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How To Find Bigger Than Normal Cabins on Cruise Ships (Quirky Layouts)

I have recently sailed onboard P&O’s Aurora. As I often do, I chose an inside cabin – but this inside cabin was far larger than other inside cabins I have had in the past.

Before you book your cruise cabin, it is worth having a look to see if you can get more cabin or balcony space for your money.

In this article, I explain how you might be able to do this.

Emma cruises Aurora giant deckchair
I really enjoyed my trip on P&O’s Aurora, and had a bigger than usual inside cabin.

Study The Deck Plans

Go to the website of the cruise line you are travelling with and have a look at their deck plans for the ship you are planning to book.

This is always a good idea before you make any booking. From the deck plans you will be able to see how your chosen cabin compares to others around it.

You will also be able to have a look at the decks around it, to make sure it is not in a noisy area – under the nightclub or theatre for example.

If you are paying extra to choose your cabin location, make sure it is exactly what you want.

Aurora deck 11 deckplan

You can see from the deck plan above that my room on Aurora is squarer and less narrow than the other yellow cabins of the same grade in the vicinity.

From looking at the deck plan, you will be able to search for quirky or larger cabins.


The deck plan may also have symbols by the cabins to denote the ones that sleep up to four people, or have adjoining doors with other cabins.

By studying the deck plans you might be able to find a balcony cabin with a bigger than average balcony for no extra money, for example.

If you aren’t travelling with friends and family and need an adjoining door – avoid these cabins, would be my advice.

Even though the door will be locked, doors aren’t as soundproof as walls – so you may be able to hear the occupants of the next door cabin very easily.

Find out more about noise and travelling sound you are likely to encounter in a cruise ship cabin in the article below:

Are Cruise Ship Cabins Soundproof? (Thin Walls, Balconies and Travelling Sound)

Find out about the noisy cabin I booked on Marella Explorer 2 in the video below. The cabin design was just what I wanted – but I hadn’t realised the location of the cabin would be a problem:

Ask Your Travel Agent

I always book my cruises through a trusted travel agent.

Often I just book a Guaranteed cabin and take whatever leftover cabin the cruise line assigns me. This is a great way of saving some money.

If I want to choose my cabin, I can ask my travel agent to look for a quirky room – or better still I will go to her with a few cabin numbers that I think I would like, and see if any are available.

If you are booking directly with the cruise line, you are unlikely to get this sort of help. That is one of the many reasons I prefer to use a travel agent.

Find out more about the many great reasons to use a trusted travel agent below:

Is It Best To Use a Travel Agent or Book Directly With The Cruise Line? (Money-Saving Hints and Tips For Booking, and Much More…)

Check Out Reviews On YouTube

If you think you have found a larger or more quirky room you would like to try, go to YouTube and see if anyone else has reviewed it.

Even if it isn’t the most up-to-date video, it will give you an idea of the size and aspect of the room.

It will also tell you any downsides – the cabin may be noisy or have other disadvantages you may not have thought of.

Check out my reviews of the smallest inside cabins I have stayed in below:

Be Prepared To Pay Slightly More

If you want to book a particular cabin, you may have to pay slightly more to secure it.

On Aurora, I paid in the region of £50 extra per person to guarantee getting the cabin I wanted. I think on this occasion, it was worth the money.

Emma Cruises and Emma Otter
I always book my cruises through my trusted travel agent – also called Emma!

Before You Go

Find out what cruise lines actually spend your cruise fare on here:

This is What Cruise Lines Spend Your Cruise Fare on (Real Breakdown)

You may be able to save some money by booking an obstructed cabin. Look at examples of the rooms you might be assigned here:

The Truth About Obstructed View Cabins – (Photo Examples & How to Find One)

Free Insiders Cruise Line Guide

Ever wondered how the mainstream cruise lines compare? Cruise lines won’t tell you this, but I will.

This FREE guide shows you everything you need to know to find your perfect cruise line.