So, you talked your friends, family, group or organization into a trying a Carnival Cruise Line sailing vacation. Great. Odds are everyone will have a good time if you choose the right ship, date, and itinerary. One other choice of particular importance: your stateroom. Which to choose? While there may be a daunting list of Carnival staterooms, we can narrow that down for you.
Carnival Staterooms Explained – Basic Categories
First to know, there are three basic kinds of Carnival staterooms: Inside, Oceanview and Balcony.
Inside staterooms will have beds (aka berths) for at least two people and as many as five. Some cruise lines have a limited number of ‘solo staterooms designed for one passenger’. Inside staterooms also have
- A Private Bathroom
- Storage Closet
- Two Twin beds, convertible to a queen size bed
- A Desk
- A Sofa or Chair
- A TV
Carnival Staterooms Explained – The Differences
Inside staterooms will probably be the least expensive on the ship and are a solid choice for late sleepers: with the stateroom lights turned off it is totally dark in there.
Oceanview staterooms will have all of the above plus a porthole or picture window with a view of the ocean. That’s helpful for those who just want to see what is outside of the ship with their own eyes. Your stateroom television will probably have a bow cam on the front and an aft cam on the back that will also provide that information.
Balcony staterooms will have all of the above as well as a door leading to an exterior space, normally not counted but listed separately in the total square footage of the accommodations.
That’s significant because all three (inside, oceanview & balcony) are around 185 square feet in size. Exception: staterooms with balconies that are also suite level which are larger and more expensive, some far more. We’re not going to talk about those because few new cruise travelers start there. Still, many booking their first cruise do start with more than two passengers.
Carnival Staterooms Explained – Family Options
When it comes to cost, like other cruise lines , Carnival discounts the price of the third or more guests in a stateroom, making cruise travel an affordable family travel option. Expect to pay less, often far less per person for staterooms that will accommodate more than two passengers.
Important to know: there will still be two standard twin beds for the first two people in the stateroom. It will still be 185 square feet. The third/fourth/fifth passengers will be sleeping on a sofabed, rollaway bed or upper berth which is like a bunk bed. Those work fine for children but full size (or larger) adults may have trouble fitting into that space. This is not something you want to find out when it is time to go to sleep on the first night. Travelers who do not fit comfortably into a telephone booth: this is not the way to go.
Carnival Staterooms Explained – New Ships Bring More Choice
Carnival Cruise Line’s newer ships will have more stateroom configurations to choose from. New Carnival Vista class ships, for example, break down inside, oceanview and balcony further.
Interior staterooms include location-specific choices in exclusive Cloud 9 Spa, Havana and Family Harbor areas of the ship.
Oceanview staterooms many come with a full view of the ocean through the porthole or picture window already mentioned. The less expensive option is an ‘obstructed view” with which that same full view of the ocean mentioned above is somehow obscured. Oceanview staterooms are available in the Cloud 9 Spa, Family Harbor and other areas of the ship.
Balcony stateroom categories are even more plentiful and good reason to work with someone who knows what they are doing to make an appropriate choice.
Premium Balconies will come with a higher price, have bonus amenities and a more desirable location.
There is a lot more to choosing a stateroom which has to do with the number of people you are traveling with, budget, your comfort level living in a small space with other people and more. Complicating matters: your needs will change over time. The balcony you thought you had to have might not be all that important if all your time was spent out of it, having the time of your life. That’s ok too.
Chris Owen shares frank, inside information about cruise vacations on ChrisCruises.com