Types of Cruises - Onboard Accommodations

Caribbean Cruises and Different Onboard Accommodations

by Nicole Rebeiro

Caribbean cruise ships are some of the largest and most extravagant in the world, in fact, the largest passenger liner in operation sails between islands in the Caribbean Sea. These massive Caribbean cruise vessels are capable of carrying over 6000 passengers at full capacity, which means a lot of cabins are required – nearly 3000!

Of course, in keeping with the luxurious style of the ships, not even the most basic of onboard accommodation is, well, basic! Inside and outside staterooms can measure approximately 165 square feet and include all the amenities you’d expect from a top-rated hotel: private bathroom with shower, a large double bed with only the best quality bedding, a lounge area complete with sofa and work desk, spacious wardrobes and drawers and even an interactive TV system, allowing you to watch what you want, when you want.

For travelers that want a bit more space, the next step up from the standard rooms is a balcony room. With the introduction of the newest state-of-the-art Caribbean cruise liners, balcony rooms have taken on a new direction. No longer do guests only have the choice of ocean-view balconies, they now have the option of an inside balcony! It may sound odd, but inside balconies provide a unique and private way to be a part of the cruise action without needing to leave the room. Balconies overlook the hub of activity, allowing you to sit and relax while watching the winners and losers at the casinos below, and the kids (and young-at-heart adults!) attempt the zipline above.

These types of accommodations are the most common on cruise ships, and many travelers that have enjoyed a Caribbean cruise vacation will have called one of these rooms home for the duration of the sailing. But accommodation choices don’t end there. There’s many more options, some totally unbelievable, but with some rather hefty price tags they often go unseen by the average passenger.

Suites are typically three to five times bigger in size than standard staterooms and while the smaller suites tend to feature similar amenities to the more basic rooms, it’s really the additional space that’s the attraction here. Larger beds, greater storage, more spacious bathrooms and a living room that almost feels completely separate to the bedroom are some of the major draws of smaller suites, which usually include an ocean view balcony, too. There are, of course, a few extra bonuses, with some ships offering concierge services, small gifts such as flowers and chocolates, and access to exclusive restaurants and bars. Smaller suites can cost over 100% more than the lowest accommodation cost.

At the absolute top end of the scale are accommodations that absolutely have to be seen to be believed. Fancy going on a Caribbean cruise and staying in a suite with four bedrooms and four bathrooms that’s so big it needs to be set over not one but two floors? Jacuzzi balconies, private bars and even pianos are the most standout facilities in these suites. Featuring the top amenities, these super luxurious rooms will set travelers back a fair bit; expect to pay thousands more than for a standard interior cabin.

Despite the hefty price tags, Caribbean cruise lines rarely have any trouble filling these special accommodations; in fact due to the limited availability they can often be some of the first rooms to be booked! While the rich and famous are perfect candidates for these suites, they’re also very popular with big families and large groups who find it much more convenient to stay together than be dotted all over the ship. Whatever type of accommodation you choose for your next cruise, you can be sure you’ll be getting the full ‘escape within an escape’ experience.

Nicole Rebeiro

Nicole is a London-based travel journalist, and whilst she is not telling tales of her travels to the people of the local home where she volunteers, she is out discovering the world and creating new ones.

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