Complete Guide to Choose the Right Cabin

(from the individual to the most luxurious)

Luis goes to the cabin to sleep so a room with no window will be just fine. Lourdes and Manuel will spend some time in the cabin and opted for a room with private balcony. Maria had to choose a family cabin, as they have two small children. Gabriela, in turn, has reserved a room right next to an elevator because she has the problem of locomotion and Rui and Sonia opted for a suite, after all, are on honeymoon! And you? Have you chosen? The decision on which cabin to choose may not be easy – precisely due to the large variety of offer-but sooner or later you will have to take one…
The cruises are one of the most desirable types of holidays. They offer a wide variety of options, itineraries, services, prices, and accommodations. But, when making your reservation, it is important to know how to select your cruise ship cabin based on your personal needs and preferences or the group you are with.

Choosing a cabin can be a real challenge because some cruise lines present you more than 20 different categories. Surely you will get confused if you don’t know that basically there are only four types of cabins on any cruise ship: interior, exterior, with balcony and suite. The varieties in terms of size, view, location, comfort and price are to make the hard choice!

So, in addition to knowing your options for the cabin, you need to understand what is important to you: Do you prefer a drink coyly on your balcony or at the poolside bar? Are you going to use the room only for sleep? Do you sensitive to noise while sleeping or can you sleep as a stone in a cabin just next to the busiest elevator of the ship? Have a simple shower or want a bathroom with Jacuzzi? The answers will guide you to select the best cabin … But we can also help you if you continue reading.

Everything You Should Know Before You Choose Your Cabin

OK, it’s not easy to reserve the cruise ship cabin that is ideal for you and your family or group of friends. There are a lot of alternatives and attractive options, but if you notice that, there is a clearly organized hierarchy of rooms and suites that can make it easier to choose. It is true that a single ship may have more than 20 different cabin categories, but there are ways to figure out the ideal space for you. Firstly, most cruise lines have websites that allow the see the options that the ship has and the size in square meters of each cabin. As we said, generally, there are four basic types of cabins (interior, exterior, balcony, and suite) and a few subcategories (cabin for one person, cabin with obstructed view, cabin for groups.) We listed the characteristics of each box so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

Cabin Choices of a Cruise

The cruise ships offer different categories of cabins based on the view of the room: interior, exterior, with balcony, suite, etc. Of course, attractive and wider views cost more. But, within these groups, there are alternatives in terms of shapes, sizes, and services. In addition to the common cabins, you can find expansive suites, duplexes, and even lofts! Rooms with dining table, outdoor hot tubs, and rooms suitable for groups.
Of course, all guests would like to choose the best suite of the ship but due to the financial impossibility to do so, certainly there will be other options

Interior Cabin

If you suffer from claustrophobia, pass this option. But if you don’t mind for staying in a place without natural light then proceed with reading because we have a good news for you: this kind of box is much more accessible in terms of price.

Well, this is an interior room located in a hallway of the ship, without window, without sea view and where no natural light comes in. It’s usually a relatively tight space but if the price is an issue in your choice, and if you are not planning to spend much time in the cabin, this may be the best option.

However, if you don’t like to be indoors, if prone to get nauseous, or if you’re traveling in a group, you would better start thinking about opening the purse strings and invest in another cabin.

Typical interior cabin: twin beds that can convert into doubles on request except in cabins adapted for people with disabilities. Bathroom with a shower, TV, phone, minibar and safe, Air conditioning.

Exterior Cabin

The exterior cabin is a room with a sea view but beware that in many ships may have only a tiny window or watch (round window) that you can’t even open. So, you should check what kind of exterior room before you make the reservation. Search the cabins of ships and observe the level of the cabin: higher the level, better the view. In terms of price, the exterior cabins are mid-way between the interiors and the balcony. In the middle corridor, there are also the cabins with window, but to the interior of the ship (which we will discuss later) and even the latest technology in ships has rooms with virtual screens! Some ships have already created “magical atmosphere” using cameras mounted on the ship to view the sea (and port) that are transmitted to high-definition screens which are mounted as “Windows” of cabins and they simulate windows with actual views.
An outside cabin is an excellent option for people who don’t like the interior cabin option but also can’t afford the option of the balcony.
A typical description of an outside stateroom: twin beds that can convert into doubles (on request) except in cabins adapted for people with disabilities. Bathroom with a shower, TV, phone, minibar, safe, air conditioning.

Outside Stateroom with Obstructed Views

Some ships have the option of the cabin with blocked views. There are rooms in which the view is blocked fully or partially due to the architectural and structural design of the ship. Such as cabins with balcony under the pool deck, cabins above or adjacent to lifeboats or cabins with balcony located close to the bridge wing. You don’t miss the natural light but the view is limited. The advantage is that they can be a good deal. The discount that the ships make in these cabins is more and if the amount of view is not that important to you, you may look for this option. Also, check for cabins that are sold as interior cabins but that have windows, but with obstructed view.

If you are looking for a relatively cheap cabin but with natural light to relieve the feeling of claustrophobia that a cabin with a door and four walls can cause, this might be a good choice.

A typical description of a cabin with an obstructed view: twin beds that can convert into doubles (on request) except in cabins adapted for people with disabilities. Bathroom with a shower, TV, phone, minibar, safe. air conditioning.

Balcony Cabins

Now here it is! The cabin with balcony is the best option for those who want to feel the pleasure of sailing off the Ocean and has no financial constraints. The cabins with balcony are usually the most spacious and those who receive natural light. In them, you can enjoy your breakfast or even you can have a romantic dinner on the private balcony with the taste of the ocean. Of course, they are the most expensive cabins, but they worth their price. Particularly they are recommended on longer cruises so that the passengers have a space to read a book or relax if you find leaving the ship in ports is less inviting. With a balcony, there is always a chance to breathe the ocean without having to leave your quarter and go to a public area. Also, the level of the balconies has a few options. There are balconies and verandas. There are cabins with balconies and cabins with balcony on the back of the ship that offers a unique view of 180 degrees. These balconies, almost always, twice the size of others (and double the price!) but they also have a downside: as they are located on the back of the ship, you are staying away from most activities on board. If the size of the balcony is what you are interested in, you should check the possible options with the cruise line, as they vary from ship to ship.

A typical description of a cabin with balcony: twin beds that can convert into doubles (on request) except in cabins adapted for people with disabilities. Bathroom with a shower, TV, phone, minibar, safe, air conditioning.


The best of the cabins are suites. They include a bedroom, a living room, a bar and some suites even have a piano, hot tub, private terrace, butler service etc. which depends on what you’re willing to pay for the accommodation on the ship. All suites have some perks and extra services and due to generous space, which is specially designed for families since they have areas to accommodate adults and other children.

The suites also vary in price depending on their location, size and included services. Some may have all the mentioned features mentioned above, others are a just bigger version of the standard cabin with a balcony.

When it comes to choosing a suite, the best thing to do is to find out how much space you really need, what extras are important to you and how much you’re willing to pay for them.

Note that all cabins have basic facilities, such as an attendant to clean the room and make the beds, put soap and shampoo in the bathroom, control the temperature, etc. But certain categories of suits come with increased benefits such as privileges like priority boarding, reservations of excursions, spa or yoga, welcome drinks, fresh fruit baskets, set of free wellness products as well as a bathrobe and slippers and even a private butler to cater to your requests. The question is: how far do you want to be pampered on your cruise?

A typical description of a suite: double beds that can be converted into two singles (on request). Ample wardrobe. Bathroom. TV. Phone. Availability of Internet connection from your laptop (prior payment). A minibar and safe. Air conditioning. Benefits for the relaxation of body and mind. Priority boarding. The elegant cabin where you can find a set of free wellness products as well as a bathrobe and slippers. Unlimited beverages 24 hours a day. Fantastic selection of spa which includes a welcome cocktail, Balinese massage, solarium, private consultation and unlimited use of the thermal area.

Cabins for Disabled Guests

Some cruises have special cabins for disabled passengers but these do not fit into any of the categories mentioned above. Each ship has always enough cabins for this type of passengers, which varies from boat to boat, so if this option interests you, you should request more information from the cruise company that you chose for your trip.

Promenade Stateroom

Some older ships have cabins with windows looking the interior, so-called walkway around the ship and where you can view people walking from one side to the other all the time. These cabins offer the advantage of easy access to the outside without paying for a balcony but on the other hand, tend to be dark spaces because of the large porch above the deck. Keep in mind that if you don’t close the curtains, any host can see the room.

A typical description of a promenade stateroom: twin beds that can convert into doubles (on request) except in cabins adapted for people with disabilities. Bathroom with a shower. TV. Phone. A minibar and safe. Air conditioning.

Location of Cabin

The location of the room is also an important factor when booking a stateroom. Rooms on higher floors and toward the middle of the ship are more stable than others. The lower floor rooms and the front or aft of the ship are those in which you can feel movement, especially if sailing in choppy waters. So, if you are prone to nauseous; opt for a central room of the ship, in the upper deck. Although those cabins are more expensive, but it is the price to pay in order not to feel bad.

The available options that can be considered are as follows:
1. The front of the ship – Cabins located in the front of the ship are usually considered the worst option because you feel all the movements of the waves. But please note that this problem only happens in rough waters. In places like Mediterranean or Caribbean, there is less movement and less chance to get sick.
2. The stern of the ship – The cabins at the stern of the ship is considered the second-best position after the middle cabins. These rooms are much better than the rooms in the front of the ship but still, you may notice some movement in choppy waters.
3. Middle of the ship – The cabins in the middle of the ship is considered the best option for those who want stability. As the cruise ship moves through the waves, up and down, rooms in the middle of the ship are more stable.
4. Background Decks – The cabins in the lower platforms do not offer a great view (or even any view) but allow you to save some money.

Price of the Cabin

It is quite possible that you already have a budget for your cruise but still, it is time to figure out the best way to spend it. Firstly, if you book your stateroom in advance, you can benefit from lower rates (eight months or more prior to departure). And the same can happen if you book over the date of departure (two to six weeks before departure). But waiting for last minute deals is an obvious risk because if the desired stateroom category is selling well, the rates will go up instead of down.

There is also a possibility to upgrade your cabin. For example, you can book a cabin well before departure and, before the date of travel, you get a nice value for a room that is better than yours, which you can replace your room for a small fee. A joint promotion in cruise lines also offers outside cabins to the price of interiors or balconies to the price of outside.


Another important issue, particularly for people with reduced mobility or people with small children, is the distance from the room to the central areas and/or the elevators. Don’t forget that, the ships are huge and a walk to the dining room, for example, can be time-consuming. Thus, some passengers choose their rooms for being closer (or farther) to specific areas of the ship. The pool lovers prefer a location on the upper deck near the pools and terraces, while the nightlife lovers may prefer an easy access to entertainment areas. Travelers with mobility concerns may prefer a cabin located next to an elevator.


Most cruise lines have their most beautiful and expensive cabins on the upper floors, usually just below the deck of the pool because if you have a window or balcony, benefiting a more comprehensive view. However, the pool deck is often responsible for most of the noise, so if you don’t want to hear the noise, go a level downwards.

But there are other crowded areas that can disturb your rest, such as service areas. If they are next to or on top of your room, you can hear some annoying noises, and the same accounts for close quarters or adjacent bars lounges, theater, laundries or in the lower part and behind the ship, because of its proximity to the engine noise.

In addition to these, you may want to consider the position of the elevators in relation to your room, may also want information about the levels of noise, particularly if you have a light sleep.

Unique layout

There are cabins with different layouts. Your cabin can be one of these if you have interest. So, pay attention to the unique cabins (if they exist on the ship you chose): cabins for families, interior cabins with bedroom and living room, cabins with two rooms, cabins with two bathrooms, etc. The cabins right on the front and rear of the ship often feature different layouts than the cabins that run the length of the ship.

Family cabins

If you’re traveling with your family, you should know that the latest vessels have built accommodations “family cabins” that often are suited with a bedroom and a separate room where you children can accommodate. Families and groups can also take the advantage of cabins with cradle, sofa beds, and bunk beds. All you have to do is to check with your cruise line the available space to accommodate your group and make sure they are big enough for the number of people and for their belongings.

If you are 4 people, you won’t have big problems because many cabins allow up to a maximum of four people. However, if you take three or more children, you will have more difficulties but still, there are cabins for groups in which five or six people can sleep and there are even suites where from eight to ten people can sleep. If this is your case, you will only have the option to book well in advance because this type of option tends to run out early especially during the summer holidays. As an alternative, you can always book two adjacent rooms where there is the possibility of interconnection

Cabins for Singles (Studios)

Few ships have single cabins. And those who do not have this option offers quite small spaces for sleeping.

Most ships will offer you a cabin for two people and if you’re thinking that will make a deal while staying single, think again: most likely they will charge a single supplement (extra charge for cases where single person occupying a cabin instead of two people).

Again, here is the trick: book in advance to “catch” an available single box. Another option is to join another single visitor and share the cabin and take the advantage of discounts and promotions.

Cabins with butler included

How about a private butler? Some cruise lines include butler service as a part of your fare when you select a suite or concierge cabin. This is an offer written in large fonts. Just check the value that corresponds to the difference in the price of the cruise to decide if it worth or not.

Cabins with Spa

There are cabins with Spa. The trend is quite new. The concept is simple: pay more for Spa lovers, sleep in cabins with Asian inspired decor that come with extra amenities, ranging from luxury showers, bath products, fluffy robes, yoga mats and room service with healthy menus. Are you interested? The cabins with a Spa allow you free access to the restaurants and Spa, free passes to swimming pools with whirlpool and sauna and for areas such as the steam room. Additionally, guests who stay in these accommodations can get free (or discounted) Spa treatments and fitness classes.

Cabins with exclusive spaces

Some cruise lines offer true private access closed rooms: most expensive cabins that are arranged around the areas of the deck, including private pools, jacuzzies, gymnasiums, terraces, restaurants, and lounges that guests can have direct access. If you want a hot tub or a walk-in closet, if you want dinner at a table that accommodates six or eight people or if you want benefits like priority dinner reservations, if you want to be the first person in line to enter or leave the ship … this may be the most appropriate option for you. Top-level suites allow a series of pampering without a butler, as linen and bathrobes, luxury bath products, drinks in the room, etc.
Now Choose!
Now, one of the best ways to decide is starting to put himself and/or people that will follow the following questions:

Frequently Asked Questions About Cabin Selection on a Cruise

How much time will I spend in the cabin?

If this is your first time on a cruise, we may not have an exact answer for this question. Do you plan to go out on all ports? Expand the night in the disco after dinner? Spend the whole day in the pool? And just go to the cabin to sleep? Or, on the contrary, do you have to take some breaks for rest during the day in the cabin? Of course, your cabin, no matter how long you spend there, must be comfortable and have enough room to store your belongings, but if you would never be there during the day, will it worth investing in a cabin with a balcony? If you don’t feel claustrophobic can’t you stay in an inside cabin?

Do you want to save money?

If you want to take a cruise but at the same time save money on the trip, you can start by being more restrained in accommodations, Yes. Interior cabins, as they don’t have windows, they are cheaper than the exteriors. For some people, staying in an inside cabin makes sense to save money, particularly if the cruise lasts only three or four days.

Want a wide view?

If it is important for you to view outside, you must verify that if your balcony is blocked or not Otherwise you can have a spoiled vacation spoiled because a lifeboat is in your line of sight.

On the other hand, if a little natural light enough, a cabin with obstructed views can be a good option and an excellent way to save some money on the cruise.

Need a balcony?

Cruise passengers who spend the entire time in public areas such as terraces, lounges, restaurants or even on the ground, are perfectly well without a balcony. On the contrary, passengers who like to sit and reading a book in a private outdoor space should opt for a cabin with balcony. It is also an ideal choice for people who like to avoid the crowds and prefer to make meals alone in their own balconies. Take into consideration that the level of privacy of the balconies varies from ship to ship, cabin to cabin. If you want a balcony that provides you some privacy, you must make a prior research along the cruise line. As you know, the front balconies are the most popular because they allow fantastic sea views! But often these balconies have privacy concerns.

Additionally, you must consider the time of year and the area you will visit. If you are planning a cruise in cold weather, a terrace will not be inviting, will it? What is your case?

Do you have someone smoking in your group?

If yes, on cruises, people are allowed to smoke on the balcony of the cabin. You can and should reserve this type of accommodation, or a variant, balcony with obstructed views, that is the cheapest way to get private outdoor space.

Which part of the ship will you visit more?

It is important to realize that what services or facilities of the ship you will use or visit more. For example, do you take children to the kid’s club daily? Do you expect to spend the greater part of the time in the swimming pool of the ship? Look at the layout of the ship, then see how far is the cabin you want to reserve to the spaces that you will attend more. And/or how far is the nearest elevator.

Do you have reduced mobility?

If you have mobility difficulties, if traveling in a wheelchair or if you’re simply going to have to move always with a baby carrier, check to see what options the cruise line has available for you. Surely, I will advise you a cabin prepared for people with disabilities or a cabin near to the elevators?

Does the side of the ship matter to you?

In some cruise destinations, the view is even more important. So, if you are going to Alaska the landscape values and you may want to spend a whole morning, for example, whale watching. Check which side of the ship you will travel not to have nasty surprises. And if necessary make your reservation in advance.

Do you get seasick easily?

If you get seasick easily or someone in your group is prone to bad provisions, opt for a cabin in the middle of the ship because, in the case of sailing in rough waters, these rooms tend to experience the slightest movement. Also, if possible, book a room with a balcony because the view is in sync with the movement of the ship, which helps if you do not feel sick.

Do you sensitive to noise?

If you are sensitive to noise, before choosing the cabin you should check what is your location, see the platforms at the top and bottom of the cabin you want to book and see if you are well away from the areas to avoid: Disco, laundry room, engine room, elevators, etc.

If you need more than one cabin, do you want to be close to other?

If you’re going to reserve more than one cabin, you must take attention to its location, unless it does not matter to stay close or not. For a group of friends traveling together, several cabins close to each other may be sufficient. But when the price or availability does not allow large groups stay on the same deck, you should try to book all cabins as vertically close as possible. On different platforms, people can communicate around the same stairs or elevator. If not, it may be very difficult to approach the different members of the group that is housed on opposite ends of the ship. But your question can not be this … And if you need more room to house children? You are going to wish that the cabins are interconnected. This is a cheaper solution than reserving a suite where you can throw the kids in the living room, however, the decision it is up to you. Even if two cabins are connected their price can stay at the same price as a suite. Depending on the ships you may have the advantage of being two bedrooms and two bathrooms and two televisions, for example.

A complete bathroom is important?

Do you want to have a shower for the day you arrive or would you like to lie down to relax in a bath tub? The bathroom offers only a shower to save space in some cabins, while in others there is a full bathroom. Cabins equipped with complete bathrooms tends to be marked in the plan of the ship so that it will not be difficult to detect them.


Now that you know the cabins vary in terms of size, location, price, view, services and facilities and have already chosen your room, you may pass on the reservation of your cruising dream today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *