9 tips for choosing the best family-friendly cruise cabin

Here are our top tips for booking the right cruise cabin for your family.

Photo: iStockphoto

Family cruise
Photo: iStockphoto

1. Check cruise prices on Expedia.ca (which are quoted in Canadian dollars, updated daily) or call the cruise line directly to see if they offer special rates for Canadian residents.

2. For accurate price quotes online, plug in the number of adults and children (with their ages if asked), since per-person fares go down when you add third and fourth passengers to a cabin.

3. The lowest prices are for inside cabins—they have no windows and are typically snug—but they do offer cost savings. However, on some ships you can get an ocean-view cabin for just $20-$30 more per person.

4. An oceanview cabin may be the way to go if you have toddlers, preschoolers or curious younger kids and you want to enjoy the view without the risk of a balcony.

5. Check the square footage of cabins before you book. Most are between 135–165 (inside cabins) and 170–195 square feet (oceanview and balcony), while suites are generally 220 square feet and larger.

6. If you must have a tub, consider a Disney cruise. To get a tub on Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival or MSC, you’ll need to book a family cabin or mini suite category or higher.

7. Check the beds. Two adults and two children are typically accommodated in twins that convert to one queen plus either two upper fold-down berths (not the best for preschoolers) or a double sofa bed.

8. When cruising with tweens, consider adjoining cabins—you can leave the door open or close it for privacy—and you’ll have two bathrooms.

9. Cabins designed with families in mind—offering more space and located near the kids’ area—are available on some ships, but command a premium. If you don’t see a family category in your online search, call the cruise line and inquire.

A version of this article appeared in our January 2017 issue, titled “Cabin selection 101,” pg. 60-61.

Read more:
8 best family cruises
How the Zika virus is changing family travel plans
10 things to think about before booking a family cruise

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