Wednesday 19 September 2018

Cruising with an inside cabin - pros and cons

We've cruised with an inside stateroom twice now, a few years back on Allure of the Seas with Royal Caribbean, and more recently on the Disney Magic. When we booked our first cruise back in 2011, with no experience of cruise ships and as a sea sickness sufferer I was adamant that I was only going to go on a cruise if my room had a window. Fortunately I've since come around to the idea of an inside cabin, because with some of the European itineraries in particular you can save a lot of money by choosing an inside stateroom.

Inside staterooms can vary a great deal according to the cruise line, and some of the newer ships in particular have made great efforts to replace the outside porthole with something exciting. For example on Royal Caribbean you can choose a virtual balcony which streams real time views, or on some of the Disney ships a virtual porthole with a real time view combines with some Disney magic. We've not tried out anything like this - our first interior stateroom had a blank wall, and our second had a large porthole shaped mirror.

Inside deluxe stateroom on the Disney Magic cruise ship

So here are some of the pros and cons that I've found of cruising with an inside cabin. I'll get the negatives out of the way first, because to be honest if it comes down to a cruise with an inside cabin and no cruise at all I'm definitely taking the inside cabin!


The biggest drawback is of course that you can't see outside. You can't watch the waves, you can't see the sunset, you can't check the weather, and you miss the excitement of pulling back the curtains in the morning and finding yourself docked somewhere new. Sometimes you can't even tell if you are moving or not. The only way to mitigate this is a glance at the stateroom television, which on most cruise ships will have a channel dedicated to a live view outside the ship.

If you suffer from claustrophobia you might find yourself feeling a little shut in. I've found this from time to time, especially if we were all in the stateroom at once and it felt very crowded. Luckily cruise ships are big and there are plenty of open spaces a short walk away that you can visit.

Rough seas - I do suffer with seasickness on smaller boats and ferries but fortunately it's never really been a problem on a cruise ship. However I find it easier to have a view of the waves and the horizon if I'm feeling a bit wobbly.

Noise - there will always be some noise on cruise ships either from the corridor or from the decks above and below. On our recent cruise I did wonder if we might have a service corridor next to the wall because I could occasionally hear what sounded like a trolley being wheeled along next to our bed. It wasn't a big problem for us, but having an inside wall does add another potential source of disturbance.


The biggest pro is the cost saving. Inside cabins can be significantly cheaper, and having an inside stateroom makes a big difference to us when pricing up a cruise.

In our experience you can get away with spending very little time in the room, both on port and sea days. Even if you aren't leaving the ship on a port day, it's so much nicer to sit up on deck or in an area with larger windows near the top of the ship where the views are much better.

Portholes can be quite small anyway and low down in the ship. It might be that the view from a window isn't that great, and being able to see the sea close up when it's rough can make you feel worse.

Even without a window, it won't be pitch black at night. Light comes in from around the door, and a surprising amount of light is generated by electrical items charging, standby lights on devices and so on. If you need to have some light at night for small children, or to find the bathroom, you can take a small nightlight or just leave the bathroom light on and the door slightly ajar.

I hope this helps you to make a decision if you are wondering what an inside stateroom on a cruise ship would be like!

You can see a video tour of our deluxe inside stateroom aboard the Disney Magic below. As you can see, it's a small room yet surprisingly spacious with good use of space and plenty of storage.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like some of my other posts about cruising:

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