Cabin types on cruise ships come in many different sizes, types, locations and of course, price.
From your super luxury cruise lines which only operate ships with Suite type cabins to the largest cruise ship in the world, Harmony of the Seas, which has more balcony cabins than most ships have normal cabins.
Below is a general overview of the cabin types available, however please note that each cruise line is different and offer varying category levels of the same type of cabin (usually size & location on the ship dictate the category and price)
Some cruise lines also offer Interconnecting cabins which allows two cabins to have the connected door open, much like you’d find in a hotel – great for when you’ve got a bigger family or group of friends.
Starting with the lower and usually cheaper type of cabins and working the way up to the luxury “suite” style cabins:
These are your entry level cabins, and as the name indicates, they are on the inside of the cruise ship without any view or even a window.
They are also usually the cheapest cabin (although keep an eye out for specials) and are good for those traveling on a budget or with kids (who may not need the view)
Most ships have interior cabins in several configuration types, from your standard twin share right through to the quad share (most quad share cabins have Pullman style bunk beds that come down from the roof or walls)
Twin Share Interior
Quad Share Interior
The next step up from the interior cabin is the Oceanview cabin, and as the name suggests, it usually has a porthole or window looking out at the ocean. Most oceanview cabins are located on the lower decks, however some larger ships also have them on the upper decks near the front (bow) of the vessel, usually below the bridge.
Oceanview cabins are good if you like the natural light, but don’t want the expense or risk of having a balcony cabin. It is best to note that some oceanview cabins may have obstructed views due to the location of the ships lifeboats.
Although obstructed, the benefit of these cabins is that they’re usually only a fraction more expensive than an interior cabin, but you get the added benefit of natural light (even if you have no actual “view”)
Quad Share Oceanview
Obstructed View Oceanview
One of the most popular cabins on most cruise ships, they are also the ones which usually sell out the fastest. Most cruise lines who service high volume areas (Australia’s South Pacific, USA’s Bahama’s, Europe’s Mediterranean) have built ships with a very high percentage of balcony cabins.
Similar to an Oceanview cabin on the inside but as the name suggests, they have a small balcony, usually just big enough for a couple of chairs and a small table (although again it depends on category and configuration between the cruise lines)
Quad Share Balcony
Mini / Junior Suites
The next step up from a balcony cabin is the more spacious and appointed Mini or Junior Suite.
Mini / Junior suites are slowly becoming more popular with seasoned cruisers who want a little more luxury on their trip, however it is not to be overlooked for cruise beginners either. Most mini / junior suites come with a selection of the perks that full suite guests enjoy, usually priority embarkation and a glass of wine on arrival (think of mini-suites as the Business Class of the cruise world – comfort with some of the First-Class Perks)
This is personally my favorite cabin type as I enjoy the pampering that comes with holidays – and some cruise lines even throw in free spa treatments (Celebrity for example)
Depending on the itinerary, ship and length of cruise, a mini / junior suite can sometimes be only a few hundred dollars per person more, however on other ships it can sometimes be double the price of a balcony cabin.
Most mini / junior suites have larger balcony’s compared to the standard balcony cabins, and may also have sundeck chairs instead of the standard outdoor chair.
Mini / Junior Suite
The cruise lines also cater to those who enjoy the more luxurious things in life.
From regular full suites to the over the top Owners & Penthouse Suites, each cruise line has its own signature style of full suite, with extras such as a personalized butler service, evening canapes, shoe shining, coffee machine, priority boarding, exclusive cocktail party with the Senior Officers….. the list goes on.
Some of the suites are larger than inner city apartments, and well and truly more lavishly appointed, with some of the top suites having their own Grand or Baby Grand Piano.
Smaller vessels without the space for things like Grand Piano’s usually make up for it with added extras like Limo transfers to the port, personalized concierge and the such.
Surprisingly enough most of these suites sell out very quickly considering the luxury comes at a hefty price – Celebrity’s Reflection Suite onboard Celebrity Reflection goes for approx $33,500 per person for a 14-night cruise.
Celebrity’s Penthouse Suite (Solstice Class Vessels)
Each cruise line may have several different category types per style of cabin, usually in varying degrees of deck & ship placement. Cabins on the lower decks and to the Bow or Stern of the ship are usually cheaper than those on the higher decks and in midships.