Your room on a cruise ship can almost be anything you want it to be: budget and simple so you have more money to spend on experiences at home or away, or grand and luxurious so your cruise is surely one to go down in your personal history. If you’re already sure you want a slashed-price stateroom or an elegant cabin, you might not need to know about the differences between the 2. But, if you’re still wondering how to choose a stateroom on a cruise ship so that you’ll have a fabulous vacation, consider this: What if you could pay just a bit more than a budget room to get a middle-of-the-line room that would offer many more perks? What if a smaller-than-extravagant room was almost as nice as the gigantic one and perhaps offered you more advantages – such as savings to spend on another cruise to somewhere else?
While staterooms can differ dramatically, not only from budget to luxurious but also from ship to ship, it’s difficult to come up with a comprehensive comparison of rooms to help you choose the best one. But, there are some consistencies in cabins from one cruise ship to the next that can be used a guide as to which type of accommodations are best for you. If you’ve ever wondered how to choose a stateroom on a cruise ship, here’s some information you should know about.
Staterooms on cruise ships are much like hotel rooms, but usually smaller. They generally fall into categories, with some cruise lines offering almost 20 categories of staterooms for you to choose from. That can present a tough choice! The following are the categories of staterooms you’ll typically see offered to you when you book your cruise:
- Inside – A small state room without a window to look outside
- Outside – A state room slightly larger than an inside room, with a porthole or window that offers a view to the outside (ocean view room)
- Balcony – A stateroom with a balcony, verandah, or patio letting you step outside without having to go to the public deck
- Suite – A large stateroom that sometimes has separate sleeping and living quarters, and a room that offers extra perks and amenities
In addition to choosing the category of state room you want to stay in, you should consider where your room is located on the ship. Do you want to stay in a room by the pool? Would you rather be in a quite location, or in an adults-only area? Do you need to have a room close to the bars and clubs, so you don’t have to make a long trek to your bed at 2 a.m.? These are things to think about, and remember that the location of your stateroom often affects the price for your cruise.
How to Choose a Stateroom on a Cruise Ship: Other Considerations
In addition to thinking about stateroom categories (size of your stateroom) and location, you’ll want to consider personal challenges and preferences you might have – including a tendency to get seasick and a simple desire to spend your cruise money on the most opulent cabin you can find. If seasickness is a concern, you might want to book a stateroom that’s down lower in the ship and toward the center, which is where the least rolling and swaying occurs. Cruisers who have no budget limits, and who are looking for the most fantastic cruise experience, might want to go all out with a balcony suite that offers plenty of indoor and outdoor space in addition to butler service and VIP club membership.
One last word of advice, don’t let the cruise booking sites or cruise lines choose your stateroom for you. Do your own research and choose the room that best offers you the type of experience you expect to have, or else you may find yourself looking for someone to help you move cabins once you’ve boarded your ship (and that’s not likely to be able to happen, from our experience).