My plan for my 30th birthday is to go on a 3 day, 2 night cruise with some very good friends. I don’t know who they might be, but I’m banking on at least two other people to join me. Fingers crossed!
So I’m doing research right now to figure out the expenses, the types, the jargon etc. So far I’ve found out the following: thanks to CheapCaribbean.com
Selecting a Cabin or Stateroom
Your stateroom is your home away from home while you are on vacation. For some guests, it is just a place to sleep and shower. For others, it’s their own private piece of paradise where they can kick back, relax and enjoy their cruise.
1. Types of Cabins and Staterooms
There are basically four types of accommodations on most cruise ships:
* Inside / Interior Cabins
* Outside / Oceanview Cabins
* Standard Oceanview Cabins with Balconies
* Suites and mini-suites
Whichever stateroom category you choose, you should remember that the food, service, entertainment and views from the decks are just as good regardless of where you sleep.
Inside / Interior Cabins – No Windows
CheapCaribbean.com – Inside Stateroom ExampleInside cabins are cruise ship cabins that do not have windows or port holes. These generally include: two twin beds that can convert into queen-size, private bathroom, vanity area, closed circuit TV, radio and telephone. These cabins are more economically priced and are often best suited:
* Cruisers on a budget
* Night owls who plan to spend very little time in their cabin
* Parents purchasing a separate cabin for their older, unsupervised children.
These are for those passengers who want the best price and have no intention of spending much time in their cabin.
Since inside cabins do not have windows or portholes, it’s difficult to tell the time of day or the current weather conditions without leaving the cabin and going up on deck. If you feel uncomfortable in darker or enclosed spaces, you will want to consider purchasing an Ocean View Cabin.
Outside / Oceanview Cabins – Has a Window
CheapCaribbean.com – Outside Stateroom ExampleOceanview cabins are also called “Outside Cabins” because passengers in these staterooms can look “outside.” These staterooms offer the same amenities as an inside cabin except the cabins are often larger and include windows or port holes with a view of the ocean or current port of call. These include: two twin beds that can convert into queen-size, private bathroom, vanity area, closed circuit TV, radio and telephone.
On some ship, oceanview cabins often larger than inside cabins, but the windows make the cabins seem larger and brighter. Not only can you tell the time of day and the weather, but the view is always changing from one exciting port of call to another.
Balcony Stateroom ExampleBalcony staterooms offer all of the same amenities as Oceanview Cabins but with the benefit of a large, glass door out to your own private verandah overlooking the ocean or current port of call. They are generally the same size as an Oceanview Stateroom but with additional square feet or more of verandah space which includes a couple of deck chairs and small table . . . perfect for morning coffee, room service, or private glacier viewing. Balcony cabins typically include twin beds that can convert into queen-size, private bathroom, vanity area, closed circuit TV, radio and telephone.
Balcony cabins are the ultimate way to relax and enjoy your privacy. They are highly recommended for destination specific cruises like Alaska where the scenery and Alaska’s natural beauty is the reason you want to travel there in the first place.
Mini-Suites and Suites
CheapCaribbean.com – Suite ExampleSuites are the most spacious and elegant staterooms on a cruise ship. Depending on the Suite category and on your cruise ship, Suites can vary in size from 200 square feet to over 1,500 square feet depending on the ship. Not only do they include the basic amenities of balcony cabins, they can also include large sitting areas, walk in closets, and bathrooms with double sinks whirlpool tubs. Some cruise lines offer special benefits to Suite Passengers such as: preferred check in and disembarkation, concierge service, in-room hors d’oeuvres nightly, in-room massages, and even butler service.
Note: These are general, cruise industry descriptions of staterooms. Photos on this page are not specific to the cabins on the ship you may have selected. They are for reference only. Cabins may be smaller or larger than pictured depending upon your ship. For specific information about a particular stateroom category on a specific cruise ship, please click the appropriate stateroom links or call for more information.
2. How many people can fit in a cabin?
Most cruise ships have cabins that can accommodate up to three or four passengers in one stateroom. (triple and quad occupancy). Carnival, Disney and Celebrity can accommodate up to five passengers on certain ships (quint occupancy). Since the third/fourth/fifth passengers in a cabin pay less than the first two, this is an affordable way for many families to travel.
There are limited numbers of triple, quad and quint cabins. If you have a need for a cabin that accommodates more than two people, we strongly encourage you to book as far in advance as possible as these cabins sell out before any of the others.
If you having difficulty booking a stateroom for three or more passengers, please call and speak with a Cruise Specialist directly.
3. Is a Balcony Stateroom worth it?
There is nothing like having a balcony on a cruise. The view on a cruise is always changing. It’s not just water, ocean, water, ocean. Whether you’re sailing along the Inside Passage of Alaska or docked among the pink pastels of Bermuda, you have an almost constant view of some of the most beautiful destinations you’ll ever see.
Private balconies are also a great way to escape the crowds. You can enjoy the same view from your own deck chair while having a cup of coffee – but without the crowds.
Balcony cabins seem bigger as well. With a balcony, it’s almost as though you have floor to ceiling window to the most magnificent views in the world. If you’re already spending the money and taking time to go to on a cruise, treat yourself to a balcony as well. So the answer is “yes.” A balcony stateroom is worth it.
4. What’s a GUAR cabin?
A “GUAR” or “GUARANTEED CATEGORY” means that you will receive your cabin number and deck assignment when you check in for your cruise. You will be guaranteed a cabin in the category that you that book and no lower than that category. If your booked category is not available when you check in, then you will receive a complimentary upgrade to a higher category. This process is very similar to booking a hotel room. With a hotel, you book a room type and you’re assigned your room number when you check in at the front desk. The same principle applies here. This is a very common practice among all major cruise lines.
Guaranteed categories can be a great value, especially for first time cruisers. These are usually less expensive and can sometimes result in a complimentary upgrade.
A “GUAR” may not be for you if cabin placement on the ship is definitely important to you; if you are traveling with other cabins and need to be near the other cabins; or if prefer a specific location. If, on the other hand, you don’t care where your cabin is (as long as it’s a specific type of cabin), then a Guarantee may save you money and you may even get a nicer cabin then you paid for.
5. Connecting Staterooms
Connecting Staterooms are adjoining cabins that have a door that connects the two of them. These are popular with couples traveling with their kids because of the door inside the stateroom that allows access to the other room. Although you would be able to book two cabins next to each other by identifying them on the deck plan, you wouldn’t know if they were actually adjoining rooms. There is also the chance of a cabin being gone by the time you start the second booking. If you need connecting cabins or staterooms that are next to each other, you should always call and have an agent complete the transaction.