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The Ultimate Guide to Cruise Ship Cabins

Nautica Cabins
Nautica Cabins

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Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Cruise Ship Cabins. On this page, you'll find all the tools and inspiration you need to book the perfect room, as well as tips on what you should (and shouldn't) do to ensure smooth sailing. Feeling lucky? We even offer ways to up your chances at snagging a free or low-cost cabin upgrade. Click on the links for more info, and swoon over some of the most attractive cabins and suites at sea.

Updated January 8, 2020

The Balcony Cabin on MSC Divina

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Cruise Cabin Tips and Advice

How to Choose a Cruise Ship Cabin: What You Need to Know
From nailing down the lowest fares to combatting seasickness, we guide you through the process of selecting the perfect cruise ship cabin.

7 Cruise Cabin Hacks That Will Change the Way You Cruise Forever
Make the most of your cruise ship cabin, from expanding storage space to setting the mood, with these clever and easy hacks.

9 Things You Don't Know About Your Cruise Ship Cabin
Even the savviest cruisers find surprises in their cabins. Here are nine we've discovered after hundreds of sailings on ships of all types. 

Tips on Booking a Cruise Room for the Whole Family
Four people in one cabin? Connecting rooms or across the hall? Make sure you get the space you need for your family with these quick tips.

5 Ways to Get a Cruise Ship Cabin Upgrade
Free and low-cost cabin upgrades are rare, but not impossible. Use these strategies to increase your chances.

The 'Guarantee' Gamble: The Odds of an Upgrade When the Cruise Line Picks Your Cabin
Risk-takers could win big by booking a "guarantee" cabin at a low price. See what your chances are of scoring an upgrade -- or getting the worst room onboard.


Cabins for All Tastes

10 Best Cruise Ship Suites
Complimentary Champagne and canapes, please. Live the high life in one of our 10 favorite cruise ship suites.

Best Family-Friendly Cruise Ships Cabins
A number of cruise lines cater to families with dedicated cabins and kid-friendly features. Find out how Royal Caribbean, Carnival and others accommodate those with little ones in tow.

The Truth About Solo Cabins
Cruise lines are upping the ante for solo travelers. Weigh your options to find out which cabin is best for you.

The 9 Best Cruise Ship Inside Cabins … and 3 to Avoid
Not all inside cabins are dark and tiny; here are nine stylish, roomy options for cruisers on a tight budget. Just stay away from the last three

The Best Balcony Cabins for Your Next Cruise
Want some personal deck space? If you're looking for the best balcony cabin you can book -- without having to upgrade to a mini-suite or suite -- here are our five favorites across mainstream lines.

14 Unusual Cruise Ship Balcony Cabins
Cabins with odd-shaped balconies and non-ocean views are sometimes the most sought after. Check out 14 uncommon (but well-loved) balcony cabins.

What to Expect on a Luxury Cruise: Cabins
More space, pillow "menus" and higher quality amenities … find out what staying in a luxury cruise ship cabin is like.

What to Expect on a River Cruise: Cabins
On a river cruise, every room has a view, but layouts can vary. We break down what to expect in a river cruise cabin.

Best Ships for Cruisers with Disabilities
It's possible for cruisers with disabilities to enjoy a stress-free vacation. Find the cabin that's best for your needs.


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The Haven Suite on Norwegian Escape


Cabin Etiquette

12 Things Not to Do in Your Cruise Room
Go easy on the perfume, and no hanky panky on the balcony. Enjoy a worry-free cruise by avoiding these 12 faux pas.

6 Tips for Keeping Your Cabin Steward Friendly
Build the best relationship with your cabin steward by following these six tips.   

10 Etiquette Tips for Sharing a Cruise Cabin
Sailing with someone new for the first time? Keep the peace with these 10 etiquette tips for sharing a room.

9 Things You Can Do on a Cruise Ship Balcony and 1 You Probably Shouldn't
Cruise ship balconies have more to offer than picturesque views and fresh air. Here are a few ways to enjoy your personal alfresco space on different cruise lines.


Inside Look: Cabin Service

What to Expect on a Cruise: Cabin Stewards
Cabin stewards are responsible for the upkeep of your room -- and those cute towel animals waiting on your bed. Here's a closer look at everything they do.

What Cruise Ship Butlers Will Do for You
Splurging on your next cruise? Consider butler service on one of these cruise lines.

A River Cruise with a Butler: We Try It on Uniworld and Scenic
River cruises are intimate as it is, but butler service goes the extra mile. We break down the experience for those who fancy a little more attention.

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Popular on Cruise Critic

Sneaking Alcohol on a Cruise: 5 Reasons You Should Never Try It
Sneaking alcohol on a cruise has always been a popular pastime for those who are willing to break the rules to avoid paying for drinks onboard. Mainstream cruise lines prohibit passengers from bringing their own liquor, beer and other alcohol (with the exception of wine or Champagne) on ships. Why spend more money than you have to, when you can try to pull a fast one on security staff? While the worst that likely will happen is a trip to the naughty room and having your prized bottle of Caribbean rum confiscated, we can think of five reasons why you shouldn't sneak alcohol on a cruise. Don't worry, rule-breakers: You can still enjoy a carefree vacation by cutting in line at the buffet and hogging as many deck chairs as your heart desires.
13 Cruise Fees That Might Take You By Surprise
Like any vacation, cruising can come with good and bad surprises. Finding out your favorite specialty restaurant is bargain-priced for lunch or that spa treatments are discounted on port days might make you feel like you've discovered buried treasure. On the flipside, realizing you have to pay a $15 corkage fee to drink the wine you brought onboard or that the room service you ordered is saddled with a surcharge can be a real letdown. Despite the "all inclusive" lingo commonly used to describe cruises, all lines have "hidden" cruise fees. Additionally, each cruise line has its own policy when it comes to tipping, room service and more. Ordering bacon and eggs from your cabin might be free on one cruise line, but cost you on another. If you're under the impression something is included, having to pay can put a damper on your worry-free vacation mood and potentially leave your budget in a bind. So how do you prepare for fees that aren't as obvious? Here are 13 cruise fees that might take you by surprise.
What to Pack for a Cruise: A Beginner's Guide
There once was a not-so-savvy seafarer who didn't feel right unless she took two steamer trunks crammed with outfits on every cruise. This, she learned, was not a good idea. Besides incurring the wrath of her male traveling companion, who pointed out that he would have to wrestle with excess baggage through airport terminals and beyond, she quickly tired of cramming her belongings into tiny closets. The now savvy seafarer follows this packing rule: Thou shalt put into one's suitcase only that which will fit neatly in the allocated cabin storage space. Following that advice is getting easier because, for the most part, cruising has become a more casual vacation with relaxed dress codes. Plus, with airlines charging to check bags, it's just plain economical to pack light. To do so, you need to have a good sense of what you’re going to wear on a cruise so you don't pack your entire closet. If you're wondering what to bring on your next cruise, here are our guidelines for what you'll need to pack.

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