I’m going to say this right up front. I’m pretty sure I’ve found the coolest stateroom at sea, anywhere. Ever since Royal Caribbean first introduced everyone to the first Ultimate Family Suite in their fleet in the renderings for Symphony of the Seas, I knew this was going to be a special cabin – and a special ship.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to finally see the family-oriented suite in person, and it was just as fun and beautiful as I imagined it would be. The 1,346 square foot loft suite includes a dining table that converts into an air hockey table, a massive home theater area for watching movies or playing video games, a private jacuzzi, a kids-only bathroom with a full tub, and an in-stateroom slide. The space is full of color and whimsy, both inside and even out in the hallway before you even step through the door. It also includes access to a “Royal Genie,” who is an invaluable crew member for families that acts as a butler and concierge, as well as other Star Class perks like complimentary internet, specialty restaurant dining, beverages, gratuities, and more.
Step into Symphony of the Seas’ Stateroom 1733 with me, and see this exclusive family haven for yourself.
This is what you see when you get to the door. Not only does the suite welcome dwellers in with a colorful glowing marker, but the flooring outside is a literal red carpet to welcome kids and parents like royalty. (duh, it’s Royal Caribbean!)
Under the staircase inside, there are hideaways a la Harry Potter, but much more colorful and inviting (and no claustrophobic doors!)
The downstairs bathroom is conveniently located just inside the door, and offers a calm color palette in contrast to the bright suite.
Onto the main area of the suite, the “great room” if you will, color and whimsy hits you right in the face and I am completely here for it. Notice the slide just calling guests to race to the top and slide down! I heard from reliable Royal Caribbean sources that the parents are often more excited about this particular feature than the kids!
The home theater area holds a flat-screen TV with a video game system, board games, a LEGO wall, and plenty of comfy seating. This space is open to the rest of the suite, but a curtain can enclose it to make the perfect dark movie space, whether day or night.
The dining table, watched over by some snazzy, poofy-looking chandeliers, converts into an air-hockey table. Royal Caribbean found a lot of ways to maximize the space in the Ultimate Family Suite.
Kids are playing video games and the parents still want to watch a movie on the big screen? No problem, there’s a massive TV directly in front of the couch and next to the balcony door, too.
The suite includes two sets of stairs – one to the immediate right when you walk into the great room area, and then the orange staircase next to the slide that leads to the kids’ room. Head up the right staircase and you are in the parent’s bedroom with a great view of the suite – and balcony outside below.
You can either step through this full-sized door the regular way (boring!) or through the cutout little crawl-through door. This separates the parent’s bedroom from the kids’ room.
The kids’ bedroom sleeps four – one on each pull-down bunk and two on the fold-out sofa below. The wallpaper in here looks like soda caps and the pillows on the sofa resemble rocks to me. Bedding is covered in cartoon characters that most kids are sure to recognize. I can’t say anything other than this is just a fun space – as the entire suite is meant to be. (Also, the entire suite can hold up to 8 people, because two can sleep on the pull-out couch in the great room, too!)
You’ve probably never seen such busy wallpaper in a bathroom in your life. The kids definitely have a lot to look at while getting ready for bed, including the TV that is built into the vanity mirror.
The kids’ room boasts a great view. The windows are floor-to-ceiling, which means nearly every part of the suite is flooded with natural light.
Heading back downstairs and out to the balcony, there’s a netted climbing structure for the kiddos, a jacuzzi for the parents, and an outdoor dining table that also doubles as a game table – this time for ping pong. The color doesn’t stop out here either, and I noticed that this suite is easily recognizable based on its colorful and unique balcony amenities from below. Here is a photo of the view from the balcony.
You can see the mini golf course, zip line, FlowRiders, Ultimate Abyss slide, AquaTheater, and more all from the Ultimate Family Suite balcony. This means there isn’t really any privacy outside from this particular stateroom’s balcony, but there are curtains on the windows so that guests can choose privacy inside. It also means that you’ll have a great vantage point to see how many people are waiting for the zip line, or whether the mini golf course is busy!
This stateroom costs tens of thousands of dollars per cruise, so most travelers will never have the opportunity to sail in it. I had the chance to attend a session with one of the masterminds behind the suite, and he told me some very exciting news that I think will be perfect for every family. So far, this is the only stateroom of its kind in Royal Caribbean’s entire fleet. But the line plans to expand the concept to cover more stateroom categories on other ships, so that there’s a price point that fits most families’ budgets. That means that we are probably going to see standard oceanview, balcony, and suite cabins with some of the same design elements introduced in the Ultimate Family Suite. This will most likely include board games, video game systems, tables that convert into game tables (in suites), and of course the color and whimsy that the Ultimate Family Suite is already known for.
I’m very excited to see how Royal Caribbean expands this whimsical family concept to other cabin categories, because it gives everyone a chance to join in on the fun. We have heard, though, that future ships will most likely continue to only have one Ultimate Family Suite, to maintain its exclusivity.
What do you think of the Ultimate Family Suite? Would you consider sailing in one of Royal’s future family-oriented cabins?