Suites vs. Standard Cabins on Cruise Ships

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Prices for cruises cabins are based on the size of the stateroom, type, and location. In this article I will explain how suites on cruise ships are different from standard cabins. For all benefits of cruising in suite download our brochure Cruising in Suite: Are Suite Worth it?


A “suite” (not mini-suite!) on cruise ships means that you will have: Special amenities that are not assigned to cruisers in other categories

  • You might have butler service (yes, butlers graduated from English butler schools!)
  • More space
  • More privacy
  • Larger balcony
  • Also, you can have:
  • Bigger sitting area,
  • A curtain separating the bed from the sitting area or a separate bedroom
  • Bigger bathrooms with tubs

Some suites come with

  • Dining table to dine in suite
  • Dry or wet bar
  • Jacuzzi on balcony

Suites on cruise ships are exist in different sizes and layouts. Even the same category suites may be in different sizes! That is why is important to know all details of your suite before you pay for it.

Suite Prices

Generally speaking, suites on cruise ships are priced based on the square footage. |As an example, if the Owner’s Suite is approximately 2 times bigger of the size of a standard ocean view stateroom with balcony. So, price for this suite will be two times more of the cost of stateroom with balcony.

Standard Cabins on Cruise Ships

You will be surprised to learn that some premium and luxury cruise ships also have inside and ocean view staterooms. Many cruise ships today have standard cabins of similar size and features, but priced differently due to stateroom location.

Inside Staterooms

You know that the least expensive are so-called inside cabins can be from 120 sq. ft. to 180 sq. ft. Yes, the cabins in most cases tastefully decorated with wall-to-wall carpeting. They include:

  •  Twin beds may be pushed together making queen-sized bed for couples.
  • Individually controlled air conditioning/heating,
  •  Dresser or space for storage,
  • Closet,
  •  Telephone,
  •  Satellite television
  •  Night table,
  • Reading lamps,
  • Chair
  •  Personal safe,
  • Table,
  • Desk with chair,
  • Convertible or non-convertible loveseat,
  • Mini-refrigerator (on some ships),
  • Hairdryer

The typical cabin bathrooms are often tiny and most only have a shower (no tub). The shower in most cases has good water pressure, but is small in size. Bathroom also has a sink, toiletry shelves, and toilet. The bathrooms also typically have a retractable clothesline for drying your swimsuit or hand laundry.

 Ocean View Cabins

In many cases the ocean view cabins are almost identical to inside cabins in size and layout. Window is the only difference. Most up-to-date ships have large picture windows instead of portholes. Keep in mind that these windows cannot be opened. If a sea breeze in your list you have to book a cabin with balcony. Some ships have both stateroom categories: porthole staterooms the ones with windows. The porthole cabins are located on the lowest decks (but sometimes it may be an exception as on Oasis class ships) and are more affordable. You can’t open pothole window. All ocean view cabins are above water level even on the lowest deck, so don’t be afraid that waves splash against your window while sailing. Yes, older ships may have windows too close to water lines. At the same time, on river cruise ships window can be very low to water level and most of stateroom is under water line. This may create some smell. But this is another topic.

Staterooms with Balconies or Verandas

The next stateroom category is ocean view cabin with a balcony (veranda). These cabins have sliding glass or French doors allowing you to enjoy ocean breeze. You can open sliding door but in most cases air conditioner shut down for this moment. Normally the balcony cabins are larger than the standard cabins, and may be considered as mini-suites. Mini-suites are typically are oversized ocean view staterooms with balcony that have a small sitting area with a loveseat or convertible sofa. Some mini-suites also may have a curtain that separates the sleeping and sitting areas. This curtain is a good ideal for families but keep in mind that your privacy may be compromised. Curtain is a great if you want to enjoy sunrise but your husband prefer to wake up late on his vacation. Also, take into consideration that balconies in this types of staterooms are not large enough for a lounge chair. So you will have a regular chair instead for sunbath in private. The balconies tend to be narrow. It is just wide enough for two chairs and a small table. If you prefer a larger balcony, choose a higher category. For example, on the Oasis class ships it will be a category D1 – the highest for balconies. Choose the right stateroom is a big decision you have to make towards your memorable cruise vacation. I suggest you to make your own research but work with high ranking CLIA*-certified cruise expert who can help you to avoid any costly mistakes. Contact my office at 772 777-1337 for advice and booking your stateroom. Also, you can fill out form below and we will be with you shortly. *CLIA stands for Cruise Line International Association

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Elite Cruise Counselor

Nadia Jastrjembslaia. PhD. is a CLIA certified Cruise Counselor in the highest rank of Elite Cruise Counselor and Luxury Cruise Specialist. CLIA stands for Cruise Line International Association. She is a managing director of Aurora Cruises and Travel - storefront cruise travel agency in Port St. Lucie, Florida. She experienced more than 80 cruise ships and sailings. Nadia is a published author with her new book Suite Cruising on Royal Caribbean Fleet is scheduled to hit market in March 2016.

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