Cruising Basics

Tips for selecting your room on a cruise

One of the decisions that you'll have to make when booking a cruise is what type of room you want—and where it will be located. It may seem overwhelming, but at, we're here to help you. Our agents understand that selecting a cabin can be hard if you're not familiar with the ship, and especially for first-time passengers. Hopefully, we can give you some information that may help you choose the right cabin in the right location for your vacation.


Inside Stateroom: These cabins don't have windows or port holes. It is a basic stateroom with two twin beds (that can convert to a queen bed) and your own bathroom. The inside cabins are usually the least expensive because they have no view to the outside. This is a good option if you're on a tight budget and don't plan to spend a lot of time in you room. Sometimes families book a balcony for the parents and put the kids in a nearby inside stateroom.

Ocean View: A regular ocean view cabin has a picture window with a view of the ocean. A porthole cabin, which is also considered to have an ocean view, has a small circular window with a view of the ocean. The partially obstructed ocean view and porthole cabins are generally the least expensive ocean views. Partially obstructed means there is a lifeboat in front of or to the side of the window limiting the view. You will pay a bit more for an ocean view stateroom than an inside because of the window. Some people love waking up every morning and looking out a window to check the weather, see if the sun is up or down, or if they are at sea or in port. These cabins are usually the same layout and size with the same furniture as inside cabins.

Balcony or Veranda: These cabins have an impressive view with a sliding glass door that opens up to a private outdoor sitting area. You can step out to see the ocean or port of call the ship is docked at. Only the balcony rooms allow you to enjoy fresh ocean air in the comfort of your own room. For example, a balcony is especially desirable if you're taking a cruise through the Panama Canal or the Inside Passage of Alaska because there's nothing more spectacular and relaxing than sitting on your private balcony, enjoying a cup of coffee as you experience the sites passing by.

Suite: Suites are luxurious and most likely include a private balcony—but not always. Each cruise line has a different standard for a suite, but many of these suites have spacious lounge areas, larger closets, larger bathrooms and some even include a Jacuzzi. There are different levels of suites from mini-suites to suites with up to three bedrooms. Some include nightly appetizers, private in-room massages and a personal butler.


Higher: The higher your stateroom is located on the ship, means the closer to the food, pool and activities you will be. So if you like to make trips back and forth to your stateroom throughout the day, having a room on a higher deck might save you some time walking and more time for relaxing.

Front and Back: Staterooms in the front and rear of the ship are generally less expensive. You may feel a little more movement, but it usually is not a problem with the new stabilizers that reduce the motion on modern ships. Suites are often at the front and back of the ship because that provides a little more privacy. Some cruisers enjoy being in the front or back of the ship, farther from the pool, restaurants and activities, with less hallway traffic.

Middle: If you want to be closer to the elevators that take you to the pool, restaurants and other activities, book a stateroom that is toward the middle of the ship. You'll also be halfway between any point of the ship when it comes to getting to shows, dining options or other activities. Also, you will feel the least amount of motion, if any, in the middle of the ship.

Bottom: The lower you are, the less movement you are likely to feel—especially in the inside cabins
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