Wondering which stateroom you should choose to stay in for your next cruise? Well thanks to some fellow cruise bloggers and myself, we have compiled a quick guide on the 4 basic types of staterooms found on most cruise ships.
Interior Staterooms (written by Cruize Cast)
Interior staterooms are well-known to be the cheapest cabins available on a cruise ship, but depending on the line, they can vary greatly. For the newest Disney Dream-class ships, interior staterooms have been in very high demand due to their revolutionary “magical” portholes which feature true real-time views from the ship, as well as some fun characters from Finding Nemo. But, generally they are the least desired rooms on cruise ships due to their often smaller size and lack of natural light. Many people prefer to book these rooms in order to spend more money on other aspects of their vacation, and quite often cruise lines offer a several category upgrade which can allow you to “move up” in the ship. You could theoretically pay the same price as one of the cheapest inside category staterooms and be bumped up to an upper deck, steps away from the buffet and Lido Deck. In terms of value, inside staterooms are really where it is at: you get the same dining, entertainment, daily activities and often amenities as every other stateroom, but pay less. So what are the downsides? Well, if you really want that view or natural light, you won’t find it here. Also, if you have more than two people traveling, most rooms will be a very tight fit. Be sure to check the square footage depending on whatever ship you are on; some inside staterooms are actually well sized. Personally, I did miss seeing the water outside my cabin, but not an extra $200 worth. I will certainly sail in an interior stateroom again, but would think twice for certain destinations like Europe and Alaska.
Ocean View Staterooms (written by Cruize Cast)
Ocean view staterooms are a bit of an oddity. Before balconies became the norm, there were lots of ocean view rooms, but now they often only pop up on lower decks where a balcony couldn’t really work. They offer natural light and views, but no fresh air. One thing people don’t always realize about ocean view rooms is that they are often larger than balcony staterooms because they occupy the same square footage as the stateroom and balcony combined. One of my ocean view rooms was a roomy 220 sq. ft, while the balconies were 185. The first time I sailed in an ocean view room, it had a sort of window seat, which I really loved. I would sit up there and read or look out on the ocean (or Naples) and just take in the view. Other times haven’t been quite as nice. The window was usually very high, and I am very short, so I had to stand on the bed to try to see the view. A tiny, inadequate curtain covered our window, letting in way too much light in the morning. So, I think ocean view rooms are really a mixed bag. Do a little research before you book: do you need extra square footage and does the room you are looking at provide it? Is this an itinerary where a view really helps or are you willing to pay less and do without? Do you mind being down in the bowels of the ship? I will likely sail in an ocean view stateroom again, but it would only be on a cruise in Europe or Alaska, and the balconies would need to be priced out of my reach.
Balcony Stateroom (written by me!)
When you look at a modern cruise ship you will most likely be overwhelmed by the amount of balconies you can see on the side of your ship. On many ships, balconies are the predominant number of staterooms and there a many reasons why. One, they provide your very own lounging area. Most cruise ship balconies will have 2 chairs and on some maybe a lounger so you can enjoy the blue ocean waves. Balconies are pretty private so it’s basically your very own private Lido Deck. Balconies also provide a lot of natural light for your stateroom, plus you can enjoy a cool ocean breeze rights inside your stateroom! The balcony itself can vary in size on different ships and cruise lines, for example, on Carnival most standard balconies are about 35 sq. ft. and on Princess the extended balconies are about 81 sq. ft. Now…pricing can vary on any cruise line, ship, and itinerary. On Carnival, a 7 night Caribbean balcony can go for about $900, and then on Royal Caribbean, a balcony on a similar itinerary can go for about $1,200. Balcony staterooms are becoming increasingly popular and the cruise lines are now starting to try to keep up with demand by converting former ocean view staterooms into balcony staterooms. So follow the trend, book a balcony stateroom, you won’t regret it when you are standing on your balcony, sipping a cold drink all while watching the sun disappear behind the calm waves of the Caribbean.
Suite Stateroom (written by SWH Photography & Travel)
Staying in a suite makes cruising a whole different experience. Even though there are tons of suites on most modern cruise ships, you feel like you are on top of the word (or at least the ship). On NCL, those in the larger suites are put on the VIP list, and get special breakfast and lunch everyday of the cruise in Cagney’s, the extra surcharge Steakhouse. You also have access to a Concierge, who helps with quick dinner reservations, and express tender tickets and disembarkation. Even though I have never been in the Garden Villa on NCL Jewel or Dawn class ships, that is my dream, they are the largest suites at sea on any cruise line, and in my opinion, the best! Then, you are really on top of the ship! I love cruising, whether in a suite or not. It’s just the little things about a suite, and some bigger things such as having a Butler, that makes all the difference.