Cabins, staterooms, suites: Untangling the lingo for the best cruise accommodations  

Choosing a room on a cruise ship can be a bit daunting for those who aren't familiar with cruising lingo. But don't fret – learning the difference between a suite and a stateroom will turn you from a first-timer into a cruising pro.

What is the best room to reside in on a cruise?

Typically, cruise ships have four different types of rooms, also known as cabins or staterooms: interior, ocean view, balcony and suite. Of these four, the best room to settle in during a vacation at sea varies depending on a person's needs. However, the best room on a cruise ship is the suite, which is by far the largest and roomiest cabin. Suites typically include everything that a balcony room has, but with more space and a bunch of extra perks such as priority boarding, butler service and sometimes exclusive lounge areas.

Seasickness stopping you from living your best life?

Getting sick out at sea due to, well, the sea, shouldn't be an issue if you choose the correct room. The best room to stay in for those who easily get seasick are those located on the lower decks in the middle of the ship. These rooms are least likely to feel the roll and sway of the ship on the open water. But don't worry, some of the lower decks also offer balcony or ocean view rooms.

Port or starboard: Does side matter?

Let's get the confusion between port and starboard out of the way. The two words are simply ship lingo for the left – port, and right – starboard, side of a ship that is facing forward.

But to answer the question of whether or not side matters, it doesn't. When a vessel is out in the middle of the ocean, both sides of the ship will offer much the same ocean view. The same can be said for when a ship is docked or during a scenic cruise. The captain will typically turn the ship 360 degrees so that everyone, no matter where they are on the ship, can experience the breath-taking views. However, dramatic scenery is best viewed from the top deck.

How big are the cabins on a cruise ship?

Cabin sizes vary based on the ship and the type of room. For example, Carnival offers larger-than-average rooms with the standard interior cabin starting at approximately 185 square feet; other lines tend to average at about 140 square feet. Interior, ocean view and balcony cabins are typically the same in size. The only difference is the ocean-view room has a window to the outside, and the balcony room has a little patio space for passengers to hang out without having to venture out to the decks.