Smaller room on a better ship, or bigger room on a lesser ship?

Hi everyone,

I'm planning our first-ever cruise and would love some advice. What's the conventional wisdom regarding a smaller room on a better ship or a bigger room on a lesser ship, for roughly the same price? In some sense I figure the ship matters more given that a lot of time will be spent exploring port cities and enjoying the common areas of the ship; on the other hand, I could see how a small room could put a damper on things for the time spent in the room.

In case the particulars help, the rooms/ships I'm considering are a "Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah" on the Crystal Symphony, or a "Celebrity Suite" on the Celebrity Millennium (which is still cheaper than the Crystal option)?

Both are for cruises to Southeast Asia in 2017. I'd love your advice!



16 Answers

Wow, You are going to have a BLAST... on either line. Now before you put money down, I suggest you do the following. Write down all your expectations. Research on line the ports of call. Review your budget. Then. sit down with a qualified, professional travel advisor and spend the time to get all the questions answered.

Yes, the ship is as important as the ports you will visit, the members of this site will give you all sorts of ideas and we will give you valuable advice. But the bottom line will be.

What do YOU want out of this cruise. and have fun.

Thanks, John. I've thought about all that and have researched the ports (and where the ships dock) to the hilt. I'm just looking for some specific advice about the specific question I asked, since having never cruised before I don't know how to weight the room (especially its size) against the rest of the ship.



Using my own experience, on our first cruise we had an oceanview room. We only book inside rooms now, as we discovered we really don't spend a lot of time in the room.

An inside room also is nice if you want to take an afternoon nap, as I do.

Since this is your first cruise, may I suggest you look to a balcony room. I'm sure a morning breakfast on your balcony, while watching the ship arrive in port would be wonderful.

Please post your decision.

Thanks, John. I've actually only been looking at balcony rooms, so I'm very glad to hear your advice there! :-) It was more a question of a small room (250 sq ft including the balcony) on Crystal vs a larger room (400+ square ft) on Celebrity Millennium (not Solstice class).



Todd, your looking at 2 different experiences, Celebrity is a Premium line and Crystal is a boutique line. Not only are the ships different so are the Clientele, ages, social economic grouping, Service is different, entertainment, food and beverage. Read some reviews on a few different sites.

I agree with John, for a shorter cruise you are only in your cabin to sleep and shower, unless your traveling with a group and will have cocktail parties in your cabin. On long trips with lots of sea days I like a balcony to have breakfast on or a night cap. I also like to leave the door open a bit at night to hear the waves crashing on the ship.

Thanks. I'm very much aware they're different experience, hence my question. Perhaps I wasn't clear, but in talking about "better ships" and "lesser ships" I'm aware of the differences between Crystal and Celebrity. I've done a TON of research, including many professional reviews that adore the Millennium and many reviews from individual travelers who think it's old and run-down. Yes, there are some folks who aren't fond of the Symphony but there seems to be a much higher percentage who are.

I'm simply trying to understand how much a small room (as opposed to a bigger one) will have an effect on our trip. I can't imagine wanting to spend a lot of time in my room (the balcony is a different matter), so I'm not sure it will make a big difference. But clearly they offer bigger rooms for a reason!

I'd really appreciate some advice focused on this question.

Thanks very much!


Apologies if I was too quick or dismissive with my reply. I actually would really appreciate also hearing how you all would compare the overall experience on Crystal Symphony and Celebrity Millennium. We'll be 48 and 50 when we sail, love food, great cocktails, and plan to really enjoy the pool, gym, and spa on board. I'm not sure what to make of the bad reviews of Millennium on sites like CruiseCritic despite the great reviews in Fodors, Frommers, and from some people I know who've actually sailed her. On the other hand, I'm worried about more smoking on Crystal and what I expect will be more formal and possibly stuffy -- left to our own devices, we wouldn't be looking forward to dressing formally for dinner.

I'm interested to hear all comments, not just on these particular issues. Thank you!

Any help gang? Thanks!

The more you drink, the less you actually see the inside of your room. The more time you spend in bed, the more the room size matters. The rougher the seas, the smaller the room seems. The longer the cruise, the more space you need to stow stuff hence the value of a larger cabin inside or not. Particularly on longer cruises with lots of ports, the more important it is for you to have your own reserved space for you and your camera for sailaways the more you'll appreciate a balcony. The less you value natural light, the more you'll value an inside cabin. If you tend to travel with an alarm clock and night light anyway, why not book an inside cabin since the sun doesn't matter? With the luxury cruise lines and most everything else you get what you pay for in extra service, perks, freebies, comps, high quality materials and finishes, real gourmet cuisine with high-end ingredients and lots of ego-stroking,

One thing to keep in mind is what's included in your cruise fare, as there's much more included on Crystal than on Celebrity. Even though Celebrity costs less, you'll need to budget for alcohol, specialty dining, etc. that you won't have to worry abut on Crystal. Often times, the more-inclusive option actually comes out to be cheaper once everything is factored in.

Beyond cost, it comes down to what kind of cruise you're looking for. A smaller, more intimate and luxurious ship or a larger "mass market" cruise with lots of entertainment options. I don't think you can go wrong with either experience, honestly, so it comes down to cost and what your expectations and desires are.

Hope that helps. Let us know if you have any other questions.


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