Inside cabins, long considered the entry-level choice for people who desire to get on a cruise ship at the cheapest price, seem to be falling out of favor.
A February 2021 survey of more than 2,300 Cruise Critic readers showed that 61.7 percent were less likely to book an inside cabin now because of the COVID-19 pandemic than they were in the past.
Balcony cabins were the most popular type of cabin, with 67 percent saying they were most likely to book a cabin with outdoor space. Suites were the top choice for 12.6 percent of respondents, while 9 percent said they would look for an oceanview. Only 8.8 percent said they would book an inside cabin.
What's interesting is that 60 percent of the survey respondents had sailed in an inside cabin before. The data showed that tastes have changed since the pandemic began.
The survey of Cruise Critic readers was conducted through the site's email outreach, as well as its Facebook page.
Comments from readers on Facebook seem highlight a fear that booking an inside cabin could be a regrettable choice if a COVID-19 case onboard required a quarantine.
"I'm in a balcony for my October cruise because I'm worried about quarantine in an inside," Denise Stabe wrote. "That would be awful."
"Many, many cruises with an inside cabin but since COVID, I'm thinking a balcony might be better for the fresh air. Probably just peace of mind," Howard McCann wrote.
Inside cabins still have their fans. While it can be jarring not to have natural daylight in your room, readers report getting some of the best sleep of their lives in these cabins.
Inside cabins are also a great choice for those traveling on a budget. Plus if you're spending all of your time enjoying the ship and ports, you might not be in your cabin long enough to justify the cost of a more expensive room. (For more, read 7 Times an Inside Cabin is the Best Choice on a Cruise).
The bias against inside cabins might continue through 2021 and 2022, then lessen as the COVID-19 pandemic fades into memory.
"Love them; we spend no time in (our) cabin," Jay Van Sant wrote. "But will be booking balconies until COVID is completely gone."
Updated February 26, 2021