insights from the ultimate cruising team

Is bigger always better? Choose the Right Cabin

Is bigger always better? Choose the Right Cabin

Inside stateroom or owner’s suite? What’s the difference and is it worth the money?

One of the most frequent questions we get from clients is what is the difference to upgrade cabin type and is it really worth it if you’re not going to spend much time in your cabin? Whilst this is an entirely personal choice, there are some things to consider.

  • More space. That’s pretty obvious. Usually the more expensive the cabin, the more room you have. Makes sense, right? This might not be a big deal if you’re travelling with your partner, but if you are travelling with a friend, it just might be! Some lead-in cabin categories may not have a lot of room and while the beds may be separate twin beds, they may only be centimetres apart… which could be a little uncomfortable! It pays to check out exactly how much room you’ll have and the room layout…especially if you’re going to be spending an extended time in the same room!
  • Balconies. This is a biggie. Whatever your destination, it’s always a bonus to have your own balcony instead of a porthole, or window but especially if you’re going to a destination you’re probably not ever going to get to again, like Antarctica. Being able to step out for fresh air, or to catch that first glimpse of a new port of call, or just to relax with a drink after a busy day can sometimes be the icing on the cake of a good cruise. Sometimes the upgrade to a cabin with balcony isn’t huge and the difference divided over the number of days is not always a lot. Generally, the more expensive the cabin, the bigger the balcony… usually, but not always.
  • Added benefits. Often with the higher grades of cabin, you’ll not only get more room, but you may also get other benefits that the lower grades do not. For example, butler service, in-room dining, free WiFi, personalised mini bars, express check in etc. If you take the highest grade on luxury cruise lines, you may also receive unlimited spa treatments and personalised driver and guide in port.
  • Location. In most cases, lead-in rooms are located lower in the ship and often towards the front or rear of the ship.  This means you feel the ship's movement much more than if you're in the middle of the ship.  In larger ships, it can also mean you're close to the engine room.  The upgraded suites/staterooms are often found on the same floors as the restaurants or other facilities.  It's not a big thing - it's just one extra benefit!

Just remember that generally there are fewer higher grades of cabins than there are lead-in staterooms, so it always pays to book as far in advance as possible. Some ships, like the Aranui 5 in Tahiti for example, have a small upgrade to a cabin with balcony, but there are only a select few available, before a further increase to the next category up. Therefore it pays to speak to your cruise consultant in the early planning stages and ensure you get the cabin you want.