Creative Cruise Door Decorations & Ideas: A Complete Guide

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Mickey Mouse Cruise Door Decorations

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Are you embarking on a cruise adventure soon? Amp up the excitement by adding a personal touch to your stateroom door!

Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or a proud graduation moment, cruise door decorations are a fantastic way to celebrate these milestones at sea. It’s not just about making your door look fabulous—it’s about creating memories that stick long after the cruise has docked back home.

Why Decorate Your Cruise Cabin Door?

Walking around the cruise ship, you’ll find many passengers who have taken the time to decorate their stateroom doors.

There are many reasons to decorate your cabin door, not the least of which makes it easier to find your room.

1. Show Your Personality

Your cruise stateroom door is the perfect canvas to express who you are. Think of it as the front porch of your temporary sea home.

You have a vast ocean to explore, but your door is your personal stamp.

Show off your interests, whether you’re a fan of tropical paradises, a Disney enthusiast, or love nautical themes. Your door decoration can be a fantastic icebreaker and give others a peek into your world.

2. Easy to Identify Your Room

Cute Flamingo Stateroom Door DecorationPin
Photo Credit: Ashalinaballerina

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.

A unique door decoration makes spotting your room a breeze. Apart from being practical for you, it’s also beneficial for others in your group. You won’t be that person awkwardly trying their key card on multiple doors before finding their own.

3. Start Conversations with 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. You can 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 while 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.

4. Celebrate A Special Occasion

Cruise ships are celebration-friendly zones, and what better way to honor a special occasion than with a well-adorned door? Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or graduation, your door can reflect the joy and significance of the milestone.

Plus, other guests and crew will join in the festivities by offering their well wishes as they pass by.

4. Fun for the Kids

For little sailors, a decorated door is like a treasure map’s ‘X’ marking the spot. It’s a beacon of excitement and a signal that fun lies behind the door. It can feature their favorite characters, colors, or themes.

With every return to the room, their decorated door reminds them that this trip is an adventure made just for them.

Before your cruise, having your kids create their own door decorations is a great idea. Getting your kids to design cabin door decorations can keep them occupied for hours or days and excite them about their upcoming cruise vacation.

5. Send a Secret Message

Pineapple on a cruise ship doorPin

Sometimes, your door decor can be more than just decoration; it can carry a secret message. Maybe it’s an inside joke among friends or the secret upside-down pineapple. The door becomes a conversation starter, a mystery for others to ponder, and a fun way for you to communicate a playful or romantic gesture.

Does Every Cruise Line Let You Decorate Your Cabin Door?

Lobster Decorations on a Stateroom DoorPin
Photo Credit: Ashalinaballerina

Door decorations on family-friendly cruise lines like Disney Cruise Line and Carnival are trendy. But you’ll find passengers decorating their cabin doors on plenty of other cruise lines.

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.

Personalized Anchor Decorations on a Cruise Ship Cabin DoorPin
Photo Credit: Ashalinaballerina

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. Avoid tape and adhesives of all types.
  • 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.

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, not the surrounding frame, walls, or railings.
  • You may use magnets or Command Strips but no adhesives like 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 doors. 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.
  • Over-the-door hanging organizers are prohibited, as they can scratch and/or disfigure stateroom doors and trim.
  • Guests who damage doors violating 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 encourages guests to decorate their cabin doors, even selling magnetic decorations on their website.

Royal Caribbean’s guest code of conduct states, “Inappropriate or abusive behavior is not permitted. This includes…placing materials (including signs, banners, decorations, etc.) anywhere on the exterior of the ship, placing materials anywhere on the interior of the ship (including stateroom doors, along corridors, etc.) without the express permission of ship management or which may be deemed by ship management as inappropriate…”

Celebrity Cruises

Door decorating isn’t as common on Celebrity Cruises. But the cruise line does allow guests to decorate cabin doors.

Celebrity Cruises guest code of conduct states, “Inappropriate or abusive behavior is not permitted. This includes…placing signs, banners, decorations, or other materials anywhere on the exterior of the ship; placing materials on stateroom doors, along corridors, or anywhere else on the interior of the ship without the express permission of ship management…” 

Princess Cruises, MSC Cruises, and Holland America Line

Princess Cruises, MSC Cruises, and Holland America Line don’t provide specific rules for door decorating. While door decorations are allowed on these cruise lines, they’re not as common as on other cruise operators.

Norwegian Cruise Line Door Decorating Rules

In August 2019, Norwegian Cruise Line updated their policy prohibiting cruise door decorations of any kind.

The announcement stated, “As per safety requirements, stateroom door decorations are strictly prohibited. Your stateroom steward has been instructed to remove and place all decorations inside the room. Thank you for your understanding and compliance with this safety policy.”

The cruise line cited fire safety concerns as the 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

Photo Credit: GibsonWindowDecals

Here are some general tips for decorating your cabin door:

  1. Never decorate the door frame, wall, railings, or light fixtures. Only stick door decorations on the stateroom door itself.
  2. Only attach decorations using magnets or command strips to avoid damaging the door. Avoid tape and adhesives of all types.
  3. Only use decorations made of flame-retardant materials.
  4. Cruise lines DO NOT allow string lights on your door or in the hallway.

How to Attach Cruise Door Decorations

Fun Cruise Ship Door DecorationPin
Photo Credit: PinsoftheSeas

Attaching cruise door decorations requires secure and non-damaging methods to the door.

Most cruise ship doors are made of metal, making magnets the perfect way to attach decorations. You can use magnetic strips or hooks to hang lightweight items. Ensure the magnets are strong enough to hold your decorations securely.

Sometimes, the doors are covered with a non-metallic finish, so you need stronger magnets.

Avoid using glue, tape, or other adhesives which can damage the door.

Editor’s Tip

If you’re on a Disney cruise, it’s essential to remember that the Concierge staterooms have a wooden veneer. The extra-thick surface requires extra-strong neodymium magnets to attach your decorations.

5 Fun Cruise Cabin Door Decoration Ideas

Personalized Drink Package Magnet

This magnet is a lot of fun. Whether or not you got the drink package, this decoration will surely make your fellow passengers smile.

Of course, you can even personalize it with your last name.

Caution We Got The Drink Package MagnetPin

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.

Royal Caribbean Door MagnetPin

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.

Personalized Carnival Funnel Door MagnetPin

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.

Our First Cruise Personalized Door MagnetPin

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.

Disney Fish Extender Cruise Door DecorationsPin

Check on Amazon: Disney Fish Extender

FAQs About Cruise Door Decorations

Can I Decorate My Cruise Ship Door?

Yes, you can decorate a cruise ship cabin door, and it’s a popular activity among many cruisers. Norwegian Cruise Line is the only cruise line that prohibits door decorating.

Can I Decorate My Cabin Door on Norwegian Cruise Line?

You cannot decorate your cabin door on Norwegian Cruise Line. In August 2019, NCL updated its policy to prohibit door decorations, citing 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?

A fish extender on a Disney cruise is the “fish” or “seahorse” shaped mailbox outside your stateroom doors. 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.

Passengers typically fill the pockets of other guests’ fish extenders with small gifts, treats, or souvenirs as a way to add extra magic and community spirit to the cruise experience.

Can I Bring Balloons on a Cruise?

Balloons and other inflatable items are prohibited on cruise ships due to safety and environmental concerns.

However, as an alternative, some cruise lines provide a service where you can purchase balloons directly from the ship. Crew members deliver the balloons to your stateroom to mark your special occasion, ensuring both compliance with cruise policies and a festive atmosphere.

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.

Article by

Marcello De Lio


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  1. We’ll be sailing on the Wonder of the Seas this coming May. I love being creative and understand that I’ll be limited to decorating our cabin door. We’ll be in a ocean view, would you happen to know what the surface door is made of? Metal, wood, etc. This will help me decide what I have to bring. Thank you.

    • The doors are most likely be made of metal, similar to the other Oasis-class ships. You shouldn’t have any issues using magnets to hang your decorations. However, it’s impossible to know for certain as the ship hasn’t debuted yet.

      P.S. I would love to hear about your experience on the new ship! Feel free to comment on our Wonder of the Seas post when you get back from your vacation and share your experience.