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10 Ways to Make a Tiny Cabin Feel Bigger

by John Roberts | December 21, 2015

Think of it this way. You're probably on a cruise to enjoy the destinations, pool, restaurants, lounges, theaters, and other wonderful spaces onboard. So your tiny cruise ship cabin mainly is for sleeping and keeping your clothes. But with a few tips and tricks, you can make a cruise ship cabin feel bigger.

Don't overpack.
Put together a well-thought-out cruise packing list ahead of time to determine only what is absolutely necessary for your voyage. Most ships have laundry rooms onboard, so you may even be able to pack less clothing than you need for the sailing. 

Find a place for everything.
When you unpack, organize your items smartly. Find places for all your clothes, devices, and toiletries, to keep them out of sight.

Hide that luggage.
Instead of valuable closet real estate, use the space under your bed for suitcases.

Tidy up.
Make sure you don't leave your cabin before returning all items to their designated spots. Then, you'll return to a spacious, clean stateroom every time. (Bonus: The cabin stewards will make everything pretty for you.)

Remove excess furniture.
In especially tiny cabins, on older ships, or in inside staterooms, ask your cabin steward to remove any night stands, foot stools, tables, or chairs that you don't expect to use.

Utilize wall space.
Use magnetic hooks to hang purses, hats, shawls, scarves, jackets, and more from the walls, which are made of metal.

Let the light in.
If your cabin has a balcony or window, open the curtains whenever you're in the room to brighten the space and make it feel bigger. 

Add a new view.
If you have an inside stateroom, turn on the TV. Try the channel broadcasting the view from the bridge to get a sense of what's going on outdoors.

Go virtual.
Some Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean ships offer inside cabins with "virtual windows." High-resolution digital screens project a view from cameras mounted on the exterior of the ship. You see what people with a similar real balcony would see … except on Disney ships, where you may also see Goofy surfing. 

Use your cabin only to sleep.
If you're in an especially small room, do most of your activities — reading, socializing, planning — outside of your stateroom, and just return to sleep. Then, leave after you're dressed in the morning. If you treat the space like your bedroom, rather than your whole house, it won't feel so small.

John Roberts

John Roberts is a New Jersey-based writer for ShermansCruise who worked at The Virginian-Pilot.

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