When you book a cruise, you need to consider dates, destination, ship and cabin. The cabin will be your version of a “hotel room” used for the duration of the cruise. The hope is that you won’t be spending a lot of time in the cabin because there will be so much to do. Still, you will want some place comfortable to come back to after your excursions and to rest in between all that fun. Here’s what you need to think about when picking the perfect cruise cabin:

Family Cabins

If you’re traveling with kids, then there will most likely be cabins designed to accommodate the gang. This is especially true if you’re going on one of the many Disney cruises that offer up staterooms that have sleeping sections that can be curtained off. Sometimes there could be bunk beds in an alcove or pull out sleeper sofas that can also take care of the kids.

Solo Cabins

If you’re going solo on your cruise adventure, then you might be able to take advantaged of a solo cabin. These are the smallest cabins on a ship but also come at a discounted price. Otherwise you could be hit with a “single supplement” that would be like an extra fee for a second person who isn’t with you. Not fair but it’s how some cruise lines work. a regular cabin

Cabin Size

Cabins vary in shape and size and those variations are always connected to price. The more space, the more you’ll be paying. That size is also determined by your “outdoor space.” Would a balcony or a porthole or picture window be ideal? Project ahead to what you want your vacation to look like. Yes, having a balcony to enjoy a cup of tea would be lovely but would you prefer to stare out at the ocean or be up on deck with your fellow passengers? You might enjoy exploring the various coffee cafes all over the ship for your morning brew. That means you could be paying for a balcony that you’re never going to use. You also have to consider where you’re going and what time of the year it will be. In other words, it might be too cold for the balcony.


Suites are the high-end cabins. As such, they are usually the ones to sell out first on any given cruise. The suites can get rather extravagant with hot tubs, private terraces and really big living rooms and even dining areas. They might be worth the splurge!

The View

If a view is important to your cruise, then you have to think about which direction your cabin window will face as it relates to the direction and structure of the ship. Obviously, an ocean view is preferred by most travelers. However, there are some ships that offer what they call “Promenade View.” This is where the cabins face towards the interior of the ship overlooking the central promenade.

There are also the forward and aft facing balcony cabins. Would you like to see where you’re headed or where you’ve just been? The concern with the aft cabins is that they are far from the action. They are also often “stepped out.” That means you can look down on the cabin’s balcony below you but so can the cabin above you.

Obstructed or No Views

Just like a baseball stadium, there are obstructed view cabins that won’t give you an open view of the ocean because of the design of the ship. There are also “no view” cabins that are situated on the interior of the ship. These are usually the most affordable cabins and are actually a good idea for anyone who might be prone to seasickness. It happens.

Keep in mind that a cruise isn’t always as flexible as a hotel. There might not be a lot of opportunity to upgrade or switch a cabin once you’re on board.