When looking at the type of suites available on a cruise, they are listed in order of size / cost. Just below JS, there's another class called "W - Deluxe Stateroom Guarantee".
The ammenities description are the same as the JS (Sq Ft, balcony, image), so it appears that they are offering a JS for a few hundred dollars less, except you won't know which particular cabin will be assigned until anytime up to sailing date. Sounds like a GREAT deal!
But it also says that you are guaranteed to receive a "Superior Ocean View Stateroom" to be determined up to the day of sailing.
If I select a "W" cabin, will I get a JS or a "Superior Ocean View"?
A category "W" is a guaranteed suite. You don't where, or on which deck you'll be on until you're assigned a cabin number. You're guaranteed a JS with a chance of getting upgraded to a higher catagory. The junior suites start on deck 7. The answer to your question is YES—if you select a category "W" you will get a JS, not a superior ocean view.
Suites and the cheapest cabins are typically the first to be booked from what I've read. Thus the rarity of the W cat guarantee.
I like the two credits you get for a suite with RCI. Because of this, I will make diamond level after my upcoming cruise on the Sovereign since I got 4 credits for my previous two RCI cruises (both were in suites). However, I don't think I'll be booking many suites after I reach my goal. It will depend on the ship. A regular balcony cabin is roomy enough for us.
I'm following along the same path as you, Dave. We're booked for three cruises in the next 12 months, all in suites (JS, GS, JS). I'll make Platinum next August, then we're thinking of doing two cruises in early Jan '10: a 2-nighter out of Miami immediately followed by a 4-nighter out of Port Canaveral, both in JS suites.
If I can pull that off, that will be the minimum time for me to get to Diamond. I've read that RCI is thinking about increasing the requirements, so I'm trying hard to get there as soon as I can under the existing rules.
Have you heard anything about when the change may come?
No one knows if and when they'll make a change. They better though, it's getting so crowded in the concierge lounge that it's standing room only. Dave, you'll probably only be booking the ships that have a concierge lounge after your next cruise.
We're booked for three cruises in the next 12 months, all in suites (JS, GS, JS).
Just be careful not to get too far ahead of yourself. All of those bookings and you haven't taken your first one yet? Must be nice.
I don't know what kind of extras you are getting with the bookings you have, but you do know that if you book a new cruise while you are on one, you get shipboard credits. The booking can also be assigned to your agent so they get the commission.
We have a couple of timeshares in Myrtle Beach that we're trading for these cruises. Saves a few hundred on each one. Max savings is $1,200 if we book the Royal Suite but goes down from there pretty quickly. We're also getting on-board discounts to use on the cruise. Not quite sure who issues these - TA or RCI?
Didn't realize that there were additional discounts to be had if you book a cruise while on a cruise. Also, nice that they credit your TA for the commission. This way, I won't feel bad about going "behind her back".
We've already recognized that one must exercise some caution in booking too much too soon. We were almost ready to sign up for the two Jan 2010 cruises when we had to stop and slow down. I'm trying to temper my quest for Diamond with the practicality of planning so far in advance.