Alaska is unsurprisingly one of the most popular destinations for a cruise anywhere in the world as you can journey through the wild terrain and discover the beauty of the natural wonders that are synonymous with the 49th state.

During your unforgettable journey to Alaska, you will visit the likes of the Mendenhall Glacier and could even get up close to 30-ton whales. You can also combine your cruise with an exciting land tour where you will find out about the history of Alaska and visit some of the state’s most picturesque towns and cities.

If you are thinking about booking an Alaska cruise, it is worth doing your research before your trip. Something that many first-time cruisers have questions about is the cruise ship rooms.

Your room on a cruise ship is called a cabin (or a stateroom) and is similar to a hotel room. Choosing a room can be fun, but also challenging and here in this guide we take you through what you need to know about cruise ship rooms.

Things to consider about cruise ship rooms

  • Ask yourself how you want to spend your time
  • Research the amenities in the different cruise ship rooms
  • Cabin location on the ship
  • Do you need a balcony with your cruise ship room?

Ask yourself how you want to spend your time

There are so many different types of people that go on a cruise and naturally each person would like something slightly different to the other. One thing that you should consider is how you would like to spend your time whilst you are on your cruise and whether you would prefer a relaxing holiday, one that is full of entertainment or something in the middle.

Drew and Brittany, the couple behind the Mr and Mrs Adventure blog and YouTube channel, have previously been on an Alaska cruise and they told us about the things they considered about their cruise ship room before their trip.

“We highly recommend you ask yourself how you want to spend your time. If you love being in the energy and presence of others and want to take in the view from the upper decks while saving money, don't worry about getting an outer room with a view. If you want peace and lazy days in your room, go for a room with a view and balcony.”

Drew and Brittany loved their cruise to Alaska, but some things that stood out for them: “We loved looking at the endless wilderness all around and taking in the nature. Kayaking amongst the wild salmon and rivers was a thrill and experiencing the orcas swimming along the boat was really impressive.

“Be sure to bring binoculars to get a closer look while viewing from the deck. Oh, and you will be amazed by the seaplanes buzzing about and landing on the water surface all around. Happy journey ahead!”

Research the amenities in the different cruise ship rooms

Different cruise lines have a selection of rooms for you to choose from and each one comes with different amenities, so it is worth putting in some research when you are considering booking an Alaska cruise to see which one suits your needs best.

If you go on one of our Alaska cruises with Holland America Line or Celebrity Cruises, for example, then there are a whole host of different rooms that you can stay in and below are some of the options available to you.

Suite staterooms

There are a variety of suite staterooms and these are larger cabins that generally have separate living and sleeping areas as well as a wide variety of extra amenities.

You will have access to your own private veranda, a queen-size or king-size bed, an extra sofa bed, separate dressing rooms, dual sinks in the bathroom and a full-size bath and shower.

Some of the other amenities that you can often enjoy in suite staterooms on Holland America Line or Celebrity Cruises include:

  • Personalised concierge service
  • Priority check-ins
  • Expanded room service/housekeeping (you can even enjoy butler service for some suite rooms)
  • Welcome drinks
  • Exclusive access to restaurants
  • Premium ship location
  • Streaming Wi-Fi
  • Onboard credit
  • Shore excursion credit

Veranda staterooms

Veranda staterooms on Alaska cruises are generally nice and bright as they have floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a private veranda.

As well as a private sitting area, you can enjoy a queen size bed, plush bathrobes and towels, a mini fridge, a smart TV, a host of complimentary bath products and even a free tote bag.

No matter what room you decide to book, there will be a range of facilities onboard the cruise ship that you can enjoy. These include menus by Michelin-starred chefs, a swimming pool, chic bars and lounges, fitness centres, spas and entertainment venues.

Ocean View staterooms

These staterooms can sleep up to four people as they include two lower beds convertible to one queen-size bed, but unlike an inside room, these rooms offer an expansive view of the ocean.

These rooms also boast the same amenities as an inside room as well as offering custom-blended bath products, shower cap, cotton balls and cotton swabs.

Inside stateroom

The inside rooms on a cruise ship are often cheaper rooms that can generally sleep up to four people. As the name suggests, these rooms do not have a balcony and are located in the middle of the ship.

There are a whole host of great amenities that passengers can enjoy if you are staying in an inside stateroom as there is an interactive TV system, individual safes, Wi-Fi and if there is just two of you on the cruise you can enjoy a queen-size bed on some of the ships.

Cabin location on the ship

Many people ask ‘where is the best room on a cruise ship’, but this is ultimately down to your own individual preference and budget.

It is important that you do your homework when choosing the location of a cabin on an Alaska cruise and here we take you through some things you might want to consider.

  • Stability  – If you suffer from seasickness, then picking the location of your cabin is important. The lower and more central you are in a ship, the less roll and sway you are likely to feel. If you decide to pick a balconied cabin, then pick one on the lower levels that are in the middle of the ship.
  • Distance  – If you’d prefer to be closer to specific areas of the ship, then consider this when booking your cruise ship room. There are rooms closer to the restaurants or entertainment hubs, while others are close to the deck of the ship.

READ MORE: 7 unexpected delights of an Alaskan cruise

Do you need a balcony with your cruise ship room?

People who like to spend all their time in the public areas of cruise ships – restaurants, lounges or on deck – may be happy with standard-size cabins and no private outdoor space. Those who love their peace and quiet away from crowds would be better off with cruise ship rooms that come with a balcony.

If you are travelling at a time of the year that will be very cold, for example, then you might not be spending too much time outside, so depending on how much space and light you need, a balcony might be the best option.

Britni Vigil is the writer behind Play Party Plan and she highly recommends booking a cabin with a balcony. She said: “For Alaskan cruises, I highly recommend a balcony so that you can enjoy the incredible scenery all around you as you float through fjords full of awe-inspiring glaciers. Watching them from the deck of the ship is fine but being able to enjoy your breakfast on your own balcony while enjoying the sites is even better. I always prefer balconies but for Alaskan cruises, they're worth the upgrade.

“While everything about an Alaskan cruise is unique, one of the biggest sellers of Alaskan cruises are the excursions. There are very few places in the world where you can ride a sled pulled by sled dogs, climb a glacier, boat right alongside whales, and hike by majestic waterfalls while on the lookout for bears - all within a week. The excursions are unique, once in a lifetime opportunities, and one of the main reasons I would go on an Alaskan cruise every year if I could.”

Travel blogger Cameron Wears runs the blog Traveling Canucks and after going on an Alaska cruise, he also would suggest booking a stateroom that has a balcony.

“If ever there was a cruise itinerary built for a balcony, it's an Alaskan cruise. The landscapes are incredible and there's a high probability you'll see whales. We recommend you find a room with a balcony and avoid the inside staterooms. On our recent Alaska cruise, we stayed in a stateroom with an obstructed view. We saved money by staying in this type of room and we found the obstruction to be minimal. We still had great views from our balcony and barely noticed.

“The highlight of our Alaska cruise was sitting on our balcony or the upper observation deck and soaking up the changing landscapes. We would get up early and enjoy coffee on our balcony while searching for whales on the horizon. We saw at least 20 whales, some breaching and making big splashes. Bring binoculars and a decent camera with a telephoto lens because the whales can be hard to spot.”

READ MORE: A guide to Alaska’s Glaciers

These are just some of the things you should consider when booking an Alaska cruise ship room, but one thing is for certain and that is you will see some spectacular sights and incredible wildlife during your trip.

If you are considering booking a cruise, then you should take a look at all the Canada holidays that we have on offer as you can enjoy an Alaska cruise and a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer Train in one holiday!

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