Did Royal Caribbean Make a Mistake With Its New Balcony Cabins?

Did Royal Caribbean make a mistake with its new balcony cabins? We give you all the details of the Icon of the Seas infinite balcony cabins.

Did Royal Caribbean Make a Mistake With Its New Balcony Cabins?

Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship Icon of the Seas is currently on her official inaugural voyage, and there are lots of firsts on board…including a brand-new type of balcony cabin for the cruise line. Though “infinite balcony” cabins are not new to the cruise industry (they got a lot of hype when sister brand Celebrity introduced them on Celebrity Edge!), they are new to Royal Caribbean, with the introduction of the Icon of the Seas Infinite Balcony cabin.

As is the case with pretty much anything new or different that’s introduced, there are mixed opinions on this stateroom category, as well as both pros and cons for choosing one. We thought we’d give you a general overview of what exactly infinite balcony cabins are, where they’re located on the ship, and how they compare to other balcony stateroom categories so you can decide if choosing one is right for you.

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Did Royal Caribbean Make a Mistake With Its New Balcony Cabins?

Overview of an Icon of the Seas Infinite Balcony Cabin

Infinite balcony cabins offer a unique design that combines the fresh air that a traditional balcony cabin affords with the benefit of an expanded indoor living space. They essentially join what would traditionally be outdoor balcony space with the interior square footage of the cabin, making them a bit like a large oceanview cabin with a floor-to-ceiling window that opens.

icon of the seas infinite balcony cabin

Hence, the “balcony” space is actually indoors (there’s technically no “outdoor” space). You are able to push a button that opens your floor-to-ceiling window as though you had a balcony railing. It’s the epitome of indoor/outdoor living on a cruise ship.

There are four types of the Icon of the Seas infinite balcony cabin. Here’s the rundown on each:

Spacious Infinite Ocean View Balcony

The Spacious Infinite Ocean View Balcony cabins are 250 square feet total, including the “balcony” space. There are 419 of them on Icon of the Seas, and they can each hold up to four guests. These are most similar to traditional balcony cabins, as they are ocean-facing. These cabins are located on decks 9, 10, and 11.

Spacious Infinite Central Park View Balcony

Coming in at the same size and capacity as the Ocean View infinite balcony cabins, the Spacious Infinite Central Park View Balcony cabins face inward overlooking the Central Park neighborhood as opposed to outward towards the ocean.

There are 196 of these cabins on Icon, and they make a great option for people who want to be part of the action at all times on the ship, as you can people-watch from your cabin and listen to live music floating up from Central Park. The downside is that you have no view of the ocean or exterior of the ship from these staterooms, but you do get fresh air as opposed to those with interior or window-only cabins. These cabins are located on decks 10, 11, and 12.

icon of the seas infinite balcony cabin

Family Infinite Ocean View Balcony

Family Infinite Ocean View Balcony staterooms are a bit larger, coming in at 335 square feet counting the “balcony” space. There are 78 of these cabins on the ship, and they can each accommodate up to six people.

Designed for a family with kids, these cabins include a separate alcove just for kids complete with two beds and two TVs. The cabin also features a split bathroom design where one includes a sink and a toilet, and the other has a sink and a shower. These cabins are located on decks 9, 10, and 11.

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Infinite Grand Suite

The only suite category to feature an Icon of the Seas infinite balcony, the Infinite Grand Suites are 533 square feet including the “balcony” space and can accommodate up to four guests. There are just six of these suites on Icon of the Seas.

These large rooms feature a split bathroom design, with one including a sink and toilet and the other including a sink and shower/tub combo. The balcony area includes a small table with four dining chairs and a chair with an ottoman for relaxing.

The Infinite Grand Suites are part of the Sky Tier of the Suite Class, meaning staying in one comes with extra perks like access to the Suite Sun Deck and Suite Lounge, priority boarding, free internet, all-day access to Coastal Kitchen, luxury bathroom amenities, and more.

Infinite Grand Suites are located on deck 9.

icon of the seas infinite balcony cabin

Pros and Cons of Infinite Balcony Cabins

Now that you have an idea of what an infinite balcony cabin is and what the options are on Icon of the Seas, you may be wondering whether booking one is the right choice for you. While some cruisers prefer them, others hate them. To help you make the decision, here are some pros and cons of the Icon of the Seas infinite balcony staterooms.

Pros

  • Extra indoor space
  • Fresh outdoor air inside the cabin when the window is open
  • A curtain separating the “balcony” space with the traditional indoor space, meaning you can block the light from the balcony if you wish
  • A floor-to-ceiling window to look out of with (almost) uninterrupted views
  • A “balcony” that’s in your stateroom affords more privacy and quiet than a traditional balcony with dividers that have space around the edges

Cons

  • Utilizing the open-air aspect of an infinite balcony means that whatever temperature the air is outside is the temperature your cabin will become — and the air conditioning automatically turns off when the window is open.
  • Aside from the curtain, there’s no real sound barrier between the indoor cabin space and the “balcony” space like a wall or windows with a traditional balcony cabin, which could cause issues for people who want to stay up later/wake up earlier than their travel companions.
  • You can’t actually go outside, since the “balcony” is still interior space but with a floor-to-ceiling window that opens.
  • Staying in an infinite balcony cabin means that you can’t open up your balcony with your neighbor’s to create one large adjoined balcony.

Who should book an Icon of the Seas infinite balcony cabin?

If you like the idea of blending time in your cabin with the fresh air and sounds that come from the outdoors, an infinite balcony cabin may be for you. In our opinion, the benefits of an infinite balcony cabin are somewhat dependent on where the ship is sailing; if it’s the middle of summer in the Caribbean, you may not want to have to choose between enjoying the fresh air and staying cool in the a/c in your cabin.

Likewise, if you’re sailing in chilly Alaska, you may want to keep the warmth in your cabin while still enjoying the outdoors and scenery. On the flipside though, having this large window might be preferential to some while cruising in cooler climates.

If the temperature difference between the indoors and outdoors won’t be big, an infinite balcony may be a great choice. You’ll get extra indoor square footage and be able enjoy indoor/outdoor living with the added privacy that a traditional balcony doesn’t allow for.

icon of the seas infinite balcony cabin

However, if you want to actually be outdoors when spending time on your balcony, you might want to stick with a traditional balcony. Those who get up early and want to enjoy a quiet morning out on the balcony without disturbing those who are still sleeping might also find that a traditional balcony fits the bill better, providing more separation between the two spaces.

Pricing-wise, the cost of an infinite and a standard balcony cabin is comparable (at the time of writing) on future sailings. Thus, in most cases, the cost likely won’t be a huge determining factor when you’re deciding which cabin to book.

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Comments

Do you prefer traditional balconies or the new Icon of the Seas infinite balcony setup? What’s your preferred cabin category when cruising? Drop us an anchor below to share your thoughts on this new Royal Caribbean stateroom design.

Sarah has been writing about the cruise industry since 2015, and in that time has taken a dozen cruises and counting. Her favorite onboard activities include trying the casual dining options, spending time in the spa’s thermal suite, and attending the love & marriage show. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @IAmSarahJaneB.
Sarah Bretz, Contributor
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