Let me just say, straight up, that no one really cares what style your cabin is (and do you really care about the sort of people who would?). By the time you are friends and are meeting up for drinks and dinner, where you sleep is not really going to be much of a concern.
Generally speaking, cabins are most often either twin or quad share, with some cruise lines offering larger family size cabins, owner’s suites and penthouse multi-roomed suites. Additionally some cruise lines may also offer single or studio onboard accommodation which is perfect for those singletons out there.
Does Size Really Matter?
It’s all about size. And size matters to some, not so much to others. Try these cabin types on for size….
SINGLE CABINS: Some cruiselines have figured out that not everyone is a couple, AND not everyone likes to share with a stranger… or pay a higher premium (single supplement) to stay by themselves in a twin cabin. While many river cruises have has random single cabins with no single supplement for a while, ocean cruises have been slow to come to the party. Norwegian Cruise Lines jumped onboard early in 2010 with their studio cabins – specifically designed for one. Smaller than a twin room, with a single or small double bed, ensuite and storage, more often an interior or oceanview over a balcony cabin, and with a shared “singles” space nearby. Other cruiselines have seen the light and now accommodate singles better. If you want to avoid the single supplement, simply ask your consultant for recommendations.
INSIDE CABINS: Most inside cabins can be described as cosy. And depending on whether you are going twin share or triple or quad share depends on how cosy it is going to be. The cabin size can vary depending on where the cabin is positioned on the ship, and sometimes have interesting floorplans when they are placed into “spare” corners of the ship.
Modern day demands for amenities have seen the addition of compact ensuites with showers, storage in the form of a wardrobe, desk, dresser or small table, either a chair or small lounge, and the obligatory TV.
The main thing about an inside cabin is that there is no natural light, and for some this can be a little disconcerting. To alleviate this, some cruiselines have invented a “Virtual Balcony” giving a projected, real-time view of the ocean and destinations. While others have classed obstructed views or interior promenade views as an inside cabin – which brings filtered light into the cabin. It has also been suggested that those who get seasick feel queasy just watching the horizon, so it may help to be in a cabin that feels more like an interior room. Personally, I have had the best nights sleep in an inside cabin exactly because it is nice and cosy dark – just perfect after a full day of swimming, relaxing and dancing til midnight.
The popular bonus for an inside cabin is their lower price point – you only use the cabin to sleep in anyway, right?
OCEANVIEW CABINS: I can see the sea! You have a view to the real outside in an oceanview cabin via a porthole (usually round or square) or various sizes of window, even floor to ceiling! And whilst you can see through the window, they more often than not are fixed and cannot be opened. Note that some cabins will have obstructed views as they are close to the tenders and lifeboats.
Again all the mod cons are provided, similar to an inside cabin amenities, and with twin, triple and quad share variations. Cabin size is similar to your inside cabin through to larger sizes with more regular floorplans, as they are normally placed alongside the outer hull of the ship.
It’s always good to be able to see the sea when you are onboard, after all you are on a cruise!
BALCONY CABINS: The fresh open air and sea breeze is what is on offer in a balcony cabin. Light floods through full-height glass sliding doors leading to your own private balcony – just perfect for getting away from it all and relaxing on personal sun loungers.
Balcony cabins are extremely popular because they offer privacy and an outdoor space, often combined with a little extra interior space. Most balcony cabins are configured as twin share with a queen bed, and the option for triple and quad share on some ships available. Similar features regarding bathrooms, wardrobe and TV, with roomier dressing and lounge areas.
And while the fare is more, it’s the benefit of watching the sun set over the open sea horizon from your own balcony that draws cruisers in.
SUITES: With a premium cabin or suite comes perks, and size, and extra amenities. While the other cabins have showers, with most suites you are treated to a deluxe soaking tub as well as a shower, sometimes even a spa tub, and on the higher end suites you could even find an outdoor spa tub on your balcony as well! Dining and dressing areas, larger wardrobes, in fact everything is bigger and better – bigger rooms, larger balcony, a better TV – some suites even have a coffee machine!
The benefits of staying in a suite are as many and varied as there are different cruiselines. They could range from dining privileges in specialty restaurants, priority boarding/disembarking, invitations to the captain’s cocktail party, access to VIP areas, pools and dining, in-room bar, dedicated entertainment seating to complimentary concierge services and more!
On many cruiselines, the ultimate bonus is a butler. A butler might unpack/pack your suitcases, make restaurant reservations, deliver morning and afternoon tea, canapés, meals, organise laundry, run you a bath, get you a martini and any of your guests a cocktail… make sure to ask your cruise consultant when booking if your suite has a butler – it’s definitely something to look forward to.
From mini-suites through family suites, multi-roomed suites to owner’s and penthouse suites whilst the price is higher, you have an extra roomy deluxe cabin.
Multiple cabins are available on any cruise ship, from comfortable inside cabins to an oceanview giving you glimpses of the sea. A balcony cabin gives you your own personal space to relax outdoors, and the space and views expand as you move into the suite category, as do the extra amenities and inclusions. Whatever style of accommodation you choose on your cruise, remember, whether you cruise in an inside cabin or a full-on suite, life onboard is pretty much the same for everyone when they sleep. You still get towel animals and you still have access to all of the daily fun, great variety of food and entertainment offered onboard and destination experiences.
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