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Toilet paper: The unspoken downside of going on a cruise ship

20 Apr 2024

When you think about a cruise vacation, you have images in your mind of sun soaked days in beautiful places that's a dream getaway, except for one oddly overlooked aspect: the toilet paper. 

There’s one thing most people hate about cruise ships: the toilet paper.

Anyone who’s been on a cruise before has also been victimized by the thin, sandpaper-like material in the bathroom that passes for toilet paper.

Rather than a soft double-ply, or a cheap single-ply tissue, the toilet paper resembles something like half-ply tissue paper.

Read more: 22 unpleasant cruise ship problems you aren't prepared for

Without going into too much detail, you can imagine that this type of paper would leave guests feeling uncomfortable. 

However, this choice of toilet paper is completely intentional, and it’s not just to save money.

There are good reasons as to why Royal Caribbean (and most other cruise lines) uses such scratchy, thin tissue.

Why is the cruise ship toilet paper so thin?

Cruise ships feel like a self-contained city, with cabins, bathrooms, dining, activities, and pools all onboard. But they’re still essentially an ecosystem that floats on water.

Because of this, they have to be mindful of the environment around them and the storage space onboard. 

Odyssey of the Seas interior cabin bathroom

Cruise ships have to use a thin toilet paper that is suitable for RV, portable toilet, or marine use. It’s specifically designed to flush easily and quickly break down in the holding tanks, preventing any nasty clogs.

Marine sewer systems are intricate, and so unable to process the thicker, plushier toilet paper you’re used to at home.

Cruise ship toilets can easily get clogged

Voyager of the Seas cabin bathroom

Because cruise ships are so contained, the sewage pipes are smaller and more susceptible to blockages. 

Any small clog could lead to a blockage of an entire pipe.

Not only that, but the toilets are also all connected. This means that if one guest’s toilet is blocked up, all the other guests will suffer.

Usually, the ship’s plumber will have to manually remove the blockage from the pipes.

Clogged plumbing is a common problem on cruises, and it's why crew members and signage repeatedly remind guests about what they can't flush, such as feminine hygiene items, tissues, or wipes. 

The only thing that should be going down the toilet is your business and that thin, scratchy toilet paper!

Can you pack your own toilet paper?


You might be tempted to bring your own toilet paper or flushable wipes onboard as a workaround to the problem.

However, this is not a good idea.

Remember, the plumbing on cruise ships is very sensitive. Anything other than marine-grade toilet paper could clog up the pipes.


Some guests have even reported that they had their personal rolls of toilet paper confiscated as they were boarding on embarkation day.

If you really don’t want to rely on the cruise ship’s toilet paper, but also don’t want to throw away wipes and tissues in the trash, you could also try a bidet.

Some suites have a bidet, but there's only a handful of cabins with this feature.

Where does the poop go when you flush?


You might be wondering where the contents go when you finish using that see-through toilet paper and flush the toilet.

All wastewater—including your poop and shower water—goes into a water-treatment system onboard.

None of it will go overboard until it is run through this treatment plant. This advanced treatment system has been rated above the US federal standard for purified water.

The wastewater purification plant onboard splits the water into three categories: grey water, black water, and bilge water.


Grey water is shower and tap water from sinks, laundries, and drains.

Black water is what comes from food waste and toilets.

And bilge water is the oils that are released from the engine compartments at the bottom of the ship.

Blackwater (that’s the human waste division) will go through three processes: aeration, filtration, and disinfection.

Icon of the Seas in the ocean

First, a bioreactor aeration chamber breaks down the organic contaminants with bacteria that can dissolve the black water.

Next, the sewage goes into a membrane filtration system that filters all impurities. Dense substances will float to the bottom in the settlement chamber, while water floats to the top.

The leftover sludge at the bottom is repeatedly cycled until the system is left with water and any remaining sludge is incinerated.

Lastly, the clean sewage (that leftover water) enters a disinfection chamber where any remaining pathogens are sterilized. UV radiation purifies any remaining bacteria, leaving clean and safe water that is left in a storage tank until it can be discharged.

Ocean water

This water really is fresh! It’s considered almost tap-water quality.

Once the cruise ship is far enough away from land to meet local and international regulations, they can discharge the water.

However, this does depend on the location of the ship, as regulations vary, and some areas even prohibit discharging.

The purified sewage water and the grey water are discharged far out to sea, and don’t contain any harmful bacteria.

Read more: Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ships will convert waste to energy

Choosing the Quietest Cabins on Royal Caribbean

12 Apr 2024

Royal Caribbean allows you to choose your cabin location, so how do you pick the quietest one?

How to find a quiet cabin

If you’re a light sleeper, you may need to find cabins that have the least amount of noise around them.

A noisy cabin makes for an unpleasant, inconvenient cruise.

You may have small children or light sleepers in your party who can be woken up by the slightest sound. 

Or you could enjoy taking naps, or just want an undisturbed environment on your cruise.


Read more: Chill spots to get away from the crowd on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship

The best way to ensure this is to pick a savvy stateroom location. 

If you know what to look for, you can choose the best cabin for your needs by carefully selecting the location and looking through deck plans.

This guide provides our best tips for selecting a cabin location that will offer a peaceful, quiet environment for your cruise vacation.

Analyze the ship’s deck plans

Room booking on website

When guests (or travel agents) book a cruise without Royal Caribbean, they are given the option to select their own specific cabin location.

By picking this option, and selecting your stateroom carefully, you can ensure that you choose the quietest room available.

You’ll start by picking a particular room type, whether you’re looking for a suite, balcony, oceanview cabin, or a windowless interior.

Within this category, you’ll have the option to select the price you’d prefer.

Then, you can select the location (forward, mid-ship, or aft) and the particular deck you’d like to stay on.

Then, the website will display a deck plan and allow you to choose the exact stateroom you’d prefer.

Before you choose one, look through the ship’s deck plans to strategically pick out the location.

odyssey of the seas interior cabin deck plan

Make sure that you look through each individual plan for each ship because it’s also important to look at the decks above and below your potential cabin.

While looking through the deck plans, you can find the particular cabin number and field any research noise concerns before you choose your stateroom.

Read more: Your really dumb cruise ship cabin questions answered

Avoid high-traffic areas like the Royal Promenade


While looking through cabin location choices, make sure that you avoid areas that receive high traffic—especially at night.

Crowded areas, like the Royal Promenade or Esplanade, the dining rooms, entertainment venues, the night clubs, comedy clubs, the kitchen, and the casino, will consistently be noisy.

These areas fill up with guests throughout the day and even late into the night. 

Casino on Royal Caribbean

A cruise ship’s schedule is often non-stop, with trivia games in the day, dance parties late into the day, and restaurants open all day long. 

Any cabins near these high-traffic locations will be subject to the noises of live music, pounding feet, loud voices, and cruisers having fun.

If you’re looking for a quieter cabin—especially if you’re a light sleeper or someone who likes to go to bed early—you don’t want to book a cabin close to these areas. Don’t forget to check the decks above and below your potential cabin.

Make sure you’re not located below the pool

Don’t just look at the deck the stateroom is on when you’re analyzing deck plans, also check what’s above and below that deck.

In particular, ensure you’re not choosing a cabin below the lido (aka the pool deck). 

The location of the pool deck varies depending on the ship, so you’ll want to verify where it is through the deck plans.

Handwashing stations

A cabin directly below the pool deck could be subject to noises like music and splashing all day long. Not only are there ample activities and bars on the pool deck, but Royal Caribbean also often puts the Windjammer close by.

The Windjammer is a complimentary buffet that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so it ends up hosting many cruisers all throughout the day. 

A cabin close to this location would not get much peace and quiet.

Stay towards the back of the ship

On my first cruise on Wonder of the Seas, I stayed in a forward cabin at the bow of the ship. 

Although I’m usually a deep sleeper, I was shocked awake multiple times by a loud clanging, metallic noise. 

Read more: Wonder of the Seas Cabins to Avoid

At first, I wondered if the ship was crashing into something!

However, I later found out that we were hearing the noise of the anchor chains running across the deck.

Forward cabins are often subject to noise from the anchor, which can be quite a shock when you hear it for the first time. Keep in mind this only happens in tender ports, which are not very common for a Royal Caribbean ship.

To avoid experiencing this terrifying early morning sound, look for cabins that are closer to the middle and the stern of the ship.

Check that your cabin is further away from elevators

If you’ve ever used an elevator on a cruise ship, you understand how crowded they can get.

Royal Caribbean ships run from 12 to 20 decks high, with activities packed on every deck.

And on a cruise vacation where guests are there to relax, no one really feels like taking the stairs.

Read more: Why you should skip the elevator on your cruise

Radiance Class elevators

Safe to say, elevators get a lot of traffic on board, and they make beeps and chimes every time they arrive and depart.

Staying close to an elevator could bring a lot of noise to your cabin, as people talk while walking to and fro, doors open and close, and the elevator chimes.  

Especially at night, you will find that drunk cruisers don’t make their way to their staterooms very quietly!

Being away from areas like elevators ensures that you won’t get the late-night noises of the club brought to you.

Look for staterooms surrounded by other guest cabins

In general, the quietest stateroom locations will be ones with other guest cabins above, below, beside them, and across the hallway.

The walls are thick between staterooms, and you’re less likely to hear the noises of people getting ready or going to sleep.

The quietest locations are usually the ones next to other guests looking for a quiet room. 


After all, there’s usually less traffic between staterooms than inside the casino, or near a dining venue. 

Read more: Royal Caribbean cabins for 5 or more people

Don’t get a connecting cabin

Connecting door

One caveat to this previous tip is that you don’t want to get a cabin with connecting doors, especially if you’re not going to use it.

If you don’t need a cabin that connects to another guest’s, try to avoid booking one.

These rooms have a door that connects between them, usually with a thinner material than the walls.

Connecting balconies

Even if you keep the door closed and locked for the length of your cruise, the door can still let noise through and you’re likely to hear the guests in the other room.

The party staying in that adjourning room is out of your control, and you never know if they’ll be a loud group.

For your own privacy, it’s better to stay in an individual cabin.

Oceanview staterooms on Royal Caribbean guide

11 Apr 2024

No matter which Royal Caribbean ship you cruise on, you will have many cabin categories to choose from.

From sprawling, multi-level suites to small, windowless inside cabins, Royal Caribbean provides options for every passenger.

Guests can choose their cabin category based on their budget, preferred location, amenities, views, or size.

When you book your cruise, you will choose which type of stateroom you prefer.

There are four main categories to choose from: inside cabins, oceanview cabins, balcony cabins, and suites.

Among these options, Royal Caribbean’s oceanview staterooms provide stunning views at an affordable price.

How do you know if an oceanview cabin is the right fit for you?

This guide will help you understand the different types of oceanview cabins, and their perks and amenities.

What is an oceanview stateroom?

Oceanview cabin

Every Royal Caribbean stateroom comes with a basic set of amenities that are included in your cruise fare.

This includes:

  • A bed that sleeps at least 2 people
  • Private bathroom and shower
  • Vanity desk and chair
  • Safe
  • Mini-fridge
  • Closet
  • Television
  • A dedicated stateroom attendant
  • Free cleanings once a day
  • Climate control
  • Hair dryer
  • Telephone

As the name suggests, an oceanview cabin adds the benefit of an outside view.

Balcony room on Wonder of the Seas

These types of cabins have a wide window or a porthole through which you get a panoramic view of the ship’s surroundings.

This allows guests to gaze out onto the ocean, shore, or landscapes the ship sails through, all from the comfort of their own room.

Not only does this window offer a clear view of the seaside, but it also provides natural lighting to the whole stateroom.

Like interior cabins, regular oceanview cabins can accommodate 2-4 guests per room.

If an interior cabin is the smallest, cheapest cabin category, an oceanview cabin is essentially the next step up.

It is an upgrade from the dark, windowless inside cabins, and a slight increase in cost.

Usually, they are slightly larger than interior cabins and about the same size as balcony cabins (without the extra area of a balcony).

Read more: Oceanview vs Balcony staterooms on a Royal Caribbean cruise


They span up to 354 square feet.

Before you book an oceanview cabin based on that difference in size, remember that it depends on the cruise ship.

You should look at the area of each cabin category on your ship before choosing.

There are also several sub-categories of oceanview staterooms that you should consider before booking one.

What are the types of oceanview staterooms?

Oceanview cabin

Royal Caribbean offers a variety of oceanview cabins, allowing guests to choose based on their preferences and budget. 

When choosing the right type for you, keep in mind where you want the stateroom to be located.

Cabins on higher decks will have a better view, while ones near the front or back of the ship may make you seasick. Also, locations near high-traffic areas will experience more noise.

You will also want to take into account the dimensions of the cabin and compare it to the size of your party. Some oceanview staterooms have extra space and sofa beds for additional guests.

And, of course, take a look at your budget for the cruise. 

The different categories of oceanview staterooms mean that you have several price points you can choose from.

Interior Oceanview

Virtual balcony staterooms have a clever technological hack that gives guests a view of the ocean.

These cabins are located on the inside of the ship, without any real windows. Instead, they feature a virtual balcony: a floor-to-ceiling HD screen that displays a real-time video feed.

While there are no actual windows in this cabin, the virtual balcony provides guests with a more budget-friendly way of viewing the sea.

Outside Oceanview Stateroom

Oceanview cabin

Oceanview staterooms on the outside walls of the ship feature real windows or portholes.

These provide unobstructed views of the ocean. 

These cabins vary in size and amenities, but all consistently offer that view of the sea.

Spacious Oceanview Stateroom

Voyager of the Seas oceanview cabin

Spacious oceanview cabins are similar to outside oceanview cabins, just with some extra space.

They make for a wider stateroom and may include an added living area with a sofa.

These spacious cabins still have the porthole or window that provides an ocean view.

Panoramic Oceanview Stateroom

Panoramic ocean window cabin

A Panoramic oceanview stateroom offers an even wider ocean view, without the prices of a balcony cabin.

A panoramic, wraparound window in the cabin stretches 76 inches high and 103-321 inches wide for a large window view.

This expansive window provides incredible views.

Family Oceanview Stateroom (Ultra Spacious)

The family oceanview stateroom has an even larger living space, sleeping up to six people.

It spans from 265 to 328 square feet and includes a king-size bed with bunk beds in a separate area.

There is also a living area with a sofa bed, also separated for tons of privacy. They usually have portholes for that ocean view, and some also include an extra bathroom.

To book this room, you usually need a minimum of five people in your party.

You should expect them to cost more than a standard oceanview cabin, but they generally sell out slower due to the size of the groups required.

However, these staterooms are usually located at the very front or the very back of the ship. This may be a major drawback because it can leave guests inside more susceptible to feeling the ship’s motion and getting seasick.

Read more: Royal Caribbean stateroom options for larger families

Why choose an oceanview stateroom?

Voyager of the Seas spacious ocean view

So what are the benefits of booking an oceanview cabin? 

This category is popular for many reasons, especially for guests who want an exterior view but don’t have the budget for a balcony cabin.

Often, there is little price difference between an interior and an oceanview stateroom, making the upgrade worth it.

Read more: Inside cabin vs. oceanview cabin: Are the differences worth an upgrade?

DCL porthole

The spectacular views are the most obvious benefit of an oceanview stateroom. Guests can wake up to the sunny sight of wide blue water or rest while witnessing a gorgeous golden sunset.

An ocean view also allows you to watch the ship sail live into a port—an exciting experience!

There’s something naturally relaxing about being near the ocean and seeing the sun, and having a window in your stateroom can enhance your cruise vacation.

Natural lighting is another major advantage. The human body responds to sunlight, and having access to natural light can help you retain your natural body clock, waking up when the sun rises and sleeping when the sun sets.

Balcony room on Serenade of the Seas

Seeing sunlight can also calm your nerves, and the ocean view helps ease motion sickness.

In an oceanview cabin, you get views that you would otherwise have to go out into public areas to see. Your oceanview stateroom will provide a private sanctuary where you can retreat and witness nature without being bothered by crowds of other passengers.

However, if your stateroom’s location on board is important to you, an oceanview cabin provides fewer options to choose from. 

Most outside cabins are balconies, so oceanview staterooms are usually found in less desirable locations, like lower desks, or the front and back of higher decks.

Royal Caribbean cabins for 5 or more people

02 Apr 2024

It's not always easy to go on a cruise if you have more than four people in your cabin.

Rooms for 5 or more people

Royal Caribbean creates great cruise experiences for the whole family, and makes it easy to plan a cruise for four people or less.  But what if you have a bigger group? 

For groups of five or more, more challenges can arise. 

You often cannot book one on the website but will have to call Royal Caribbean or ask your travel agent to take care of it.

Family on the swings in CocoCay

Whether you’re a family with many kids, a big friend group, or an extended relative family reunion, it’s natural to want to stay close to the group you’re traveling with.

Picking the right stateroom for your family involves choosing the right size, finding the best location, and ensuring that everyone is comfortable and has enough privacy. 

Your family’s cabin will become your home on the seas, so it’s important to find the best fit.


Not every cruise ship will have stateroom options available, but here are your best bets if you’re looking for a room that fits all of you.

Read more: Royal Caribbean will add new cruise ship cabin categories, including rear-facing and sunset balcony rooms

Family oceanview stateroom

Spacious oceanview cabin

For families who want to stay all together in one cabin, a family oceanview stateroom—also called the “ultra spacious ocean view” is a great, affordable option.

It has space for six people and requires a minimum of five people to book the room.

This stateroom ranges from 265 to 328 square feet of space. It features a king bed, with additional bunk beds in a separate area, and a living area with a sofa bed.

Voyager of the Seas oceanview cabin

The cabin also features an ocean view, usually through a window or a set of portholes. This brings in natural light and provides a window into the outside world.

However, a major drawback to this cabin is its location on the deck, which is usually all the way forward. 

Staterooms in the very front or back of the cruise ship are more subject to feeling the motion of the ship, which can cause seasickness.

Because a larger group is required to book this room, it won’t sell out quickly. It’s also one of the cheapest options for a group of five or more.

Available on: Oasis Class, Freedom Class, Voyager Class, Radiance Class, Vision Class

Family interior stateroom

Icon of the Seas interior cabin

The cheapest single-cabin option for five to six guests is the family interior or “spacious interior” stateroom.

It is windowless, with no ocean view, but can accommodate larger families.

Two twin beds can stay separated or convert to a Royal King, providing different options for bed configurations. 

Two Pullman beds pull out from the ceiling or fold down from the wall, leaving plenty of space in the room until the beds are needed.


A family interior stateroom also has a private bathroom and a sitting area with a sofa that converts into a double bed.

This room is a great choice for families who don’t need an ocean view or a balcony, want to save money, or are looking for a variety of bed configurations.

Available on: Oasis Class, Freedom Class, Vision Class

Family promenade view stateroom

Promenade cabin

Similar to the family oceanview stateroom, the family promenade stateroom—or, “spacious promenade view” offers a spacious cabin with a special view.

This stateroom is an interior room that looks out onto the Royal Promenade. 

It is spacious, spanning 327 square feet, and can accommodate up to six guests.

The stateroom features a set of twin beds that can convert to a larger bed, a sofa in the sitting area, and either bunk beds or Pullman beds for extra sleeping space.

Promenade view cabin

This stateroom has a better location, closer to the middle of the ship, and a unique view as it looks out onto the activity of the Royal Promenade.

However, one disadvantage is the large amount of noise that can come from the music, events, and crowds gathered below.

Available on: Freedom Class

Family Infinite Ocean View Balcony

Family infinite balcony

New categories on Icon of the Seas promise extra options for families and big groups.

The Family Infinite Oceanview Balcony is a new cabin on Icon of the Seas that combines an infinite balcony with additional space for families.

The stateroom is 285 square feet and sleeps 6 people. The convertible balcony spans 50 square feet.

Family infinite balcony split bathroom

Two twin beds can convert into a Royal King, and a separate alcove holds bunk beds for kids.

With families in mind, there are games inside the room and two televisions—so everyone gets their own remote.

The bathroom is also split into two compartments, so multiple guests can use it at the same time.

Available on: Icon of the Seas

Royal Loft Suite

Royal Loft Suite

If your group is willing to splurge on a suite, the Royal Loft Suite is a high-end, luxurious choice.

This suite boasts Star tier suite benefits, 560-580 square feet of space, and a large private balcony. 

Read more: Royal Caribbean suites guide & review

Royal Loft Suite second bedroom

The “loft” configuration means that there are two floors, allowing guests to spread out over the stateroom and give each other privacy.

This family space can sleep up to six guests, with two sets of twin beds that convert to a Royal King and one double sofa bed.

For families who need a lot of space, this huge suite is an expensive but worthwhile treat. 

Royal Loft suite on Icon

If you can afford it, a Royal Loft Suite is one of the best ways to stay with a lot of people without tripping over each other.

Available on: Oasis Class, Quantum Class, and Icon of the Seas

Ultimate Family Suite

Another splurge-worthy suite is the Ultimate Family Suite, only available on a select few ships. 

This is one of the few staterooms for huge groups and families, as it can sleep up to nine people.

This suite is part of the Star tier as well, boasting the highest level of Royal Caribbean suite benefits.

Read more: Guide to Icon of the Seas cabins and suites

Ultimate Family Townhouse

A king-sized bed, two twin beds that can convert to kings, four twin-sized bunk beds, and a double pull-out sofa bed ensure that everyone has ample choice at bedtime.

Video games, table tennis, Connect 4, and an in-room slide all provide entertainment right in the stateroom.

And the wide balcony features a private Jacuzzi! 


For large families who want to stay together and enjoy activities right in their own stateroom, the Ultimate Family Suite is an incredibly exciting option.

Available on: Symphony of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas, and Wonder of the Seas

Two staterooms

Harmony of the Seas interior cabin

If all else fails, you can always book two staterooms.

The cost of two separate staterooms can be cheaper than one large family stateroom. 

Not only that, but you also get the benefit of having two bathrooms.

This is also a bonus for groups of adults or families with older children because it provides separation and additional privacy.

Connecting door

Guests over 21 can have their own room, so just make sure that you’re booking at least one adult in each room.

Booking two rooms doesn’t mean you’ll be completely separated from your group, either. There are connecting staterooms, which have a door between them for easy flow. 

This is convenient to keep open during the day, essentially creating a multiple-room cabin with two adjoining rooms.

Available on: all Royal Caribbean ships

Ultimate Family Townhouse

Ultimate Family Townhouse

Royal Caribbean has added multiple new categories on Icon of the Seas that particularly cater to families.

The Ultimate Family Townhouse is the summation of suites onboard, feeling more like a townhouse than a cruise ship cabin.

With a view of the ocean and the Surfside neighborhood, this three-story suite can sleep 8 guests.

The room spans 1,772 square feet with two balconies. The balcony on level one is 410 square feet, while the balcony on level two is 90 square feet.

Two-bedroom spaces hold a king bed, two sets of bunk beds, and a double sofa bed.

The room features an impossible amount of games and activities for kids, including a slide that connects the second and main levels!

Available on: Icon of the Seas

5 reasons you'll regret downsizing to a smaller cruise cabin

30 Mar 2024

Cruise ships can accommodate a variety of different vacation preferences and travel budgets.

There’s no wrong choice of cruise cabin—it’s all about finding the one that best suits your needs.

Whether you end up staying in the most expensive suite or the cheapest interior cabin, you can still experience an amazing cruise vacation.

However, before you book, you’ll want to find out everything you can about which cabin suits you best.

Staying in a smaller cabin, such as an interior or oceanview stateroom, has the benefit of saving you money. 

You can tailor your cruise to fit your budget, spending those savings on add-ons like WiFi, shore excursions, or spa packages. 

Or you could save them to put towards your next cruise vacation!


But there are also disadvantages to booking the cheapest room.

If you’re still debating, here are some reasons you might regret opting to book a smaller, cheaper cabin.

Read more: Your really dumb cruise ship cabin questions answered

What is the cheapest cabin? 

The cheapest option will usually be a guarantee stateroom.

This means that Royal Caribbean will give you a discount if you allow them to assign you an open room.

A few weeks before the cruise, you will be assigned a room that was unsold up until then. Discounts vary depending on the ship and sailing, but usually, this is the cheapest way to book a cabin.

As you can imagine, guarantee staterooms are usually the least desirable rooms. These tend to be windowless inside cabins.

However, there are several disadvantages to booking this cabin category.

Limited space for luggage

Luggage under bed

Especially on a longer cruise that runs 7 days or more, you’ll want to bring along lots of luggage. 

Royal Caribbean ships have a stunning variety of activities onboard and they also bring you to ports where you can experience all sorts of adventures.

There is a lot to prepare and pack for, so you can expect to bring some big bags!

But in a smaller cabin, you can find yourself running out of space to store all that luggage.

Harmony of the Seas vanity and drawers

Other than the closet, older ships don’t have as many big storage spots. Often, you’ll find a spot to store one suitcase, but not much else.

Especially when it comes to big suitcases, it’s hard to fit them under the beds or in the closet.

You may even have to leave them out on the floor, causing you to trip over bags every time you move around the room.

Harmony of the Seas closet and safe

If you tend to overpack, or are going on a longer cruise, you should consider booking a bigger room to have enough storage space.

Read more: I stayed in the cheapest, smallest cabin on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas for $210 per night. Look inside my 142-square-foot room.

You’ll have to leave the room for entertainment

Booking a small, inside cabin will leave you with little opportunity for in-room entertainment and relaxation.

There will be no window or balcony for natural light or a view of the ocean—you’ll have to go out to view the weather or scenery.

Besides a vanity with limited counter space, there’s no table for you to enjoy meals inside the room. You’ll have to dine elsewhere.

Even reading and watching movies can be dissatisfying in such a small space. 


If you’re traveling with another guest, you may find that there’s not enough room for the two of you to entertain yourselves separately. An inside cabin has no separate rooms or private spaces.

If one person wishes to nap, and one wants to watch a movie, you’ll have to compromise or leave the room.

Many cruisers who book an inside cabin find themselves leaving the room for the majority of the day, and only returning to sleep.

If having a cabin where you can relax is a priority for you, a bigger cabin would be a better fit.

No access to fresh air and sunlight

Beach sunset

Inside cabins are typically on the interior walls of the ship, meaning they lack any balconies or windows.

Some inside cabins do have a virtual balcony—a LED screen that displays a live feed of the outside of the ship.

However, you won’t have any natural light or sea breeze from inside your stateroom.

Inside cabin on Enchantment of the Seas

Cut off from the sun and any view of the sea, you won’t be able to tell the weather, if it’s day or not, or whether the ship has arrived at port.

This can also lead to greater nausea and seasickness. Viewing the horizon and feeling a breeze are also great cures for seasickness, so if you stay in a small inside cabin you may have to end up leaving the room to get some relief.

If you love natural lighting, fresh air, and gazing at the sea on your cruise, staying in a small inside cabin can put you at a disadvantage.

You'll only get the basic amenities

Harmony of the Seas beds

Staying in the cheaper interior and oceanview cabins grants you a basic set of amenities, including:

  • A bed for two
  • Private bathroom and shower
  • Vanity
  • Safe
  • Mini-fridge
  • Closet
  • Television
  • A dedicated stateroom attendant
  • Cleanings once a day
  • Hair dryer
  • Telephone

However, if you’re looking for any additional perks, you’ll want to upgrade.

Junior Suites and above provide an elevated experience and personalized service. Suites come with another level of luxury, with amenities such as:

  • A private bathtub
  • Balcony 
  • Priority boarding
  • Royal Caribbean bathrobe
  • Luxury bathroom amenities
  • Espresso coffee machine
  • Pillow top mattress
  • Double Crown and Anchor Society points
  • Two cleanings a day

Whether you’re a first-time cruiser wanting to experience the best Royal Caribbean has to offer, or an experienced veteran who wants to see the ship in a new way, upgrading to a bigger cabin is the best way to enjoy these benefits.

Book a suite for that feeling of being pampered in the comfort of your stateroom.

Read more: I stayed in the cheapest cabin on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas for $463 a night. Take a look inside my 172-square-foot cabin

You could be assigned an undesirable location

odyssey of the seas interior cabin deck plan

Getting assigned a guaranteed cabin means that you will likely be given a less desirable location.

This could include a spot at the very front or back of the ship, which will experience more of the motion of the sea. This increased movement leaves you at a risk of further seasickness.

Those who are particularly sensitive to the movement of the sea might want to pay extra and choose a location close to the middle of the ship.


You could also end up in high-traffic areas—such as near elevators, on higher decks near the pool—that generate a lot of noise.

For families with young children, or people who are light sleepers, these locations can be a real disadvantage. 

Getting poor sleep could lead to a miserable cruise!

Oasis of the Seas Cabins to Avoid

19 Jan 2024

If you are planning a cruise onboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, there are some staterooms you should avoid booking. 

Oasis of the Seas is the namesake ship of the Oasis Class. Until 2024, these ships were the largest in the world, holding the record for over one decade— until Icon of the Seas officially joined the fleet. 

While not the largest ship in the world anymore, Oasis of the Seas is not small. She measures 1,187 feet long and 225,282 gross registered tons. 

In 2019, she received a $165 million amplification to help modernize the ship. This added new dining and bar venues, as well as a revamped pool deck, updated youth programming, and new activities. 

Side of cruise ship

While everyone's cabin preferences vary, we can assume that nobody wants to be woken up by screeching pool chairs in the early morning hours. Likewise, if you are someone who enjoys retiring early, you probably won't want to hear the thumping of the nightclub into the late hours of the night.  

With nearly 2,800 staterooms onboard that can accommodate roughly 7,000 guests, there are certainly a few that you will want to avoid on Oasis of the Seas. 

Cabins underneath Deck 4 venues


Deck 4 is home to Entertainment Place. This is where you will find tons of entertainment venues including Studio B, Casino Royale, and the lower level of the Royal Theater. 

If you book an ocean view or interior cabin on Deck 3, you will likely be kept awake by the excitement above, whether it is an ice show, thumping of the Blaze nightclub, or cheers of someone winning a late-night casino jackpot. 

Those who like to go to bed early will want to avoid Deck 3. You must prioritize your rest, especially on a ship as large as Oasis. You will not want to waste any time trying to catch up on your sleep in the morning because you were kept awake. 

Staterooms above the Royal Theater


Speaking of noise bleed, the Royal Theater hosts numerous different events throughout the cruise, whether it's an original production show or a game show featuring other guests. 

While the lower level of the Royal Theater is located on Deck 4, the upper level is on Deck 5, meaning that certain cabins on Deck 6 should be avoided. These include those located closest to the Vitality Fitness Center:

  • 6130 - 6164
  • 6530 - 6564

Cabins above the Royal Theater are ocean view balconies and interior rooms. 

Connecting staterooms

Oceanview cabin

Unless you're traveling with family members staying in the adjoining room, booking a connecting cabin will not do you any good. 

Families, of course, will benefit from the extra living space and two bathrooms, and parents will not have to worry about children being located down the hall or on a different deck. 

Connecting staterooms have a door that adjoins them, so you do not have to leave one cabin to enter the other. The issue, however, is that the adjoining door isn't as insulated as a standard wall, meaning you could be subject to noise bleed, depending on how noisy your neighbors are. 


An example of connecting rooms on Oasis of the Seas' deck plan (above) are rooms 10270 and 10272, 10282 and 10284, 10294 and 10296, 10310 and 10312, 10299 and 10301, 10311 and 10313, 10670 and 10672, 10682 and 10684, 10692 and 10696, and 10710 and 10712. 

If you're a family looking to increase the amount of living space you have while cruising on Oasis, that's great! There is no need to worry about booking connecting cabins. If, however, you're going to be sharing that adjoining door with a stranger, it is best to avoid these cabins. 

Boardwalk view cabins if you're sensitive to light


When launched, Oasis of the Seas was the first cruise ship in the world to feature interior-facing balcony cabins. For a cheaper price, you can enjoy a private verandah that overlooks either Central Park or the Boardwalk. Of course, you'll have less privacy than you would if you splurged on an ocean view room. 

The Boardwalk is a livelier neighborhood than Central Park, with AquaTheater shows often going on late at night. Playmakers is located on the Boardwalk, too, so it's not uncommon for patrons to get noisy during a sports game. 

Those looking to book an interior-facing balcony but who also want some peace and quiet should consider Central Park instead. Plus, these cabins are located mid-ship, whereas Boardwalk balconies are located in the aft (or back), meaning you won't have to walk as far to reach the Main Dining Room or Royal Theater.  

Read more: Royal Caribbean's Boardwalk: Everything you need to know

Staterooms underneath the pool deck


With three pools, a kid splash zone, and two whirlpools located on Deck 15, there's no denying that the pool deck on Oasis of the Seas is expansive. On sea days, it's a hub of activity. 

While people will stagger in after breakfast, crew members use the early morning to arrange the deck chairs. This means that if you book a cabin underneath the pool deck, you will hear the crew dragging chairs around to get them ready for guests to use. 


Those staying in a balcony won't be able to enjoy the peace and quiet of their personal verandah during the day, either. Noise bleed from children running around and live bands playing will interrupt any hope of a relaxing nap! 

Read more: How to beat the chair hogs on your cruise ship

Cabins towards the front of the ship if you're prone to motion sickness

Cabins in the front of the ship are more likely to feel the motion of the waves than rooms in the middle of the vessel. Nobody wants to feel ill in their cabin, especially when they're trying to rest after a long day ashore! 

Of course, everyone has a different tolerance for motion. If you decide to book a stateroom in the middle of the vessel, there aren't any guarantees that you will avoid getting seasick. 

Cabins in the front (or bow) of the ship should be approached with caution if you're worried about getting motion sick, though. 

Read more: How to beat seasickness on a cruise ship

Obstructed view staterooms

Even if you think that an obstructed view will not bother you, there's a chance that the bright yellow lifeboat or bulky piece of machinery will get in the way of any aesthetic ocean views that you're hoping for.  

Although they're cheaper than unobstructed cabins, it is not worth thinking you can deal with them just to save money. Ocean view rooms at the front of the ship, for instance, will be obstructed by the ship's bow. 

While you'll be able to watch Oasis pull into port, you will have to deal with the helipad in your view for the duration of your cruise. 

Obstructed view Central Park balcony

Additionally, Central Park balconies on Deck 14 have the chance of being obstructed by the bulky walkway that connects the port and starboard sides of the pool deck above. These cabins include 14207 - 14217, 14607 - 14617, 14229 - 14235, and 14629 - 14635. 

Finally, if you are staying in a Boardwalk balcony, you shouldn't expect to get a clear view of the ocean, as the Ultimate Abyss causes the majority of these cabins to have an obstructed view of the ship's aft. 

Guarantee staterooms 

If you have a specific location you want your stateroom to be (i.e., by Adventure Ocean or near the aft elevators for easier access to the Main Dining Room), you won't want to let Royal Caribbean assign your cabin to you. 

Guarantee staterooms are cheaper cabin options that Royal Caribbean offers in exchange for allowing them the right to choose your exact room closer to the sail date. This means you trade the option to select your stateroom for a cheaper fare.

While you might think that you won't care where your balcony cabin is located (you're onboard the ship regardless, right?), you might be displeased if you get one that's located at the back of the ship since you will have to walk further to the entertainment venues. 

Read more: 6 reasons to refuse to upgrade your cruise ship cabin

Is the front or back of cruise ship better?

30 Nov 2023

Does it matter if you pick a cabin on a cruise ship towards the front or back of the ship?

Anthem of the Seas

Every ship has many choices of where to pick a cabin, and as you get closer to the sail date, it's likely the rooms mid-ship will sell out first.  Mid-ship cabins tend to be more popular because they're more centrally located and tend to be a better choice for someone who is worried about getting seasick.

Read moreHow to beat seasickness on a cruise ship

If given the choice, you might be wondering better off with a cabin more forward or more aft.

What part of ship is best for cruises?

Wonder of the Seas aerial rear night

It's a matter of opinion, but there are advantages to picking a cabin in certain parts of the ship.

Cruise ship cabins usually fall into one of three categories: forward, mid, and aft. 

All things being equal, conventional advice is to pick a cruise ship cabin mid-ship so you're equidistant from everything onboard so the distance to get around is minimal.

In addition, mid-ship cabins are ideal for new cruisers because it's the best location to be to minimize the sensation of movement that could make you feel seasick. In addition, having a low cabin helps so you don't feel as much sway.

You may also find a price difference if your cabin is forward, aft, or mid-ship.  Depending on the ship, sometimes the more desirable rooms mid-ship or aft can cost more.

Read moreThe 5 best cabin locations on a cruise ship

Is the back of a cruise ship a good location?

Allure of the Seas aft

The primary advantage of picking a cabin at the back of a cruise ship is the view you can get.

If you pick a cabin at the very back of the ship, you can enjoy a view of the ship's wake, and these tend to be quite popular with cruise fans.  Not only is it a pretty view, but the balcony can be bigger on the back.

Some special cabins at the very rear corners of a ship might even feature a balcony that wrap around the vessel in an L-shape, giving you views on two sides.

Enjoying a view from the ship's aft can be almost hypnotic because of how alluring the ocean looks when you have nothing in front of you blocking it.

Speaking of views, when your ship is leaving port, having an aft view gives you the best perspective.

Royal Caribbean has caught onto this this trend and announced pricing changes related to aft rooms. Aft facing balconies and Junior Suites are now going to be separated out as new categories.

However, if your room doesn't face backwards and is just a standard room towards the back, you may just end up with the same room as a mid-ship cabin, but with a longer walk.

Movement at the aft is a bit less drastic than a room forward, but still isn’t the most stable place for those who are prone to seasickness.

What are the benefits of being in the front of the cruise ship?

Bow of cruise ship

Rooms towards the front tend to be cheaper than other rooms largely because there's less demand for a cabin at the front.

Just like rooms towards the back, it's a longer walk towards the front and most of the signature activities and public areas are further away. 

Plus, the front of the ship gets the most movement of any area. The higher the deck, the more noticeable that rolling and swaying motion tends to feel. That makes it less desirable if someone is worried about motion sickness.

Family oceanview on Brilliance

The reason why you might feel more movement at the front is because the front of the ship faces the most wind and direct hits from rolling waves, translating to lots of motion and sea spray. 

Besides a cheaper price, rooms at the very front have a unique perspective.  On many Royal Caribbean ships, you'll find family oceanview cabins at the front that offer significantly more living space without the price of a suite.

Another nice benefit of a front room is it can feel more secluded because there's far less foot traffic.

I stayed in the cheapest cabin on Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas. It was small and windowless, but for $151 a night, it was a great deal — take a look.

14 Nov 2023

I recently took my first cruise on a smaller Royal Caribbean ship, choosing to sail on Radiance on the Seas.


This sailing was a 5-night cruise from Tampa, Florida, stopping at Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. 

Radiance of the Seas, the first Radiance Class ship, was built in 2001 and revitalized in 2011. 

It is a smaller ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleets, with a capacity for 2,466 guests. 

Read more: 20 Radiance Class cruise ship tips and secrets

I opted to book a guarantee stateroom, choosing a cheaper price in exchange for letting Royal Caribbean assign us a less desirable cabin. Usually, they assign you the cabins that have not yet sold a few weeks before embarkation. 

The total price of the fare was $1510.74, with pre-paid gratuities included, totaling just $151 a night per person. 


About a week before my cruise, I saw that we had been assigned cabin number 4059. Located midship on the 4th deck, this was the lowest level cabin I’ve experienced before!

I appreciated the midship location, close to the elevators both in the middle of the ship and the forward end. 

It was also extremely close to our assigned table in the Main Dining Room—right there on deck 4. 

Room 4059 was a windowless inside cabin. Although Radiance of the Seas is the smallest ship I have sailed on so far, the size of the room did not disappoint. 

Despite it being a smaller inside cabin, I thought the stateroom was quite spacious, with a couch in the corner and room for two beds. 

When I walked into the room, I faced the two beds and couch on the right and the vanity and desk on the left. 

The closet was on the front left of the room, directly opposite the bathroom door. 


The bathroom was small, as I am now used to on Royal Caribbean ships. The lights were slow to flicker on, but there was nothing else to suggest that the cabin was outdated. 

Honestly, if I hadn’t already known the age of this ship, I would never have guessed that she’s as old as I am!

Read more: I sailed again on Royal Caribbean's Radiance Class ships, but think these ships need upgrades


One aspect that I did not like about the bathroom was that the shower curtain was a thin fabric instead of a plexiglass door. Water would spill under the curtain out onto the floor if I wasn’t careful. 


However, all other aspects of the bathroom were great: lots of mirrors, enough shelf space, and fresh towels daily. 


Opposite the bathroom, the closet held 6 wide shelves and countless hangers. This is one of the largest closets I've taken advantage of on my cruises. There was enough space for myself and my friend, who was traveling with me, to fill the shelves with our clothes, place our luggage on the floor of the closet, and hang jackets and dresses on the hangers. 

Further on in the room, I loved the full-length mirror opposite the vanity and the vanity aspect with lights under the mirror. 


The desk/vanity had a comfortable chair and many drawers, which were ample enough for my friend and I to store any other items there.


Tucked to the right of this desk was a small refrigerator. However, it didn’t have any cooling unit of its own, so it served more as a storage container rather than a cooler. I was able to store food there but found that it didn’t stay very cold. I put a vegan sorbet from the Main Dining Room inside this cooler, and it had melted by the next day. 


Above the desk was a small TV, which was not a smart TV but had a few free channels. 


The couch was large enough for two people to sit on, and I loved the small table next to it, where we served ourselves room-service breakfast in the mornings. 

The two beds came separated, each with a small nightstand and a lamp above it. I loved that the lamps had two settings: one dim and one much brighter.

The beds were comfortable and cozy, with fluffy pillows I couldn’t wait to rest in every night. 

There were no electricity ports on these nightstands that I could find, so we had to share the ones at the desk. Thankfully, I brought an extension cord to add several extra ports.


I also chose to bring magnetic hooks, as many people suggest, since they can stick to the steel cabin walls. 

I can't believe I didn't take advantage of this hack earlier! It was a great way to hang scarves and jewelry on the wall and keep them from getting tangled up. 


This cabin was my first one with a connecting door to the room next door. The room was connected with #4057. Since we weren’t traveling with a group, of course, we kept the connecting door locked. 

However, I did find that it was easy to hear our next-door neighbors, especially when it got quiet at night. I could hear them coughing late at night, and I’m sure they could hear my friend and I talking. 

The walls seemed thin all around, as I could also hear steps above me and people out in the hallway. 

We were also located quite near the elevators, lobby bar, and Guest Services, so we could hear the live music playing and people talking from that area. 

However, it wasn't so loud that we could not sleep. As a matter of fact, the windowless room stayed so dark that we slept very soundly most nights. 

Despite the midship location, I did find myself getting pretty seasick inside the room, maybe due to the lack of windows and no view of the horizon. Getting fresh air and taking Dramamine every day helped a lot. 

I took full advantage of room service breakfast on this trip and found that they would call us about 15 minutes before they came to deliver the breakfast. It was a great way to sleep in and enjoy a meal in the cabin. 

Despite the fact that this was a cheaper inside cabin, I found that it was large enough and nice enough that we wanted to spend time in this cabin. Saving money on booking to receive this cabin was definitely worth it! 

I saved $240 on my cruise by letting Royal Caribbean choose my room, and I'd totally do it again

31 Oct 2023

I've never experienced what it feels like to win the lottery, but this cruise hack made me feel pretty close.


For my latest cruise on Freedom of the Seas, I chose to book with a guarantee cabin, allowing Royal Caribbean to assign a room location instead of choosing my own.

By selecting this option, I gave up the option to pick a specific room, but it saved me a couple hundred dollars.

In retrospect, I think this was a really smart decision!

What is a guarantee cabin?

A guarantee state run offers a cheaper cabin option in exchange for you allowing Royal Caribbean to assign your stateroom closer to the sale date. 

If you choose to book a guarantee stateroom you won't have the room assignment until later on, but you will receive one when Royal Caribbean assigns it. 

This usually falls somewhere between 5-30 days before the cruise.

You don't get the opportunity to choose your cabin but the cruise line states that you should receive the stateroom category you booked or higher.

There's also a chance you could receive an upgrade like I did.

Read moreRoyal Caribbean cruise ship cabin and suite guide

The guarantee stateroom process is intended to fill in the gaps of unsold staterooms. So, rooms that are less likely to get booked are more likely to be assigned to a guarantee cruiser. 

Since cruises are usually booked up further in advance and sailing at full capacity, it was a rare opportunity for me to get such a big upgrade on my guarantee stateroom. 

This option saved me about $240, ending up with a total price of $2,021.68, or $336.95 per night per person.

My cabin assignment


Since guarantee rooms are usually assigned at some point between 5 to 30 days before the cruise, it takes some time before you know where your stay room will be located.

Most of the time, a stateroom is assigned a few weeks before the cruise.

Royal Caribbean does not notify you when you are assigned a stateroom, so you have to log into the cruise line's website or continue checking the app to verify.

I received my cabin assignment a couple weeks prior to the cruise and saw that we were located on Deck 8, midship, in room number 8388.

I was already grateful to see I received the prized midship location—which prevents seasickness and allows proximity to elevators, stairs, and other amenities in the middle of the ship.

This location also gave us enough proximity to the Windjammer and pool on deck 11 and the Royal Promenade on deck 5 that we barely had to use the elevators. 

We only had to take a few flights of stairs to reach our destination. 

In addition to the convenient location, I had been assigned a spacious, deluxe oceanview balcony room for the same low price!

After I got my assignment, I felt like I had won the stateroom lottery.

Stateroom #8388 impressions

When we first opened the cabin door, we were greeted with a spacious room—214 square feet in total. 

The stateroom’s space was most visible in its length, stretching from the cabin’s front door to the back door leading to the balcony.

The room features a long couch, a spacious queen bed, and a desk and vanity.

The floor between the couch and the deck/vanity was wide enough that we could leave our luggage right there. 

To the right of the stateroom door was the small bathroom. Where the stateroom had surprised me by its size, the bathroom definitively felt pinched, similar to the size of a bathroom in an interior cabin. 

And the shower was even smaller, with only enough space for one person to stand in. However, I was satisfied with the water pressure and hot temperatures.

The sink and counter, although small, did have enough shelf space for our 3-night cruise. Two cups under the mirror served to hold our toothbrushes and toothpaste. 

The mirror was wide, and the counter was thin but long enough that we could spread our items out. However, I think we would have struggled to fit all of our toiletries if we had been on a longer trip.


To the left of the stateroom door, we found a large closet with several shelves, a safe, and hangers for our larger clothes. There was enough floor space in the closet to store several pairs of shoes.

Directly behind that closet faced a floor-length mirror, and opposite that stood the desk and vanity space.

The desk was long enough to hold makeup, jewelry, and multiple bags during our cruise. We also found shelves behind the vanity mirror.

Facing the desk was the long couch, large enough that I could have laid down to nap on it. However, the bed was so comfortable that we never felt the need to.

The highlight of this room was its large, comfortable bed. Although I did find a few stains on the sheets, it was soft and restful for the length of our stay.

Two large paintings above the bed brightened the room, adding to an already relaxing atmosphere, thanks to the cabin’s natural light.

On either side of the bed were two nightstands, with lamps above them. 

Lastly, at the very end of the room was our balcony door. Although heavy, and hard to push open and closed, the door led to a beautiful view.

The balcony held a small, round table and two deck chairs that could be adjusted to recline. 

The view itself was unbeatable: ocean water during the day and clear, starry skies at night. I also loved that we could wake up on port days and see the island right outside our window.

We also found that the cabin was peaceful and quiet: even when we sat on the balcony, we barely heard noises from other cabins. 

I’m someone who loves sunlight and natural views, so having the balcony attachment made the room so much more enjoyable. After experiencing my first balcony room, I don’t know if I could go back! 


The room felt large and luxurious. I loved this stateroom, from the size of the cabin, the beautiful balcony, and its convenient location in the middle of deck 8. 

I found that I didn’t experience any seasickness in the middle of the ship, and we enjoyed spending time relaxing in our room and on the balcony. 

For me, booking a guarantee stateroom was worth it. For the money I saved, I got a lucky cabin location.

But this location wasn’t a requirement for my cruise, so in the future, I would book a guarantee and hope for the best again. 

This cruise hack turns your cabin into a private area, which is ideal for light sleepers

23 Oct 2023

Cruise ship cabins are notoriously small, so unless you splurge for a suite or balcony, personal space may be at a premium in your stateroom.


If you’d like to save your money but still enjoy your cabin experience, it’s time to get creative. Many cruisers have created innovative hacks for optimizing the tiny cabin space on a cruise ship. 

Read more30 Cruise cabin hacks that cruisers love

A quick search on social media apps such as TikTok will show you thousands of ideas for making your cruise cabin experience more enjoyable. 

Many cruisers try to make the most of their small cabin experience. Therefore, these clever cruise hacks tend to go viral and can help you enjoy your cruise.


One particular cabin hack, posted by user HappyGoLiving, has gained millions of views and thousands of likes on TikTok. 

This hack only requires magnetic hooks and a blackout curtain to turn any cruise cabin into a more private, secluded area.

HappyGoLiving shares that she recently went on a Holland America cruise. She traveled with a friend who prefers to get up early in the morning while on vacation, while HappyGoLiving likes to sleep in. 

To solve their differences, HappyGoLiving decided to use magnetic hooks and blackout curtains to build a secluded fort in the cruise cabin. 

Creating a dark space can be perfect for light sleepers or those sharing a cabin with cruisers who use a different sleep schedule. 

Here’s what you need to do this cruise hack and whether we think the strategy is too much trouble or worth it.

Read more: 30 Cruise cabin hacks that cruisers love

Start by buying magnetic hooks and blackout curtains before your cruise 


While preparing and packing for your cruise, you will first want to purchase magnetic hooks to bring onboard.

Magnetic hooks will cling to the stateroom’s walls, typically made of steel.

If you’re a frequent cruiser, these magnetic hooks will be a helpful investment. 

Small magnetic hooks can optimize your cabin space by allowing you to hang items on your walls. 

Cruisers love to bring magnetic hooks because you can place them directly on the wall to hang up jackets, bags, hearts, and umbrellas. 

If you are a frequent cruiser and would like to organize your cabin space, it is a good idea to invest in magnetic hooks.


To make this cruise hack happen, HappyGoLiving purchased magnetic hooks with swivel carabiners, which allowed her to clip the magnets onto the loops of the blackout curtains. This ensured that she could hang them while the hooks clung to the metal walls. 

HappyGoLiving explained that she purchased blackout curtains to serve as temporary walls for the second part of the cruise hack. 


To complete this hack, you want to make sure you have curtains that are long enough to fall from the floor to the ceiling of the stateroom. Most cruise cabins have a height of 7’6”, so keep this in mind while choosing your curtain length.

If you already have blackout curtains at home, feel free to bring those along on your cruise and save money. If you don’t, try to purchase ones that are around 90” long, such as these blackout curtains from Amazon. 

Next, loop the magnetic hooks through the blackout curtains to hang from the cabin ceiling


In her viral TikTok, HappyGoLiving shows how she looped each magnet hook through the curtain holes. 

Since she purchased carabiner hooks, HappyGoLiving could clip each one into the blackout curtain loops. 

After clipping each curtain hole with a magnetic hook, she stuck each magnet to the cabin ceiling.

HappyGoLiving also wrote that the magnets were strong enough for her to hook every other hole in the curtain, so you may only need a few hooks to complete this.


As she hung the curtains, she worked on one side of the bed and made her way to the other, hanging each hook one by one. 

If you want to create a cocoon around your bed, you will want the curtains to loop around it for privacy.

After all of the hooks are on the ceiling, HappyGoLivingshows shows the end result of an enclosed private space around the cruise bed. 

She commented that she packed three curtains but would have been better off with five. Consider bringing at least four curtain panels to cover the entire space around your bed.


You’ll be able to sleep soundly in your cabin by hanging the curtains around your bed, thanks to the blackout quality. 

The curtains will block any light from your window or balcony and any disturbances from your travel partner if they go to bed later or wake up earlier than you. 

This also allows you to have your own space to get ready in the morning and change without using the bathroom. 

It is important to note that this cruise hack works best if you select to split your bed into two twin beds. 

You can request separate beds by filling out the Google Form Royal Caribbean will email out a few days before your cruise.

Read more: 15 Things To Do As Soon as You Get to Your Cruise Cabin

Some TikTok users thought this hack wasn’t worth the trouble, but others said it was a genius idea

Inside cabin on Mariner of the Seas

Many users in the comment section of the viral TikTok praised this clever cruise hack. 

One Tiktok user, Taylor, commented: “I worked on a ship for 7 months. WHY did I not think of this.” 

Another user, Stephy Lynn, thought this cruise hack was clever: “I love this for privacy for changing clothes without having to steal the washroom from everyone.”

Some even pointed out this could be an excellent hack for families traveling with babies or small children. Another parent shared that having a private space like this would work well for her upcoming cruise, as she plans to travel with her teenage son, who prefers his own space.

Some commenters even pointed out that this hack is a great idea for families traveling with babies, small children, or just a large group. 

TikTok user Mel commented, “This is genius for a sleeping baby/toddler on a cruise.” 

Another parent shared that having a private space like this works well for an upcoming cruise with her teenage son, who prefers his own space.


However, some users felt purchasing and packing the supplies would be too much of a hassle. 

One of the top comments on the Tiktok is from user Meredith Roberts, who states: “I typically just go with an eye mask.”

Some agreed with her comment, while others responded they could not sleep with eye masks. Users said they can't sleep with eye masks on: it feels uncomfortable, crushes their lashes, or doesn’t stay on while they are sleeping.

Some commenters responded that this hack takes up too much luggage space.

“Who has room in their suitcase for grommet curtains?” user7318110758522 wrote. 

This is a fair point since you would need to pack magnetic hooks and at least two long curtains—or five, according to the Tiktok creator.

Cruisers with limited luggage space may struggle to find room to pack the supplies needed for this hack. 

Creator HappyGoLiving clarified that she lives in Miami, so she is able to pack heavily for the short drive to the nearby cruise port.

One user also questioned why someone would want to make their small cabin feel smaller by spacing off areas with this hack.

Another commenter pointed out that this hack could confuse the cabin cleaning staff when they enter the room.

HappyGoLiving shared that she took down the hooks and folded up the curtains each morning, only implementing this hack when it was time for bed. 

Is this viral cruise hack worth it?

Ultimately, you might still wonder whether this hack is worth the money, space, and preparation necessary to pack the supplies for your upcoming cruise.

Several aspects should come into consideration as you’re deciding this.

Are you driving or flying to your cruise port?

If you’re driving to your port, like the creator of this TikTok hack, you may have more luggage space available. You won’t be limited to airline luggage restrictions, so you can pack a larger suitcase and fit in those magnetic hooks and blackout curtains.

However, if you’re flying, you may want to reconsider. You will have to keep to specific airline requirements and may have to pay extra for that larger checked bag and any overweight bags.

You should also decide how much you want to spend to make this hack happen. If you already own blackout curtains, you will only need to purchase the carabiner hooks, which will only cost $10-$20, depending on how many you buy.

However, if you need extra blackout curtains, you might spend $40-$50, depending on which type you choose and how many panels you need.

Is spending up to $80 for extra privacy in your cruise cabin? That’s up to you to determine. 


Another consideration is the type of cabin you choose for your cruise. If you’re a light sleeper and easily woken up by natural light, a windowless inside cabin is the best (and cheapest!) option for you and also negates the need for blackout curtains to block any natural light.

If you don’t opt for a windowless cabin, you could try an eye mask to block the light.

However, some people don’t like the feeling of an eye mask, and you won’t have a private area in your cabin if you skip this hack.

However, if you prefer to sleep in while others in your cabin get up early—or if you stay up late while they try, this cruise hack might still be worth a try.

Also, those traveling with small children might find this hack particularly useful. With the hooks and curtains, you can section off a portion of the cabin for babies and toddlers. 

Having a dark, private space for the children to sleep in helps everyone get some peace and quiet!

Whether or not it’s something you decide to try out, you have to admit that this is an innovative cruising hack for your cabin.

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