Thursday, February 2, 2023

Living the Suite Life on the Royal Princess

After 80+ cruises with Princess this is the first time we’ve ever stayed in a suite. Thanks to the very-very last minute booking where the only handicapped cabin available was a suite, we are now lucky enough to enjoy the suite life on the Royal Princess. As today is another sea day, I thought I’d share the suite benefits we’ve been able to experience on Princess and show off our accessible cabin, R617. The cabin is located on the Riviera Deck and is close to the aft elevators and the Concierge Lounge. I’ll be adding a video later when the WiFi isn’t so sloooow.

As the door closes behind you, you can see there is a little entryway and closets on both sides. The mini bar area and refrigerator are there as well. As a suite guest you get one complimentary 20 piece mini bar set up. Then as an elite guest we get a set up so we’re running with two mini bar setups this cruise.

When we arrived in our cabin, we found an envelope with a couple of slimline wallets holding cards for access to the Concierge Lounge. You can read all about my Pre-Covid experience with the Concierge Lounge here.

As far as I can tell, all the benefits of it have remained intact since our last time there. Free alcoholic drinks from 5-7, food and water and coffee available all day (you can even bring things back to your cabin - and balcony), and a dedicated concierge to attend to all your needs.

We also had a letter outlining the benefits for suite guests.

Once you walk into the suite (or in my case, roll) you have a sitting area straight ahead. I park my scooter right in front of the desk area because I can plug it in there.


To the left of the seating area is the bedroom area. There’s a curtain you can close to divide the two rooms, if desired. As you can see, there are two doors out to the balcony. The door closest to the seating area is wheelchair accessible but the one closest to the bed is not. (If you want to know more about the mechanism that moves to make the balcony accessible or see another type of handicapped cabin on Royal Princess, check out my post here.)

The bed has several drawers on each side. The bed can be made into two twins if you’d like.

One side of the bed is closest to the balcony while the other is closest to the bathroom. We have a roll in shower…

as well as grab bars around the toilet. The bar nearest the shower can be raised and lowered.

Shelving in the bathroom is pretty high up for those wheelchair bound but the lower shelf is more easily accessible.

Probably the biggest problem area is the balcony. While long in length, it’s narrow in width just like all the other balcony cabins on the Royal Princess. Chairs have to be practically turned sideways to fit, and with four chairs and two tables it’s quite congested. It would be difficult to get a wheelchair out there without removing furniture. My scooter definitely won’t fit no matter how hard I try. But we each chose one chair and shoved the other chairs to the corners.


Along with the Concierge Lounge, we’ve been getting a nightly appetizer card. Each night we've been choosing the macarons. They might not look like much but they are a nice light treat before dinner and they sure pack the flavor.

We also receive menus for the next day. We don’t use the breakfast one as suite guests get to eat in Sabatini's at breakfast time (a super way to start the day), but we do order from the dinner and dessert menus.

With the weather warming up we’ve been enjoying dinner on the balcony each night. While the food is delivered all at once and not in courses, it works for us. And the views? You can judge for yourself.

We still haven’t discovered all there is to this sweet suite life, but we still have plenty of time to figure it out. I’ll update this page as I learn more.

See you tomorrow for yet another sea day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Royal Princess Sea Day: Only Because the Stars Aligned

We didn’t have any idea we would be making this trip. Sure, I needed to figure out the whole mobility scooter-solo-traveler thingy, but we thought we’d be tied to home. Between hubby, kiddo, and me, these last few months have found us knee deep in medical “stuff”. Appointments and tests and X-rays and MRIs. Multiple diagnoses. (That's plural for diagnosis. Who knew?) Surgery consults and scheduling. And let’s not forget last week's emergency room visit. While the moment we get back we are booked even more solid with surgeries and consults and such (and the upcoming jury duty week), somehow the stars aligned and have allowed us two full weeks of a clear schedule. 

If we were going to go away, it had to fit not only within our timeframe but some criteria:

  • Short flight time, preferable under 2 hours. And no stopovers. Gotta reduce the risk of scooter damage by the airlines. 
  • It had to be warm. With snow on the ground and temperatures hitting the single digits overnight our old bones needed warmth.
  • It needed to be somewhere we’ve been before. We have had to learn about conditions and diseases we didn’t even know existed. We didn’t want to have to learn something new while on vacation, too. 
  • Handicap accessibility was crucial. How am I going to prove myself otherwise?
10 days on the Royal Princess out of San Francisco - to Mexico - fit the bill perfectly. Since we booked the cruise very, very last minute the only handicapped cabin left was a suite. Even more perfect.

The stars aligned even more when we found out just two days ago a couple of special crew members were joining the ship on the exact same day we were. Can’t get more perfect than that.

And while our home security cameras show snow on the ground at home, the view from my seat at this very moment on this first day of February is nothing short of perfect.

Thank you for aligning, stars.

And a prime rib dinner on the balcony at sunset? 
Yup, perfect.