We are very excited to announce the launch of our Stateroom Explorer, an all new feature on the site. You may have noticed that things have been quiet on the site these past couple of weeks, and that is because I’ve been focused on this latest addition. This is one of the features that I planned to develop following the reimagination of our weather forecast, but time was not on my side. Anyway, enough excuses!
The intent of the Stateroom Explorer is to provide our readers with a dynamic research tool that provides beneficial information on each and every stateroom across the Disney Cruise Line fleet. In addition to stateroom details, we are encouraging readers to submit stateroom reviews to help other guests select the ideal stateroom for their next Disney cruise.
When you first visit the Stateroom Explorer, you will see three drop boxes allowing you to filter down the staterooms by ship and by deck.
Once a stateroom is selected, a summary will appear showing the typical layout for this stateroom category. It is important to keep in mind that some staterooms have alternate layouts and at this time will not be represented by the stateroom layout pictured. For instance, the Walter E Disney Suite is located on the port side of the Disney Fantasy, but the image below technically shows Roy O Disney suite. Other examples would be forward and aft corner staterooms that are significantly different from the category’s typical layout.
The next section provides details on the stateroom such as the location on the ship, the number of people the stateroom can sleep, if the couch pulls out to a bed (convertible sofa), and if the stateroom has a bunk bed and/or a murphy bed. While most staterooms are designed with a split bath, there are some that do not so we are including this information as well. Rooms that are handicap accessible are noted as well as staterooms that have shower-only layout without a bathtub (which may be beneficial if that meets your accessibility requirements or inversely if you have a child who requires a bath). There is also room to note any additional information – for instance, in the example below, we noted that it is the Walter E Disney Suite. Finally, if a stateroom is a connecting stateroom, the adjoining stateroom will be listed. By clicking on the connecting stateroom number, you will be taken to the details for that specific room.
Thanks to some early testing from some volunteers on Twitter, we discovered a that some of the information is not necessarily accurate. Just as the stateroom layout image is representative of the stateroom class, so is the stateroom detail information. The data was derived from DCL’s published deck plans and stateroom descriptions. We would love for this to be 100% accurate, but short of receiving a data set from Disney, we are left to our estimates.
However, we do have a mechanism to update this data and make a note if the stateroom data has been verified. If you know the details of a specific stateroom are correct, or you have correct details to share, there is a link to submit a suggested change.
If the details of stateroom have been verified, there will be a note below the details section stating the following: Details verified on April 18, 2014. Still, it is important to remember this information is just a starting point when planning a cruise, as they could change at any time without notice.
While all this information is great for researching a stateroom, we felt we could take it a step further. We developed a user review system which is live and currently accepting reader submitted stateroom reviews. Similar to comments on the site, you are welcome to include a link to your website, Facebook, Twitter pages that will render your display name on the review a hyperlink. In order to sort reviews, we are asking for the sail date. However, if you do not recall the exact date, that is not a problem; we just ask that you narrow it down to month and year if at all possible. This will help others in the event the staterooms are renovated which occurred in October 2013 on the Disney Magic.
I had an internal struggle whether or not to include numerical ratings, as they do not always paint a clear picture. For instance, someone’s 5 star rating (excellent) may be another’s 3 star rating (good.) On the other hand, a review may be impacted based on a poor experience on one particular sailing, which may not be representative of the stateroom overall. You are welcome to rate the stateroom anyway you would like, but please try to elaborate in detail why you rated the stateroom the way you did in your review.
Due to the fact that the Internet is the Internet, we built in a review moderation step & submitted reviews are not automatically published to the site. Rest assured, we will approve the good, the bad, and even the ugly. However, we must make sure the comments are family friendly for all our readers. We are asking for your email address in the unlikely event we need to contact you regarding your submitted stateroom review and to send you a confirmation email once the review is approved.
Once approved, the stateroom reviews will appear below the stateroom details information sorted by the most recent sail date. Below the stateroom review for the specific ship we are also including any reviews for the same stateroom on the sister ship. For example, we currently have reviews for 8534 on both the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.
We also created a page of recently submitted stateroom reviews grouped by ship and sorted by the date submitted.
The Stateroom Explorer can be accessed via the Cruise Planning menu at the top of the page.
We are already working on the phase two of the Stateroom Explorer. These additional enhancements will be rolled out following the Stateroom Explorer’s sea trials when we are confident the new features are working as we originally imagined. In the mean time, we encourage you use the Stateroom Explorer, and leave a stateroom review if you’d like. Finally, let us know in the comment section below if you have any suggestions on how we could improve the Stateroom Explorer going forward.