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Carnival Dream Cabins

7 Cruise Cabin Tips That Will Change How You Cruise

Carnival Dream Cabins
Dori Saltzman

Last updated
Jun 30, 2023

Read time
5 min read

It’s no secret that space in most cruise ship cabins isn't exactly abundant. But with the right cruise cabin organization tips, you can maximize your stateroom's limited real estate to best suit your needs.

From fixing the scarcity of hanging and drawer space to providing a night-light solution, we've put together a list of clever cruise cabin tips that will likely change the way you cruise for the better.

1. Create More Hanging Space in Your Cruise Cabin by Bringing Magnetic Hooks

Cabins on cruise ships tend to be low on wall- or door-mounted hooks, among other organizational goodies. Two hooks are all you're usually going to get, which means if you have more than two jackets to hang up, you're stuck throwing your other belongings over the edge of a chair or on the couch's arm.

But since all cruise cabins are made of metal, you can bring along your own hanging space. Place a few strong magnetic hooks in your bags when packing and, once you're in your cabin, just set them up on your cruise cabin walls and start hanging.

Some great examples include your windbreakers, baseball hats, swimsuits and various other pieces of cruisewear. Keep in mind, however, that the only walls that aren't made of steel and, therefore, can't hold magnets are those of your shower. If you want to hang items there specifically, bring different hooks, such as those with suction cups.

2. Need More Drawer Space? Look Under the Cruise Ship Bed

Seabourn Cabin (Photo: Seabourn Cruises)

Unless you're an overpacker (and if you are, we've got some packing tips for you), you should be able to find enough drawer and closet space in a standard cruise ship cabin to unpack belongings for two adults. But if you're sailing with a third person, whether it's an adult or a child, finding a sufficient amount of space for you all becomes quite problematic.

Fortunately, most cruise ship cabins have ample space beneath the bed for you to use to your advantage. Just slide one of your suitcases under your bed, but be sure to leave it open as this provides you with even more under-the-bed storage space.

We suggest putting items you know you won't need as frequently in your new "drawer," such as diving gear, packing cubes, or your winter coat. It's also an ideal location for stowing dirty laundry (and don't forget to try out the cruise ship laundry service).

3. Use Balloons to Help Air-Dry Wet Bathing Suits and Clothing Inside Your Cruise Room

With the dearth of hanging space in showers, and cruise lines asking their passengers not to leave items out on cruise ship balconies to dry (assuming your cabin has a balcony), finding a spot to air-dry your bathing suit or sink-washed clothing can be a tall order.

A very easy solution is to bring along a few deflated balloons. Blow one up, drape your wet clothing over it in a corner of your cabin (or in the bathtub or shower) and voila: You've got an individual drying rack.

4. Create Mood Lighting with Battery-Operated Tea Lights in Your Cruise Cabin

Couple drinking Champagne on a cruise (Photo: Regent Seven Seas Cruises)

A cruise vacation can be a romantic getaway for couples looking to reconnect -- watching sunsets on the upper decks, enjoying dinners for two in quiet Italian restaurants, booking couple's massages, etc. However, options for setting the mood in your stateroom are much more limited.

With open-flame candles being off limits, a set of battery-operated tea lights is the perfect choice. These lights will give your room a dreamy glow and can be conveniently used as a night light when you return from your romantic cruise excursions, too.

5. Divide Your Cruise Room in Half for More Privacy

In most cruise ship cabins, nothing separates the sitting area from where the bed is situated, so sharing a cabin with a third person (or more!) severely limits your ability to set boundaries.

Whether you're traveling with your child or friends, handy cruise cabin tips can give yourself a modicum of privacy. All it takes are a few magnetic ceiling hooks and a shower curtain to hang from them. Even just two friends sharing a cabin can use this trick to put a little more "distance" between the two twin beds.

6. Side-Step Energy-Saving Power Switches in Your Cruise Room

Balcony Cabin on Regal Princess

We're not advocating wasting electricity (we believe in being green-friendly on cruises and elsewhere), but we do recognize those energy-saving light switches (the ones that require you to leave your key card in the slot to power the room) can be a bit frustrating in some situations.

Fortunately, it's actually very easy to sidestep these switches; all you need is another similarly-sized card to stick in the slot, which you very likely already have in your wallet.

A business card, library card, or even tearing off a piece of a cruise brochure roughly the size of your key card will make this cruise cabin tip work. Leave it there from day one and you can charge your point-and-shoot camera battery or phone while you're elsewhere. Just remember to switch the lights off when you don't need them.

7. Bring a Lanyard to Prevent Losing Your Cruise Room Key Card

Carrying your wallet or a purse with you at all times when you're sailing is both impractical and unrealistic. Unfortunately, this means that holding on to your cruise room key card without worrying about losing it can be challenging.

An easy solution is to pack a lanyard, then visit the cruise purser (a member of crew responsible for financial matters onboard along with other administrative tasks and customer services) with your keycard when you get onboard. Ask to have a hole punched in the corner of the card. You can then pop it onto your lanyard and wear it around your wrist or neck, which makes for the perfect makeshift cruise key card holder. Now you won't need to worry about losing your card again.

Publish date September 14, 2022
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