Which Type Of Cruise Ship Cabin Is Typically The Smallest?

When it comes to cruising, there are numerous factors to consider when choosing the perfect cabin for your vacation. One of the key considerations is the size of the cabin. Cruise ship cabins vary greatly in size, with some offering spacious options while others may be more compact.

Typically, the smallest cabins on a cruise ship are the interior cabins. These cabins are located on the inside of the ship and do not have windows or balconies. While the lack of natural light may be a downside for some, interior cabins are often the most affordable option for cruising enthusiasts.

According to industry experts, the average size of an interior cabin on a cruise ship is around 160 square feet. However, it’s important to note that cabin sizes can vary between cruise lines and even among different ships within the same fleet.

Despite their smaller size, interior cabins often provide all the essential amenities you would expect on a cruise. These amenities may include a private bathroom, comfortable bedding, storage space, and a TV. While you may not have a view of the ocean from your cabin, cruise ships are designed in a way that encourages passengers to spend most of their time outside the cabin, enjoying the various onboard activities and entertainment.

For those who prefer a bit more space, there are other cabin options available. Oceanview cabins, as the name suggests, provide passengers with a view of the ocean through a window. These cabins are generally larger than interior cabins and offer a more spacious environment.

Balcony cabins, on the other hand, are considered a step up from oceanview cabins. Not only do they offer a window with an ocean view, but they also come with a private balcony. This allows passengers to have their own outdoor space to relax, enjoy the scenery, and feel the ocean breeze.

Suite cabins are the largest and most luxurious options available on a cruise ship. These cabins often feature separate living areas, luxurious amenities, and exclusive access to special onboard services and facilities. Suite passengers may also have access to dedicated concierge services and priority boarding.

While the size of the cabin is an important consideration, it’s worth noting that passengers are likely to spend the majority of their time exploring the ship and partaking in various activities. Therefore, the overall experience of the cruise should not solely be determined by the size of the cabin.

The Pros and Cons of Interior Cabins

Interior cabins may be the smallest option on a cruise ship, but they also come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some insights into the pros and cons of choosing an interior cabin:


  • Affordability: Interior cabins are often the most budget-friendly option, making cruising accessible to a wider range of travelers.
  • Darkness for Sleeping: The absence of windows can provide complete darkness, promoting better sleep
  • Privacy: Being located on the inside of the ship, interior cabins are generally quieter and offer more privacy compared to cabins with windows facing public areas.
  • Minimal Light Disturbance: Lack of natural light can make it easier to take daytime naps or sleep in late without the interruption of sunlight.


  • No Natural Light: The absence of windows may affect passengers who prefer natural light and a view of the ocean.
  • Feelings of Claustrophobia: Some passengers may experience a sense of being confined without windows or a view outside.
  • Limited Air Circulation: Cabin ventilation can be a concern in interior cabins. Proper airflow and temperature control may not be as effective compared to cabins with windows and balconies.
  • Lack of Orientation: Without a window view, it can be challenging to determine the time of day and get a sense of the ship’s location.

It is important to consider these pros and cons when deciding between an interior cabin and other cabin types. Ultimately, the choice depends on personal preferences, budget, and priorities for the cruise experience.

The Advantages of Balcony Cabins

While interior cabins may offer affordability, balcony cabins provide an entirely different cruising experience. Here are some advantages of opting for a balcony cabin:

Expansive Ocean Views:

One of the most significant advantages of balcony cabins is the breathtaking view they offer. Passengers can enjoy panoramic views of the ocean, stunning sunrises, and sunsets from the comfort of their private balcony.

Outdoor Private Space:

Having a balcony allows passengers to have their own outdoor haven. They can relax, read a book, enjoy a drink, or simply soak in the scenery without the need to leave their cabin.

Fresh Air and Natural Light:

Passengers in balcony cabins can open the balcony door, letting in fresh sea air and enjoying natural light throughout the day. This can create a sense of connection with the ocean and a more immersive experience.

Enhanced Cabin Space:

Balcony cabins tend to be more spacious compared to interior cabins, offering additional room for relaxation and comfort.

Soothing Ocean Sounds:

The sound of the ocean waves can be incredibly soothing. Passengers in balcony cabins have the unique advantage of being able to hear the gentle lapping of the waves against the ship.

It’s important to note that balcony cabins generally come at a higher price compared to interior cabins. However, for those who value the experience of being closer to the ocean and having their own private outdoor space, the upgrade may be well worth it.

Suite Cabins: The Epitome of Luxury

For those seeking the ultimate luxury experience on a cruise, suite cabins are the top choice. Here are some characteristics that make suite cabins stand out:

Spacious Living:

Suite cabins offer a separate living area, providing ample space for relaxation, entertaining guests, and enjoying the ultimate comfort.

Exclusive Amenities:

Suite passengers often have access to exclusive onboard facilities, such as private lounges, restaurants, and even personal butler service.

Priority Services:

Priority boarding, disembarkation, and dedicated concierge services are often included with suite cabins, ensuring a seamless and VIP experience throughout the cruise.

Luxurious Upgrades:

Suite cabins are adorned with high-end finishes, plush furnishings, and premium amenities, creating an atmosphere of opulence and indulgence.

Extra Perks:

Suite passengers may enjoy additional perks, such as complimentary specialty dining, unlimited access to spa facilities, and exclusive access to certain entertainment events and activities.

Suite cabins offer the epitome of luxury and are designed to cater to the most discerning travelers. However, it’s important to note that the cost of suite cabins is significantly higher than other cabin types. This option is ideal for those who value unparalleled luxury and are willing to invest in a truly extravagant cruise experience.


Cruise ship cabins come in a variety of sizes and configurations, catering to different budgets and preferences. The interior cabins are typically the smallest option, offering affordability and essential amenities. Passengers who prioritize expansive ocean views and outdoor space may opt for a balcony cabin, while those seeking the ultimate luxury experience can indulge in a suite cabin.

Regardless of the cabin type chosen, it’s essential to keep in mind that the overall experience of a cruise is not solely determined by the size of the cabin. Cruise ships offer an array of activities, entertainment, and dining options to ensure passengers have a memorable and enjoyable vacation.

Gerald Forsman

Gerald A. Forsman is a freelance writer specializing in articles about ships and maritime topics. He has written extensively for a variety of outlets, including his own blog, The Shipyard. He has also written for magazines such as Sea History Magazine and Ships in Focus. A lifelong sailor, Gerald brings a unique perspective to his writing, offering a deep insight into the maritime world.

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