I spent 7 nights in a 172-square-foot room on one of the world's largest cruise ships. Take a look inside my cabin

29 Aug 2023
Calista Kiper

Last month, I booked a 7-night cruise on Wonder of the Seas. At the time, it was the largest cruise ship in the world, but the title has since been replaced by Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas.

For the length of the cruise, my sister and I stayed in a 172-square-foot inside cabin

I chose a guarantee stateroom about one month before the cruise, ensuring a cheaper price but giving up the ability to choose our exact room. The total price was $2674.76, about $382 per night for two people for a week.

As I planned for my cruise, I saw that we had been assigned room number 7112, a windowless inside cabin at the very forward part of the ship. 

Although the room was small, we thought it was just spacious enough for all our needs. It also felt clean and modern. 

Directly facing the door, the room held two beds, separated per our request. Next to each bed was a small nightstand with a lamp, a charging station, and two selves at the bottom. 

We found that this bedside charging station was enough for all our electronics—I brought two power strips, but we never used them.

I used the shelves for my nighttime snacks but wished that the nightstand had just a little more space on top: it was barely wide enough to hold my water bottle and phone at the same time.

My sister took the left bed, which had a phone on top of the nightstand. She was able to shove it into one of the shelves for some more table space.

In front of the left bed was a small armchair in the corner, where my sister kept most of her items, and, opposite that, a vanity and dresser.

The vanity had a comfy chair and a large mirror with a bright ring light, which we appreciated for our makeup and hair needs. 

The dresser beside the vanity provided counter space as well as five drawers, which I used for all the items I didn’t keep inside my suitcase.

We discovered that the TV above the dresser could be pulled out of its position in the wall to face the bed, a convenient way to save space until we needed it. 

The TV had only a few channels by Royal Caribbean—such as channel 7, which provided departure information on the last day. I was able to use Chromecast, however, to stream from my phone to the TV when we wanted to watch our favorite shows. 

My sister and I found that the closet next to the dresser also had plenty of storage space. We didn’t even use all the shelves inside the closet, although we did use all the hanging space for our jackets and dresses.

A safe was located inside the closet, but it was too small for my laptop, and I didn’t have any other valuables I wanted to store in there.

All the cabin’s lights were located next to the bathroom door. The cabin had a card power switch, which needed a card inside it to turn on the electricity. I’ve noticed this before in hotel rooms—apparently, it serves to save energy.

On our first day, a card was already placed there, but I noticed it was gone the next day our stateroom attendant, Merlin, came. When I asked Merlin about it, she gave us a dummy card to keep. I knew that we would forget our SeaPasses if we left them in there!

Before my trip, I saw people write that they needed a nightlight for the dark room. But the bathroom light underneath the other switches had a small glow that emitted when the light was switched off. This served to guide us to the bathroom in the dark and also to easily inform us if the light was still on. 

Everyone has different tastes, but I found that this bathroom light was all the nighttime guide I needed. 

Much like the room, the bathroom was small but functional. The clear shower door opened the space, and three large shelves provided all the needed storage. Above the sink, a blue flower pattern livened up the space. 

As someone who loves my long, hot showers, I can confidently say the water pressure and temperature were perfect and adjustable. We also appreciated the shower’s built-in clothesline to dry our swimsuits. 

I wasn’t able to find a single outlet inside the bathroom (only a “shaver’s only” socket), so I did have to use the hair dryer in front of the vanity. This was definitely inconvenient when I was trying to get ready without waking up my roommate.

Before the sailing, I read online that many people disliked the provided hand soap and 2-in-1 shower soap. I had no problems with the hand soap for washing my hands, but I did opt to use my own body soap during the trip. 

Our stateroom attendant, Merlin, was wonderful and cleaned the room every day, quickly replacing anything we needed. 

We also ordered the complimentary room service breakfast on two out of the seven mornings, and while it was convenient to have breakfast in bed, I struggled to find enough table and dresser space for all our food. 

One aspect of inside cabins people often mention is the lack of windows. As someone who loves natural light, I did find myself spending time outside of the cabin to get some sun. 

But when we were ready to go to sleep, I appreciated the pitch-black room. I slept so soundly in the dark that I had to start setting alarms to make myself wake up at all! 

Before my cruise, I wasn’t sure if I would experience any seasickness, but when I saw we were located at the very front of the ship, I knew to prepare ahead.

Most people try to avoid cabins at the very front or back of the ship, as those locations can leave you more susceptible to sea seasickness. And after my experience in this cabin, I could see why. 

Read moreThe 5 best cabin locations on a cruise ship

As soon as the ship set sail, I started feeling nauseous and unsteady. The small cabin felt like it was rocking dramatically, leaving me dizzy. While Dramamine helped, I always felt best when I got out of the room and headed midship. 

Loud noises were another unexpected disadvantage from the cabin’s location. We heard loud bangs and clangs most hours of the night and day, especially when the sailing was more windy. 

Although my sister and I could never quite tell what was making those noises, we assumed it was a combination of the waves, the lifeboats, and the ship’s anchor. 

Thankfully, I am a sound sleeper, but cruisers who are more sensitive to nighttime noise may want to avoid such a forward room.

In the end, my sister and I were active enough around the ship that we didn’t mind the smaller room, and we appreciated having such a dark spot to sleep in. I recommend this stateroom to anyone who can sleep soundly and plans to be out of their cabin for most of the day. 

Calista Kiper graduated from Wheaton College, IL, with a B.A. in English Writing. 

Growing up traveling around the world, she developed a passion for diversity and cross-cultural communication. From her first cruise on Wonder of the Seas, she has delighted in the intersection between travel, diversity, and writing in the cruising world.

Calista spends her free time reading, cooking, and researching the latest human-interest stories. 

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