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The Ultimate Guide to Cruise Ship Cabins

Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Cruise Ship Cabins. On this page, you'll find all the tools and inspiration you need to book the perfect room, as well as tips on what you should (and shouldn't) do to ensure smooth sailing. Feeling lucky? We even offer ways to up your chances at snagging a free or low-cost cabin upgrade. Click on the links for more info, and swoon over some of the most attractive cabins and suites at sea.

Updated September 20, 2018

The Balcony Cabin on MSC Divina


Cruise Cabin Tips and Advice

How to Choose a Cruise Ship Cabin: What You Need to Know
From nailing down the lowest fares to combatting seasickness, we guide you through the process of selecting the perfect cruise ship cabin.

7 Cruise Cabin Hacks That Will Change the Way You Cruise Forever
Make the most of your cruise ship cabin, from expanding storage space to setting the mood, with these clever and easy hacks.

9 Things You Don't Know About Your Cruise Ship Cabin
Even the savviest cruisers find surprises in their cabins. Here are nine we've discovered after hundreds of sailings on ships of all types. 

Tips on Booking a Cruise Room for the Whole Family
Four people in one cabin? Connecting rooms or across the hall? Make sure you get the space you need for your family with these quick tips.

5 Ways to Get a Cruise Ship Cabin Upgrade
Free and low-cost cabin upgrades are rare, but not impossible. Use these strategies to increase your chances.

The 'Guarantee' Gamble: The Odds of an Upgrade When the Cruise Line Picks Your Cabin
Risk-takers could win big by booking a "guarantee" cabin at a low price. See what your chances are of scoring an upgrade -- or getting the worst room onboard.


Cabins for All Tastes

10 Best Cruise Ship Suites
Complimentary Champagne and canapes, please. Live the high life in one of our 10 favorite cruise ship suites.

Best Family-Friendly Cruise Ships Cabins
A number of cruise lines cater to families with dedicated cabins and kid-friendly features. Find out how Royal Caribbean, Carnival and others accommodate those with little ones in tow.

The Truth About Solo Cabins
Cruise lines are upping the ante for solo travelers. Weigh your options to find out which cabin is best for you.

The 9 Best Cruise Ship Inside Cabins … and 3 to Avoid
Not all inside cabins are dark and tiny; here are nine stylish, roomy options for cruisers on a tight budget. Just stay away from the last three

The Best Balcony Cabins for Your Next Cruise
Want some personal deck space? If you're looking for the best balcony cabin you can book -- without having to upgrade to a mini-suite or suite -- here are our five favorites across mainstream lines.

14 Unusual Cruise Ship Balcony Cabins
Cabins with odd-shaped balconies and non-ocean views are sometimes the most sought after. Check out 14 uncommon (but well-loved) balcony cabins.

What to Expect on a Luxury Cruise: Cabins
More space, pillow "menus" and higher quality amenities … find out what staying in a luxury cruise ship cabin is like.

What to Expect on a River Cruise: Cabins
On a river cruise, every room has a view, but layouts can vary. We break down what to expect in a river cruise cabin.

Best Ships for Cruisers with Disabilities
It's possible for cruisers with disabilities to enjoy a stress-free vacation. Find the cabin that's best for your needs.


Compare Popular Choices

The Haven Suite on Norwegian Escape


Cabin Etiquette

12 Things Not to Do in Your Cruise Room
Go easy on the perfume, and no hanky panky on the balcony. Enjoy a worry-free cruise by avoiding these 12 faux pas.

6 Tips for Keeping Your Cabin Steward Friendly
Build the best relationship with your cabin steward by following these six tips.   

10 Etiquette Tips for Sharing a Cruise Cabin
Sailing with someone new for the first time? Keep the peace with these 10 etiquette tips for sharing a room.

9 Things You Can Do on a Cruise Ship Balcony and 1 You Probably Shouldn't
Cruise ship balconies have more to offer than picturesque views and fresh air. Here are a few ways to enjoy your personal alfresco space on different cruise lines.


Inside Look: Cabin Service

What to Expect on a Cruise: Cabin Stewards
Cabin stewards are responsible for the upkeep of your room -- and those cute towel animals waiting on your bed. Here's a closer look at everything they do.

What Cruise Ship Butlers Will Do for You
Splurging on your next cruise? Consider butler service on one of these cruise lines.

A River Cruise with a Butler: We Try It on Uniworld and Scenic
River cruises are intimate as it is, but butler service goes the extra mile. We break down the experience for those who fancy a little more attention.

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6 Cruise Ship Cabins to Avoid
You might expect loud noises, close quarters and crazy maneuvers in the dance club onboard your cruise ship -- but not in your cabin. Even if you don't plan to spend much time there, it should be a restful and private place so you can maintain that much-needed vacation stamina. To help you do so, we've compiled a list of cabins you'll want to avoid booking if closet-like dimensions or scraping chair sounds overhead aren't appealing to you. Heed our advice, and you might be feeling a bit less claustrophobic and a tad more refreshed come disembarkation.
8 Best Luxury Cruise Ships
The moment you step aboard a luxury cruise ship, a hostess is at your arm proffering a glass of bubbly while a capable room steward offers to heft your carry-on as he escorts you to what will be your home-away-from-home for the next few days. You stow your things (likely in a walk-in closet) and then emerge from your suite to get the lay of the ship. As you walk the decks, friendly crew members greet you ... by name. How can that be? You just set foot onboard! First-class, personalized service is just one of the hallmarks of luxury cruise lines. You can also expect exotic itineraries, varying degrees of inclusivity in pricing, fine wines and gourmet cuisine as well as universally high crew-to-passenger ratios. That being the case, you might think any old luxury cruise ship will do, but that's not quite true. Like people, cruise ships have their own unique personalities -- and some will be more suited to your vacation style than others. Lines like SeaDream might not offer the most spacious suites, but their intimate yachts can stealthily visit ports that large ships can't manage. Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises are owned by the same parent company but Regent offers a completely inclusive vacation experience, while Oceania draws travelers with a more independent streak. Take a look at Cruise Critic's list of best luxury cruise lines and ships to see which one resonates with you.
How To Choose a Cruise Ship Cabin: What You Need to Know
Your room on a cruise ship is called a cabin (or stateroom) and is akin to a hotel room, but typically much smaller. Choosing a cruise ship cabin can be fun and challenging at the same time, and not just a little bit frustrating on occasion. Cabins fall into different types or "categories," and some cruise lines will present as many as 20 or more categories per ship. Before you get overwhelmed, it's helpful to remember that there are essentially only four types of cabins on any cruise vessel: Inside: the smallest-sized room, with no window to the outside Outside: a room with a window or porthole (a round window) with a view to the outside, often similarly sized to an inside cabin or a bit larger; also known as oceanview Balcony: a room featuring a verandah that allows you to step outside without going up to a public deck Suite: a larger cabin, often with separate living and sleeping areas, and a wide variety of extra amenities and perks It's the permutations (size, view, location, amenities and price, for example) of the four basic cabin types that can make choosing difficult. In addition to knowing your cabin options, you need to know yourself: Do you tend to get seasick? Do you prefer to nest peaceably on your balcony rather than hanging with the crowd around the pool area? Conversely, is your idea of a stateroom simply a place to flop into bed at 1 a.m. -- no fancy notions necessary? Are there certain amenities you are willing to splurge on, or can you simply not justify paying for unnecessary perks? The answers will help guide you toward selecting the best stateroom for your money. If you're feeling overwhelmed by choice, we'll help you get started with this guide to choosing the best cruise cabins for you and your travel party.