Options for a family of 5


Mar 23, 2016
I think we may forgo Disney in 2019 and I would love to do a cruise instead. Our family has never cruised, my DH insists he won't like it but I think he will change his mind once he experiences it. (He was absolutely adamantly against Disney and now he wants to go every year...) The boys will be 10, 8 & 8 in Nov 2019. I am leaning toward the Allure or Symphony and it seems we have a few room options, the cost difference between them is not a big driver. Are there considerations I am not thinking about?
  • Balcony Family Suites - we would all be in 1 room which would be bigger but only 1 bathroom. Are these rooms big enough for us to be comfortable, especially when sleeping?
  • 2 Connecting Balconies - Is this even a possibility? It seems like the only rooms that connect sleep 2 & 2. I need a 3 / 2 configuration.
  • 2 next door balconies - Not in the same room but the boys are old enough that I would feel comfortable with them sleeping in their own room. Worse case DH and I would split up between the rooms. The price seems comparable to the family suite and we would get more sq footage and 2 bathrooms.
  • 1 Balcony 1 across the hall Inside room - About $500-$600 cheaper than the 2 balconies or suite. I wonder if I should worry about having the boys in a room with a balcony so would it be better to have them in an inside room? They are very obedient boys and would 99% not try to go out on the balcony if I told them not to but I may always have that tiny worry.
What do you think is the best option? What am I not thinking about?


DIS Veteran
Jan 12, 2014
If you look on Royal's site and then pull up a deck plan, you can see the exact room types. The double arrows denotes connecting rooms. As for connecting or side by side, that's a personal decision. For us, we booked our first connecting rooms on Anthem as I'm more comfortable with our kids being connecting interior to us. But a lot will put their kids in a non-connecting room nearby.


Nov 7, 2015
We also have a family of 5 and have done a family suite once and twice have done 2 rooms separately (all on Royal Caribbean). One time we had a junior suite with an interior room across the hall and the other time we did a junior suite with a balcony room next door (but non-connecting). I preferred the kids in the interior room across the hall so I didn't have to worry about them falling off the ship! My husband preferred them next door so he could get into their room in case of a fire (which I had never considered!) Go figure - crazy parent worries, huh? On our next cruise to Alaska (on Norwegian Jewel) and the following one (on Carnival Vista) we will have connecting balcony rooms (which are more expensive than non-connecting rooms due to demand). I didn't mind the non-connecting rooms next door (the kids just came into our room from the balcony most of the time) - but you have to be okay with kids walking on the balcony for that. My kids are 13, 11 and 5 (but the 5 year old slept in our room). I much preferred 2 rooms with 2 bathrooms over the family suite. (And it was cheaper). I think we had more room with the junior suite and separate room and we all enjoyed our separate space (and the ability to watch different things on the TV at night). (I'm spoiled now on Junior suites but we are trying to save a bit of money on the next two trips). 2 bathrooms is also a MUST for us now! We use a travel agent so I don't have to look at deck plans to find what I need - I just tell them what I want and they make it happen! (Our travel agent has sometimes spent hours trying to get the room configurations that we want!) I can't imagine having to figure this out for myself! (My husband is a bit claustrophobic so Interior rooms are out for the two of us!) Good luck with your decision!
  • HopperFan

    "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."
    Sep 6, 2003
    When our family of five shared a cabin, DH and oldest DS went to the fitness center to shower while the rest of us used the cabin bathroom. It really worked out quite well and had no issues.

    Personally with your children so young I would go with a Family Suite or connecting cabins to leave the door open. There are LOTS of connecting cabins so that shouldn't be difficult.


    Aug 9, 2012
    I just booked connecting rooms, and depending on the ship, some had connecting with one room that had the extra pull down bed in one room. It was a little more expensive though.

    Funny, I didn’t even think about the balcony danger.


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 6, 2010
    Yes, there are 2/3 combinations that connect. There aren't many but they do exist. We have connecting Boardwalk balconies on Allure this Fall. It was only $100 more than a family balcony.
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