Should I Book an Interior Room on a Cruise? Our Answer May Surprise You!

If you are trying to decide on a cabin for your next cruise, we discuss the pros and cons of booking an interior room on a cruise.

Should I Book an Interior Room on a Cruise? Our Answer May Surprise You!

Ah, the least-talked about cabins on a cruise ship: the humble interior rooms. While these windowless, balcony-less accommodations might seem like a drag upon first glance, there are actually some benefits to them that might be worth considering. Here, we’re going over why you should consider booking an interior cabin, what the best and worst interior cabin locations are, and more.

Should I Book an Interior Room on a Cruise?

What is an interior room on a cruise?

On a cruise ship, rooms without windows are referred to as interior cabins. They’re called “interior” because they’re usually on the interior of the ship, towards the middle and away from any of the vessel’s exterior walls. Occasionally, cabins that are lower on the ship with tiny exterior-facing portholes are also listed as interior because the porthole is much smaller than the standard window in an oceanview category cabin.

Interior Room on a Cruise

How big is an interior room on a cruise ship?

Standard interior cabins tend to be a bit smaller than oceanview and balcony cabins. And they are, of course, quite a bit smaller than the suites on the ship. Every cruise line does their staterooms differently. Though on most ships, you can expect at least a dozen or two more square feet in an oceanview cabin than you’d get in an interior accommodation. Balcony cabins tend to be a bit larger than oceanview cabins.

To give you an idea of how big interior cabins are, here are some rough averages of the square footage on cruise ships from different lines:

  • Coral Princess: 160 square feet
  • Norwegian Star: 142 square feet
  • Carnival Vista: 185 square feet
  • Icon of the Seas: 165 square feet
  • Celebrity Reflection: 190 square feet
  • Disney Fantasy: 170 square feet

4 Reasons to Consider Booking an Inside Cabin on a Cruise

While most of the hype about cruise ship cabins usually centers on staterooms with balconies and suites, there are benefits to consider when it comes to interior cabins as well. Here are four reasons you might want to book an interior room on a cruise.

Interior Room on a Cruise

1. It costs less.

Interior cabins are the most inexpensive rooms on a cruise ship. Many times the difference between the cost of an interior vs. an oceanview or balcony is significant. If you don’t foresee yourself spending much time in your stateroom except to sleep and get ready for the day, it might be well worth it to forego windows and a balcony and save your money for other things by booking an interior cabin.

If you have a set budget for your vacation, you can put the savings on your accommodation towards other things on the trip such as fun port excursions, specialty dining experiences, or a drink package.

For those looking to cruise for cheap, you might also want to consider a guarantee cabin. This will ensure you get a cabin in your desired category, but you won’t be able to pick the exact location. The cruise line will assign it to you, usually a few weeks before the sail date.

2. You might get better sleep.

If you’re very sensitive to light when you sleep, an interior cabin might be just the ticket to great sleep on your cruise — especially since at least some nights you’ll be lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of the ship as well.

Interior cabins are dark… probably even darker than your bedroom at home which might let in some light from the street lights or even the glow of the moon. It can be a bit disconcerting when you turn off all the lights in your interior cabin for the first time, but it does provide a great sleeping atmosphere.

If you’re worried about finding your way around, there is a solution. Many cruisers who stay in interior cabins bring a portable nightlight that sits on the nightstand and can easily be turned on and carried around. Others leave the bathroom light on and let the light around the cracks of the bathroom door provide some sense of the space.

Cruise lines are even coming up with new ways to provide light in their cabins. Some feature ambient motion lights near the floor that come on when they detect someone moving towards the bathroom door.

3. It decreases the chances of seasickness.

Since interior cabins are on the interior of the ship, they experience less motion than their exterior counterparts. If you’re prone to motion sickness and are planning to book an interior cabin, look for one that’s on one of the lower decks and as close to the center of the ship — both widthwise and lengthwise — as possible. This puts you close to the vessel’s equilibrium point, meaning that area moves less with the motion of the ocean than other parts of the ship do.

As an example, think about a see-saw. The middle moves far less than the two ends where people are sitting. When someone sits in the middle, they’re barely moving as opposed to the people on the ends who are going high in the air and then back down. While you likely aren’t going to experience that sort of extreme on a cruise ship, it’s the same idea.

The only real drawbacks to an interior cabin concerning seasickness are that you can’t practice one of the most common tips for managing seasickness: looking at the horizon. And you also won’t be able to quickly get outside for fresh air. But hopefully choosing a cabin near the equilibrium point means you won’t experience as much (or any) seasickness at all.

4. You’ll spend more time enjoying what the ship has to offer.

There’s nothing like a lack of natural light and fresh ocean breeze to get a person out of their room and out and about on a cruise ship. When people have a cabin with a balcony, they’re more likely to spend some extra downtime in their room sitting on the balcony listening to the ocean waves or hanging out reading a book.

When your cabin has nothing but walls, you’re less likely to spend time in it. Go out, explore the ship! Ride the waterslides, hit up the comedy club, join a fitness class, enjoy a bar crawl. After all, the cruise ship is, in and of itself, one of the destinations on your vacation.

What’s the best interior room on a cruise ship?

Exactly where you want to be on the ship depends on what your priorities are. So, the “best” interior cabin for one person might be different from the best one for the next person. However, there are some cabins that are better than others.

For example, if you have concerns about motion sickness, as mentioned before the best cabin for you is probably going to be lower on the ship and towards the middle.

The proximity of a cabin to areas of the ship that are most important to you should also come into play. If you want to be near the main pool deck and buffet, choose a cabin on a higher deck. If you’re looking to be closer to the casino or indoor promenade, you might want one on a mid to lower deck. Proximity to the elevators or a stairwell might also play a factor in your cabin choosing process.

You also might be traveling with extended family or a group of friends that have multiple cabins. In that case, you’ll probably want to choose cabins near each other. If you’re opting for an interior but your traveling companions have a balcony cabin, try to pick cabins that are near each other. For example, getting an interior that’s directly across the hallway from their balcony room. If your family needs multiple interior staterooms, you might want to specifically book cabins that have interior connecting doors.

Where is the worst interior room on a cruise ship?

There are a few factors that many cruisers would consider downsides when it comes to interior cabin locations. One of the worst places you can have a cabin is directly under a busy and loud deck (such as the pool deck). Another is in close proximity (both above or below) to a venue such as the nightclub. Many guests have been awoken by the sound of deck chairs being moved around above them as crew members set up the pool deck for the day, or kept awake late into the night because their room was directly above the ship’s nightclub.

When booking your cruise, be sure to look at the deck plans not only for the deck the cabin you’re considering is on, but also the decks above and below it to make sure you aren’t going to have a lot of noise in your cabin to deal with throughout your cruise.

Other cabins that one may consider the “worst” interior rooms on a cruise ship are those that are on one of the lowest passenger decks and are far forward or aft. This simply means that nearly all public venues and areas are not going to be conveniently located for you. And you’ll have to do a lot of walking to get just about anywhere onboard. If you value that type of privacy without a lot of foot traffic, they might be a great choice. But most cruisers value prime spots where it’s quicker to get where you need to go.

Even if you initially get stuck with one of these “worst” rooms on a cruise, all hope is not lost. As your sail date approaches, you may receive an email from the cruise line offering cabin upgrades. In this silent auction of sorts, you can bid on a new cabin. Once again, you won’t know the cabin’s exact location. But if you win the bid, it’s almost guaranteed to be a great deal.


Have you ever stayed in this cabin category? What are your pros and cons of an interior room on a cruise? Drop us an anchor below to share your stateroom preferences when cruising.

Sarah has been writing about the cruise industry since 2015, and in that time has taken a dozen cruises and counting. Her favorite onboard activities include trying the casual dining options, spending time in the spa’s thermal suite, and attending the love & marriage show. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @IAmSarahJaneB.
Sarah Bretz, Contributor
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Should I Book an Interior Room on a Cruise? Our Answer May Surprise You!

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