My family spent four nights in a 220-square-foot junior suite aboard the Carnival Elation.
The space's picture windows and ample storage space made it feel larger than it actually was.
Booking the $950 junior suite also came with perks, like priority boarding and disembarkation.
My family of three shared a 220-square-foot junior suite during our four-night voyage to the Bahamas aboard the Carnival Elation.
I was initially hesitant to book a junior suite instead of a stateroom, but the added amenities and great use of space made it worth the $950 we paid.
Plus, reserving the junior suite had perks. We got priority check-in; express boarding during our embarkation in Jacksonville, Florida; and priority disembarkation at all ports of call, helping us get to our excursions faster and make the most of our time.
Take a look inside our junior suite.
When we entered the 220-square-foot accommodation, I was surprised by its spaciousness.
From the moment I opened the door to our junior suite, I was very impressed by the use of space. Miraculously, the 220-square-foot accommodation felt large.
The picture windows looking out to the ocean helped with the illusion, making the room feel bigger than it actually was.
All three of our suitcases fit underneath the king-size bed.
Each of us brought a large suitcase, and we also shared a carry-on bag.
After unpacking and finding a place for our clothes and necessities, I was pleased that the room still didn't feel cluttered.
Our suitcases rolled under the king-size bed, where they stayed until the last night of our cruise.
There was a large TV on the wall across from the bed.
We didn't watch much TV during the day, but it was nice to turn on a show or movie in the evening before bed.
Even though we overpacked for the four-night cruise, we still had plenty of storage space.
We hung the dresses and nice clothing we brought for The Chef's Table, a VIP dining experience we reserved ahead of time, in a large closet.
My family definitely overpacked for a four-night cruise, but luckily, our room host brought us more hangers. Next to the closet, there was a small set of open shelves where we threw our T-shirts and swimsuits for easy access.
We could also keep any valuables in the suite's safe.
The safe allowed us to store valuables, like passports and computers, in a secure spot and keep them there until the end of the voyage.
The desk drawers were the perfect place to put items like charging cords and jewelry.
We put our key cards on the desk each night so we'd know where to find them the following morning.
The junior suite's bathroom was small but usable.
Pretty much all the cruise rooms I've seen have tiny bathrooms, and the one in our junior suite was no exception.
It had a single sink with a shelf above it, a small mirror, a standard-size toilet, and a tiny shower.
The shower had a tiny ledge separating it from the rest of the floor, so water got everywhere whenever one of us showered.
Inside the shower, there was a detachable shower head and soap dispensers.
Despite its small size, the balcony was a major plus for my family.
Our junior suite's balcony was a little small, fitting no more than two chairs. So if all three of us wanted to be outside at the same time, one person was always left standing. Still, it wasn't a deal-breaker.
The balcony was also a great place to hang out when the lido deck was busy. We also sought it out when we needed downtime but still wanted to soak up the sun.
The key to sharing a cruise room this size is to stay organized and make the most of the space.
Cruise rooms tend to be on the smaller side, so packing three people into one can be a challenge. We quickly learned that staying organized was key to making the suite feel spacious.
When my family and I finished using an item, whether it be a charging cord or a blow-dryer, we immediately put it back in its designated place.
If someone ended up tossing pillows or blankets off the bed in the middle of the night, we picked them up off the floor in the morning. We also kept all our dirty laundry in a hamper that we brought with us so we wouldn't have to strew smelly garments around the suite.
Keeping tidy also made packing easier at the end of the cruise. And by the time I was back on land, I was glad we splurged on the junior suite.
Read the original article on Insider