Rock the Best Cabin Door with These Free Printable Cruise Door Decorations

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Rock the Best Cabin Door with These Free Printable Cruise Door Decorations

If you’re going on a cruise and itching for something to do to help you with your pre-cruise prep, then you’ve come to the right place!  This post will discuss everything related to decorating your stateroom door!  And believe me, once you’re on your ship sailing the high seas, you’ll understand the importance of making your door stand out!

Do people Decorate their Cabin Doors on Cruises?

The simple answer to this question is that some people do and some don’t.  I have been on several cruises and have seen both extremes.  My latest cruise was virtually devoid of door decorations.  I believe my door decoration and that of my travel companion were some of the only ones on the entire ship.  But even though there weren’t many decorations, we did hear plenty of feedback from passersby.  I was especially delighted to hear one small boy declare, “Hello, Sea Turtle!” and “Hello, dolphin!” each time he passed our doors.

A cruise stateroom door with a room # and a magnetic porthole with a dolphin in it.
Even the simplest door decoration can make your room stand out in a hallway full of sameness.

Why Do People Decorate Cruise Ship Doors?

If decorating your door is a new idea, you may naturally wonder why you would want to go to the trouble of decorating a cruise door.  I mean, isn’t it kind of like a hotel door?  The simple answer is yes.  Your stateroom door will look much like a hotel door.  It will be pretty plain and have your room number on it.  But that’s the perfect place to start!  Here are some great reasons to consider personalizing your door while cruising!

Reason 1 – It Helps You Find Your Door

Experienced cruisers know that your room on the ship will be one of many in a long corridor of identical stateroom doors.  These corridors run down both sides of the ship.  Picture a hotel hallway as long as a football field.  All the doors look precisely alike except for their room number.  When you are coming from one end of the ship to the other, a decorated door will help you pick your room out quickly and easily.

I love when others decorate their doors because it doesn’t take long to recognize other door decorations to know where you are on the ship and if you’re close to your room.  I remember turning the wrong way off the elevator on a cruise and walking down the entire corridor before seeing several unfamiliar door decorations and realizing I was in the “wrong neighborhood.”

2 – To Make Your Cabin Feel Homey

At the end of a long day on shore, you’ll be ready to find your room.  When you’re cruising, your room is your home base, and nothing feels better than the familiarity of your space when you’re tired and ready to refresh.  A welcoming door with a familiar picture or sign is delightful and feels homey!

3 – To Celebrate a Special Occasion

Many people cruise as a celebration.  Think about honeymoons, anniversaries, notable birthdays, promotions, or family reunions.  These reasons all make great ideas for decorating your door and sharing that reason with the entire ship by decorating your entry for the occasion!  Maybe you’re taking an annual sisters’ vacation.  Let everyone know!

As you make your way around your ship, you will see any number of achievements plastered on doors.  Go ahead and acknowledge those exciting occasions.  When you’re on the ship, everyone is family!

4 – To Communicate with Other Passengers

You may want to communicate with others while on your trip.  If you’re traveling with other couples or enjoying a group cruise, you can use your door to announce where you are so they can come to find you.  Sure, you can text, but where’s the fun in that?  Not to mention, some cell services don’t work when you’re on a ship in the middle of an ocean, so this is a great way to communicate without the stress!

A white page with palm leaves surrounding a list of locations:  Text says, "Looking for us?  We're taking care of business:  At the Pool, In the Casino, At the Buffet, In the Bar, In the Dining Room, In Port, In the Spa

Use this option (free download) on your door with the small ship magnet to indicate where you are.

Beware the Upside-Down Pineapple!

I feel inclined to discuss one specific kind of door communication here.  I was shocked when I heard about this, but hey – cruise ships are great for people with all sorts of interesting pastimes, so there’s room for everyone.  With that being said, let’s discuss pineapples.  Yes.  Pineapples.  It’s a good idea to be aware of the pineapple.

According to my research, wearing a pineapple or placing one on your stateroom door, especially an upside-down pineapple, is a sign that shows you are interested in swinging or wife-swapping.  Cruisemummy, a fellow blogger, breaks down all of the interesting details of pineapple culture on cruise ships.  Read all about what pineapples mean on a cruise here.  And if you’re into that sort of thing, by all means, you can pick up a pineapple magnet here.  

5 – It is Fun!

Cruising is fun!  And decorating your door is fun!  And looking at other doors around the ship to see what others celebrate or enjoy is also fun!  So why wouldn’t you want to decorate your door?  Part of the fun of planning my next cruise is planning my stateroom door decorations.

What are the Rules for Decorating My Cruise Ship Door?

Now we’ve established that decorating your door is fun and valuable.  So let’s talk about the rules you need to follow when decorating.  Most cruise lines share some basic rules, but you’ll want to double-check your cruise line if you plan to do any decorating outside of these general rules.

  • Please do not use decorations that leave marks or cause damage to the door.  You may get a fine if you leave damage or a permanent mark.
  • Please do not use curse words, offensive images, or vulgar language.  Remember that not everyone shares the same sense of humor.  This rule is essential if you’re on a family-friendly cruise ship.  And most cruise ships have families aboard.
  • Please contain your cruise cabin door decorations on the actual door.  Don’t use large, 3-dimensional objects that stick out.  Cruise ship corridors are narrow and must have room for housekeeping carts and fellow passengers walking by.

Here are a few additional rules that apply to specific cruise lines.

multi-colored background with the words "let's be friends" printed on top with "click here to join the facebook group"

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival cruise fans should know that Carnival requires all door decorations are made of fire-retardant materials.  In addition, no scotch tape (or any tape) or glue, only Command strips or magnets.    You can read their full rules here

Disney Cruise Line

Disney asks that you use magnets rather than adhesives, including gel adhesives on Disney stateroom doors.  You will receive a $100 fine if you leave any damage.  You can read their full rules about Disney cruise door magnets here

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lin

I enjoyed the two Royal Caribbean cruises where I saw the most door decorations.  Passengers go out of their way to share their fun ideas in some Royal Caribbean Facebook Groups.  Royal Caribbean is very family-friendly, so it makes perfect sense!  Royal Caribbean even sells room décor kids on their online gift shop

Princess Cruise Line

Like Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises also allow door decorations and sell room décor packages in their online gift shop

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line does not allow door decorations, so if you have your heart set on glamming up your door, you may need to consider a different cruise line.  The cruise line states that door decorations are not allowed for safety reasons, and your cabin steward will remove your door decorations and leave them in your room.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will magnets stick to cruise ship doors?

Many cruise ship doors are made of metal and are perfect for magnets.  However, some cabins have wooden doors, which is often the case with suites, concierge staterooms, or “more expensive” rooms.  If unsure, pack some Command poster hanging strips to affix your décor.  They take up very little space, so you’ll be glad to have them if you end up with a non-metal door. If you need a packing list, check out The Best Printable Cruise Packing List for the Over 50 Woman.

Pink background with "Hip Grandma Merch" available on front

What is a Fish Extender?

Disney cruises have coined the term “Fish Extender” for a little bit of extra magic aboard their cruise ships, and it’s all part of the fun of Disney cruise door decorations.  A Fish Extender, or FE, is a set of pockets that cruisers hang on their stateroom door.  Cruisers personalize each pouch with the names of family members or the family name.  Before the cruise, cruisers connect with others who will be on the same voyage via message boards or a Facebook Group for your ship and date, and enter drawings and arrange swaps of fun, small gifts throughout the week of the cruise with your fellow cruisers.

You’ll love this added magic if this is your first Disney cruise.  As if a cruise isn’t magical enough, add some Disney and some fun little goodies and gifts, and you’ll not only go home with a bonus memory or two but participating in the Fish Extender program is a fun way to make a few new friends, too!

Wrapping it All Up

When you travel on a cruise ship, you are in for a great time!  Decorating your door is just part of the fun and allows you to get into the cruise spirit!  You can make your decorations for your door, or lucky you – I’ve made some free printable door decorations to get you started!

Once you download your free printable door decorations, you can print your favorites on card stock and use Command poster strips or magnets. to adhere to your door.  Another option is to use printable magnet paper.  If you’d like your door decorations to last for multiple trips, consider laminating them.    Once laminated, you can write on them with a dry-erase marker, too! 

Next cruise you take, you’ll be ready to personalize your door and stand out from the crowd!

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PIN image and title for Rock the Best Cabin Door with these Free Printable Cruise Door Decorations - showing 3 snippets of door decorations and the title.

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