My family of avid cruise-goers booked the cheapest inside stateroom on the Disney Magic.
We were upgraded from a standard to a deluxe room at no cost, but we still didn't have any windows.
We've always booked balcony or veranda rooms but will book inside rooms going forward to save.
On our last three-day cruise aboard the Disney Magic, my family of four booked a standard inside stateroom for $2,570 (or $642 a night).
We got a complimentary upgrade to a deluxe inside stateroom, and the base cost included food and activities, including a day at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.
Here's a look inside our room.
We booked one of the cheaper staterooms on the Disney Magic
Inside staterooms have no windows and usually share three walls with other rooms.
I've been on a total of nine cruises, and this most recent jaunt on the Disney Magic was only the second time I've booked an inside stateroom. This was also our fifth cruise with our kids, and it was the first time they'd stayed in a stateroom without a balcony.
My dad, who's also an avid cruise-goer, told me he has never splurged on a balcony stateroom, so I decided to see if he was onto something. Spoiler: He is.
We decided to go as cheap as we could with this trip and booked the least expensive stateroom that would sleep four.
A few days before the cruise, we were automatically upgraded from a standard inside stateroom to a deluxe inside stateroom. We didn't request it, but we appreciated the extra 30 square feet of space.
For a three-night cruise, the price difference between the bookings is about $47 in total.
The most notable upgrade was the bathroom. A standard inside stateroom has a single bathroom with a sink, toilet, and shower. A deluxe inside stateroom has a split bathroom with a separate area for one sink and the toilet.
The second area is handy if someone needs to use the toilet while someone else is showering or getting ready.
Our quarters were tight, but there was enough room for 4 people
Cruise-ship staterooms are smaller than a typical hotel room, so even if you book a more expensive option, you don't get tons of space.
The stateroom attendant converted our couch to bunk beds for our kids each night as part of the nightly turndown services.
Our room had a curtain that separated the queen bed from the couch area. It didn't provide much privacy, but my kids wanted the bathroom light on, so the curtains helped block that from our bed.
Other amenities included a 22-inch TV and a mini-fridge.
The storage space was sufficient.
We had a closet, a set of drawers, a dresser with cubbies, and a desk with some drawer space. There were also drawers on either side of the bed and storage underneath the bench.
There's enough space under the queen bed to stow your suitcases.
We're pretty light packers and had three small bags and one slightly larger bag, but if you have more, you might find storage space more challenging.
There's not a ton of counter space in the bathroom, but it was adequate. I have the most toiletries out of anyone in our family, so I didn't have to compete for counter space. But I was glad I brought travel-sized products.
The bathroom was also stocked with hand soap, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
The only parts of the stateroom that felt really tight were the side of the queen bed closest to the wall and the space between the bed and dresser.
And other than being a good spot for our breakfast tray, I thought the coffee table was a waste of space.
We've always booked balcony or veranda rooms but will likely continue booking inside rooms on future cruises
A travel agent once told us we absolutely had to book an ocean-view stateroom. It didn't take much to convince us to splurge on sea breezes and a private balcony, but we spent almost no time in the room during the cruise.
We crunched the numbers and realized we could save almost $1,000 on a three-night cruise by booking an inside stateroom.
I expected to feel cramped and miss natural light, but I liked the darkness and got some of the best sleep I've had in a while. Plus, my kids didn't comment once on the lack of veranda.
I'm not saying I'll never book another veranda room again, but I can easily see booking inside staterooms on future cruises. Our overall experience was just as good, and I enjoyed the savings.
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