How to Choose a Disney Cruise Stateroom
By Alisha Molen - Updated November 2020
Have you decided which Disney Cruise you want to take? Great!
Once you have decided which Disney cruise itinerary is right for you, here is the next step:
Select the perfect stateroom!
Your Disney Cruise stateroom will be your home away from home for a few days and nights. It is also an important factor in the overall cost of your cruise.
What You Should Know about Disney Cruise Staterooms
Disney Cruise Line staterooms are tailored especially to families.
From split bathrooms, to bathtubs, to beds that pop out of the ceiling, to extra storage space and more, Disney has thought of everything!
In fact, their standard cabins are about 25% bigger than standard cabins on other cruise lines. Don’t get me wrong, they are still much smaller than a hotel room, but bigger than the cruise industry average.
Whatever your budget and taste, Disney Cruise Line has accommodations for every traveller. Stateroom options range from cozy and comfortable to grand and luxurious.
What Comes Standard in Every Stateroom?
First, it’s good to know what comes standard in every Disney Cruise Line stateroom:
- A queen bed (not two twins pushed together)
- Seating area
- Desk area with chair and dedicated lighting
- Privacy curtains that separate sleeping and seating areas
- Storage: 2 closets, under bed storage space, dresser drawers
- Hooks for towels
- Hangers (if you need more, ask your stateroom host/hostess)
- A mini refrigerator
- A hairdryer
- Television (satellite) and in-room movies
- Full length mirror
- In-room safes for wallets, passports, phones etc
- Electrical outlets
- “Wave Phones” that allow you to call and text both onboard and at Castaway Cay
- H20 Plus-branded shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, lotion and soap
- Housekeeping services twice a day—Morning cleaning and nightly turndown service
- Life jackets for each person
- Blackout curtains (staterooms with exterior windows)
- Split bathrooms (in most staterooms)
- Bathtubs (in most staterooms)
About those Bathtubs
I love the fact that Disney Cruise Line has a bathtub in almost every stateroom! (Accessible rooms have roll-in showers instead of tubs.)
This is not the norm for most cruise lines.
With little kids a tub is kind of a must so it’s nice Disney thought of it all. Naturally they aren’t as big as your tub at home but they should do the trick for your kiddos.
For adults? I’d probably stick with the shower.
What is Not Included in Your Stateroom
Now that we covered what is in the stateroom, here are some items that are not:
- Ironing board
The Four Kinds of Disney Cruise Stateroom
The staterooms on Disney Cruise Line ships can be broken down into four types:
Within each of these 4 stateroom types, there are a number of “categories” available.
These “categories” indicate a variance within that room type such as standard or deluxe, a type of verandah, or the location - by deck or area of the ship (forward, midship, or aft).
What Do These Category Numbers Mean?
When it’s time to reserve a cabin, you’ll notice each Disney Cruise stateroom has a “category” and “number” assigned to it.
Example: 5A - Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah
These can be confusing until you learn these simple rules:
1) The higher the “number”, the less expensive the stateroom
Staterooms start at category 11 (inside staterooms) and descend to category 4 (verandah staterooms). The Concierge is the most expensive and doesn’t start with a number at all.
This is handy to know because if you compare a Category 7 stateroom with a Category 6, you know at a glance that the 7 is less expensive.
2) The “letter” indicates a location on the ship
For example, 9B is a mid-ship oceanview stateroom while 9C is forward-ship oceanview stateroom. Same floor plan, just maybe on a different deck or different part of the ship.
If there are multiple sub-categories available within a category - such as 9A, 9B, 9C, 9D - then “A” will be the most expensive and most desirable and “D” the least expensive. Of course, “most desirable” is completely subjective so take it with a grain of salt and the price difference between the subcategories is fairly minimal.
How Many Guests Can Sleep in a Stateroom?
Most regular staterooms sleeps 3-4 with a handful that sleep 5. There are also Concierge staterooms that can sleep up to 7. If you have 5+ guests in your party, check out Bonus Tip #1 below.
Now...Find Your Stateroom by Ship
I have put together a very comprehensive guide for each type of stateroom to make your decision easier.
Click the link below for your ship to learn more about the stateroom types on each vessel.
>> Disney Magic & Disney Wonder Stateroom Guide
>> Disney Dream & Disney Fantasy Stateroom Guide
BONUS TIPS FOR SELECTING A STATEROOM
1) Big Family? Consider Connecting Staterooms
If your group has more than 4 guests, you'll have a couple of different options for staterooms.
- A Family Oceanview stateroom or a Suite (sleeps 5 to 7 guests)
- Two connecting staterooms (sleeps up to 8 guests)
Connecting staterooms are two rooms that have a door between the adjoining wall.
You can leave the door always open to keep an eye on the little ones in the other room, or close it for privacy. It’s kinda like having your own little two-bedroom suite but for less moo-lah.
Which brings me to my next point...
Many times, getting two connecting staterooms is cheaper than one Family Oceanview stateroom or Suite. Crunch the numbers and see what will work best for your family.
NOTE: Just remember that you must have at least one adult booked in each stateroom.
How many connecting staterooms are on each ship?
There are 137 connecting staterooms on both the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.
On both the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, there are over 500 connecting staterooms.
How do you know which rooms connect?
When selecting a stateroom, look for the little “doors” that open in between the cabins. If there are doors on the adjoining wall, that means it’s a connecting room.
For example, in the photo below, cabins 7064 and 7066 connect.
2) View of Beach at Castaway Cay
Want a view of the beach when in dock at Castaway Cay?
Book a room on the starboard (right) side of the ship.
Disney ships will usually back into Castaway Cay’s dock, so the port (left) side cabins will face the dock and the tram area while the starboard (right) side cabins will face the beaches on Castaway Cay.
Just know, this is not a guarantee.
Sometimes there are conditions that will require docking in the opposite direction.
3) If You’re On the Fence About a Verandah
First things first...let's start with this question:
What is a verandah?
A verandah stateroom on a Disney Cruise Line ship is simply a room with a balcony attached.
It is a wonderful experience to stand on your verandah and breathe in the fresh ocean air.
A DCL verandah also offers extra visibility when at port or sailing through a particularly scenic area.
If you’re debating whether to add the additional expense of a verandah (instead of an oceanview) cabin, here are some points to consider in favor of a verandah:
- Verandahs are more valuable on cruises where there is a lot of scenery. Alaska, Panama, and Mediterranean itineraries, for example.
- If you have a young child that will require a lot of naps in your stateroom, having a verandah gives the parent a place to escape to look at the view, read a book, and enjoy some room service while you wait with the little one.
4) To Avoid Noise, Have Staterooms All Around You
By booking a stateroom that has other cabins above, below and to all sides, you're able to insulate yourself from any possible ship noise (laundry, sundecks, engine, restaurants, theatres, etc).