Pictures of Inside cruise ships

Navigator of the Seas virtual balconyNot everyone thinks "best inside cabin" is an oxymoron. Inside cabins are a great choice for cruisers who spend most of their time out and about on the ship and in port, and want to save money on a cabin they only sleep in. While some insides are hardly more than dark closets with a bed and bath, others are downright spacious or have cool decor and nifty technological features. They just don't have views of the ocean (though Royal Caribbean's high-tech, "virtual balcony" inside cabins can now provide a pretty close substitute). And if you time it right, you can snag an inside cabin for well under $75 a night.

These days, not all inside cabins are the bottom-of-the-barrel inventory. Creative cabin designs - such as insides that sleep as few as one or as many as six, staterooms with virtual views or interior-facing windows, and Zen-like boudoirs with spa perks - may not be the cheapest options, but they're usually more affordable than similar cabins with actual ocean views or balconies. And don't forget about oddball cabins - like the one-of-a-kind, 281-square-foot accessible cabin 4479 on Norwegian Spirit - that aren't going to be listed separately from the standard cabins in the same category, but can net you more space. To find these, you'll want to pore over cruise line deck plans (as well as Cruise Critic's cabin reviews and message boards). And book early for these inside oddities, as other savvy stateroom hunters are eager to snap up these great finds.

For a general overview of the highlights and lowlights of inside cabin categories across mainstream mega-ship cruise lines, here are our picks for the nine best inside cabins - and three you may very well want to avoid.

1. Best Standard Inside Cabin

Winner: Carnival Cruise Lines' Standard Insides, 185 square feet

What You Get: Carnival, that everyman cruise line, does not feel that those who pay less for inside cabins should suffer in tiny digs. While other lines average about 140 square feet of cabin to those booking the lowest category of inside cabin, Carnival starts off with a whopping 185 square feet. (A close runner-up, size-wise, is Celebrity Cruises' Solstice class, with insides starting at 183 square feet.)

Just like their suite-living shipmates, passengers in Carnival's standard insides get bathrobes for on-ship use, flat-screen TVs, and very comfy beds and bedding. Carnival's newest ship, Carnival Breeze, adds some nifty storage options, such as bureau shelves that fold down or up for custom space.

Celebrity Reflection accessible inside cabin2. Best "Deluxe" Inside Cabin

Winner: Holland America's Large Interior staterooms, 200 square feet

What You Get: Cramped and claustrophobic are two words not typically associated with HAL's Large Interior staterooms. Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Westerdam and Zuiderdam each offer more than two dozen of these cabins; all other ships (excluding Prinsendam) feature just a handful. Plus, there will be 18 of these cabins on the upcoming Koningsdam (debuting in April 2016). These spacious digs tout tasteful design schemes and some feature roomy L-shaped layouts. HAL also offers gratis robes and a complimentary shoeshine service to all passengers, a nice touch for a line that keeps one foot in the classic cruising camp. One key reminder: There is some cabin category overlap - i.e. Standard Interiors and Large Interiors might be labeled in the same category. Consult your deck plan or ask your travel agent to be sure.

3. Best Inside Cabin With a View

Winner: Royal Caribbean's Promenade Cabins, 194 square feet

What You Get: Royal Caribbean invented the concept of the cabin with an interior-facing window. The promenade cabins on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas look out onto the Royal Promenade, an enclosed shopping street lined with stores, restaurants and watering holes. Whether you love an inside cabin with a view or hate the lack of privacy (your across-the-way neighbors and promenade wanderers can see in when the shades are up), you will find the biggest of the promenade cabins on the Oasis-class duo. (Smaller versions are also found on the line's five Voyager-class ships and three Freedom-class ships; the latter offer the notorious "Ben & Jerry's Sweet, " with a view partially obstructed by the ice cream shop's fake cow.)

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Q&A

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What is inside a luxury cruise ship.

a lot of things like people and bananas!!!!!!!!

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