What is the best cruise ship cabin for my family?
Royal Caribbean is known for being a family cruise line, so which family cruise cabin should you choose for your vacation?
From time to time, I answer questions that our readers have sent to us here on the blog so that everyone can benefit from the advice.
We want to book a cruise for my family of 5 but we can’t fit in one room. What is our top choice for a cruise ship cabin for my family? – Christy D.
The best cabin for any family will depend on a few factors to narrow down the choices.
Each cabin on a cruise ship has a capacity limit, which means a family of five or six will have less choice if you want to stay in the same room.
Additionally, your budget will play a role in deciding which room is right for you.
A good place to start is to decide if you want everyone in the same cabin or if you want to have separate cabins.
Royal Caribbean offers family-sized staterooms on many of its ships, usually with the word “family” as the prefix to the stateroom category title.
These rooms are designed for 5 or 6 people and have more living space.
With extra beds and square footage, these family cruise ship staterooms have everything you’d need to accommodate everyone and will cost less than a suite.
There can be two major drawbacks to these family rooms: the location tends to be at the very front or rear of the ship, which makes for longer walks to the elevators, as well as a feeling of movement potentially higher when the sea is rough.
Also, many of these cabins only have one bathroom. Not all ships offer family cabins, and there are only a few to start with.
While Family Cabins are essentially larger standard cabins, Family Cabins are single rooms that can be booked together and have shared doors removed to create one larger room.
Family cabins were introduced on Quantum Class cruise ships, allowing you to connect three different cabins to form one large shared space. It also means three bathrooms for one space.
If that sounds like a great option, the problem may just be finding them. As far as I know they are only available on Quantum class ships.
Suites will always be the largest rooms on any cruise ship, and that extra living space can be very appealing to families.
Not only can the suites accommodate 5 or 6 people, but some of the larger suites can accommodate even more. Royal Caribbean’s most expensive suite can accommodate up to 11 people.
Of course, we’re talking suites, so this won’t be an economical choice for many families.
Suite prices can vary widely, but they’re rarely a cheap option. Some families will split the fees to save on costs.
Rather than putting everyone in one room, why not have multiple cabins?
Booking more than one room is usually not as expensive as it looks, especially compared to a suite.
Royal Caribbean offers connecting staterooms that have a common door on the inside, meaning you can open or close that door as you see fit.
Even if you don’t book a connecting room, on some ships you can open the balcony divider and get a common walkway between rooms at that time.
If you don’t need a connecting door, booking two (or more) cabins close together without a common door opens up all sorts of possibilities that can really save you money. Parents can book a balcony cabin, while their older children stay in an inside cabin across the aisle.
Connecting cabins can be more economical and provide one full bathroom per cabin.
Another advantage is that there can be more separation between each cabin, since the connecting door can be closed. This is especially useful with young children who need quiet and darkness to sleep.
The downside of booking more than one room is that connecting rooms are limited, especially if you book close to the departure date.
Also, booking more than one room will not give you the benefits of a suite.
Which should you choose?
Often the decision is made for you based on your budget and the ship you’re sailing on, but assuming you have a large budget and plenty of room choices, each option has advantages and disadvantages.
I generally recommend families to have two adjoining cabins as it allows separation between bedrooms and two full bathrooms. It’s generally less expensive than a one-cabin approach and gives parents what they want: to be in the same room as their children, without having to sleep in the same room as their children.
If you have older children or are traveling for multiple generations, being able to book multiple rooms that don’t have to be interconnecting/adjoining will save you a lot of money.
Suites are fantastic, and if you can afford one, it’s hard not to take advantage of all these wonderful amenities, especially on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis or Quantum Class ships. These ships feature Royal Suite Class amenities for Suite passengers, which means a higher level of service and benefits.