Quick Guide to Cruise Ship Cabins

So you’ve finally found the perfect cruise ship for your next Cruise from New Zealand or International Port… and you’re overwhelmed with excitement. But you realised while you’re booking that there are actually a lot of cabin rooms to choose from and you have no idea what they are. Now what?

Choosing a cabin on a cruise ship may not as be as simple as you think. There are many things to consider: Cost, location, floor area, storage space, and more.

If you want to have the greatest New Zealand cruise experience, you should take these into consideration. And we know that. That’s why we have taken the initiative to create this quick guide to help you select the best cruise ship cabin for your trip.

First off, let’s further explore the different cabin categories that you typically see listed in a cruise ship’s website.

Inside Cabins

Inside cabins (or sometimes called interior cabins) are the most affordable staterooms that you can find on a cruise ship. So if you’re travelling on a budget and you’re only after having the most basic room furnishings such as a bed, a bathroom with a shower, a television, and storage space, this would be a good choice.

Inside cabins don’t have portholes or windows and are typically smaller than any other type of cabin room.

Ocean View Cabins

The highlight of this type of cabin is that they have windows or portholes. And compared to standard inside cabins, these are usually a little more expensive and generally have larger space and may have better furnishings than an inside cabin.

If you don’t want to splurge for the best room in the ship but you want to have natural light in your room, this might work for you. Just take note that you will only get natural light but not sea breeze (if that’s what you’re looking for) since you won’t be able to open the windows.


If you’re hoping to get a nice ocean view with the gentle feel of a sea breeze on your face, you should upgrade a little and book a room with a balcony.

Obviously, this type of cabin is more expensive than the previous rooms we discussed, but your takeaway here is that you will have your own private outside area.

A cabin with a balcony would have a sliding glass door that would give you access to a lounging area when you can sip wine and just relax while enjoying the magnificent views in front of you.


This is the best type of cabin that you can get on a cruise ship. Compared to other cabin room categories, these are more spacious and are luxuriously furnished. Suites usually have a separate seating area or a separate bedroom. And most suites would come with a balcony.

Sometimes suites are located on the upper deck of the ship so that fewer people will have access to that area. This is why if you are looking for a more private experience and willing to splurge more for comfort, you should book a suite.

But before you do that, take note that suites come in different shapes and sizes. There are mini-suites there are luxury suites. It is very important to at least take a look at the floor plan so you will know what to expect.

  • family suite

Does Cabin Location Matter?

Yes, it matters. Very much. Your level of comfort can actually depend on this very important aspect.


Cabins can be located on the lower deck, higher deck, middle portion, front, or rear of the ship. And each location exhibits a different motion intensity. If you suffer from motion sickness or sea sickness, it is very important to consider the location of your cabin.

One of the advantages of lower deck cabins is that it generally gives you a smoother ride in case of rough seas. They are also less expensive compared to higher deck cabins. However, take note that lower deck cabins are usually located farthest from the ship’s amenities like pools and entertainment areas. Inside cabins are usually located on the lower deck.

Now, while higher deck cabins are usually closer to pools and sun decks, they are not so friendly to people with motion sickness. Sure, you will get to have a great view, but if you don’t want to be sick on your journey, booking a higher deck cabin might not be for you.

Now aside, from upper and lower decks, you can also choose rooms that are located on the front, middle, and rear ends of the ship.

Adventure- and thrill-seekers would be happy to choose a cabin room on the front part of the ship. These are usually called bow or forward cabins. Residing in these cabins will give you a chance to experience what real sailors feel during a cruise. You will often get your own portion of sea spray, sea breeze, and constant rocking. Suites are usually located on this part of the ship because of its unique shape.

Those who want to see great panoramic views but would be happy with less motion can choose a rear cabin. Here, you will be able to see where you have sailed from and reminisce the good times. However, if you care a lot about privacy, this may not be an ideal choice. People on the higher decks tend to look down more on the rear side of the ship, which will be kind of awkward for you.

Mid-portion cabins may not look appealing for some, but these can be a very good choice for people who have motion sickness. Just be prepare yourself to experience more traffic and more noise since you will often see people come and go. Another thing to consider is that lifeboats are usually located in the middle portion of the ship, so before booking, it’s best to make sure that these won’t be blocking your view.


We can’t recommend a specific type of cruise ship cabin that would fit everyone who’s looking forward to boarding a New Zealand cruise. Choosing a cruise ship cabin is always dependent on your circumstances and comfort goals. Even if you choose the most expensive suite on the ship but it is located on an area that will not work for your motion sickness, you still won’t get to enjoy your trip. So before you book for a cruise ship cabin, make sure that you have everything considered. Again, look at the location, cabin room type, floor area, and storage space.