Cruise Tips / How to choose a cruise ship cabin

7 tips on how to choose a cruise ship cabin!

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By: Ilona Kauremszky

Dread where you’ll be storing the stroller, finding a crib for the newest family member or maybe it’s the grandparents joining you on the next cruise that’s confusing the whole cruise trip.

Gone are the days in cruising solo. Remember the last minute deal you once snagged?

These days, the focus is finding that perfect cabin to accommodate a variety of cruising needs.

One cruise insider declares how cruisers need to start with key questions in their early planning stages. “How much time do they expect to stay in the cabin? Is it only to sleep, or is it also a retreat to relax? And, what do they expect from a cabin?” asks Hans Lagerweij, President & CEO of Victory Cruise Lines (, an all-inclusive luxury small-ship coastal cruiser.

“In my experience the cheapest category and the most expensive category sell first so if you want these categories, you better book early!” he advises.

While almost all cabins have a comfortable bed, shower and TV next time you book your cruise consider these seven points on how to choose a cruise ship cabin:

1. Location equals price difference
For the budget conscious inside cabins are cheaper but usually do not have any natural light or views. If you head to the lower decks these cabins also are cheaper. Sometimes there are small portholes as windows. There can be more noise and vibration on the lower decks while on other ships there might be more noise or vibration in the back where the engines are. Still completely in front can sometimes also be less comfortable with the rough seas.

For experience seekers with bigger budgets outside cabins allow you to view sunsets, sunrises and scenery. Upper decks usually have large windows but will cost more.

2. Balconies
Cabins with balconies are more expensive. Review the type of trip and if you think you will use a balcony (e.g. in colder climates it can be a lesser advantage).

3. Size
The bigger cabins and suites usually have a desk, a couch, and more storage space. Bathrooms are usually much smaller on cruise ships compared with hotel rooms. If you want bathrooms with more space, and even bathtubs instead of showers, you usually should go for the more expensive, bigger cabins.

The biggest stateroom(s) is/are usually called the “owner suite(s).” Don’t worry about the owners, these are normally for sale like any other cabins.

4. Families
Check if certain cabin categories have a sleeper couch or the ability to add additional beds for the kids. Usually you have to go for the more expensive bigger suites, but this can be cheaper than buying two cabins. If you take two cabins, ask if they are interconnected.

5. Accessible travel
Check with the cruise line. With smaller cruise ships, the available accessible cabins might be limited.

6. Seniors and honeymooners
These clients will possibly spend more time in the cabin, so go for a bigger comfortable one with great views (big windows or balconies).

7. Couples & honeymooners
Most cabins have beds that can be separated into two beds and joined together to have one two-person bed, but this is not always the case! So double check if you don’t end up in a cabin with two separate small beds.

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