With so many ports of call and choice of restaurants, on board entertainment and activities, booking a cruise holiday and deciding which cabin to stay in is an adventure in itself.

After all, much like a hotel room, a cabin is an important part of the overall holiday experience and location makes all the difference, if you don’t fancy a long walk to the main restaurant or want to sunbathe on the upper deck without having to pack a well stocked beach bag.

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Depending on the voyage, some cruise lines can offer more than 20 categories but there are four types on any cruise vessel:

Inside: the smallest-sized room, with no window to the outside

Outside: a room with a window or porthole (a round window) with a view to the outside, often similarly sized to an inside cabin or a bit larger

Balcony: a room featuring a verandah that allows you to step outside without going up to a public deck

Suite: a larger cabin, often with separate living and sleeping areas, and a wide variety of extra amenities and perks

While some people might opt for the cheapest deal possible and prefer to spend money elsewhere, for others it can be a make or break factor, especially if you suffer from sea sickness (the lower and more central you are in a ship, the less roll and sway you will feel) or don’t want to be above or below a noisy bar.

“Choosing the right cruise cabin can be a challenging decision to make - for both new and experienced cruisers. It can be difficult to know whether it’s really worth investing the extra money for a certain cabin, or putting it towards other holiday costs,” says Adam Coulter, UK editor, CruiseCritic.co.uk.

Before you make a booking, consider personal priorities and do as much research as possible and take a look at the ship’s deck plans. You can always post questions on Cruise Critic or speak to a travel agent for extra guidance.
Here are some tips on the four room types before you set sail…

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You may have no porthole to peek through, but this is a great option if you intend to make the most of on board experiences and love to sleep in total darkness. Cheap can be cheerful.


Also known as an oceanview, if you want to wake up in the morning with uninterrupted views, location makes a difference. Think about which way the room faces and some of the best sights can be from land so consider which side of the ship you’re on.


If you love privacy, a lounge chair and lots of fresh air, having the option to step out onto a balcony can be heaven. And remember, balconies can range from a tiny space to a wraparound deck with dining options.


Similar to a hotel room, suites come in all shapes and sizes and are often on the highest decks or below the pool deck which can be noisy. For a safe bet, choose a suite that’s above or below other cabins and whether it’s worth the splurge for the best views.