Erin Foster, coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line, shares 10 tips to help you choose a Disney Cruise Line stateroom that is right for you and your family.
When you book at a hotel at Walt Disney World, or most other land-based destinations, you don’t know which room you’ll be staying in until you arrive on site—within general parameters, you get what you get. With a few minor exceptions, when you sail with Disney Cruise Line, choosing your room is part of the booking process. You select the exact stateroom where you’ll be spending your vacation. That can be a lot of pressure, particularly for a first-time cruiser who is unfamiliar with the nuances of stateroom options.
Here are 10 things you may want to consider as you make your stateroom selection:
(1) How many people are in your party? Some Disney Cruise Line staterooms have a maximum capacity of only three guests; others sleep four or five, and some suites sleep as many as eight.
(2) Are all these people comfortable sleeping in the same room? You may love traveling with your in-laws, but you probably don’t want to sleep in the same room with them. Even a couple with young kids might be more comfortable if the youngsters have a separate sleeping space. If you’re getting more than one cabin, do you want or need them to be near each other, or accessible via a connecting door?
(3) Do you need outdoor space? Staterooms are classified as Inside (no access to the outdoors), Oceanview (appointed with one or two porthole windows), or Verandah (appointed with a balcony where you can sit outdoors). Verandah rooms tend to be the most expensive, but if you’re not going to be sitting outside, you may not need to spend the extra money.
(4) Do you want to splurge on extra pampering? If you’re celebrating something special, a concierge level room, with extra space and enhanced service, might be what you want.
(5) Are you prone to motion sickness? Staterooms on lower decks near the middle of the ship tend to have less movement.
(6) How long is your sailing? You may be happy in an inside stateroom if you’re on a quick three-night jaunt. That space might feel claustrophobic if you’re on a 14-night Transatlantic crossing.
(7) Does anyone in your party have medical issues? There are a few staterooms on each ship that are equipped with wider doorways and bathrooms for guests with mobility issues. Some staterooms have accommodations for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing.
(8) Are you a good sleeper? Many people find that the gentle swaying of the ship helps them sleep no matter which cabin they have. Some guests prefer the windowless Inside staterooms because they are particularly dark. Guests who struggle with sleep may want to avoid rooms under high-traffic public areas like restaurants and theaters, as well as rooms near spaces like elevators and laundry rooms that may produce low-level noise.
(9) Are you planning to spend lots of time exploring the ship and the port destinations? If you’ll be out of your room most of the time, just using it to sleep, there may be no reason to spend money on a larger space or room amenities. But if you want to spend much of the trip relaxing with a book in a private space, then you may appreciate a verandah and a larger room.
(10) What’s your overall vacation budget? Staterooms are just one component of cruise costs. Be sure that the price of your room choice allows you enough funds to take the port excursions or to enjoy the adult dining options that interest you. Saving on your cabin may allow you to partake in experiences that will allow you to have a better overall vacation.
If you’re struggling to decide which stateroom to select for your Disney Cruise Line voyage, it may help to work with a DCL specialist travel agent, a person well versed in the nuances of individual sections of the ships.
For more information on all there is to see and do on board, order you very own copy of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line.