While balcony cabins and luxurious suites are the ultimate cruise holiday dream, sometimes budget restrictions (booooo!) mean that we have to wave goodbye to that sea view.
Before you throw up your hands in horror and grab the package holiday brochures instead though, take a look at the inside cabin details on your liner of choice.
Most have everything you need for a brilliant cruising experience and some offer more than you would imagine for your money.
Booking an inside cabin doesn’t have to mean a cramped and claustrophobic cruising experience – and remember, there’s so much to do on the average cruise ship (not to mention land excursions!) that you’ll be spending hardly any time in your cabin anyway!
Here are our inside cabin recommendations that will add a special touch to your cruise holiday.
Royal Caribbean Promenade View
An inside cabin with a view?
“Impossible”, we hear you cry!
But it is possible when you book a promenade stateroom on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis, Freedom and Voyager Class ships.
These stylish staterooms look out over the shops, eateries and activities of the ship’s Royal Promenade so they’re perfect for people watchers (read, nosy parkers!).
If space is a deal-breaker for you, choose an Oasis class ship where you’ll get 194sqft to play with. Book Oasis, or Freedom, and you may be in for a big surprise.
Some passengers will land on the Ben&Jerry’s ‘Sweet’ – a room which looks out to the backend of the cows above the Ben&Jerry’s parlour on the prom. To compensate for this unusual view, guests get a themed room, free ice-cream for the week and access to the Concierge Lounge but if that doesn’t sweeten the deal sufficiently, don’t be a cow about it – just speak up and Royal Caribbean will moooooove you to somewhere a little less quirky.
You can find out more about a Royal Caribbean cruise here
Royal Caribbean Virtual Balcony Interior Stateroom
Always ones to innovate, Royal Caribbean has come up with another way to get an inside cabin with a view – and without the price tag that usually comes with a glimpse of the ocean waves from your porthole or balcony.
The virtual balcony staterooms on Navigator and Quantum feature 80 inch LED projection screens which stretch floor to ceiling and show real time views from the ship. They’re even framed by real curtains for extra fake factor. Great for gazing at while relaxing in your room – just don’t try to let the sea breeze in by opening your ‘window’!
As Quantum is a brand new ship, and Navigator has been recently refurbished, you can also expect everything in these rooms to be box fresh and stylishly modern. And the best bit is that Royal Caribbean have said that these ‘virtual balcony’ rooms won’t come with a surcharge, so you’ve got nothing to lose apart from a bad case of cabin fever!
Norwegian Cruise Line Solo Studios
If you’re cruising solo, really good accommodation that doesn’t leave you wincing at the price (thanks to the evil single supplement) is about as rare on a cruise as a mermaid sighting. Although maybe not quite as rare, thanks to the solo studios on Norwegian Cruise Line ships Epic, Getaway and Breakaway.
The 100sqft cabins are small but perfectly presented, with super funky modern décor (think deep purple bedding, lighting effects, padded walls and dark wood).
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that these are a gimmick offering more style than substance – the practicalities, like a full size double bed, tons of storage (all for you!!) and a modern shower cubicle are all there too.
Best of all though is access to the exclusive Studio Lounge which is equally funky, with seating areas, flat screen TV, bar, wine dispenser, snacks/pastries, coffee machine and cold drinks.
The Studio Lounge is a great hangout and fun place to meet fellow single cruisers. There’s even a daily ‘singles social hour’ – who knows, maybe you’ll no longer be a going solo on your next cruise!
Interested in a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines? You can research them here
Costa Cruises Inside Spa Cabin
For the ultimate blissed out cruise experience a Costa Cruises Samsara Spa Cabin is the one to book. Feel wrapped up in (organic) cotton wool with a pillow menu, special bathroom kit, organic cotton bedding and for when you’re so chilled out you can’t move, a flat screen TV to gaze at.
Even better though are the spa benefits outside of the cabin. A glass lift surrounded by a waterfall will whisk you at will from your cabin to the spa area where a heat and water experience, and a ‘temple of peace’ await to melt away your pre-holiday stresses.
You’ll be so relaxed you won’t even notice the lack of a window in your cabin.
There’s a lot more information about Costa Cruises here
Disney Standard Family Inside
For example, a bath is much preferable to the usual shower when it comes to washing toddlers or babies and the curtain room divider means that mum and dad can keep a light or the TV on while the kids recharge for another day of Disney dreams come true.
If you’re stuck choosing between ships, go for Fantasy or Dream.
Their Family Inside Cabins boast iPod docks for the millions of gadgets you’re likely to be carrying to keep the kids (and dad) happy, plus, our favourite feature, magical portholes showing real time virtual sea views with digital Disney characters thrown in to make you smile.
Learn more about the magic of a Disney Cruise here
Carnival Standard Inside
If you don’t care about a virtual balcony, or a swimming Mickey, free ice-cream or a fast pass to the ship’s spa and just simply want a decent, spacious standard inside cabin, you can’t go wrong with Carnival Cruises. At 185sqft, the standard inside cabins have got as much room as some family cabins on other liners and added extras include bathrobes (for wafting about all that space in), a mystery basket of toiletries and a flat screen TV.
They’re a great budget option that offers plenty of bang for your buck.
We’ve loads of photos, videos and reviews for Carnival Cruises here
So you see; just because you don’t have the budget for a balcony (or would rather spend your money on pina coladas at the ship’s bar) doesn’t mean that you have to accept a less than spectacular cruise holiday experience. With our inside track on the best inside cabins, you can afford that cruise this year!