How To Choose The Best Cruise Cabins For Families


Choosing the right family cruise ship cabin can be tough! We all have dreams of being stood on our balcony cabin, glass of wine in hand looking out to sea, right? So we thought we needed to create the guide to picking a cruise ship cabin for families.

Now it depends on the nature of said little angels doesn’t it? Some will listen when you say “do not go on the balcony alone” others, you know, the climbers and adventure mad will rush out there at the first opportunity. Leaving you unable to have a shower or use the bathroom unless there is another adult manning the balcony doors.

Some of you are nodding your head in agreement climbers are scary little people! They can’t resist the thrill of the climb. And let’s face it! The sea is deceptive; it looks like a pretty safe landing doesn’t it?

Choosing the best cruise cabins for families depends on several factors! Budget, how much space you want, location of the cabin on the cruise ship and how many children you have?

But you can get the perfect family cabin to suit all of your needs; you just need to know what to looks for. In this post I aim to share which cruise cabin for kids offer families the best flexibility.

Inside Cruise Cabins For Families 

I have a friend who will only cruise in an inside cabin. Why? Because her children are early risers! And she feels the darkness that inside cabins offers tricks her children into sleeping past 5am. Inside cabins offer a lot of flexibility with price, and if you are a family of 5 interconnecting cabins may offer the best solution.

The downsides: you never know what time of day it is. Now this works for some people. However we really struggled with it.

Of course you now have the added option of virtual cruise cabins 

The Disney Magic Portholes cabins on many Disney ships offering real time views but with a difference. I am the biggest Disney fan and the thought of Mickey swimming past your porthole or Flo just hanging out for a while is enough to make me book a virtual porthole Disney Cruise family cabin. What a wonderful option when travelling with children.

Inside Cabin on Disney Dream with Virtual Porthole

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Royal Caribbean also offer  inside cabins with a difference with some ships offering Virtual Balconies, giving you the flexibly to enjoy those beautiful views and sunsets from the inside of the ship.

Virtual Balcony Royal Caribbean

Outside Cruise Cabins For Families

These offer the perfect vantage for little people, with often large picture windows and ledges that are perfect for sitting on. Our boys have spent many hours sitting colouring or watching out for dolphins. This is a safe way for little ones to get as close to the sea as possible, or even have an afternoon nap. It’s a real benefit for families staying in outside cabins.

Royal Caribbean Large Family Cabins

Many cruise lines also offer larger ocean view cruise cabins for families, such as the Royal Caribbeans large ocean view cabins that offer a bit of extra space and are situated at the forward of the ship. These have portholes for windows and that little extra family space.

Royal Caribbean Ultra Spacious Ocean View Family Cabins For 6

These cabins on the newer ships offer 271 square foot of space and can accomodate families of 6 in one cabin. With 2 large porthole windows. (Some you can sit in) and can be found on deck 11 of the Symphony Of The Seas, Harmony Of The Seas, Oasis Of The Seas and the Allure Of The Seas. There are also inside cabins for families of 6 available on the same deck.

Oceanview Cabin On Princess cruises, cruise cabins for families

choosing an outside cabin

Navigator Of The Seas Cabins, Outside 4 Berth Cabin No 2338 On Deck 2

Claire’s vlog here of a 4 berth outside cabin gives a great view of the family rooms on Royal Caribbean. With a lower double bed and two bunks that are stowed away and brought out again at night by your cabin attendant. Outside rooms are generally on lower decks but offer windows or porthole style windows for a fantastic view of the ocean. Cabin 2338 is also a connecting cabin, connecting rooms on cruise ships are a great way for larger families to cruise giving you the much needed space to accommodate families of 5 or more. Check the deck plans of the Navigator Of The Seas for locations of 4 berth and interconnecting cabins.

Balcony Cruise Cabins For Families

There are several kinds of balcony cabins, tradition balconies overlook the sea and are the perfect way to cruise. For us the perfect way to have easy of mind and enjoy and balcony is to book an aft tiered balcony. This means you will have a balcony below you rather than the sea. A balcony does not look like a soft landing does it? I am not ever sure our children would climb. The fear is all mine but booking an aft cabin makes me feel more relaxed. And with the added bonus of a little extra space, I will always choose an aft cabin given the choice. Several cruise lines offer this option including Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess.

Or for a different balcony experience the Royal Caribbean Boardwalk Views cabin offers on a selection of their ships, offering hours of entertainment without even leaving your cabin.

Promenade Cabin on Royal Caribbean

Balcony Cabins, What Are Celebrity Silhouette’s Best Family Cabins?

Our balcony cabin of Silhouette was fantastic with plenty of room and in a great location. Cabin 8181 Balcony Cabin on Celebrity Silhouette is a 3 berth cabin with an upper bad. However Joe did not like the upper bunk so our steward made him a bed up on the sofa instead. It is towards the forward of the ship but not to0 far from the lifts.

This is the perfect Celebrity cruise family cabin for families travelling with 1 child. There was plenty of storage for hanging, and folded clothes in the storage area over the bed.  A great sized bathroom with plenty of storage. And tea and coffee facilities should you fancy a coffee on the balcony whilst the children are sleeping. Click here for a deck plan of Celebrity Silhouette.

Norwegian Bliss Mini Suite For Families

You can see my blog post and tour of  a Junior Suite on NCL Bliss.  Although NCL cabins seem smaller in comparison to other cruise there is ample space for a family of 4. I would say the living space in the mini suite is comparable to a large balcony cabin on RCC, apart from the bathroom. This is a real highlight of these cabins with a double size shower and vanity unit, which is perfect for families.  There is also plenty of storage and hanging space and space under the bed for suitcases.

And for those travelling with teenagers there are usb plugs by the bed and plenty of plugs on the dressing area for changing tablets and devices. Find out a little more about Norwegian Bliss’s family friendly features here.  Or here for a detailed deck plan of Norwegian Bliss. 

The Best Cruise Ship Suites For Families

For a little extra space a suite is perfect. If you have small children you may want to spend a little more time in your cabin so space is always welcome. Donna recently wrote why she thinks suites are a great way for families to travel, READ HERE. And check out this incredible family suite, wow that is the way to travel in style with children.

Ultimate Family Suite Symphony of the Seas

Grand Suite On The Symphony Of The Seas

Royal Caribbean Luxury Suites are a wonderful way to cruise. Donna’s tour of the 2 Bedroom Grand Suite gives you a real feel for the space that these suites offer large families. Or who just want a little more luxury.

The Grand Suite sleeps up to 8 guests with two sets of twin beds that convert to royal king beds, One double sofa be and two pullman beds. Offering plenty of space for families of 8 including 2 bathrooms and a separate sitting area. Donna also recommends that if you are traveling with older children 18 or over, to book a junior suite or 1 bedroom suite and book the teens in an inside cabin opposite. They will still get use of your balcony but be in a more affordable room directly across from you. However if you are happy all being in the same room junior suites sleep 5 comfortably. Click here for the deck plans of the Symphony Of The Seas.

And to find out whats included in Royal Caribbean Suite Class Click Here.

Are There Any Cruise Cabins For Families Of 5?

NCL Bliss, family of 5 cruise cabin

The family outside cabins with a large picture window are forward facing. These staterooms are located conveniently near the kids’ area and include two single beds that convert to a queen, a bathtub and additional bedding that can accommodate three guests. These cabins are limited so book early.

NCL Encore cabins for families of 5

NCL have really considered families on their newest ship Norwegian Encore. Check out our ultimate guide to cabins on Norwegian Encore here.

There is a range of family cabins offered including large outside family cabins for families of 5 and connecting cabins in almost every category.

And For Royal Princess Cabin Sizes, Check Out The Cabin Tours At The End Of Claire’s Royal Princess Vlog Tour.

If you want to check out a selection of cabins on the Royal Princess, Claire’s vlog not only gives a great ship tour of the Royal Princess but also a sneaky peek at inside and outside cabins and suites.

There is a right cabin for everybody its all about finding what suits yours and you families needs. Happy cruising!

Also check out Carnival Mardi Gras latest innovations in cabins here.

Pin The Best Cruise Cabins For Families For Later

The Best Cruise Ships Cabins For Families and how to choose the right family cabin for your cruise


  • Sarah Christie

    Sarah also writes for Mini Travellers Family Travel Blog and Extraordinary Chaos Craft and Lifestyle Blog. Both are award-winning blogs with a travel and family focus. She is married and has two boys, aged 18 and 22, who all love cruising as a family. Nothing is better than waking up every day in a new port with new and exciting things to explore. She aims to share how cruising as a family with young adults is the perfect choice for family travel. Her boys are sporty and love the activities, sports and dining options cruising offers. Sarah has worked with brands such as Walt Disney World, Mark Warner, Ikos Resort, Center Parcs, Laura Ashley, Belling and Next.

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2 thoughts on “How To Choose The Best Cruise Cabins For Families”

  1. We’ve never done a Disney Cruise but the Magic Portholes sound like fun!

  2. If I was taking children on a cruise and could aford to do so, i would opt for an outside seavirw cabin rather than a balcony. Save the extra cost for family treats and excursions and have peace of mind. As it is, the children have moved on and we still opt for an inside cabin most of the time as we only sleep there and find lots of things to do onboard whilst awake.


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