How to Tell the Difference Between Disney Cruise Line Stateroom Categories

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There are a variety of different stateroom types on the Disney Magic and Wonder cruise ships. They run from category 12, which is the least expensive category, to luxurious category 1 suites. What is the difference between each category? What do terms like "outside," "inside" and "navigator's verandah" mean? Are there better rooms within the same category, and are the more expensive staterooms really worth the extra cost? Find the answers so you can choose a stateroom category on a Disney Cruise Line ship with confidence.

Inside Staterooms (Category 12, 11 and 10)

  • Category 12 staterooms: A category 12 stateroom is a standard inside room. It doesn't have a window or verandah, just a sleeping area, sitting area and a bathroom with a bathtub/shower, sink and toilet. In addition to a bed, couch, desk and chair, these rooms also have a television set and cooling box to keep beverages cold. The category 12 staterooms on the Disney Magic and Wonder are all on deck 2 in the forward area of the ship, and they are under the nightclubs. This is why category 12 is the least expensive category, even though these staterooms are identical in size to category 11 rooms. These staterooms will only hold three people, although Disney Cruise Line sometimes allows them to be booked by parties of four. This means that the party will automatically get an upgrade to at least category 11.

  • Category 11 staterooms: Category 11 staterooms are identical in size, amenities and layout to category 12 rooms, with the exception of a few category 11 rooms in the forward section of the ship that are laid out in an elongated manner. The size is still the same. Category 11 staterooms are on decks 5, 6 and 7, which is why they cost more than category 12. Rather than nightclubs or other potentially noisy areas, they have other staterooms overhead, so there is much less noise potential.

  • Category 10 staterooms: Like categories 12 and 11, category 10 staterooms on the Disney Magic and Wonder do not have a window or verandah. However, they are slightly larger and are considered deluxe inside staterooms. Instead of a single bathroom, they have a split area with a sink and toilet on one side and a sink and bathtub/shower on the other. Each area has its own door that can be closed for privacy, allowing two people to use them at the same time.

    Category 10 staterooms are on decks 1, 2, 5 and 7. Because there are nightclubs, restaurants and other public areas on deck 3, some of the deck 2 staterooms might have a potential noise issue overhead. This is usually only an issue in the forward section of the ship, where the nightclub district is located. Because the restaurants are only open at mealtimes, there is less potential for disturbance during sleeping times.

Porthole and Verandah Staterooms

  • Category 9 staterooms: Category 9 staterooms on the Disney Magic and Wonder are identical in size to category 10 rooms. However, most of these rooms have a large porthole that lets in natural light and offers a view of the ocean. Category 9 staterooms are located on decks 1 and 2. The rooms on deck 1 have two small, recessed portholes rather than one large porthole. This tends to make deck 2 rooms more desirable, although some are located under the nightclubs.

  • Category 8 staterooms: These staterooms are identical in size and layout to category 9, but they are located on the upper decks. They can be found in the forward section of decks 7, 6 and 5. All of these rooms have one large porthole rather than two small ones. They command a higher price than category 9 rooms because many people prefer upper decks. However, their forward location can pose a problem for cruisers who are prone to motion sickness because motion tends to be felt the most in the forward part of the ship and on the upper decks.

  • Category 7 staterooms: This category of stateroom is identical in interior size and layout to categories 10 through 8, but they have what is called a "navigator's verandah." This is an enclosed balcony area with fixed furniture and a large open "porthole." There are a table and two chairs so cruisers can sit outside, and the opening allows them to enjoy fresh air. It also offers a nice ocean view if they stand up and look out. These rooms are located in the aft (rear) section of decks 7, 6 and 5. The price for these staterooms is the same, no matter which deck they are on.

  • Category 6 staterooms: Category 6 staterooms on the Disney Magic and Wonder have a traditional open-air verandah and moveable furniture consisting of a small table and chairs. Otherwise they are identical in size and layout to categories 10 through 7. These staterooms are on decks 6 and 5. Most of these rooms have a plastic-glass half-wall that allows cruisers to look out at the ocean even while they are sitting down. However, the category 6 staterooms in the far aft area have a solid white metal wall. This requires a person to stand up and look over the railing to see the ocean.

  • Category 5 staterooms: These staterooms are identical to category 6 rooms. The reason for their higher price is that they are located on deck 7, which appeals to cruisers who prefer to be as high as possible on the ship. Like category 6, the category 5 staterooms in the far aft area have a solid white half-wall on the verandah.

  • Category 4 staterooms: Category 4 staterooms are similar to categories 5 and 6, but they are longer and will accommodate five passengers. Categories 5 through 11 can only accommodate a maximum of four people. All of these staterooms are on deck 8, the highest passenger deck. Some are located under potentially noisy public areas like the swimming pools, while others are below a restaurant or the Vista Spa.

Concierge Suites

  • Category 3 staterooms: Like category 4 staterooms, category 3 rooms on the Disney Magic and Wonder accommodate five cruisers. However, rather than having one large sleeping area, these are fully furnished suites that have a separate bedroom and two full bathrooms. In addition to televisions, they are also equipped with a DVD player. They also include concierge service, with a personal team to help cruisers make reservations for spa treatments, excursions, or Palo, the adults-only restaurant, and to answer any questions or handle special requests. All category 3 staterooms are on deck 8, and all of them have open-air verandahs with a plastic-glass half-wall.

  • Category 2 staterooms: Like category 3 staterooms, category 2 rooms are verandah suites that include concierge service. However, they have two bedrooms and two full bathrooms and can accommodate up to five passengers.

  • Category 1 staterooms: There are only two category 1 staterooms on the Disney Magic and Wonder. These verandah suites have concierge service and are named after Walt Disney and his brother, Roy. Like category 2 staterooms, they have two bedrooms and will sleep up to seven passengers. However, they are larger and are very luxuriously appointed.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are six category 10 staterooms (room numbers 5020, 5022, 5024, 5520, 5522 and 5024) that have a porthole. They are sold as inside staterooms because the porthole has an obstructed view. You can request one of these staterooms, and if it is available you will receive an outside stateroom at an inside price.
  • There are four category 7 staterooms (room numbers 7120, 7620, 6134 and 6634) that have a regular open-air verandah rather than an enclosed one. They are sold as navigator's verandah rooms because there is a slight obstruction on the verandah due to the ship's curvature. You can request one of these staterooms, and if it is available you will receive a stateroom that is equivalent to a category 5 or 6 for the price of a category 7.
  • Many people believe that it's better to be on a higher deck on a cruise ship. This myth started in the days of Titanic, when the more expensive staterooms were located on the higher decks and steerage was down below. In modern cruising, there is no such distinction. Lower decks can actually be more desirable. Higher decks have more motion, which can cause a problem for people with motion sickness. On the Disney Magic and Wonder, there are potentially noisy public areas like pools and restaurants above the highest passenger decks. Cruisers shouldn't be afraid to choose a stateroom on a lower deck if it meets their needs.

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