Whether you are celebrating a special occasion, sending a secret message, or need to easily identify your room in the long corridor of identical doors, decorating your cabin door is a great way to add some fun to your cruise.
If you’re going on a cruise and want to decorate your stateroom, there are some things you need to know. Cruise lines have different rules that you must follow, and you definitely don’t want to scratch your cabin door.
We’ll cover everything you need to know about cruise door decorations.
Table of Contents
Why Do People Decorate Cruise Ship Doors?
When you’re walking around the cruise ship, you’ll find many passengers who have taken the time to decorate their stateroom door.
There are many reasons to decorate your cabin door, not the least of which is making it easier to find your room.
Here are a few reasons why people decorate their cabin doors:
1. It Helps You Find Your Cabin Door
Cruise ships are so big that it’s common for passengers to get lost on board. Even the most experienced cruisers can have difficulty locating their cabin door in the long corridor of identical staterooms.
Decorating your cruise cabin door is a fun way to make your room stand out along the long corridor of identical stateroom doors, so you can quickly find your cabin.
2. To Celebrate A Special Occasion
Cruise vacations are popular choices for celebrating special occasions. Cruise door decorations are a great way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or special occasion.
It also lets your cabin stewards know that you are celebrating on the ship. They may even leave a little surprise gift for you in your cabin.
3. Leave Messages for Other Passengers
One popular door decoration is a magnetic whiteboard.
Attaching a magnetic whiteboard to your stateroom door is a great way to leave messages for other passengers. We often see passengers using the whiteboard to write words of wisdom, inspirational quotes, or fun jokes for fellow cruisers to read and enjoy.
A whiteboard is a great way to communicate with your travel companions if you’re traveling in a large group. You could leave a note letting your friends and family know where they can find you or when you will return to your cabin.
Cell phone plans and wifi at sea can be costly. Using a whiteboard to pass messages can be a great way to save money and message your friends on the ship.
Tip: If you’re worried about unexpected roaming fees, check out our article on how to avoid roaming charges on a cruise ship.
4. Fun for the Kids
Stateroom door decorations are a fun way to add a bit more excitement to your kids’ vacation.
If you’re traveling on a family-oriented cruise ship, you are bound to see plenty of kids decorating their cabin doors. You’ll find plenty of decorated doors on the family-favorite Disney Cruise Line, where they actively encourage door decorations.
Before your cruise, having your kids create their own door decorations is a great idea. Getting your kids to design their cabin door decorations can keep them occupied for hours or days and get them excited about their upcoming cruise vacation.
5. Send a Secret Message
If you’ve read our post about the secret meaning of upside-down pineapples, you already know passengers can use those door decorations to send hidden messages to fellow cruisers.
The tropical fruit is a common symbol used by swingers to identify themselves to other like-minded people – especially when the pineapple is upside down.
If wife-swapping isn’t for you, then you’ll want to avoid decorating your cruise ship door with pineapples. Otherwise, you might attract some unwanted attention.
But, if you are looking for adult fun, a pineapple magnet will be a great addition to your cruise cabin door.
Does Every Cruise Line Let You Decorate Your Cabin Door?
Door decorations are trendy on family-oriented cruise lines like Disney Cruise Line and Carnival. However, you’ll also find many decorated doors on Royal Caribbean and Princess cruise ships.
Only one of the mainstream cruise lines has banned cabin door decorations. In August 2019, Norwegian Cruise Line banned all cruise cabin door decorations, citing fire safety concerns.
General Decorating Rules for All Cruise Lines
Some general rules apply to all cruise lines. They are:
- Decorations must not leave a mark or damage doors. If they do, you may receive a fine.
- Decorations must not be offensive, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate.
- Decorations must not extend beyond the door. The corridors on a cruise ship are narrow, and your decorations should not block service carts or passengers who pass through.
Carnival Cruise Door Decoration Rules
According to Carnival’s website, the following rules apply for cruise cabin door decorations:
- Decorations may consist only of fire retardant materials. Please note that items sprayed with fire retardant spray are not acceptable
- Decorations may only be placed on the stateroom door and not the surrounding frame, walls, or railings
- You may use magnets or Command Strips but no adhesives such as tape or glue.
- Over-the-door hanging organizers must hang inside the stateroom, must also be of fire retardant material, and cannot damage the door.
- No decorations of any kind are allowed on balconies
- No decorations or items may be placed over light fittings or fixtures. This may restrict the airflow and cause the item to ignite
- No string lights of any kind are allowed
Disney Cruise Line Door Decorations Rule
Guests on Disney Cruise Line are encouraged to decorate their stateroom door. According to Disney’s website, the following rules apply:
- You are welcome to place magnetic signs on your stateroom door. Please note that Concierge staterooms on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have wooden doors.
- You may not affix items to your stateroom doors using tape or any adhesive, including removable gel adhesives, as this can damage the doors’ finish.
- Using over-the-door hanging organizers is prohibited, as they can scratch and/or disfigure stateroom doors and trim.
- Guests who damage doors in violation of these guidelines will be assessed a $100 fee per incident to cover the cost of repairs.
- Light bulb strings are not permitted.
Royal Caribbean Door Decorating Rules
Door decorations are a common sight on Royal Caribbean cruises.
Royal Caribbean’s policy allows for decorations but states that nothing can be used “which may be deemed by ship management as inappropriate.”
In fact, Royal Caribbean’s website sells several items and packages, including magnetic decorations for cabin doors.
Norwegian Cruise Line Door Decorating Rules
In August 2019, Norwegian Cruise Line updated their policy prohibiting cruise door decorations of any kind.
The cruise line cited fire safety concerns as to its reason for the decision. Cabin stewards are instructed to remove all decorations and place them inside the room.
Tips for Decorating Your Cruise Cabin Door
Here are some general tips for decorating your cabin door:
- Ensure never place any decorations on the door frame, wall, railings, or light fixtures. Only stick door decorations on the stateroom door itself.
- Only attach decorations using magnets or command strips to avoid damaging the door. Tape, glue, and other adhesives are prohibited.
- For safety reasons, only use decorations made of flame retardant materials.
- Cruise lines DO NOT allow the use of string lights on your door or in the hallway.
How to Attach Cruise Door Decorations
Knowing how to attach your cruise door decorations is very important to comply with the cruise line regulations and avoid damaging the door and paying a fine.
Glue, tape, and other adhesives aren’t allowed on cruise ships. Fortunately, cruise ship cabin doors are usually made of metal.
The metal doors make magnets the best way to attach your door decorations.
Sometimes the doors are covered with another finish, which means you will need stronger magnets.
If you’re on a Disney cruise, it’s essential to remember that the Concierge staterooms have a wooden veneer. The extra-thick surface means you’ll need to use extra-strong neodymium magnets to attach your decorations.
Check on Amazon: Neodymium Magnets
5 Fun Cruise Door Magnets
Personalized Drink Package Magnet
This magnet is a lot of fun. Whether or not you got the drink package, this decoration will surely put a smile on your fellow passengers.
Of course, you can even personalize it with your last name.
Check on Amazon: Personalized Drink Package Magnet
Royal Caribbean Personalized Door Magnet
If you’re a Royal Caribbean fan, this adorable magnet is a great way to celebrate your time on a Royal Caribbean cruise. You can even collect them – one for every cruise you take.
Check on Amazon: Royal Caribbean Personalized Door Magnet
Personalized Carnival Funnel Magnet
Like the above anchor magnet, this item is a great gift idea for Carnival cruise fans. They make a great addition to stateroom doors, and you can have them personalized.
Check on Amazon: Personalized Carnival Funnel Magnet
Our First Cruise Magnet
If you are a first-time cruiser, you are undoubtedly excited about your first cruise vacation. This door magnet is perfect for sharing your excitement with other travelers.
Check on Amazon: Our First Cruise Magnet
Disney Fish Extender
If you’re going on a Disney cruise, you’ve probably heard of the traditional “Secret Santa” type fish exchange. You can decorate your cabin door with a fish extender and personalize the pockets so other travelers know who they are gifting to.
Check on Amazon: Disney Fish Extender
FAQs About Cruise Door Decorations
Can I Decorate My Cruise Ship Door?
Yes, you can decorate your door on most mainstream cruise lines. The one exception is Norwegian Cruise Line which has banned all door decorations due to fire safety requirements.
Can I Decorate My Cabin Door on Norwegian Cruise Line?
You cannot decorate your door on any of Norwegian’s cruise ships. In August 2019, Norwegian updated its policy to prohibit door decorations. The cruise line cited fire safety as the reason for their decision. Crew members are instructed to remove door decorations and place them in your cabin.
What is a Fish Extender?
Every stateroom on Disney Cruise Line has a fish outside the cabin that acts as a cabin mailbox. Disney cruise ships have a tradition where passengers leave gifts in the mailbox of other passengers as a type of “Secret Santa.”
A fish extender is a hanger that allows passengers to get more space for the fish mailbox.
A common use for using a fish extender is for families with multiple kids. The extender acts as a personal mailbox for each kid.
Can I Bring Balloons on a Cruise?
Most cruise lines prohibit helium onboard the ship. Floating balloons can become a safety and environmental hazards if released on deck.
You should check with the cruise line before your cruise for more details. But, if you bring a ballon, you will have to blow it up yourself.
Do Cruise Ships Decorate For Christmas?
Most cruise ships decorate their ships for Christmas. Typical decorations include a giant Christmas tree, garland, and smaller trees around the vessel.