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The ultimate guide to cruise ship cabins, from inside cabins to suites

Author: Lucy Abbott

Published on:

Updated on:

Cruise cabins are truly a home away from home, and with multiple cabin options onboard countless ships how can you possibly decide? Here is the ultimate guide …

Cruise ship cabins come in all shapes and sizes so you can choose the perfect cabin for all your space, amenity and viewing needs.

Choosing a cruise ship cabin can seem overwhelming at first (don’t worry we’ve all been there) as the options can seem endless, especially on large ocean cruise ships.

So let us break it down for you - across the majority of major cruise lines, there are typically four different categories of cabin offered: inside, ocean view, balcony and suite.

With inside cabins typically the cheapest cabin option, these are a great option if you want to save money or are a fan of the ‘no-frills’ cruising experience. Alternatively, on the opposite end of the spectrum, you could opt for a suite, which usually comes with a separate living area and balcony - perfect for those who want an expanse of private space.

Discover the best cabin for you across a variety of the most popular cruise lines…

Princess Cruises features spacious inside cabin onboard. Credit: Princess Cruises

Inside cabins

Inside cabins - or interior cabins - typically measure between 160-180 square feet and do not have a window.

Yet, with most cruise lines, inside cabins feature very similar amenities that larger and more expensive cabins possess such as a TV and shower products.

- READ MORE: How to pick the best cruise ship for you -

What’s more, if you want to save your money to spend onboard or for shore excursions then an inside cabin is the perfect option for you.

Not only are inside cabins a great money saver, if you’re a social butterfly and enjoy relaxing in the communal spaces onboard, then you might not need a bigger room as you’ll likely spend the day reading by the pool or meeting new friends over cocktails.

Enjoy an inside cabin with a twist with Royal Caribbean's virtual balcony inside cabins. Credit: Royal Caribbean

Best inside cabin

Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas is a true standout when it comes to inside cabins.

Measuring on the larger side for an inside cabin at 160 square feet, the interior suite features a royal king bed which can be separated into twin beds.

Get in touch with technology as Navigator of the Seas also offers an interior cabin with a virtual balcony that provides real-time views of the ocean and destinations passing you by.

All inside cabins feature a TV, sofa and armchair and a large mirror with lights - perfect for getting ready for those special evenings onboard.

You can enjoy an inside cabin onboard Navigator of the Seas’ ‘Cabo, Vallarta & Mazatlan Discovery’ half-term cruise, visiting a variety of stunning locations in Mexico.

Oceania Cruises offers the Vista Suite which boasts stunning ocean views. Credit: Oceania Cruises

Ocean-view cabins

Ocean-view cabins either feature a porthole or a larger window - a natural step up from an inside cabin.

Measuring between 170-190 square feet, ocean view cabins typically feature similar amenities to balcony cabins and are actually a similar size.

- READ MORE: Discover the most popular no-fly cruises for 2022 -

With a window, you can observe all the passing scenery which is especially important if you are embarking on a scenic cruise.

And with ocean view cabins offering the same, or a very similar, view as balcony cabins but at a cheaper price - they could be the ideal mid-range option.

Of course, if you are cruising in winter, ocean view cabins are ideal as you can still take in the views and have no want to freeze outside on a balcony!

Celebrity Cruises ocean view cabins provide a stunning view. Credit: Celebrity Cruises

Best ocean view cabin

Celebrity Apex offers one of the best ocean view cabins, with an expansive window measuring an above-average 212 square feet.

You can relax on your 100 percent cotton linens and take in the views while wrapped in your plush bathrobe.

This panoramic ocean view stateroom boasts countless handy features such as a hairdryer, complimentary tote bag, TV, safe, mini-fridge and twice-daily housekeeping service – seriously, what more could you want?

The ocean view stateroom acts as the perfect base to explore the ship, which boasts 14 passenger decks, exciting theatre productions and a staggering 29 restaurants.

Truly appreciate your expansive window on ‘The 2023 Greece, Italy & France Journey’ onboard Celebrity Apex. Admire the ancient history of Athens, the clear blue waters of Santorini and the charming French town of Marseille on this itinerary.

Balcony cabins are typically larger than inside or ocean view cabins. Credit: Shutterstock

Balcony cabin

Avoid the crowds and take in the beautiful weather in the privacy of your own balcony cabin.

Measuring an average of between 180-200 square feet, balcony cabins offer more space for you to relax and recharge.

- READ MORE: Most popular cruise destinations for 2022 -

What better way to start your morning than by embracing the fresh air on your private balcony? Also - if you tend to get seasick, then being able to step out onto your balcony and ground yourself is extremely valuable.

As for admiring the panoramas when sailing, balcony cabins bring you one step closer to the action without having to jockey for a view with fellow passengers.

It comes as no surprise that balcony cabins typically prove to be the most popular amongst cruisers.

P&O Cruises' Ventura superior deluxe balcony offers plenty of room for outdoor dining. Credit: P&O Cruises

Best balcony cabin

P&O Cruises Iona certainly comes up trumps when it comes to balcony cabins. At a massive 107-300 square foot, these rooms give you ample space to call home.

Enjoy a private dinner on your balcony with room service delivering a range of delicious meals to create a truly special holiday moment.

You get much more than just a spacious balcony with your balcony cabin though, you can also enjoy canapés delivered once a week, daily steward service, tea and coffee facilities, toiletries from The White Company, air conditioning and a vanity writing desk and chair.

The perfect cruise for a balcony suite, ‘The 2023 No-Fly Atlantic Islands’ itinerary heads to an array of stunning destinations you can see first from your balcony, such as bustling Madeira or rugged Lanzarote.

Suites onboard a cruise come with many perks such as large balconies and private hot tubs. Credit: Shutterstock

Cruise ship suites

A suite is the ultimate cabin onboard any cruise ship, usually coming with extra perks such as access to exclusive areas and personal butlers; so, it comes as no surprise that suites are the most expensive of the lot.

Like other cabin types, suites vary in size, so you get smaller suites as well as immense suites – each maintaining a level of extra luxury.

- READ MORE: Why to book your cruise holiday through a travel agent -

Suites typically feature a separate living area and bedroom, with some even boasting a dining room and multiple bedrooms.

Simply sit back and be pampered with a private concierge and butler usually coming alongside a suite.

These staff can do everything to take the stress away from your holiday such as book you into dining venues, get you tickets to onboard activities and grant you priority embarkation and debarkation.

Onboard Seven Seas Splendor, the Regent Suite boasts countless amenities and perks. Credit: Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Best cruise ship suite

The ultra-luxury cruise line Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers the most impressive suite onboard Seven Seas Explorer.

The Regent suite is the best of them all and has every single detail taken care of, from a free one-night pre-cruise hotel package, priority online reservations for shore excursions and dining to free unlimited in-suite Canyon Ranch SpaClub services – spoiled much?

You don’t need to go the whole hog to feel like royalty with Regent, though. The ship features exclusively suites onboard complete with luxuries such as a private balcony, laundry services, L’Occitane Mer & Mistral soaps and shampoos, a personal butler and a flat-screen TV.

Make the most of the opulence of Regent on a ‘Roundtrip Yokohama’ 10-night cruise, on which you can explore the wonders of Japan all from one luxurious base.

Have you found your favourite cabin option? Can we try them all?

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