Disney's cabins are larger than the industry average. Standard Inside Staterooms are 184 square feet; Deluxe Inside and Outside Staterooms 214 square feet; and Deluxe Staterooms with verandah are 268 square feet, including the verandah. The majority of cabins offer a comfortable layout with bedroom and living room areas separated by a curtain (a plus for anyone who likes to read before bed but doesn't want to make it too bright for children sleeping nearby), and understated decor with honey maple furniture and nautical influences throughout.
Especially convenient, and clever in design, is the deep sofa that converts to a daybed with a top "bunk" that folds down from the ceiling. The top bunk features safety rails that close off any open space to prevent children from falling in the middle of the night. The bunk is also advantageous if you have children who don't sleep well together in the same bed. It's also helpful if you still have nappers as you can leave the beds arranged during the day without monopolizing the majority of the open floor space with a pulled out sofa bed.
Families of five can choose a family stateroom. They're a bit larger and have a wall-mounted Murphy bed in addition to the sofa bed.
There are plenty of storage areas including a closet with an attached dresser, desk/dressing table area with several drawers and high shelves, plus an upright steamer trunk that provides easy access to clothes for young kids. We unpacked six large suitcases into every drawer, cubby and closet space and still found extra spaces we never had to fill. The suitcases store well under the bed, with larger ones able to fit into the closet without disrupting hanging clothing. In addition, while small, the stateroom TV has a wide array of channels to choose from including ABC, ESPN, CNN, some Discovery Channels, and, of course, The Disney Channel. Disney movies are aired throughout the day, including many new-to-video movies. During our Alaskan cruise we found classics like "Sleeping Beauty," as well as more modern movies. Our only complaint is there was a lot of repetition after seven days. The shows were set on a schedule so every night at, say 8:30, the films would be at the exact same spot they were at 8:30 the night before. Wonder, unlike Disney's newest ship, Disney Dream, does not have DVR play and pause capability.
All cabins come with two portable Wave Phones, which have texting capabilities and can be used throughout the ship. (Four phones are provided in the Royal Suite and two-bedroom suites; passengers can rent an additional phone from Guest Services for $3.50 per day.)
Most cabins include Disney's "bath and a half," where one person can shower in one bathroom while someone else is using the toilet (and a second sink) in the other -- a big plus. The bathrooms are nicely appointed with white and navy blue tile and granite countertops, however, the split design means each one is small, leaving you little room to turn around in the bathroom with the tub/shower. Verandah staterooms have a balcony sizable enough to accommodate two chairs and a small table, and have plexi-glass along the railing to allow for a view of the ocean while seated. Doors to the balcony feature a lock located at the very top, to prevent children from getting out, but our kids quickly figured out how to stand on the couch to reach and unlock this safety feature, so be careful.
Disney introduced H2O Plus Spa bath and shower products (Sea Marine Revitalizing Shampoo, Marine Collagen Conditioner and Hydrating Body Butter from the H2O Plus premium Spa line to all staterooms in October 2006). You know the new products are good when a group of long-haired women are sitting around the dinner table smelling their hair and discussing how nice the shampoo and conditioner is. Guests staying in concierge-level suites will find additional H20 Plus offerings: Sea Salt Body Wash and Solar Relief Gel.
All staterooms have also received new Sealy Posturepedic Premium Plush Euro-top mattresses, new pillows, and Frette 300 thread-count, 100 percent Egyptian cotton linens. In addition, larger, more luxurious bath towels and bath sheets have been added to all stateroom bathrooms.
When selecting a stateroom, there are a few things to keep in mind. The only difference between category 5 and 6 is category 5 is on a higher deck. The handicap accessible rooms are huge with plenty of open floor space, a large walk in closet, a couch, pull down bed, and a bathroom larger than the ones in some of the suites. The balcony is also sizable. If the only thing keeping you from cruising is concern over claustrophobic quarters, consider one of these cabins, although, first priority goes to those in need of the handicap accessibility.
Category 7 balconies have an obstructed half-wall view, but Disney made them look extremely attractive, with weathered wood bead-board half walls around the perimeter, nautical decor, a built-in bench seat, and a large open-air porthole. For a stateroom that offers an outside view at an inside price, try to book one of the following cabins: 5020, 5022, 5024, 5520, 5522 or 5524. These cabins are priced as an inside category 10, but are similar in layout to an outside category 8, and offer a porthole window (all with some degree of obstructed view). Inside cabins are similar in design and amenities to the outsides, with the exception being the least expensive inside staterooms have one bathroom and therefore only one sink.
Editor's Note: As of November 15, 2013, cigarette smoking on cabin balconies will no longer be permitted.
There are three types of suites ranging from one to two-bedrooms and from 614 to 945 square ft. They are appointed with dining tables, numerous storage areas and TV's, plus Kohler whirlpool tubs, expansive balconies, and a cabinet well stocked with popular board games. The Walt and Roy Disney Suites are the grandest (1,029 square ft.) accommodations. They're filled with Disney family photographs and shelves with interesting old books. Suite guests can select their preferred pillow -- hypoallergenic, feather or therapeutic memory foam -- from the new "Pillow Talk" program menu, plus enjoy comfortable duvets, robes and slippers. In addition, the dining room menu is available for delivery in the suites.
Cribs and Diaper Genies are available upon request for any cabin category.