Your cabin will become your home away from home while you’re away, so you’ll definitely want to make sure you choose the right one. Especially if you’re away for longer than a few weeks, your cabin should cater to all of your needs. For that to happen, you need to opt for the perfect fit.
Firstly, you need to consider what each type of cabin means? Each cruise line has their own variants as well as multiple different types of those variants, so while this overview is not guaranteed to apply, here is an explanation of each in their simplest form:
Inside cabins, as the name suggests, are on the inside of the ship. There are no windows in inside cabins, and the rooms are usually the smallest on the ship. Some ships, for example Silversea's Silver Muse, don’t have inside staterooms due to the size of the ship or the luxury element of the brand.
Outside cabins, sometimes called ocean view, are usually more spacious than inside cabins and will have a port-hole or a window to let in some light, and give you a great view of the sights you’ll be passing.
Balcony cabins are the most popular choice for cruisers as it allows for their own private space to soak up the sea breeze while relaxing onboard. They tend to be more expensive than inside and outside cabins, but well worth it for the extra room and personal outside space.
The term 'suite' covers anything higher than a balcony grade cabin, and can range slightly bigger than a balcony, to a master or royal suite with multiple stories and private facilities. Usually it simply means you’ll have extra space to stretch your limbs every day and extra space to unwind.
If you’re travelling with the kids or wider family, some cruise lines like MSC Cruises have family oriented suites with extra bathrooms and beds to accommodate all of you. Lines like P&O Cruises will also offer conjoined cabins, so the kids can have their own room and you can sleep peacefully. As an added bonus, some lines offer babysitting services, enabling you to leave the little ones in the capable hands of a qualified member of staff, while you go and relax at a late dinner or adult-only event onboard.
Also available on most ships are disabled access rooms, however, these are limited. If you need to facilitate a disability onboard, a good tip is to mention this at your first point of contact with your cruise agent, and of course booking early is the best way to make sure you get exactly the cabin you need.
Something else to note is that certain lines will give each cabin type a different name. For instance 'Ocean view' is the same as 'Outside', and 'Veranda' is the same as 'Balcony'. 'Suite' can come in many forms, but it’s usually easily identified as the most expensive, but luxurious choice. Another thing to consider is for those who suffer from travel sickness, it's a good idea to opt for a cabin in the middle of the ship as this is where you’ll feel the least movement.