone.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

There were small design features that made me appreciate the stateroom …My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

… specifically the row of hooks to hang items like jackets and bags …My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

… and the bedside lamps with built-in outlets and USB ports.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Both sides of the bed were also lined with large closets, giving me more storage space than I would’ve ever needed …My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

… even if we were sailing on one of the cruise ship’s 2023 six to eight-night itineraries.Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Source: Royal Caribbean International 

These closets were full of racks, hangers, shelves, and drawers to make unpacking and organizing easy.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

And it was uniquely placed compared to other staterooms I’ve seen.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Stateroom closets are often tossed off to the side by the entry door or bathroom.Inside the family balcony stateroom on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima

Brittany Chang/Insider

Source: Insider, Insider

But here, they separated the bed from the bathroom and living “room.”My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

There was also a separate dresser in this living room space.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

This, combined with the two large closets by the bed, provided what may have been the most storage space I’ve ever seen in a traditional stateroom.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

The large dresser was located next to a desk facing the light-up vanity. I used this mirror more than the full-length one by the entry door.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Having a desk was convenient but I ended up doing most of my work on the couch parallel to the desk.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

This couch could have pulled out into a bed to accommodate another two or so travelers.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

It was so comfortable, I spent more time here than on my balcony.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

The furnished balcony, located at the far end of my hotel room at sea, was like any other.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Some of the ship’s balcony staterooms faced the Central Park neighborhood, giving travelers a view of the peaceful outdoor walkway and other people across the park.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Luckily, mine was located outwards, giving me an unobstructed view of the ocean.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

The balcony wasn’t too large, which was to be expected.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

And like the bathroom, it would’ve been a tight squeeze for four travelers.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

But for one guest, it was perfect.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

That’s not to say the stateroom isn’t equipped to handle a full family.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

There are definitely enough storage spaces to keep guests from fighting over the closet.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

And like any stateroom on a new ship, my room had all the furniture families could want while vacationing at sea.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

But the balcony stateroom was missing something all of the other staterooms I’ve been in had: robust decor.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Royal Caribbean’s newest mega cruise ship is definitely one of the flashiest and most colorful vessels I’ve ever been on. Exploring it was a sensory overload.Pool on Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

But the same couldn’t be said for my room.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

It followed a general color scheme of neutral tans, blues, and whites.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

And besides a small cluster of negligible art on the wall above my couch, the walls were barren.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

The living room’s ombre curtains, patterned carpet, and decorative pillows added some liveliness.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

And there was a sliver of a blue and white backsplash between the bathroom’s counter and mirror.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

But the remainder of the stateroom felt muted and unexciting compared to the rest of the ship.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

I understand there’s only so much decor that can be placed in a small stateroom.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

But in the past, I’ve stayed in ones with colorful murals …Inside the family balcony stateroom on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima

Brittany Chang/Insider

… wall panels …the bedroom with windows that overlook the waterThe Infinite Veranda stateroom on the Celebrity Apex.

Brittany Chang/Insider

… and framed artwork that reflected the destination or cruise brand.A bedroom with pictures on a wall, bed, night stand, window with a blind.

Brittany Chang/Insider

So I was surprised a stateroom created by a brand as big as Royal Caribbean on a ship as giant as the Wonder of the Seas didn’t provide this same excitement and decor.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Maybe this is justifiable. There are endless activities in the common spaces, including multiple water slides and pools, a zipline …A waterslide on Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

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… an ice skating rink …The ice skating show on the Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

… and a boardwalk.A candy shop on the Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

I spent two days exploring the ship and barely had a grasp of where everything was.Pool on wonder of the seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

In the end, I didn’t spend much time in my private space.The key to my balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

But the Wonder of the Seas’ balcony stateroom has a double occupancy starting rate of $1,400 for 2023 itineraries.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

So maybe I’m being too picky. But at this price and aboard one of 2022’s most highly anticipated cruise ships, I wanted more than just the essentials. I wanted to be wowed.My balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

Brittany Chang/Insider

Read the original article on Business Insider
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