“You’re only in your room to sleep!”

“There’s so much to do on the ship, we’re never in our room”

“I can take more cruises by booking an inside cabin”

This is what you most commonly hear people say when you ask why they prefer interior staterooms on a cruise.

Other people, however, will often rave about ocean views and balcony suites on cruises. They’ll tell you it’s a must-have for the full experience, with all that fresh, salty sea air. But after sailing in every cabin type from the least expensive interior to suites, I’m convinced that interior cruise cabins are a good choice for quite a few reasons!

There’s this unspoken rule that if you’ve got the money, you should be splurging on fancier balcony rooms or suites. But let me tell you, inside cabins have their own charm that often goes unrealized.

It’s not like you’re living in a cave beneath the sea (but to be fair, it’s close enough). Surprisingly, there’s a certain joy in that simplicity and cost savings. Here’s why you should consider an inside vs outside cabin on a cruise:

Cost-Effectiveness Of An Inside Stateroom:

The most notable reason people choose interiors is the cost difference. Sometimes an interior cabin can be less than half the cost of a similar-sized balcony cabin. That’s a big saving for a lot of people.

This cost savings tip while booking a cruise allows passengers to allocate their budget toward other amenities and activities offered on the cruise such as excursions, events, specialty dining, etc.

  • The cost savings can also make higher-end cruises more accessible, or allow longer voyages within the same budget.
  • Inside cabins are an economical choice, allowing for significant savings compared to balcony suites or ocean-view rooms.
  • This budget-friendly option enables guests to allocate more funds towards onboard experiences such as dining, spa treatments, and excursions, enhancing the overall cruise experience.

Inside Cabins Have Understated Comfort:

Contrary to popular belief, luxury isn’t solely defined by expansive suites and balconies. Experience suggests that inside cabins, while modest, offer just as comfortable of a serene environment that is sometimes overlooked in favor of more expensive options.

  • Inside cabins, are (usually) equally decorated and appointed as their pricier balcony counterparts and still provide a comfortable environment. Most cruise lines equip these cabins with the same quality of bedding and amenities as in higher-tier rooms, ensuring a pleasant stay.
  • They are thoughtfully designed to maximize space, offering a comfortable retreat after a day full of activities.
  • Newer cruise ships also offer “virtual” windows or portholes which are screens that mimic the outside. I originally thought it was a bit corny, but it’s really a great way to make the interior cabins feel more spacious!
Virtual Balcony - Interior stateroom on cruise ship
Photo Credit : M. McGee

A Tranquil Environment On The Inside:

Inside cabins are typically located in quieter sections of the ship, ensuring a peaceful stay. This is particularly appealing to those seeking a restful retreat away from the more bustling areas of the cruise.

These cabins offer the added advantage of being insulated from external noise, such as late-night deck parties or nearby entertainment venues. This feature is ideal for guests prioritizing rest and relaxation.

  • Positioned away from the main entertainment decks and foot traffic areas, inside cabins often provide a quieter setting.
  • This tranquility is ideal for passengers who prefer a more subdued atmosphere or need a calm space to work or relax.
  • The reduced foot traffic and distance from public areas result in less noise and disruptions.
  • The enclosed nature of inside cabins offers an added layer of insulation from external sounds.
  • This seclusion is beneficial for light sleepers or those who retire early or rise late, ensuring minimal disturbance from activities happening on the ship.
Why Choosing An Inside Cabin On A Cruise Is A Great Idea (Sometimes) 1

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Optimal Sleep Conditions IN THE Pitch Black of an Inside Cruise Cabin:

The absence of external light sources with inside cabins creates an ideal sleeping environment (this is my personal favorite reason for booking interior cruise cabins). This aspect is highly valued by guests who prioritize a good night’s sleep, offering a level of darkness conducive to rest.

  • The absence of windows means total darkness when lights are off, creating an ideal environment for sleep.
  • This feature can be particularly beneficial for those sensitive to light, ensuring a deep and restful slumber.
  • The controlled lighting conditions can also help in managing jet lag or adjusting to time zone changes.

Fair warning when it comes to this point of being able to sleep. It’s easy to lose track of what time of the day it is when staying in an interior stateroom! I’ve been known to fall asleep and not wake up until 1pm because of the lack of outside light!

A Few Tips When Considering Booking an Interior Cabin

There will always be the “Never an InsideI” people. Some cruisers just love the balcony and make use of it extensively. Those folks will never be convinced to try an inside cabin.

But before you shake your head and say “NEVER” to booking a windowless stateroom, consider a few things.

I’ve found that on many cruises, I just don’t use the balcony much. Whether it’s bad weather or just too many things going on that I never get a chance, it seems like money wasted. So really think hard before spending 2 times the price for your next cruise.

If you’re not sure how much you’ll use a balcony but aren’t quite ready to commit to an interior room, consider an ocean view or porthole. It’s a great “happy medium” for people who are worried about the lack of light but may not really find the need for a balcony.

Think about temperatures & itineraries before booking an interior stateroom

For example, a Transatlantic cruise across the northern hemisphere will usually have pretty bad weather in the winter. Why spend the money on a balcony when it’s effectively unusable.

Or perhaps you’ve cruised the Caribbean so many times that seeing the port as you dock isn’t important.

However, there are times when an interior stateroom or cabin isn’t a good idea at all!

Consider what you may be able to see from a balcony on your next voyage. Going on an Alaska or Norwegian Fjords cruise? There’s nothing like sitting on your private balcony and taking in the amazing views. Literally, once-in-a-lifetime views. This isn’t the time to miss out.

While an inside cabin can be a great option for some, there are some itineraries where having a window or balcony really can make the experience better.

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