When it comes to booking your cruise, you’ll have to choose where you want to stay. With so many cruise ship rooms on offer, this may seem overwhelming at first. Depending on whether you’re travelling alone or as family and the budget you have, the needs you have for your room may change.
We know that it can be confusing, so to help you find the best room on a cruise ship to match your requirements, read our blog where we talk in more detail about:
- Outside cabins
- Balcony staterooms
- Mini suites
- Family Rooms
- Solo cabins
What is a Cruise Ship Room?
A cruise ship room is, of course, the place you sleep during your cruise. However, it’s good to know that cruise lines refer to them as cabins or staterooms, both of which are the same thing. On the other hand, a suite refers to a bigger area that includes not only the bedroom and bathroom, but also a living space.
What is an Inside Cabin?
An inside cabin, also called an interior stateroom, is often the smallest cruise ship room, located in the middle of the ship meaning that there are no windows. While this may not be the most luxurious option, it’s definitely something to think about for those looking to cruise on a budget.
- Pros– the cheaper price for an inside cabin means that you’ll have more spending money to splash out on the ship and during shore excursions. This is the ideal base for those who love being out and about.
Cons– these rooms are often short on space, although they do still have all of the amenities you need, while the lack of windows of course means that there’s no natural light (however, this could also be a positive for those who find it hard to sleep when it isn’t dark!).
What is an Outside Cabin?
An outside cabin, also known as an oceanview stateroom, is a room with a window or porthole with views to the outside. Although you shouldn’t expect the most spacious room, this is a good option for those who enjoy waking up to some natural light and can’t wait for their first glimpse of that day’s port of call.
- Pros– this is still a budget-friendly option while also giving you a view and natural light, ideal if you’re likely to spend a little longer in your cabin during your holiday.
Cons– a downside of an outside cabin is that your view may well be obstructed, however the cruise line will state if this is the case.
What is a Balcony Stateroom?
A balcony stateroom is a cruise cabin that also comes with a balcony. While on some ships this might be quite a small space, on others you’ll have a veranda that’s big enough for you to sit outside. Although you do pay extra for this, it’s well worth the price if you want to make your cruise a little bit more special.
- Pros– you can enjoy fantastic views and the fresh sea breeze without having to leave your cabin and go out on deck. Order room service and have your morning coffee looking out at the view or watch the sun set of an evening.
Cons– these rooms are not ideal if you are on a budget, as they can cost between 20-50% more than a standard inside cabin. Also, in some cases, the room can be smaller than an outside cabin as space is made for the balcony.
What is a Mini Suite?
Although it isn’t the largest room on a ship, a mini suite is a cruise ship cabin which has a small sitting area that is seperate from the sleeping area. These often also have balconies, meaning that you can breathe in the sea air and admire the stunning ocean views, perfect if you want to make your cruise more luxurious or entertain friends.
- Pros– the increase in space means that you can comfortably spend more time in your room, ideal if you want to relax after shore excursions or if you have several days at sea during your journey.
Cons– there can be quite a price jump for this type of cabin room, so it may not be the most affordable option.
What is a Suite?
Cruise suites are some of the most luxurious cruise ship cabins, offering separate sleeping and living areas, a spacious bathroom and balcony. While it does vary from line to line, you can expect extra perks when you book a suite, ranging from priority boarding and access to exclusive restaurants, lounges and pools, to butler service and even a hot tub on the veranda.
- Pros– being more spacious than other rooms, a suite means you can spend a lot more time relaxing inside without getting cabin fever. In addition, on many cruise lines, the suites are located on the higher decks, often by the bridge or the rear, so you get to enjoy the best views.
Cons– although you definitely get the most bang for your buck, they are the most pricey rooms. There are also fewer suites than other cabins onboard meaning that you’ll have to book early to avoid disappointment.
What is a Family Room?
A family room is one that has enough space to fit everyone in together, ideal if you’re travelling with young children. Coming in a variety of types, from inside cabins to interconnecting rooms and suites, and a variety of sleeping options such as pull-out beds and bunks that can be hidden away, family rooms on cruise ships are a great way to make your holiday even easier.
- Pros– with so many different types of family rooms to choose from, you’re bound to find one that fits your needs and budget.
Cons– while the most popular lines such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O and Disney all offer these cruise ship cabins, you may not find them on every cruise line.
What is a Solo Cabin?
A solo cabin, also known as a single cabin, is a relatively new concept when it comes to cruise line rooms. In the past, those travelling alone would often have to pay a “single supplement” to make up for the money lost by one cruiser staying in a room designed for two. However, these days, many cruise lines offer cabins reserved just for those travelling alone. If you want to know more, we have written a blog about the top cruise lines for solo voyagers.
Pros– with no single supplements, or vastly reduced, these rooms make taking a cruise much more affordable if you’re travelling on your own, meaning you’ll have more spending money onboard and during shore excursions.
Cons– there aren’t many of these cabins offered which means that they are snapped up quickly. Make sure to book well in advance to avoid missing out.
Top tips for cruise ship rooms
Now you’ve read our guide to cruise ship rooms, here are a few top tips to keep in mind when choosing which cabin to go for:
1) Location is important when it comes to deciding which cruise ship room to book. For those who suffer from seasickness, choose a lower, more central room as this area has the least movement, while those who want to enjoy some peace and quiet at night should stay away from the higher decks which is where the crowds tend to be.
2) While the types of rooms available tend to be similar across the cruise lines (unless you choose a luxury cruise where all the rooms are oceanview or have a balcony), you should bear in mind that the size of these rooms can vary between lines and even between ships in the same fleet.
3) If you want to save a little money and try your luck on an upgrade, book a guaranteed cabin. This means that while you choose the type of cabin you want at the time of booking (inside, outside etc.) you aren’t allocated an exact room. When it comes to the cruise, you will definitely get this type of stateroom, but you may also be treated to an upgrade. If you don’t mind exactly where your room is located, it’s well worth a shot!