Understanding the Cabin Categories on a Cruise Ship

Understanding the various cabin categories on a cruise ship

Understanding the different cabin categories on a cruise ship can make all the difference when selecting your stateroom. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision.

Cabins on cruise ships are divided into distinct categories based on square footage and amenities, from mainstream to luxurious.


Balcony cabins are one of the most sought-after cabin categories on a cruise ship, and with good reason. Not only do they offer guests an unparalleled view compared to oceanview cabins, but they also give them their own private outdoor area where they can take in some fresh air.

If you’re feeling claustrophobic, a balcony can help ease your discomfort. Plus, it’s an ideal spot for relaxation and unwinding with a glass of wine after an exhausting day on board the ship.

Many cruisers find that a balcony cabin is more economical than an inside cabin, especially for those traveling at premium times or on longer itineraries.

Cruise lines occasionally run special promotions that offer balcony staterooms at the same price as an inside or outside cabin. These deals can be especially advantageous when combined with complimentary drink packages, free gratuities, or onboard credit.

Another way to receive an upgrade to a balcony is to inquire if it’s possible when booking your cruise. Although this can be somewhat of a gamble, taking the time to ask may prove beneficial! Be polite and pleasant when asking Guest Relations about it; chances are good they’ll be delighted to make it happen for you.


Selecting the cabin category on a cruise ship is critical – and can make or break your vacation experience. Make sure that the room works for your family, fits within budget, and is situated conveniently on board.

To get the most out of a cruise experience, it’s essential to understand each type of stateroom offered by the line and how much they cost. Typically, four main cabin types exist: interiors without windows, outsides with windows, balcony rooms and suites.

For example, a standard inside room on board ship offers twin beds that can be converted to King size, picture windows, sofas, televisions and phones, seating areas, safes, minibars and private bathrooms with shower or bathtub. Furthermore, many ships feature family-friendly split bathroom layouts for added convenience.

On newer ships, Royal Caribbean and Disney have made the interiors more inviting. They offer categories of staterooms with “virtual windows” – large LED screens showing live views from exterior cameras. You can use these screens for checking the weather, admiring the waves or watching as you enter a port.


Princess cruise ships offer Mini-Suites to those seeking more space but don’t necessarily require the amenities that come with a full Suite. These cabins provide more living area, a separate seating area with sofa bed, as well as additional perks like priority embarkation and disembarkation.

One of the great advantages of a Mini-Suite is that it comes with its own bathtub rather than just a shower – ideal for families or people who enjoy taking long soaks in a tub. Plus, these bathrooms boast plush 100% Egyptian cotton terry cloth towels as well as all standard bathroom amenities (shampoo, shower gel and body lotion).

Onboard the new Sky Princess and Discovery Princess ships, these rooms are larger than typical balcony staterooms and boast floor-to-ceiling windows for an unbeatable view while enjoying your cruise experience.

One great feature of a mini-suite is its private disembarkation lounge, where you can unwind before departure. Plus, Club Class Mini-Suites come with two half bottles of wine on embarkation day – one white and one red.

Club Class Mini-Suites are the pinnacle of luxury accommodation and dining experiences. Enjoy an exclusive lounge, expedited seating, tableside preparations, a complimentary one-time wine set-up and more with this premium category.