How to choose the right stateroom – A cabin overview

Just like hotels have different types of rooms, cruise ships also have different types of cabins. And whilst some cruise liners offer a vast assortment of cabin categories – like Holland America which boasts no fewer than nine – there are really only four main cabin categories: inside, outside, balcony and suite.

Choosing the Best Cruise Ship Cabin

Choosing the best cruise ship cabin for you is a largely personal thing and it depends on so many factors that there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. To make sure that you pick the perfect cabin the next time you set sail, take a look at these cabin overviews:

Choosing the Best Cruise Ship Cabin: Inside cabin on board a Holland America cruise
Inside cabin on board a Holland America cruise via Flickr, Jenni / CC 2.0

Overview of the Cabins

Inside cabins

Inside cabins are the cheapest option, although they’re also the smallest and don’t have a balcony or window. If you’re planning on spending the majority of your holiday exploring the ports of call and the ship (no one books a cruise to spend the whole holiday in their cabin!) the small size and lack of extras is unlikely to bother you.

Holland America’s deluxe inside cabins are some of the largest and charming insider cabins at sea, more akin to studio apartments than staterooms.

Choosing the Best Cruise Ship Cabin: Superior outside cabin on board Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas
Superior outside cabin on board Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas via Flickr, David Fiske / CC 2.0

Outside cabins

Outside cabins are slightly more expensive than the inside cabins, despite having much the same layout. The main difference between the two is that outside cabins have windows. But since these cabins are located on the outside of the ship, they’re also more prone to rolling and swaying, which can sometimes cause sea sickness.

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas has superior outside cabins which not only have a floor-to-ceiling window, but are also much more spacious than the inside cabins.

Choosing the Best Cruise Ship Cabin: Aft balconies on board the Sapphire Princess
Aft balconies on board the Sapphire Princess via Flickr, Jasperdo / CC 2.0

Balcony cabins

Balcony cabins are larger and more luxurious than inside or outside cabins and also come with the added benefit of floor-to-ceiling glass doors which open out onto private balconies. Something worth remembering is that balcony cabins don’t always face the sea – sometimes they face the inside of the ship and look out over the swimming pool.

Most aft-facing cabins, like those on board Princess Cruises, offer more privacy than standard balcony cabins, up to 50% more space and amazing 180⁰ views.

Choosing the Best Cruise Ship Cabin: Lounge inside the Penthouse Suite on board the Celebrity Eliipse
Lounge inside the Penthouse Suite on board the Celebrity Eliipse via Flickr, Heather / CC 2.0

Suites

Suites are the most expensive cabins and provide ample space, with separate bedrooms and lounges. Because they come with a seriously high price tag, they’re best reserved for travellers who plan on spending a considerable amount of time inside their cabin – that’s the only way you’ll get real value for money. Guests staying in suite usually benefit from added perks, too, from priority boarding to unlimited spa access and exclusive butler service.

Celebrity Cruises’ Penthouse Suite is huge and boasts a balcony with stylish patio furniture and a whirlpool.

One other thing to keep in mind – cabin position

It’s always worth paying that little bit more to choose a specific cabin, instead of opting for the cheaper ‘guarantee’ option and letting the cruise liner choose the best cruise ship cabin for you. If you suffer from sea sickness, select a cabin as low and as central as possible – this part of the cruise liner is the least affected by swaying and rolling. It’s also wise to avoid noisy areas of the ship – like the swimming pool, nightclub, children’s play area and stairways. So study the cruise liner’s map carefully before you confirm your cabin number.

I hope this article will help you choose the best cruise ship cabin. If you have comments, feel free to let us know!

About Nicola Quinn

Website: http://www.happyhealthymotivated.com

Nicola is a travel and food writer living in the Canary Islands who loves exploring far-off places, pushing herself to the limit and trying local eats wherever she goes.

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