This is a big question for many passengers and no matter how long you spend weighing up the pros and cons of each of them, it will almost certainly still come down to personal preference and cost.
Deciding between an inside or an outside stateroom can often be most difficult for people trying a cruise for the first time. After all, deciding on your accommodation on a ship is very different from deciding on your accommodation when booking a land and hotel based holiday.
Inside cabins always offer the best value on board as they are the entry level staterooms. This is not to say though that these cabins are any different to outside cabins. The layout, design and amenities are all the same, the only difference is that where you have a window or balcony in an outside cabin, you will have a mirror in an inside cabin.
The trick to deciding on this often revolves around how much time you think you will spend in the cabin when you’re on board. Hence why we feel it is easier for passengers that have cruised before to decide on this as they are then making an informed decision.
When booking for the first time, you rely on the company you are booking with to ensure that you are fully in the know and given the best understanding possible of what each level of accommodation entails.
If you think that when on board you will spend the majority of your time out and about, enjoying the decks and entertainment or even exploring ashore, then an inside stateroom could be just the thing for you. For many people on board, their cabin becomes a simple factor in their day, just used for getting changed and sleeping. If this is the case then inside cabins definitely prove value for money.
Inside staterooms are great for value but this is not to say that outside staterooms should be ruled out. Having had experiences of both inside and outside cabins, I can safely say that there are pros and cons to both. Outside cabins give you the pleasant and always welcome benefit of natural light into the cabin. Therefore you can see what the weather is like outside and also enjoy the view when cruising some of the world’s most exciting destinations. They are more expensive but that’s because they offer something inside cabins cannot.
It’s still exactly the same style cabin and will not affect anything else on your holiday, just your ability to enjoy a view out to sea and when in port. Of course the next step up is the choice of a balcony stateroom. This is the where the plot thickens. These cabins are usually slightly larger in size and you have the luxury of being able to draw back the curtains in the morning, open the sliding door and wander out on your own private veranda to enjoy a morning coffee. Sound good? Well, truth is, it really is!
It’s one of the most relaxing and enjoyable experiences I could ever recommend to be able to have your own personal space accompanied by the tranquillity of the sea. There’s something special about hearing the waves subtly lap against the ship. As nice as it is, however, it comes with a higher price tag and with that in mind you then come back to the question, “do we really need it?” It’s answering this question that becomes the hard part and of course often comes down to which instinct is stronger, that of “desire” or “necessity”.
The truth of the matter is that there is no right or wrong answer to this debate. As stated, it’s all down to the individual and deciding for yourself what’s right for you. A good travel agent can only paint a picture for you, they cannot make the decision. Some paint better pictures than others but at the end of the day the choice will undoubtedly come down to you.
The weather can also play a big part in your decision when booking your cruise along with the destinations you will be visiting but will again be influenced entirely by personal preferences. For example if you’re looking to sail off to the sunshine of the Mediterranean or Caribbean, you may think, “When I’m not off the ship exploring, I’m going to spend most of my time around the pool and getting myself a tan.” In that case an inside cabin would be a good choice as after all, what’s the point in spending more money on a higher grade of accommodation if you’re never going to be in it to enjoy it.
Alternatively another person may think along the lines of “if the suns out, I want to have the option of sitting on my own private balcony and reading a good book in complete peace, away from it all.” If this is more like you then an outside cabin or balcony would be a good decision.
The weather and destination debate also applies to destinations such as the Norwegian Fjords. Offering some of the most spectacular views on earth, do you really want to go all that way and not be able to see it? Or are you happy to get up and go, head up to the top deck and enjoy the views from there. This is all about you and how you feel.
The main factor you need to contemplate is cost. Are you going to benefit most from saving a little money and therefore having more money to spend on board or are you looking to splash out and enjoy the luxury of an outside or balcony? Once the decision on how much you are looking to spend is made, then the rest of it, like a domino effect, will begin to fall into place. With the right travel agent, you’ll find it a lot easier to find your perfect holiday and decisions like this will be a pleasurable experience, not a chore. After all, your booking a holiday, enjoy it!