Choosing the Right Disney Cruise Stateroom for Your Family

by Mommy Frog on January 4, 2024
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So you've decided to take a Disney Cruise Line vacation. If you're anything like this Mommy Frog, you're already dreaming of the cocktails you'll try, the gorgeous sunsets you'll see at sea, the adventures your tadpoles will have and the "cruise chic" outfits you'll be packing. But, before you get too carried away, it's crucial to determine the type of stateroom that will accommodate your family. This post is your comprehensive guide to making the optimal choice for your froggy crew. So, let's delve into the world of Disney Cruise staterooms!

Disney Cruise Stateroom - View of Nassau Port from the Disney Wish

Even though you might not plan to spend a lot of time in your cabin, your stateroom will still be your "home away from home" while you're onboard the ship. And you have the ability to choose the exact stateroom you'll be in when booking with Disney Cruise Line. So, we've gathered some helpful questions to ask yourself when deciding which stateroom is just right for your frog squad. After all, you'll want to make sure everyone gets a good night's rest for all the fun you'll be having! Oh, and to help you save on your next cruise vacation, we're pleased to share that Undercover Tourist now offers exclusive Disney Cruise Line savings!

Get a FREE in-room decor set for all Disney Cruise Line bookings, courtesy of Undercover Tourist, when you book a Disney Cruise Line sailing (this offer expires April 30, 2024)

How to Pick the Right Disney Cruise Stateroom for Your Family

Aft, Forward or Mid-Ship?

In case you're not familiar with these nautical terms, aft refers to the back of the ship while forward refers to the front of the ship. (You can easily remember this by thinking "A step toward the front of the ship means you're heading forward" or remembering that front and forward both start with "f.") And mid-ship? You guessed it. That refers to the middle of the ship.

Choosing an aft, forward or mid-ship stateroom is mostly related to concerns about getting seasick. Most cruisers will tell you that the lower and more central you are in the ship, the less swaying you're likely to feel. Since all of Disney's ships are quite large, you might not even feel the ship moving at all! But, if you think you'll be susceptible to seasickness, avoid aft. The closer you are to where the front of the ship is breaking through waves, the more you could feel — and hear — both the ocean and the anchors.

For first-time sailors, be sure to hop over to Our Top 10 Tips for Your First Disney Cruise post!

Disney Cruise Stateroom - Morning Sunrise View from the Disney Wish Verandah

Disney Cruise Staterooms — Low or High Deck?

There are pros and cons to lower decks and high decks. Ask yourself which of these scenarios sounds most appealing or if any of these are deal-breakers for you!

Lower Decks

Pros:

  • Typically less expensive
  • Known for being more stable for avoiding seasickness
  • Close to your dinner restaurant and nightly entertainment

Cons:

  • Fewer staterooms with verandahs and balconies
  • Closer to the engine and anchor noise
  • Longer walks and elevator rides to pool areas

Higher Decks

Disney Cruise Stateroom - Disney Wish Pool Deck

Pros:

  • Wider, more panoramic views
  • Closer to pools, sun decks and the ship's all-you-can-eat buffet and deck eateries. If you think you'll be hopping in and out of the water, this could save you quite a bit of time over several days.
  • More staterooms to choose from if you're definitely interested in a verandah or balcony

Cons:

  • Typically more pricey
  • Further away from all of the main restaurants, most bars and the nightly entertainment
  • Some believe higher-up staterooms are more prone to seasickness than lower-sitting cabins

Disney Cruise Stateroom Categories

These are the four main categories of Disney Cruise staterooms to choose from, even though there are many locations, types and price options within each:

  • Inside
  • Oceanview
  • Verandah
  • Concierge

We've created a comprehensive Disney Cruise Line stateroom guide, available for download, providing you with an easy-to-navigate overview of all the various stateroom types and categories. Click here to access the PDF on your computer or phone.

Rule of thumb for staterooms

Disney Cruises - Princess & the Frog Stateroom

  • Inside = Darker, no exterior window and less expensive. Part of the Disney magic is that many, but not all, inside staterooms have a "virtual porthole," meaning an animated screen that makes it look like you have a window. The "window" displays a real-time video and you might even receive a visit from a Disney character!
  • Oceanview = Exterior window, but no open-air spaces outside your cabin.

Disney Cruise Stateroom - Two boys sitting out on the Disney Wish stateroom balcony

  • Verandah = You'll be able to open a sliding glass door and step outside to enjoy that salty ocean air and beautiful views of the water! The size, shape and views of these vary greatly. And some have a white wall, versus a clear wall, which means you won't be able to sit down outside and still be able to see out.
  • Concierge = Bigger, more luxurious, additional services, a dedicated Concierge-only lounge area and sun deck, and also, you guessed it, a much higher price tag. 

How Many Are You Sleeping?

Count up your froggies and make sure to search for your Disney Cruise staterooms by how many they'll sleep. Disney Cruise Line has a variety of sleeping accommodations, so you'll want to read the fine print on the stateroom descriptions to make sure you're choosing what will work best for your family.

In general, you'll find that Disney Cruise Line usually has one to two "real beds" per stateroom. A perk? There's usually a curtain you can pull across the cabin to separate the real beds from the "extra" sleeping accommodations, which means a little vacation privacy for parents and the ability to have quiet, dark nap space for little ones while still being able to enjoy the rest of the cabin.

Beyond "real beds," most staterooms also have sleeper couches. (They're actually pretty comfortable, but if that's not what you're looking for be sure to — again — read your descriptions closely!)

Disney Cruise Stateroom - Disney Wish Sofa Bed

Some staterooms have what they call "wall fold-down beds." As the name suggests, these fold down from the wall, kind of like a Murphy bed. And still, other staterooms have what are called

"ceiling pull-down beds" or "upper berth beds." These are pulled down by your Disney stateroom host each night, both for safety reasons and so you can have that extra room for walking around when your crew's not sleeping.

Deck and ship plans vary, but usually ... a "sleeps four" cabin will have an upper berth bed and a

"sleeps five" cabin will have both a wall pull-down and an upper berth bed, which, when pulled down at the same time, kind of look like stacked bunk beds.

Disney Cruise Stateroom - Disney Wish Sofa Bed & Upper Berth Bed

The watch-outs? The upper berth beds are twin-sized and hold up to 220 pounds, but just like a top bunk bed, they require climbing a ladder and are situated high up off the floor. These are great for older kids and teens. But they can prove to be dangerous for little tadpoles and can feel quite claustrophobic for adults (as your face will be quite close to the ceiling).

Of course, if you're lucky enough to be searching for a bigger, multi-bedroom stateroom, you'll have even more beds! But — three times is a charm — just be sure to read those bed details and you'll be in great shape.

Need an Adjoining Stateroom?

Have you got a big frog squad? Traveling with multiple froggy families or friends? Picking adjoining staterooms means you'll be able to open up a shared door between rooms and be just a few steps away from your party. The trick for being able to tell if the stateroom you're considering is adjoining — or not — is to look at the Disney Cruise Line deck plans. If your cabin is adjoining, you'll see a small black triangle pointing toward another stateroom. That means those two are adjoining.

Are you looking to avoid having an adjoining stateroom with strangers? Simply look for a stateroom that has solid lines surrounding both sides — no shared door there!  

Light Sleeper?

If you're a light sleeper, take a look at those deck plans again and choose something that's not too low and not too high, deck-wise. Too low and you'll be closer to the restaurants, bars, nighttime entertainment, anchors and engine rooms. Too high and you'll be closer to the pool decks, fireworks and buffet action. Also, take another glance at those deck plans and avoid staterooms that are near main elevators, stairwells and laundry rooms. That's where you'll hear fellow passengers walking — and talking — past your stateroom the most.

Seeking a Good Deal?

The least expensive staterooms by far are interior cabins. If you don't mind not having a verandah, you can save a ton of money by choosing an interior (or ocean view) stateroom.

Disney Cruise Stateroom - Disney Wish Stateroom Door

Another way to save? Look for staterooms being listed as a "Guaranteed Stateroom." This means you won't be choosing your exact deck, location or stateroom number when you book. In exchange for a lower fare, you'll be guaranteed a cabin in the category you've chosen, but your stateroom number won't be assigned until you check in on embarkation day. If you're not picky and want to save a few dollars, this is a great option. And sometimes, though rare, you may even be upgraded to a better category when you arrive!

Whew! That may sound like a lot to consider, but no matter which Disney cruise stateroom you pick, your stateroom team will treat you and your family to the high level of service, friendliness and magic you expect from Disney! (And don't froget about that complimentary, 24-hour room service!)

Disney Cruise Stateroom - View of Castaway Cay from the Ship

Hopefully, these questions and tips are helpful as you start looking at staterooms. And don't froget to take a look at those descriptions and deck plans before booking your cabin.

Have you sailed with Disney Cruise Line? Which category and stateroom did you have? Which is your favorite? How do you decide where to stay? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Related: All the Wondrous Details of the Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments

Comments

Mar 24, 2024 at 2 p.m.
Lynsta Says...

I'd like to know more about the sleeper sofas. How comfortable are they? The ones in hotels are awful. Are the ones on these ships the same style as hotels?

Reply
Mar 25, 2024 at 1:27 p.m.
FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lynsta!

We can only speak from our 13-year-old teen's experience — he didn't have any complaints and there was enough room for him.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jan 3, 2024 at 1:14 a.m.
Kris Says...

This was really helpful. One day, I want to take my giant tadpoles who are adults and still my tadpoles, on a Disney Cruise. I appreciate the overview.

Reply
Jan 3, 2024 at 8:12 a.m.
FrogBlog Says...

Thanks for hopping by, Kris! Love it — toadally agree we're all tadpoles at heart!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply

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