Choosing Your Stateroom
Your choice of stateroom can be an important decision.What type of cabin do you get? Where on the ship do you want to be? My goal today is to help guide you through those questions and provide some advice. Now this will not be extremely in depth to cover every stateroom type since every cruise line has their own variety but I will do my best.
Stateroom are broken down into 5 different types. Interior, Ocean View, Balcony, Junior Suite and Suite. Within those of course are differnt levels and as I said, can very by cruise line and ship. Lets start to break these down.
The interior or often referred to as inside staterooms are typiclly the least expensive. These cabins do not have a window so there is no natural light coming in. For the most part, they are the same size as an ocean view but that can depend on the ship.
As I said earlier, within these stateroom types, there are a variety of options depending on the ship. For example, Norwegian Cruise Line has Solo Staterooms on their Breakaway Class ships. They are smaller but are less expensive for the solo traveler. Royal Caribbean have cabins that are interior but they have a view of the promenade. These are usually on the Voyager or Oasis Class Ships. There are times when you will get lucky and the stateroom is considered interior but only because of a fully obstructed view. In this case, you have the natural light coming in just no view of the ocean.
Check out my tour of an interior stateroom on the Regal Princess.
Ocean View Stateroom
For most people this would be the ideal choice if the interior is just not your thing. The ocean views will have a window or port hole and are some times a little bigger than the interior. For the most part, the amenities are the same as an interior but these cabins are often on lower decks.
You will find variety in these as well. Carnival Elation has staterooms they added in 2017 that have floor to ceiling windows located at the very front of the ship. The Dream and Vista Class ships on Carnival have deluxe ocean view cabins that have the split bathroom, a sink and tub/shower in one and shower and toilet in the other bathroom. These are great for families when its time to get ready for dinner.
Balconies are the most popular stateroom you will find on a cruise ship. All of the new ships are built with the largest percentage of staterooms having a balcony. These staterooms have a door out to a balcony usually with chairs and sometimes a table and maybe even loungers depending on the size. This allows you to get some fresh sea air without having to go out on deck. Another great feature is if you are traveling with friends or family and they are in an adjacent stateroom, the dividers between the balconies can be removed by the cabin steward. They are mostly located on the higher decks and can be in the very back, the side or even on the front. Personally, I want to sail in a balcony stateroom with a view of the back of the ship and the wake.
The varieties in balconies range quite a bit. There are wrap around balconies and extended balconies on some newer Carnival Ships. The Oasis Class ships on Royal Caribbean have balconies that face interior over either Central Park or the Boardwalk. Carnival and Disney even have Cove Balconies. these are a cutout of the hull of the ship but its still a balcony. Just not as open. Celebrity introduced the infinity balcony on the new Edge. This is a section of the stateroom where the windows open and have the benefits of the balcony.
Check out my tour of my balcony cabin on the Carnival Glory.
A step up from the Balcony Staterooms are the Junior Suites. These are larger cabins with upgraded features like the bathroom and more storage space. Most will have a fridge and some have a mini bar. These cabins have a balcony, usually larger than the balcony staterooms, have a sitting area and are located in more ideal areas.
These are top of the line for staterooms on really any ship. They can range to just a larger room or have multiple bedrooms The balconies are much larger and everything is upgraded. They come with benefits like on Carnival priority embarkation, robes plus more.
The cruise lines are really trying to one up each other when it comes to suites. Royal Caribbean has their Royal Loft Suites on the Oasis Class Ships at over 1500 square feet and 2 decks high and offering a balcony over 800 square feet. Princess will introduce the Sky Suite on the new Sky Princess this year. It will be located on the top deck with a wrap around balcony where you can dine and even watch movies under the stars.
Now these are examples of some of the best suites offered on select ships. Some ships will offer multiple suite types and can be chosen based on your party or family size.
With many ships, there are specialty areas with most of the stateroom categories discussed. The Havana Area on the Carnival Vista Class ships or The Haven on Norwegian or MSC Seaside in the Yacht Club. They will come with areas only those staying in these staterooms have access to and upgraded amenities. Carnival even has an area on several of their ships for the spa enthusiast. These rooms are right next to the spa and provide amenities you would usually need to pay for not being in those cabins.
So as you can see, staterooms are a pretty big topic and choosing one can be challenging. but follow these four criteria, in no particular order, and it will be easier.
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I have a passion for travel and believe travel is about experiences. Experiences create memories and are the stories we tell to friends and family - even with a little fudging on the facts.