Choosing the Perfect Cruise Stateroom

by | Feb 5, 2024

After meticulously selecting your preferred cruise line and itinerary, the next crucial step is to carefully choose the stateroom for your upcoming voyage. Storyline Travel is dedicated to assisting you in navigating through the myriad of options, offering valuable insights to aid in the decision-making process.

Stateroom Types

Most cruise ships offer four general stateroom types: Inside, Ocean View, Balcony (sometimes called Verandah), and Suite. Many staterooms are smaller than land-based hotel rooms and keep in mind that balconies are normally included in the square footage quoted by the cruise line. 

inside stateroom

Inside staterooms are normally the least expensive.  If a scenic view is paramount, an Inside stateroom would be unsuitable. Those prone to claustrophobia may find solace in a room with a window or balcony, even if the space remains compact.  Ocean View rooms provide a non-opening window, offering natural light and a visually expansive feel.

ocean view stateroom with sofa

Balcony staterooms, in addition to a larger living space, provide an outdoor space to relish the ocean views and cityscapes when the ship is docked.  There are some cruise lines that offer some additional views other than the ocean, such as a central park or entertainment areas.  We have stayed in a stateroom that had a boardwalk view and enjoyed the entertainment without leaving our room.  However, we found our balcony was easily viewed by other guests across the boardwalk and, as we tried to sleep, it was very noisy until all the entertainment wrapped up.  

balcony stateroom overlooking a common area rather than the ocean
Balcony Stateroom that looks out to a common area

Suites, being the largest staterooms with balconies, often boast prime locations.  Suite guests typically receive additional amenities included in their cruise fare, like priority boarding and exclusive dining rooms or lounges.  Storyline Travel recommends thorough scrutiny of deck plans before finalizing your choice.

living space of a large stateroom suite
Spacious living area of a suite

Location, Location, Location!

Staterooms are strategically located from Forward to Aft on various decks. Mid-ship rooms generally experience less movement, making them preferable for those susceptible to sea-sickness. Considerations for front or rear-facing balcony rooms should include the potential for increased windiness.

Selecting the right deck is equally important, with Storyline Travel advising opting for decks with staterooms both above and below for a quieter experience. Proximity to entertainment or dining venues must be weighed against potential noise disturbances.

external cruise ship picture showing deck 1 stateroom windows are eye level
Alex pointing to our Deck 1 Stateroom Window!

Deliberate on whether an upper or lower deck suits your preference, noting that lower decks may bring you closer to the water line, a factor some guests find discomforting. Assessing proximity to specific areas of the ship, such as kid clubs, adult spaces, or elevators, is vital, and ship deck plans can be a valuable resource for making an informed decision.

cruise ship in alaska
Many cruisers love watching the beauty of Alaska from their private balcony

Additionally, consider the Port vs. Starboard choice, especially on itineraries like Alaska, where guests may have strong preferences for specific views from their stateroom. 

Stateroom Sizes

As mentioned above, cruise staterooms are generally compact and necessitate careful consideration.  Some staterooms can only sleep 2 guests and many cruise ship staterooms have 4 guest maximums, impacting families.  Especially families who are traveling with children.

balcony stateroom with a sofa
Pullout Sofa allows the room to sleep 4
upper and lower berths in a stateroom
Upper and Lower berths

Be mindful of bed configurations, as some rooms may have pullout sofas while others have upper berths that fold down out of the ceiling.  Storyline Travel collaborates with clients to explore various possibilities and ensure maximum comfort throughout the journey.


Identifying the amenities that align with your preferences is pivotal. Cruise experiences offer many pampering options, from add-on choices to comprehensive luxury packages available with suites.

Couple being served on a cruise ship

Services may include extra benefits within the stateroom, access to exclusive areas, or priority treatment throughout your journey.  Storyline Travel is committed to tailoring your cruise experience to meet your specific desires and expectations.

Bon Voyage!

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