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Considering booking a cruise in the future?  This travel style allows you to travel in a relatively effortless manner, allowing people to see a lot of places in a short amount of time.  Go to sleep at night, wake up in an exciting new port city! And, about 60% of this type of travel is all wrapped up in one little cost-inclusive bundle.  One of the biggest budget-savers comes with your room selection.

Foregoing the appealing rooms with semi-private 4×9 foot balconies and opting for an interior room is a great way to keep costs down.  On the surface, this may seem like an unfortunate downgrade to the cruise experience. But, after staying in staterooms that range from balcony to ocean view to interior rooms, we can tell you the interior stateroom experience is not as bad as you may think. 

Can You Still Enjoy Your Cruise?

We have found that we really enjoy staying in an interior room!  We have happily made this booking choice on our last few cruises. Really, other than sleeping and getting ready, cruisers don’t generally spend much time in their room anyway.  Many cruise ships are well designed and take space and functionality into consideration for all their stateroom layouts, making even the smallest of interior spaces suitable.

While small, the room size is sufficient to get through the duration of the trip and provided passengers with all the basics.  We have been very impressed with many of the interior rooms we have experienced.  

This allowed us to change our thinking on interior rooms and the experience they offer.  Once we stopped thinking of them as a less than stellar way to cruise, we started to notice a few things.  If you’re wondering if an interior room is the right choice for you, consider this:

Sleep Quality

We slept like champions because interior rooms are so dark night after night.  No early morning light crept in from behind the curtains like rooms with windows or balconies.  Sleeping in an interior room allowed us to feel much more rested at the conclusion of our trip.

Limited Use

Other than sleeping and getting ready for the day, it was seldom that we spent any actual time in our cabin itself. We tend to participate in lots of ship offerings including the shows, dining rooms, gym, and pool deck throughout the duration of our cruises. In fact, we even realized on all our cruises that we are generally up in the dining area enjoying breakfast as we pulled into port, not in our rooms. 

Heightened Experience

During sea days, we ventured around the cruise ship even more, exploring and enjoying more of the entire experience!  There was no big reason for us to hang out in our room, so we didn’t miss out on anything exciting going on. And, as far as port days go, we are only on the ship when it’s absolutely required.

Selecting A Good Room

Since making the choice to switch over to interior staterooms, we haven’t felt like we have missed out on any part of the cruise experience.  Selecting a room that is in a quiet area of the ship is far more important than having a balcony in your own stateroom. Curious what factors into picking a good room?  There are a few things to look out for:

  • Look for cabins that are not near the elevators or stairways, steward storage areas, or anything mechanical, including the anchor.  Be sure to carefully examine the deck plans to keep an eye out for these things.
  • Pick as high of a floor as possible without causing the actual cost per night to increase.  Depending on the ship size and layout, this can be somewhere between decks 10-13. This allows easy access to things like dining areas, pools, and all the other fun stuff that occurs around the upper decks without actually paying more.
  • Avoid rooms that are on the floors directly under the main theatre and comedy club.  Yes, these activities can be heard as noise transfers easily through the thin walls/floors.
  • Unless you have a reason to book an adjoining room, try not to book anything nearby one.  Oftentimes, families with kiddos book these rooms which can increase noise levels.
  • If you’re worried about sea sickness or motion sickness, look for a room near the middle of the ship.  You won’t feel as much movement here. 
Selecting a room that is in a quiet area of the ship is far more important than having a balcony in your own stateroom. Click To Tweet

Cost Savings

One of the easiest things you can do to reduce the costs is to really consider what type of room you want to book.  Interior rooms on the lowest passenger levels of the ship are of course the cheapest available. While this may sound like a less than desirable way to spend your cruise, we urge you to think about interior room options.  

Having that experience made it easy for us to see that just by changing our perspective slightly allows us to cut costs while still having a great experience.  It also allows us to have a little extra left over to spend on other travel elements.  

Drawbacks

Interior rooms do not have the same access to fresh air that you would get with a balcony room. Sometimes, this can make the room feel a little stale. If you have a lot of wet swimsuits in your room, it can even get musty.

Some people may also feel a bit claustrophobic in interior rooms, but we never experienced this.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given us all something to think about in terms of interior rooms. While we are still quite fond of them for the benefits mentioned here, we do have some reservations moving forward. The thought of being quarantined in a windowless room without access to fresh air is a bit frightful for us! We will consider this the next time we decide to book a cruise.

Finding little money-saving methods here and there allows us to stretch our hard earned travel dollars even further and expands our ability to see the world, one vacation day at a time!  If you are looking to do the same, booking interior cruise rooms might be an option for you.

Happy Travels!

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18 Comments

  1. Great post on the benefits of an interior room! We used to love them, but as we’ve gotten older we gravitate to balcony rooms so we can be lazy in private!

  2. Interesting read. I’ve never been on such a big ship. I did some smaller cruises like from Germany to Norway or on the river Nile. Cannot compare it to those big pots. Therefore, this post gave me a different perspective on travelling by sea.

  3. If there is no mandatory quarantine required, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose a budget room, given that the cruise activities will anyway keep one engaged and away from the room during most parts of the day. Very insightful article.

  4. Very informative article! I have always wondered about rooms on cruises. I think it would be great to have a view, but I really enjoy the fact the interior rooms have no sunlight coming through. That sounds perfect.

  5. We have often considered booking an interior cabin and then went for more space and a window when we hit book. As an introvert, I often need to escape people for quiet and like the space to spread out in my cabin and enjoy the view. I do like the idea of a more stable ride in the middle of the ship and that might be good for port intensive cruises where we spend little time in the cabin.

    1. We have had so many people strike up conversations around the balcony barriers before – so we still didn’t get a break!

  6. I’ve always chosen an interior room, for many of the reasons you mention here. I am really only in there the minimum amount of time, so why would I want to spend more?

  7. Super insightful and helpful as we’re looking to cruise next spring 😀 I got really sick on my last cruise and we had to switch to a balcony room because of that 😬 Hoping with a little more age and travel under my belt I can swing an interior state room!

  8. Interesting to read your perspective. Cruise ships have never appealed to me but you make a compelling argument to save some money if I ever decide to take the plunge (so to speak ;)). Thanks for sharing – great arguments & great tips.

    1. It will be awhile before we go on another cruise. And, when we do, I’m not sure which room type we will ultimately end up booking?!

  9. We’ll be honest – We’ve never booked an interior cabin. We book balcony cabins for the same reason we always go for hotel rooms with balconies – one of our favorite ways to relax is sitting on the balcony in the morning, enjoy coffee, views, and whatever we’re reading. That said, “the kids” are all about saving money and book an interior cabin every time. For them, it’s a bed and a shower, and that’s about it! 🤣

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