Your stateroom is your home base for the duration of each sailing, so it's important to choose a cabin type that fits your lifestyle, comfort level and, of course, budget. With so many choices, where should you begin? Below, we break down the major similarities and differences between inside versus balcony rooms to help you decide which one should be your home away from home on the high seas.
Similarities Between Interior and Balcony Rooms
When it comes to balcony cabins versus inside cabins, both types include the basics: a place to sleep, a place to clean up, a place to store your stuff and a place to primp, as well as a safe, a phone, a hair dryer and a TV.
The vast majority of cabins are designed for double occupancy, which means there are usually two twin beds that can be pushed together to form a European king (slightly larger than a standard queen and slightly smaller than a standard king).
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Closet and drawer space is often generous, providing shelves for folded clothes and bars with hangers to store garments that you want to keep wrinkle-free.
Each cabin will have a space that doubles as a desk and vanity with a large mirror, where you can put on makeup, blow-dry your hair or sit for a bit to check your email (if you've brought a laptop or tablet). Drawers provide additional storage.
Most bathrooms are shower-only, meaning there are no bathtubs. You'll find standard toilets and sinks with mirrors, in addition to a couple small shelves to store toiletries. (Basic shampoo and body wash are generally provided via wall-mounted in-shower dispensers or travel-sized bottles.)
Differences Between Balcony and Interior Cabins
The biggest differences between inside and balcony staterooms are price and size -- and obviously the fact that balcony cabins have private verandas. Verandah cabins are almost always larger, but sometimes the interior square footage is only slightly more than what you'd find in an inside cabin, with most of the extra square footage only added in the form of exterior balcony space.
All balcony cabins provide outdoor furniture -- usually a couple of metal-and-mesh chairs and a small table for drinks. They might also come with additional indoor furniture, such as pullout couches that can sleep extra passengers (whereas inside cabins sleep extra passengers in pulldown bunks), or upgraded amenities like coffeemakers, minifridges, bathrobes and more powerful hair dryers.
Because of their additional space and amenities, verandah rooms are nearly always more expensive than interior cabins.
Balcony vs. Interior Rooms
If you're someone who doesn't mind small spaces and who plans to use the cabin only for sleeping and showering, you can save some money by choosing an inside cabin. However, budget permitting, a balcony cabin is the way to go if you get claustrophobic or feel like you might want your own private space to sit and enjoy the waves as your ship sails along.