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Tips from an Avid Cruiser – How to pick the Right Stateroom When Cruising

Vacation Mode Activate!

You did it, you have decided to take a cruise vacation. The cruise line is selected, and you know where you will be sailing to and from where. Excitement is running through your veins and your heart is pumping and you ask yourself, “What’s next? What stateroom should we pick?”. Do you go all out and get a suite or because of funds do you settle for an inside stateroom? While the actual room type matters it also matters where on the ship your room is located. Here are my thoughts on what you should be thinking about when picking the right stateroom for your cruise vacation.

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Stateroom Type/Category

There are many stateroom types/categories. You have your interior stateroom, ocean view stateroom, balcony, and suite. Then you have different categories of each. These categories are based on size and location. (Usually labeled by letters in the alphabet.) How to pick the right one for your vacation though?

Interior Stateroom

Well, if you are cruising on a budget interior staterooms are usually cheaper. In these staterooms, there is no window. If you get claustrophobic an interior stateroom may not be best. From experience, you will need to keep an alarm set for wake ups because there is no light. (It will become hard for your body to tell what time it is. There are newer cruise ships, like Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas, that offer large flat screen TV’s in interior staterooms that act as a window. These TV’s will broadcast sunrise and sunset.) Interior staterooms are usually made for up to 4 guests and can range in sq. ft. size. (Some cruise lines have interior state rooms specifically for the lone cruiser, and these will be on the much smaller size and price.)

Ocean View Stateroom

Ocean view Staterooms are good if you want to get some natural light into your cabin. You will feel less claustrophobic in an ocean view stateroom. The only downside is that some ocean view staterooms have smaller port holes and obstructed views. The rooms are slightly larger than the interior staterooms, but are still usually sized to fit up to 4 guests. (Personally, I do not prefer ocean view staterooms. The main reason for this is due to the fact that you cannot open the window and depending on what deck you are on your window might be at sea level. Which if you get sea-sick or are afraid of water to any point it may not be a big help. Yes, people who are afraid of water do cruise. Haha!)

cruising stateroom

Balcony Stateroom

If you want more room to move around in then a balcony stateroom is a nice choice. (Of all the staterooms I have stayed in I much prefer a balcony stateroom.) A balcony stateroom, to me, adds a little more vacation to your cruise vacation. Don’t want to be bothered by other cruise guests when you are working on your tan or eating? Then sit out on your balcony. They are larger in sq. ft. but still most are designed for only up to 4 guests per stateroom. Balcony rooms can also sometimes be double the cost of an interior stateroom, but I do recommend you cruise at least once in a balcony stateroom.

Suite Stateroom

If you would like to cruise at the height of luxury than a suite is for you. Suites are the largest in sq. ft. and also come with a private balcony. You may also get many other perks for staying in a suite such as, concierge service, priority boarding, priority tendering, and a bathtub just to name a few. Occupancy is still up to 4 guest in most suites, but some are only up to 3 guests. The price of a suite can be twice the cost of a balcony room.

Location, Location, Location

Now that you know a little more about the types of different staterooms you will want to watch out for where your stateroom is located on the ship. If you get seasick you might want to consider choosing a cabin on the lower decks. (The lower you are in the ship the less rocking you will feel.) If you get claustrophobic you might want to consider a higher deck. Don’t want to have to go far to get off the ship at your ports? Check to see from what deck the ship you are on usually tenders from. (On all of the cruises I have been on we would leave the ship from the lower decks.)

Beware of booking a stateroom directly right next to an elevator, or right under a restaurant. While it is nice to be right next to an elevator, especially if you have children, the noise can sometimes get loud, and if you are under a restaurant you may hear the staff working through the night. Compromise and book near, but not right next to, any large areas where people gather. Also, consider your view. If you want to have a better view of your destination when you are arriving book more towards the bow of the ship. If you want a chance to wave goodbye and take in the scenery one last time when you are leaving, then the stern of the ship is for you.

Princess Cruiseline
Princess Cruiseline


While upgrades can be amazing especially if you weren’t expecting it sometimes they are not for the better. If you are offered an upgrade, make sure to look at the type of room and its location compared to your current stateroom. You might find that your upgrade is not in the best location compared to your current stateroom. Or you booked a balcony stateroom and get upgraded to a larger balcony stateroom, but the new upgraded stateroom has an obstructed view balcony. So, research and choose wisely my cruising friends, Happy Cruising! (P.S. If St. Thomas, U.S.V.I is on your cruise itinerary make sure to check out my post on visiting St. Thomas, U.S.V.I

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