Planning a cruise? Chances are you’re already focusing on where to go and what to do. But what about where you’ll stay? In the 2018–19 Portrait of American Travelers survey, 92 percent of cruisers ranked cabin quality as the most influential feature in choosing a cruise—beating both excursions and ports of call. Because, like any vacation, if you don’t like where you’re staying, that dissatisfaction can outweigh the enjoyment of your time away from home.
So how do you pick a room—in a sea of cruise ship rooms—that’s perfect for you? It’s simple. All you have to do is check these four boxes:
1. It has the right amount of space
If you’re bringing the kids (and maybe the grandparents, too), make sure there’s room for everyone. Most cruise lines offer family-friendly accommodations, whether it’s a suite with a separate space for the kids, adjoining cruise ship rooms or a regular stateroom with a sofa bed or pull-down bunk beds.
Don’t need quite that much room but still want the ability to spread out? Mini-suite cruise ship rooms offer an affordable alternative to more luxe options. Or if you’re traveling solo, more cruise lines are adding cabins designed (and priced) for one. Norwegian, for example, was the first with its 100-square-foot Studio staterooms—cozy yet sleek, they have just enough room for a full-size bed and the basics.
If you really want to go big: Royal Caribbean’s two-story Ultimate Family Suite on Symphony of the Seas comes with its own indoor slide and an air hockey table. Win!
If you prefer to go small: The mini-suites on Princess Cruises come with a separate seating area, a balcony and two TVs.
2. It has a prime location
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