Planning your cruise ship door decorations ahead of time is so smart, and a good idea if you want to do something special.
The first time many people learn about cruise cabin door decorations is when they are already on their first cruise. Uh oh.
By then, you are at the mercy of the ship store, and they don't typically have a lot.
If the store does have stateroom door decorations, you'll be paying a lot more for them than you could have if you had shopped ahead of time.
My goal is to prepare you with lots of ideas for your cruise ship door decorations. If you cruise a lot, you'll gather your own collection of cruise door decorations to use on the high seas over time.
I remember seeing some doors beautifully decorated on my first cruise and thinking (slaps head) why didn't I think of this?!
Table of Contents
Before Your Cruise
And speaking of things to do before your cruise, do yourself a favor and go ahead and reserve your room for the night before now. You don't want to worry about being late, and traffic (and other stuff!) happens!
The top ports in the United States are Miami, Cape Canaveral, Everglades, followed by Port of Cozumel in Mexico.
Where to Stay in Port of Miami
The Port of Miami is located at 1015 North America Way in Miami, Florida.
⭐ Recommended Budget Hotel Tru By Hilton
A budget hotel in Miami that is close to the Port of Miami Cruise Terminal is not easy to find. This one is just 2.1 miles away and was under $200. when we searched which was during season.
Tru is actually considered a 3-star hotel, which is not bad for the price. It has a pool and fitness center.
⭐ Recommended Upscale Hotel The Betsy Hotel, South Beach
Located 3 miles from Port of Miami, the Betsy Hotel is a luxurious place to stay with a rooftop pool and direct beach access. I hear LT Steak and Seafood at the Betsy is incredible.
Where to Stay in Port Canaveral
Port Canaveral is located in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Located just about 45 minutes from Walt Disney World, it's a pretty popular spot. With seven terminals, you'll need to look at your cruise documents to figure out which terminal you will sail from.
⭐ Recommended Budget Hotel La Quinta Inn & Suites
Located a little over 5 miles from Port Canaveral, this hotel has a pool, free wifi, and breakfast is included.
La Quinta also has a microwave and small refrigerator in the room, and was less then $150 when we searched in the Spring.
⭐ Recommended Upscale Hotel Hampton Inn & Suites
Though we couldn't find a 4-star hotel in Port Canaveral, the 3-star Hampton Inn & Suites is just a mile from the Port.
It has a lovely pool, fitness center, and continental breakfast to get you going before heading out to the terminal.
Where to Stay in Port Everglades
Port Everglades is located at 1850 Eller Drive in
Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
⭐ Recommended Budget Hotel AC Hotel by Marriott
At just 3 miles from Port Everglades, the AC Hotel by Marriott has excellent reviews but books up fast, so reserve ahead of time.
This is a pretty property offering a large pool, free bikes, fitness center, and on-site restaurant.
⭐ Recommended Upscale Hotel Ritz Carlton Fort Lauderdale
This ocean front property boasts an on-site spa, tropical sundeck, and infinity pool with private cabanas. It is also just 3 miles from the terminal.
Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits is specializes in coastal-inspired dishes and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Where to Stay in Port of Cozumel
There are actually three different ports in Cozumel, so make sure you know where you are going!
I paid for two taxis when I spent the day in Singapore as I went to the wrong port. Don't make that mistake!
⭐ Recommended Budget Hotel Illa Cozumel
Located just 0.2 miles from city center, this is a really convenient spot as it's also just 0.6 miles from the airport.
Illa Cozmel has an outdoor pool, terrace, and garden.
⭐ Recommended Upscale Hotel The Westin Cozumel
Located 3 miles from city center, the Westin Cozumel offers a private beach, water sports facilities, outdoor pool and sun terrace, and more.
You can play golf, snorkel, and scuba in the nearby surrounding area.
Be sure to bookmark this list of what to do in Cozumel so you'll have it when you start planning your trip.
As I mentioned, it's not totally too late to decorate if you weren't prepared with cruise door decoration ideas. Once you are on the ship, there are gift shops onboard.
The cruise ship gift shops know you'll be searching for cruise ship door decorations so you'll probably find a few magnets to personalize your door, or maybe even a door hanger.
But wouldn't it be fun to have something uniquely you?
I started a Pinterest Board showing more ideas for decorating your door on a cruise. Join the fun and please ask if you'd like to be added so you can pin your door photos!
Before you move on, you might want to grab my free cruise packing list printable. This is just for cruises and will really help you get ready for your trip.
A few years ago I took a cruise to Cozumel on Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas with a group. The organizer set up a contest for door decorations so we were really prepared!
Because I had the most creative roommate ever, we won! You can scroll down after the 10 Ideas for cruise door decorations and see all the doors from that trip.
Holiday Cruise Door Decorations
This is a no-brainer, but if there is a holiday coming up, use those holiday decorations!
My first cruise was in the middle of December. I saw the most adorable decorations with a Christmas theme.
You could even draw a big tree on paper and put your family names on the Christmas ornaments. All you need is a roll of magnetic tape.
For Valentines Day, you could do hearts. You get the idea. This Cruise Ship Porthole Peel 'N Place is super cute. You may also find cute decorations at the dollar store.
Special Event Decorations
Princess Cruises even has a package you can purchase ahead of time which is very clever.
The cruise ship door decorations I saw when I was cruising on the Holland America Maasdam were great as they made sure not to use adhesive on the door.
It looks like everything was attached to the railing and the door number sign.
Scrapbooking Door Decorations
Head to your favorite craft store and get scrapbooking decorations with a cruising theme.
They will probably not have magnets, but you can buy a roll of magnet backing in a strip. Just cut pieces to fit each magnet.
This is pretty inexpensive, looks great on the door, and is the easiest way to create something uniquely you.
Love your state? How about your state (or country) flag or something special from your neck of the woods?
This is a fun way to get to know others from your part of the world.
Use your destination as a theme.
Going to Mexico? How about sombreros?
The Bahamas? Beach balls and umbrella drinks! This one is cute and has the year on it, so will make a fun souvenir you can keep on your fridge at home.
Going on an arctic cruise? Look at this adorable Arctic Cruise Props Party Accessory.
If you are going to several ports, grab something from each one and put it on your door while you're cruising.
I saw one door on Facebook that had been decorated for a European cruise, and they had a cutout from all the places they saw while there. Very clever and easy!
Don't spend too much money as things could get stolen. I've only heard of one incident where that happened, and I hope it was a kid who didn't know any better.
Interactive Cruise Door Decorations
Magnetic dry erase boards and pens are a great way to ask a question:
- How many times have you cruised?
- What's your favorite port to visit on a cruise?
Believe it or not, people will answer! This one is a perfect size. Be sure to get a magnetic board. Command strips are not allowed as they can damage the door or walls.
What's your favorite hobby? Love movies? Grab some decorations of film reels and movie DVD boxes. Love to surf? Read? Get creative like this one!
Place a magnet on each side of the door draping string from one end to the other for a different way to display any of the above ideas, or even postcards you've bought along the way. Wouldn't that be fun?
Selfie Station for the Win
And my favorite idea (from my roommate on the ship!) won us the prize for the best door. Create a Selfie Station!
Put up a frame mat with decorations all around, the name of the cruise line, the ship, and the date, and invite other cruisers to take a selfie! How much fun is that? And what a great memento of their trip!
Dos and Don'ts for Decorations
DO NOT use adhesives. Magnets are readily available and don't damage doors.
Don't get too creative and string lights in your room or on the door as this can be a fire hazard.
For the same reasons, don't ever hang anything from the light fixtures. Just be sensible with your stateroom decorations!
And, of course, never use profanity on your door. The ship will probably take it down.
Wouldn't it be amazing to have a cruise door decorating contest for a family reunion or other event?
You now have the know-how to organize it! Be sure to come back and share your own ideas in the comments, and pin your photos! I would LOVE to see what you create!
Our Door Decorations
The doors below are all from the group cruise I was on with Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas.
We had very creative people in our group!
A pirate theme is always fun!
How creative can you get?
Wouldn't your family have fun coming up with ideas?
Sheeps Ahoy! Bwahahaha!
Love the ideas list!
Photos of your family or group is a fun idea!
And our winning door! We had a selfie station and magnets that said #SeasTheDay with the date and ship.
Some of the magnets had a blank where you could fill in how you would #SeasTheDay.
We told people to take one for their door, and many did! My roomie Jen from Life with Levi was brilliant, and we had a blast sharing our magnets!
Are you armed and ready with lots of ideas for your cruise ship door decorations? The below ideas have been sent from readers.
Door Decorations from Readers
Isn't this one amazing? You can tell this was a family effort, which is what it's all about! Disney Cruise door magnets are plentiful on Amazon!
Here's another cruise ship door magnet set that was a family affair!
Disney Cruise Line has a pirate themed night so think about dressing up as it's so much fun!
The photo below is from our first Disney cruise.
Decorating cruise ship doors doesn't have to be complicated. It's about having fun and getting into the cruising spirit!
These kids were proud of their door! I think it's awesome, too!
This one is for a family Girls Getaway!
And if you love cruising, check out the places I've cruised to get ideas!
We sailed on the Disney Fantasy Cruise for my younger daughter's 18th birthday. We made incredible memories and if you have Disney-loving kids, I can't recommend it highly enough!
For our 25th anniversary, we took our girls with us on a Viking River Cruise on the Rhine. Yes, honestly, it is more for adults. My husband and I absolutely love it, but our kids were bored on the ship.
There are better cruises for kids and teens. Our girls did, however, find out there is a lot to do in the Black Forest besides eating cake, and they loved the food on the ship.
We also loved the very romantic Danube Cruise, especially spending one day in Budapest. What a magical city!
I wish my girls had been on Carnival with me because I think they would have enjoyed it. The excursions were definitely more their style. Carnival is perfect for a Girls Getaway! My sister and I had a blast!
A couple of years ago I flew out to Seattle for the Norwegian Bliss inaugural cruise to Victoria.
The ship goes to Alaska for the full journey, but I've grown to love Victoria so much that I was thrilled!
I few years ago I said with Norwegian for the first time, and I was thrilled to be on the Encore inaugural cruise. This line has a magnificent cruise from New York to Bermuda.
Finally, my longest cruise to date was on the Holland America Maasdam in 2019. I sailed with them for 20 days from Singapore to Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and back to Singapore for one more day of exploring before heading home. It was the trip of a lifetime!
It's best to check the website of the cruise you're taking before planning your decorations. Limitations and safety requirements vary by cruise lines. For instance, Carnival and Royal Caribbean do allow decorations, only on the door, and they must not be inappropriate. The last time I checked, Norwegian Cruise Lines had stated they do not allow door decorations. Make sure you check for specific requirements.
Having a lanyard makes it easy to use your stateroom card for purchases, getting into your room, etc. Otherwise, every time you want to use it, you have to go into your bag or wallet. Keeping it in the lanyard keeps it safe, too. Hang your lanyard on the inside of your cabin door so you won't leave without it.
In my opinion, YES! Though you probably won't be in your stateroom for that long, it's lovely to be able to sit outside. However, I will say I only had a window on a 20 day cruise and it was still wonderful.
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