So you’ve decided that you want to take a Disney Cruise, you’ve even decided which itinerary to sail. Now what? It is time to choose your stateroom!
Disney Cruise Line ships have many categories but they fall into a few basic stateroom types – Inside, Ocean View, Verandah, Concierge, and Suites. Disney Cruise Line staterooms categories have both a number and a letter. The number corresponds to the type of stateroom (Inside, Ocean View, etc.) and the letter corresponds to the location on the ship (which deck, is the room located forward, after or mid-ship, etc.). Okay, that was a lot of new words if you have never cruised before… what do they all mean?
Disney Cruise Line Stateroom Terms:
Inside Stateroom – An Inside Stateroom is a room located in the interior of the ship. This means that the room gets no natural light! There are no windows. Inside Staterooms on the Dream Class ships (Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy) have “Magical” portholes that offer a digital feed of an exterior view. This gives the illusion of a window but does not offer any natural light.
Oceanview Stateroom – Oceanview Staterooms have either two small or one large porthole window(s). These windows do provide natural light. However, the windows do not open so do not provide any fresh air.
Verandah Stateroom – Verandah Staterooms have a sliding glass door that leads to an open or partially enclosed verandah. (Also known as a balcony!) This gives guests the chance to get both plenty of natural light as well as fresh air on a private verandah.
Concierge Staterooms and Suites – Concierge level staterooms and suites receive extra perks! In addition to the services of the shore side concierge team with making arrangements prior to your cruise, while onboard guests have access to a dedicated concierge team, access to the concierge lounge, priority boarding and disembarkation, and more.
Forward – Forward staterooms are located in the front of the ship.
Mid-Ship – As you could probably guess, mid-ship staterooms are located in the middle section of the ship.
Aft – Aft staterooms are located towards the back of the ship.
Port – Port staterooms are located on the left hand side of the ship.
Starboard – Starboard staterooms are located on the right hand side of the ship.
Split bath – Most staterooms onboard Disney Cruise Line have a unique bathroom design. The “split bath” has one room with a sink and commode, and the other room has the shower/tub and a second sink.There are a few Inside and Oceanview staterooms that have standard baths so be sure to read the description carefully!
How Many Guests Will Be Sailing?
Disney Cruise Line offers staterooms that sleep three, four, and five guests. In fact, Disney Cruise Line is one of the few cruise lines to offer Ocean View and Verandah Staterooms that sleep up to five people! (On many cruise lines, only the Suites sleep five!)
All staterooms have a queen bed plus some combination of the following – a sofa that flips over to become a twin, a twin bunk that pulls down from the ceiling, and a twin size murphy-style bed that pulls down from the wall. It is important to not that there is only one queen bed in the room! All other beds are single sleepers. (With the exception of some Suites which may have more than one queen bed.) Unlike on most other cruise lines, the queen bed does NOT split into two twin beds.
Looking for a little more room? You can opt to book two connecting staterooms! Leave the interior door open to give the room the feeling of even more space. If you book connecting verandah staterooms, even the partition between the verandahs opens!
How badly do you need natural light or fresh air?
This comes down to personal preference. Some guests enjoy the coziness of an Inside Stateroom or feel that they will be in the room so rarely that having a view is not important. Other guests – like myself – truly enjoy being in their room or out on the verandah. (DPP Tip: If you are prone to motion sickness, consider investing in a verandah stateroom. Fresh air and being able to see the horizon can help alleviate the symptoms!)
I have cruised in all three types of staterooms and here is what I know for sure – I would rather be in any of them than back on land! But for my money, a verandah stateroom is worth every penny because I truly use the verandah. Whether it is enjoying my coffee while watching the sunrise, or catching a glimpse of whales off the coast of Canada (that happened!), the verandah is my favorite place to hang out.
Location, Location, Location
You decided on the type of stateroom you want to book. But where on the ship do you want to be? The “higher decks are better” myth is a holdover from the transatlantic crossings of old, when the steerage class was located in the bottom of the ship. While there are some possible perks to being higher in an Ocean View or Verandah stateroom (better view), an Inside Stateroom on Deck 2 is no different than an Inside Stateroom on Deck 10.
“But I’ve heard that staterooms located mid-ship and on a low deck experience less movement!” This is again a bit of a holdover from the days when cruise ships were much smaller. How guests experience movement is very individual. Some people are simply more prone to notice movement than others! So I would never dispute a guest who swears they experienced more or less movement in a particular stateroom. But with modern cruise ship design and stabilizer technology, there is just not much perceptible difference in normal seas from one stateroom to the next.
Where the difference lies is in what is above, below, and on either side of you. Located directly below the pool deck? Expect to notice some noise during deck parties! Located above the theaters or dance clubs? Again, most of the day this isn’t an issue but during shows or at night, you may hear some noise. (I will say that Disney Cruise Line does a FANTASTIC job soundproofing their ships. But everyone has a different sensitivity to noise so your mileage may vary.)
Are There Any Staterooms To Avoid?
Yes! There are some staterooms to avoid if possible. These include staterooms with an obstructed view, or location right on an elevator lobby. Your Travel Agent can help you choose a fantastic stateroom or websites such as Cruise Critic post reviews of staterooms to help you choose with confidence.
As far as I am concerned, even the worst stateroom onboard a Disney cruise is still better than being at home. Hopefully these tips can help you to choose the perfect stateroom for your family!
Coming soon… What to expect on Embarkation Day (aka the first day of your cruise!)
I enjoyed this article. We have always had a verandah stateroom, because we wanted the ability to be outside viewing the sites rather than having to go to an upper deck to do so. In our opinion it is well worth the extra few hundred dollars!
I agree Tim! I think having a verandah is especially important for cruises such as Alaska, when the upper decks can get crowded with guests trying to see everything.