Family of 4, One Cabin or Two on a Celebrity Cruise

Family of 4, One Cabin or Two on a Celebrity Cruise

Silhouette Veranda Cabin

We recently got back from two weeks on the Celebrity Silhouette.   Having sailed many times with my husband, son and daughter on a Celebrity Cruise in many different types of Cabins, I thought it would be helpful to share my experience when it comes to  fitting 4 people into one cabin.  We originally had booked a single cabin for 4 people.     Then Celebrity came out with a free gratuity offer for the first and second person in a cabin.   This meant that splitting our group into 2 cabins only cost us $210 more total for the cruise.   We were cruising two weeks back to back, and that offer only applied to the first week, so we originally got the adjoining cabins the first week with a plan to consolidate to the single room with 4 beds the second week.   At the last minute we asked if that connecting cabin was available for the 2nd week, and we ended up paying an additional $800 for have that cabin for the second week as well.

Having those two weeks in the two cabins has taught us that for a family with two teenage kids, the two cabins with the two bath rooms is definitely the preferred way to go.   Even with two cabins we had trouble finding enough storage, and sometimes the rooms seemed cluttered.   We ended up having my husband’s mother join us for the second week of the cruise for just the price of a third person, so that week we had one of those cabins with two and one with three.   The cabin with three did seem really a tight fit.

Can 4 People Actually Share A Standard Cabin?

One of the most frequently asked questions by those budgeting for their cruise is “can four people actually share a cabin.”  The simple answer is yes, but with concessions.  When I was a kid and I cruised with my parents and sister, we always shared one room, quite often the lowest category inside cabin.   On our very first family cruise, my husband, kids and I  actually shared a standard balcony cabin with one upper, one sofa bed and one king bed  on the Celebrity Infinity.   We had reserved a room with no balcony and two uppers and two lowers, but got upgraded at the pier to a balcony cabin with the upper/sofa/king configuration.    With the kids being just 7 and 9 at the time, it was a little tight when all the beds were out, but manageable.   For families on a budget, this is  a very common way to cruise and the best fit for their budget. Over the years, I’ve picked up a few tips that make sharing the small space more manageable.

1.  Pack really light, stay as organized as possible, and plan to re-wear and reuse. Storage space is probably where cruisers have the most difficulty.   Though rewearing clothes can be difficult for those who tend to sweat a lot in a humid climate and may go through two shirts a day, try to pack as lightly as possible.   For cruises more than a week long  plan to send some laundry out.  Since storage space is very limited, barely enough storage for the belongings of 2 people, much less 4 people, cruisers sharing one cabin must be conscientious of that and pack as lightly as possible.

2.   Plan to spend as little time as possible in the cabin and stagger times for getting ready in the evenings.   If you can shower in 15 minute intervals that are pre-planned everyone will avoid tripping over each other while getting ready.  One might even want to make a schedule for the evenings when all are getting ready.   When we shared a room as a kid, my Dad would get ready early, and then make his way up to the bar, out of the way of the

three ladies getting ready in the room.   If possible, have the gentlemen or boys shower at the spa.   This leaves more space and privacy for the ladies.   This is probably most practical if your room is located in close proximity to the spa.

3. Bring an over the door shoe hanger to help organize toiletries and personal items.   Each person gets their own pockets and it keeps the counters and floors free from clutter.

4. Bring a collapsible hamper for dirty clothes.   This can be popped up in a corner and dirty clothes thrown in.   When it get full, fold the items to be sent out for laundry or returned to a suit case.

5. Know where the closest public restroom is in an emergency or maybe even for regular visits.   When I cruised with my family as a kid, Dad always went to the public restroom down the hall.

6. Make sure everyone is clear that they must clean up after themselves.   Fold and put away items, don’t leave things all over the place, and be extremely courteous.   Don’t ruin Mom’s vacation by making her do it all.

6.  The older the kids,  the harder it gets.   It was much easier to share a room for four with 7 and 9 year old children than it is to share a room of 3 when the 3rd person is a 6 foot 200 pound teenage boy

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Other Options

Though you can see that it is possible to share a standard size cabin, this may not be the preferred way to spend you vacation, so if your budget permits, you might want to consider some of the following options.

Adjoining Cabins

Depending on the budget, cruisers may want to consider adjoining cabins.   As mentioned earlier, this was the option we choose for the Silhouette.   We opened the partition between cabins and  had the room set up with the interlocking doors.   The nice part about the interlocking doors is that the connect the rooms by placing a single exterior door flush with the hallway so that both rooms can be entered with one key.   The down side, was that once that exterior door was set up, the original entry doors could not be closed for complete privacy.  I would only recommend the interlocking rooms be utilized by families travling together, not by couples who would probably want more privacy.

Across the Hall Cabins

Another popular option is to book an inside cabin across the hall or in close proximity of the balcony cabin.    The easiest way to manage this is to officially book one parent in each cabin, and then usually the customer service desk can give key cards to

all four people for both rooms.   The family can enjoy the balcony together, but they also have the storage and bathrooms of each of the rooms.

 

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IMG_0952Family Cabins

Celebrity essentially has two types of family cabins.   On the Constellation class the rooms are long skinny rooms on the back of the ship that have a very large extended balcony.   They have a king size bed, and depending on what furniture is currently in the room, either a sofa bed and an upper bunk or a roll-away and an upper bunk.   They are 271 sqare feet and have a sliding frosted glass privacy  partition that can separate the room into two parts. The Century has a similar room except the larger bed is really only a double, not a queen or king.    The Solstice class ships three room family veranda cabins located on the front of the ship with seperate bunk room, master bedroom, and living area with a convertible sofa bed. .   The main draw back of family veranda rooms  is that they can easily hold up to 5 passengers, but they only have one bath.

Suites

Though often times, two cabins are less expensive, a suite may also be a suitable option.   Sky Suites are really not set up for 4 full size people as they have a double sleeper sofa for the 3rd and 4th person. However, some cruisers report being able to get a roll away for these rooms.  This extra bed does take up much floor space even when the roll away is folded up.   The full suites like the Celebrity, Royal and Penthouse suites are good options if money is no object.