Imagine strolling bougainvillea-lined paths with the Mediterranean sparkling below, or roaming through tropical greenery to reach a refreshing waterfall. A cruise allows you to enjoy unforgettable adventures at each port. When the day is over, you might look forward to unwinding and recollecting your experiences in a comfortable, private room. Or, maybe you’ll only use your room to freshen up, so you can spend the evening chatting with a fellow traveler under the stars.
Every traveler is unique and has different goals. Therefore, choosing the best cruise ship room is mostly about your needs and preferences. In this guide, we’ll help you consider the most important factors when selecting a room for your next voyage. We’ll also explore your options at Windstar Cruises, so you know what to expect.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cruise Ship Room
While you might not think of your cruise ship room as you decide whether to eat tapas in Spain or scuba dive in Tahiti, it’s still worth careful consideration. Your room, also called a cabin or stateroom, is where you’ll sleep and get ready for the day ahead, so it’s crucial that it’s comfortable and meets your needs. Here are the top factors to consider:
Cruise ship rooms are available in a range of sizes. For example, a stateroom on Windstar’s Wind Surf is 188 square feet, while a suite on the same ship ranges from 242 square feet to 495 square feet. Since a stateroom is smaller than a suite, it also comes with a lower price.
To determine how much size you need to feel comfortable, consider how much time you plan to spend in your cabin. If you intend to spend a lot of time relaxing in your cabin, it might be worth choosing a suite. If you are using your cabin mainly to sleep and shower, you might prefer to save money on your accommodation and book a stateroom. Some travelers enjoy spending most of their time on board in public spaces, such as in lounges or restaurants, while others prefer the peace and privacy of their own room.
Also, consider who you’ll be traveling with. Solo travelers might find that a stateroom meets their needs perfectly. If you’re cruising with a spouse or friend, you might enjoy the extra space with a suite. All cabins are designed to make you feel comfortable, regardless of the size. However, if spaciousness is important to you and if you plan to spend a lot of time in your room, you’ll likely want to choose the largest cabin you can fit into your budget.
Cruise ship cabins also offer varying amenities. Typically, a stateroom will come with fewer amenities than a suite, but all rooms on a ship offer certain comforts. For example, you can expect every Windstar room to provide a cozy bed, deluxe linens and a flat-screen TV with a DVD player. You can also expect every room to come with amenities such as hair dryers, L’Occitane toiletries and a fully stocked minibar.
Suites typically feature additional amenities. A Bridge Suite on our Wind Surf, for instance, features a spacious bathroom with a whirlpool tub and massage shower. If you want to feel pampered on your cruise, you might want to book a suite with the extra amenities. If you would rather save your budget for excursions or souvenirs, you might go with a stateroom and enjoy the pool on the deck.
You’ll definitely want to consider whether having a window or a balcony is important to you. This might even be a deciding factor for you when choosing your room. In general, there are three types of cabins on a cruise ship:
- Inside: Inside cabins are located in the middle of the ship and do not have windows or a balcony. An inside room is typically the most budget-friendly option.
- Outside: Outside cabins are similar to inside rooms regarding size but have a window or porthole. Some outside rooms have a balcony. Since an outside room offers a view, it will likely cost more than an inside cabin.
- Suite: Suites are larger outside cabins with multiple rooms or extra space. They might have windows, a balcony or private veranda. Suites are priced higher than staterooms.
If you plan to spend most of your cruise on the sun deck with other travelers, you may not feel the need for your own balcony. However, if you can’t wait to drink champagne and watch the sunset from your private veranda, you’ll want to consider choosing a suite.
You’ll also want to think about your itinerary when deciding whether you want a room with a view or exterior space. For example, if you want to wake up to a Norwegian fjord outside your window, make sure you book an outside room or suite. If you are spending many days at sea, you might be content with relaxing on the deck and using your room mostly to sleep. It’s all up to you and what you want out of your voyage.
The location of the room may also impact your experience and the cost of the cabin you choose. Rooms on the upper deck typically cost a bit more than rooms on the lower deck. An upper deck room offers a spectacular view and is located closer to amenities like the pool and sun deck. A lower deck can be a great option if you want a close view of the ocean or worry about seasickness.
Rooms located near the stern or rear of the ship, called aft cabins, are usually lower priced than accommodations set in the middle of the ship. Forward cabins, or rooms located at the front of the ship, are also typically priced less than midship rooms. Both forward and aft cabins are more affected by the ocean’s waves, which may mean you’d prefer a midship room if you’re sensitive to motion.
However, if you’re not concerned about a little movement and feel more comfortable with budget-friendly options, it’s worth considering a forward or aft room. These cabins are often coveted for their interesting views. With a forward cabin, you’ll be the first to see the port ahead. If you want a view of the wake, an aft cabin may be the right choice.
Keep in mind, that no matter what room you choose, there are plenty of ways to ward off seasickness, and modern ships are built with stabilizers to create a smooth ride.
If you’re worried about noise keeping you up at night, you may want to choose a room surrounded by other staterooms and avoid cruise cabins next to service areas, elevators, stairs or below the pool deck. Check the ship’s deck plan before you book a room to find and choose the right location.
Lastly, think about how long you’ll be cruising. If you are only traveling for a week, for example, you might have room in your budget to splurge on the suite of your dreams. If you are sailing for several weeks, you may need to compromise a little to stay within your budget.
How to Choose the Best Cruise Ship Room for Your Trip
Where are you headed to? What do you plan to do? Will you be watching for whales as you cruise to Alaska, or sipping cocktails by the pool on your way to Mexico? Where you’re going may affect the stateroom you choose. Here’s how to select a cabin to enhance your journey:
1. Decide What Your Priorities Are
What will be most important to you during your cruise? Will you be traveling to some of the world’s most picturesque ports and want a large window in your cabin? Or do you value privacy and desire a peaceful, quiet journey? In either case, you may want to narrow your options to rooms with a view.
If you’re excited to explore every corner of the ship and enjoy its many amenities, you might prioritize choosing a centrally located cabin. Consider what you hope to accomplish on your cruise, whether that be cultural immersion or ultimate relaxation, and decide what you need to feel the most comfortable.
2. Consider Your Budget
Your budget might be the most important factor when it’s time to choose a cabin. If this is the circumstance, you’ll need to think about what you’re comfortable spending and where you are willing to compromise.
With your budget in mind, consider your itinerary and how you plan to enjoy each port. For example, if you’re excited to go on as many excursions as possible on an Italy cruise, it might make more sense to book a stateroom than a suite, so you have funds to tour Pompeii or taste wine in Sardinia. However, if you want to explore some of the ports on your own and are willing to skip a few excursions, you might prefer to spend more on your cabin.
Consider other expenses that you may or may not want to include in your budget and how it can impact the cabin you choose. You might want to save money for an onboard drink package, for example, or for shopping at each port. Overall, look for the best room you can afford after you consider other factors that are important to you.
3. Consult an Expert
Even if you consider your budget and priorities, it can still be tough to decide which cabin is right for you. For this reason, you’ll want to discuss your options with an expert. Contact a travel advisor or someone familiar with the specific cruise ship you plan to stay on. A travel advisor can go over the deck plan with you and help you choose the best room on the cruise ship for your needs, preferences and budget. They can also take your itinerary into account to ensure you make the most of your journey.
4. Book Early
Have you found a stateroom you absolutely love? Chances are, other travelers feel the same way about the same room. Highly desirable rooms book up fast, so you’ll want to reserve your dream cabin as soon as possible. The earlier you book, the more options you’ll have in general, whether you want a suite on the upper deck or a cozy aft cabin.
Our Cruise Ship Options
At Windstar Cruises, we make the cabin-choosing process a little bit easier. All of our staterooms on all of our ships either have windows, portholes, balconies or private verandas. Our small, comfortable ships are designed to carry roughly 250 to 300 guests, so it’s easier to accommodate our passengers’ needs. However, even though you can expect comfort, elegance and attentive service with every room, you still have options. Here’s an overview of the accommodations you’ll find on Wind Surf:
Our 188-square-foot staterooms offer ocean views, plush queen-sized beds and tranquil, airy colors. Our staterooms have a closet, plenty of drawer space and a personal safe to store your belongings. As with any Windstar room, you’ll also find a fresh bowl of fruit and a lovely bouquet to help you get in a self-pampering mood. Our staterooms may be ideal for solo travelers or couples looking for a budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise comfort.
Our spacious suites offer 376 square feet, two full bathrooms, two flat-screen TVs, a comfortable sitting area, lots of natural light and all the amenities of our staterooms. A suite might be perfect if you’re traveling with a companion and want extra room, or simply want to treat yourself to a more expansive space. You’ll have plenty of room to stretch or curl up with a book on the couch — it’s yours to enjoy.
3. Bridge Suites
Our Bridge Suites beckon you to kick off your shoes and indulge in relaxation. In this 495-square-foot space, you’ll find a bedroom, living room, dining area and opulent bathroom complete with a whirlpool spa tub. A Bridge Suite will make you feel at home as you travel to breathtaking destinations. You may never want to leave.
4. Officer’s Suite
If you want a unique experience that’ll make you feel part of the crew, consider the beautiful nautical-themed Officer’s Suite. This comfortable, 242-square-foot cabin is located near the Bridge where the ship’s officers have their quarters. Be sure to visit the Captain and take in astonishing views.
Book Your Room With Windstar Cruises
Regardless of the cabin you choose, we want to make your journey as relaxing, comfortable and enriching as possible. From the soft lighting to the soothing color schemes, we know the details matter. We invite you to step onboard, plop down on a deck chair and leave the rest to us. At Windstar Cruises, we delight in taking our guests to bucket-list destinations around the globe in comfort and style.
To learn more about our cabin options, please contact us today, and we’ll be happy to assist you.