If you have ever travelled with kids you will most certainly know the joys of sharing a hotel room or cruise cabin with your tribe. Restrictions like one bathroom or one television can lead to some very interesting disputes. But there are ways to minimise or even avoid this.
Your budget might not stretch to affording a family suite, however modern cruise lines are now well versed in ways they can accommodate the ever growing family market without charging the world. By far, the most common around these days has been the adaptation of standard cabins to be “interconnecting”, which effectively means that two adjoining cabins will have a door placed between them, enabling guests to transit between the two staterooms without first needing to venture out into the hallway.
The doors between the two cabins can be unlocked on request of your stateroom steward at the start of your voyage and whilst they can be closed as needed, they generally can’t be locked again without the steward and their key. Keep this in mind if you are sharing the two rooms with your adult or teenage children who may walk in to your room unannounced.
For all other purposes, the two cabins operate as separate cabins, so things like onboard accounts and other formalities will be able to be easily sorted out if the two cabins are housing different families or groups of friends. Alternatively, if the two cabins are being shared by one family with onboard accounts settled by the same credit card, most cruise lines will be happy to combine everything onto the one stateroom account, making it easier to track your entire family’s spend rather than having to track each individual account.
On some ships like Carnival Spirit & Carnival Legend, there is an abundance of interconnecting cabins, however there are only a limited number of each stateroom type (Ocean View & Balcony) so booking them early is key to ensuring you get the room type you’re seeking and that the two rooms will indeed connect.
Newer ships such as Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas features around 25 different ways in which staterooms can interconnect, including quite a few options that see two quad staterooms able to be adjoined – a rarity in the cruise industry.
MSC Cruises – the cruise brand famous for its “Kids Cruise Free” offers is also ramping up the interconnecting choice aboard its newest ships MSC Seaside & MSC Meraviglia. Aimed at the larger families, the line is introducing new innovative designs that allow for up to three staterooms to interconnect, accommodating as many as ten guests. The new designs see combinations of interior, balcony and Ocean View cabins set in clusters and centred around a main entry way, with each stateroom retaining more privacy than traditional interconnecting cabins. The new designs will complement the existing “Super Family” interconnecting balcony staterooms already found across the MSC Cruises fleet.
Even local operator P&O Cruises features interconnecting stateroom options across its five ship fleet. It is in fact one of the few lines to also feature linkable interior staterooms. However the number of interior interconnected staterooms are extremely limited so booking early will ensure you get what you need.
In order to help you book a interconnecting cabin we have broken down the offerings of the local ships and where to look for them on your favourite ships:
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Spirit features 86 interconnecting cabins in a variety of configurations that are spread out across the ship. This handy list of interconnecting options provides you with the specific cabin configurations and cabin numbers to ask for should you wish to book an interconnecting cabin on your upcoming Carnival Spirit cruise.
Sister ship Carnival Legend is slightly different to Carnival Spirit as she features a massive 106 interconnecting staterooms. Carnival has also produced a handy guide to Carnival Legend‘s interconnecting stateroom options.
As one of Australia’s largest ships, Celebrity Solstice is also loaded with interconnecting staterooms. Primarily in balcony categories, Celebrity Solstice features a unique space saving design which sees the front doors of connecting cabins angled at the entrance and joined at the front door by a special vestibule, rather than having a door open up in the middle of each room.
P&O Cruises Australia
On Pacific Jewel, Pacific Dawn & Pacific Pearl, keep an eye out on the higher end categories in each stateroom type as these are generally where interconnecting cabins are located on the three ships. On the two newest members of the P&O fleet, Pacific Aria & Pacific Eden, the dedicated “OI” category of Ocean View rooms are the only interconnecting options.
Aboard Sun Princess, Dawn Princess and Sea Princess, you will struggle to find any interconnecting rooms at all. Your best option is to consider booking two balcony rooms and open up the outer dividing wall between the two rooms.
On the line’s two other locally based vessels Emerald Princess & Golden Princess, guests may find some interconnected balcony staterooms, however these too are few and far between that your chances of securing any are very slim.
As one of the most family friendly cruise options in Australia, it’s good planning that sees the five ships Royal Caribbean sail from Australia offer a wide choice of interconnecting options.
On Legend of the Seas, the line’s smaller ship sailing its final season from Brisbane this summer, the ship offers fewer interconnecting staterooms than her larger fleet mates, with these rooms in the ocean view and balcony categories. The ship however offers some of the widest choices for guests trying to book two quad berth interconnecting cabins for up to eight people staying together, so keep your eyes firmly planted on this ship if you are finding it hard to locate interconnecting quad cabins on other ships.
Twin sisters Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas also feature interconnecting stateroom selections across all categories including the addition of linkable Junior Suites, so if you and your family are wanting something a little more special, these two mammoths of the seas will most likely provide it.
However if you only want the biggest and best for your family, then the largest ship to ever call Australia home, Ovation of the Seas, has practically been built for families and offers more cabin choices than any other vessel in the Southern Hemisphere! With over 25 different interconnecting options on every single stateroom deck, including options to interconnect suites, Ovation of the Seas has something for everyone and at every price point. So if you particularly enjoy the suite life, yet don’t want to share the space with your entire family, interconnecting options can house up to ten guests across two cabins!