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I went on a 7-night Alaska cruise and stayed in a windowless cabin for $1,900. Here's what our 166-square-foot room was like.

10 May 2024
Elizabeth Wright

Having wanted to cross Alaska off my bucket list for a while, I booked a 7-night cruise aboard Quantum of the Seas sailing roundtrip from Seattle to the Last Frontier. 


18 of my 21 cruises have been to The Caribbean and Bahamas, so I was looking forward to exploring Alaska's rugged wilderness, even if I would be staying in the cheapest cabin onboard. 

With virtual balcony cabins first debuting on Quantum of the Seas, I was hopeful that I'd be able to experience some of Alaska's beauty from the comfort of my stateroom while allotting more money to add-ons like specialty dining and short excursions. 


In total, the fare came out to be $1,894.30 for my dad and me, including gratuities. Overall, I thought that was a fantastic deal for an Alaska cruise, despite it being at the beginning of the season. As neither of us had ever sailed on a Quantum Class ship, we were looking forward to this new experience together. 

The 166-square-foot stateroom was located on Deck 13 at the front of the ship. It was a bit difficult to find, as the hallway leading to the interior cabins was on the port side of the ship; however, the signs seemed to indicate that it was on the starboard side. 


Moreover, upon arrival, I was a bit disappointed to learn that we had been assigned a connecting stateroom. If you don't know the party in the adjoining room, it's always a gamble, as they can either be pleasant or obnoxious. 

The cabin was pretty noisy at times, from the creaking of the ship to what I believe was the television in the neighboring stateroom. One morning, I was awoken around 6:00am. In the end, however, it was a blessing in disguise, as I was able to take in some amazing views that I might have otherwise missed. 


Having launched in 2014, Quantum of the Seas is a newer ship, albeit not the newest. When the ship debuted, she was billed as the world's first "smart ship." 

In addition to features like the Bionic Bar and North Star observation capsule, modern technology was integrated into the cabin. You, for instance, have to inset your SeaPass card into a slot near the door to turn on the lights. 


With the bathroom found immediately to the right of the cabin's entrance, the vanity and dresser were located on the left past the connecting door. The desk was large enough, with five different charging options including two American plugs, two USB ports, and a single European outlet. 

I appreciated the small cubbies, too, which helped keep all of our cords organized throughout the week. However, I wish the ring light around the mirror was brighter. 


Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the vanity area was the kettle. I've stayed in interior staterooms on ships as new as Symphony of the Seas and have never seen one in my cabin before! 

Though I'm not a huge tea drinker (I prefer a strong cup of coffee!), this is certainly advantageous for those who want to warm up with a cup of tea after spending the day in Alaska's chilly climate. 


Underneath the kettle was a drawer that housed the hairdryer, as well as a single box of tissues. 

It was spacious enough to hold personal belongings, too, and this is where my dad and I kept our medications. 


The mini-fridge worked exceptionally well, keeping our Crown & Anchor welcome waters almost as cold as my refrigerator at home! 

The two adjustable shelves ensure that there's room to store other beverages, whether it's a bottle of wine or a pack of soda. 


The dresser's four drawers proved large enough to store some of our bulkier items and undergarments that we couldn't hang. 

Between the dresser and closet, we have plenty of storage for all our clothing. In fact, I don't think we would have struggled to comfortably organize everything if there was a third passenger in our cabin. 


My opinion, however, would change if it weren't for the two cabinets above the bed. 

These went unused during our cruise because of the other storage options that were a bit more accessible, but they could ease an overpacker's worries, especially if sailing with more than one other guest. 


As someone who prefers vacations to warmer climates, I definitely struggled to pack for my Alaska cruise. While I could say that I just wanted to be prepared, I think my checked suitcase (that came in at 47 pounds) and additional carry-on were a bit overboard. I didn't wear half of the sweaters that I brought! 

My dad, somehow, managed to bring a single carry-on suitcase and small duffle bag. At the airport, however, he did ask to throw a few articles of clothing into my luggage, as he figured I'd have some extra room, albeit not a lot! 


Beside the wardrobe was a single chair. Though I much prefer staterooms with a couch, it's always nice to have another seating option, so you aren't restricted to sitting on your bed during the day after returning from port. 

In reality, the chair became our go-to spot for throwing our coats and sweatshirts when we got back to our stateroom. 


When we arrived, the beds were placed together even though I requested for them to be separated. It was easy to fix, though. I scanned a QR code left in our cabin meant for housekeeping requests, and they were separated by the time we returned to the stateroom after enjoying some of the evening entertainment. 

Having the beds separated made the cabin feel a little more spacious, as it opened up a walkway in the center of the room. Plus, it would have been easier to utilize the overhead cabinets had we needed to. 


I found it a bit strange that there was only one outlet beside the bed. 

While I'm thankful that I was able to plug my phone in at night, there wasn't one on my dad's side, and he did not bring a cable long enough to reach from the vanity. 


There was nothing too surprising about the bathroom. It was a standard Royal Caribbean bathroom that featured the same amenities as other ships, including the body wash/shampoo hybrid. 

It had a darker aesthetic that complemented the deep blue hues present in the stateroom. However, it also felt bright and modern. 


I never struggle with storage in the bathroom because of my hanging toiletries organizer. As someone who uses more products than they probably need to, the bathroom would've felt more cluttered had I not brought it. 

My dad had enough space for his toiletries and cosmetics, and there was still an empty shelf for me to store my make-up bag! 


Whenever I cruise, I'm always hopeful that there'll be two shelves in the shower; however, that's rarely the case. Though minor, I feel it helps keep everything a tad more organized, and passengers aren't left having to swap out their products— from face wash to shampoo and conditioner, shaving cream, etc. 

Moreover, I typically chuckle whenever I see a handle in a cruise ship bathroom; however, the first day of our 7-night cruise was extremely rocky. I'm sure someone made use of it when getting ready that morning!


After sailing on Carnival Elation, I appreciate a clean showerhead more than usual. The one onboard Quantum of the Seas passed the test! 

Overall, the shower pressure was pretty average. I've had better and worse on a cruise ship; however, it was stronger than my shower at home, though that isn't too hard to beat. 


The most unique aspect of the cabin, of course, was the 80-inch virtual balcony. The floor-to-ceiling LED screen broadcasted real-time views of the ocean and ports of call into our cabin. And while you're supposed to be able to turn it on and off, we had some issues with the remote. 

Personally, I think calling it a virtual window is more accurate, as part of the appeal of a true balcony is being able to step outside. 


Even though nothing compares to a true balcony, the virtual balcony was a nice feature to have on an Alaska cruise— rather than leaving the stateroom to see what the weather was like, I could simply look at the screen to get an idea of whether it was super rainy or not! 

Overall, I enjoyed my virtual balcony stateroom onboard Quantum of the Seas. It was clean and outfitted with all the amenities I needed for a comfortable 7-night stay. 


Next time, however, I think I'd splurge on an actual balcony for a cruise to Alaska, or at least choose to pay for a stateroom that wasn't at the front of the ship. Honestly, a balcony would likely be a non-negotiable for a one-way sailing with more scenic cruising. 

Though my dad and I enjoyed our morning sailing through Endicott Arm in the Solarium, we would have preferred taking in the sights from a balcony, rather than crowding open windows for photographs. I was surprised at how rude some passengers were to others taking pictures in a public space! 


When it comes to the Caribbean, I don't mind saving money on an inside cabin, as I usually spend a lot of time lounging by the pool. There's not too much to look at either, though there's no denying the beauty of the deep blue sea. 

Moreover, there was more downtime than I had anticipated on my Alaska cruise, and I would have enjoyed sitting on a personal verandah to take in the sights.

Elizabeth graduated from New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute with her M.A. in Journalism in May 2023. Growing up, she had the privilege of traveling frequently with her family and fell in love with cruising after sailing on the Oasis of the Seas her freshman year of high school. She wanted to pursue a career that highlighted her passion for travel and strengths as a writer. 

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