The Best Cabin To Book On A Cruise If You're On A Budget

For some seafarers, the cabin can make or break the getaway. For others, it's all about having that extra cash for onboard amenities and shore excursions. If you're the type who gets a rush from booking a vacation for an absolute steal, put an inside cabin on your radar.


An inside cabin is exactly what it sounds like. It's a room in the interior of the ship without a porthole, window, or balcony. It costs anywhere from a few hundred dollars to 50% less than other rooms. Depending on the cruise line, the room might be the same size as other cabins or slightly smaller. It will likely include two twin beds that can be pushed together, a bathroom, a desk or vanity, a couple of nightstands, a TV, and a mini fridge. You'll have access to all the same amenities as pricier cabins, like WiFi, room service, restaurants, pools, and entertainment.

While not for everyone, inside cabins are best for budget-conscious travelers who don't mind the lack of natural lighting. They're also great for smaller groups on a short getaway who plan to spend most of their time exploring the ship or ports. If you're a party of four cruising for longer than a week, it could start to feel a bit cramped, but the right attitude is everything. Luckily, some modern cruise ships have virtual portholes and balconies to brighten your stay.


Try obstructed view cabins

If an inside room sounds a little too claustrophobic, you could always opt for a stateroom with a partial or obstructed view instead. Ship designers maximize the space on cruise ships by getting creative with angles and every inch of square footage, meaning sometimes the view ends up being less than ideal. Fortunately for your wallet, cruise lines charge less for portholes or windows with an object blocking the view between you and the open sea.


Every cruise ship is unique. The obstruction could be something structural, like a steel beam or a deck, or a necessary accessory, like a lifeboat or cleaning machine. When you talk to your booking agent, try to find out where the room is located, what the obstruction is, and how much of the view it takes up. At least if it's a lifeboat, you're closer to the middle of the ship, which means you'll have less chance of getting seasick.

Look for guaranteed staterooms

With a guaranteed stateroom, you'll be able to pick the category of cabins you want, but you won't be able to pick the exact room or location ahead of time. The trade-off is that the price is cheaper than reserving a specific cabin. There's a chance you could get an upgrade, but there's also a chance you could get stuck in a room you don't really like. In other words, it's a bit of a gamble, seeing as it depends on the ship's availability.


Guarantees are available for a range of cabins, from the coziest spaces to luxurious suites with balconies. If you don't care where you end up, the absolute cheapest option on any cruise ship is going to be the inside cabin guarantee. This setup is ideal for someone who only plans to be in the cabin during sleeping hours. Plus, you'll get your room assignment in the weeks leading up to the cruise, giving you plenty of time to study the map and plan your adventures around the ship.