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10 Cruise Cabin Door Decoration Ideas That You’ll Find Easy

Are you a busy parent who wants to make your family cruise extra special without adding more stress to your plate? Look no further than your cabin door! Decorating your cruise cabin door is a fun and easy way to add a personal touch to your stateroom and make your vacation even more memorable. And with our ten easy and hassle-free cruise cabin door decoration ideas, you don’t have to be a crafting expert to make your door stand out.

From simple magnetic signs to colorful banners, these ideas will help you add a touch of pizzazz and personality to your door without taking up too much of your time. Plus, it’s a great way to help your tired kids find their way back to your room after a long day of exploring the ship. (The same is true for disoriented adults!)

Before you start decorating, it’s important to note that not all cruise lines permit cabin door décor, so be sure to check with your cruise line before you start. So, let’s get started on making your cabin door the talk of the ship!

Photo of cruise ship hallway

Cruise Cabin Door Decoration Ideas

Whether you create your own unique door design or personalize a template, decorating your cruise cabin door lets other guests know something about you. Special occasions can feel even more special if they are shared. You may also want to include something about where you come from or your destination.

If you are cruising as a family, planning your door decorations can be an exciting pre-cruise activity. Make it a dinner-table-boardroom-type discussion where everyone can offer some input – some of the best ideas are often the simplest!

Things to decide: 

  • Theme – do you want to focus on the season, a family event, the family members, or the destination? You may want to let your fellow passengers know information about which countries you have visited, how many previous cruises you have been on, or some details about yourself or your hometown.
  • Overall look and feel – do you want the effect to look glam and modern, vintage, classic, chic, or trendy? Maybe it just needs to feel homey and welcoming. 
  • Color scheme – This is especially important for full-cabin door designs where too many bright colors on a busy design can look overwhelming. 
  • Do you want to include some type of communication system? An erasable message board is a great idea for groups or families that split up during the day for activities. (Find other ideas for communicating on a cruise.)
  • Do you want to use one large door covering, or would you prefer a group of small decorations you can add to during the cruise? 
  • Do you want the door décor to be specific to the current cruise, or will it be used again on future cruises? 
  • Are there any specific symbols, signs, or messages you need to include on your cabin door decorations? 
Cruise Cabin Door Decoration Ideas

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10 Fun Cruise Cabin Door Ideas

Your cabin door is your own to decorate and communicate with other cruise guests as much as your want. It is like the screensaver on your phone, or the profile pic on your FB account – it conveys a message about the residents of that stateroom. 

Let’s explore some fun and unique ways to decorate your cruise cabin door that will stand out and bring a smile to fellow passengers.

1. Go Retro

Popular cruise door retro themes include posters and pics featuring scenes from the iconic ‘Love Boat’ series. Retro pics from magazine covers can be customized and made into door magnets – be sure to personalize your design to ensure that it stays in place, as these can be pretty popular.

2. Make A Grand Statement Or Announcement

Door decorations can be great opportunities to celebrate or recognize a birthday — particularly those BIG milestone birthdays.

Top Cabin Door Decorations for Birthdays

Or, they can feature other announcements that you want to share with the world. A giant ‘Jennifer, will you marry me?’ banner covering your door when your partner returns from a day at the pool would be a unique and memorable way to propose and get noticed! 

Other big event cruise door announcements can include: 

  • Just Married!
  • Wedding Anniversary Cruise
  • New Graduate
  • Retirement

Top Cabin Door Anniversary Decorations

3. Have A Favorite Movie Or Book Theme

Using a theme from a favorite book or a famous line from a movie is a great way to meet new people and make friends. A short motivational motto or words from a favorite book can be interesting. Imagine a cruise door themed to Dr. Seuss’s ‘Oh the places you’ll go!’.

4. Nautical Theme

Yes, we know this has been done a million times, but there are new ways to jazz up an old theme. Your cruising vacation is special family time, so if you want a pirate, mermaid, or sailor theme on your door, go right ahead. Kids love keeping things simple, and the cabin door should also have special significance for them. 

5. Destinations

If you and your family are frequent travelers, use your cruise cabin door as a logbook of destinations you have visited. Add small flags of countries you have been to, and you can even add a bucket list of places you plan to see in the future. 

6. Convey An Interest Or Hobby

An excellent way to meet people with the same interests is to provide clues about what you are interested in on your door. For example, families who enjoy bird watching or horseback riding may use decals of birds or horses. Sports fans may like to include logos of their favorite team. 

7. Go 3D

While all the decorations on your cruise cabin door must be made of flame-retardant materials, you can hang signs, small toys, or seasonal items like a wreath or tinsel on your door. Just ensure that it is well secured, looks neat, won’t fall off, blow around, and doesn’t cause obstruction in the passage.

8. Practical Cruise Door Decorations

If you are part of a team or tour group or have extended family cruising with you, you may like to include an erasable whiteboard as part of your cruise door décor. It’s a great way to communicate while you are in informal holiday mode!

9. Minimalist And Elegant 

Door decorating can be fun, but it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Many passengers enjoy the anonymity of being on a cruise and don’t want to attract any attention. 

At the same time, having a decal on your cruise cabin door is a good idea as it differentiates it from all the other identical doors. That makes it easier to find, and you are less likely to have other confused passengers trying the door while searching for their own cabins. 

There are loads of tried-and-tested simple cruise cabin décor designs available to order online that look elegant and stylish. An inexpensive peel-and-stick porthole may be all you need to make your cruise cabin door easy to locate without being showy. 

10. Seasonal Cruise Door Decorations

Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Halloween decorations are always on point during the relevant seasons. You may be cruising the seas in a tropical destination, but you can still have a gorgeous warm, decorated fireplace motif on your cabin door. 

Top Cruise Door Decorations for Holidays

Practical Considerations When Decorating A Cruise Cabin Door

The first and most essential step to decorating a cruise cabin door is to figure out the best way to attach your décor. Cruise liners that do permit door decorations all have strict rules in place. These include: 

  • You may not damage, stain, or mark the door
  • No adhesive tape or sticky putty should be used
  • The materials used may not be a safety hazard
  • Potential fire hazards like string lights may not be used
  • The decorations must only be on the door, not the surrounding walls or doorframe
  • Decorations must never include profanity or be offensive

In addition, if you are planning a large banner or poster, you need to know the size of the cabin doors. Door size can vary slightly between liners, but the width of a regular cruise cabin door is usually around 23 inches. It is slightly wider for wheelchair-accessible rooms. 

Another valuable tip is never to put anything sentimental or irreplaceable on your cruise cabin door. Unfortunately, some cute generic items or cruise magnets may get removed. 

An excellent way to prevent your cabin door décor finding new owners is to personalize everything as much as possible. It is far less likely that a banner that says ‘Happy Birthday, Susan’ will vanish than one that simply says ‘Happy Birthday.’

How To Attach Cruise Cabin Door Decorations

Since you cannot damage your cabin door, it is essential to carefully plan how to attach your decorations securely to the door so it doesn’t fall off and look untidy. The two most commonly used methods are: 

  • Magnets – Cruise cabins doors are most often metal. So magnets can be a perfect option.
  • Command hooks or strips allow you to decorate neatly and securely and are easy to remove without leaving a trace. Just remember to bring a pack along on the trip! (Make sure that your cruise line allows command strips. Here’s an example of an approved policy from Carnival.)

Best-Selling Magnetic Cabin Door Decorations

SaleBestseller No. 1
27PCS Cruise Door Decorations Magnetic, Large Nautical Cruise Magnets for Door Reusable Funny Carnival Cruise Ship Door Magnets Cruise Cabin Magnets for Door Decorations Fridge Car Computer
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Bestseller No. 2
Cruise Door Decorations Looking for Cabin, Funny Magnetic Cruise Decorations for Cabin Door or Stateroom…
  • Unique Cabin Identifier: Use it as a cruise cabin door decoration so you can easily find your stateroom. A very good navigational tool when going back to your stateroom especial in the evening.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Geiserailie 5 Pcs Cruise Door Magnets Funny Cruise Ship Door Magnets Magnetic Cruise Door Magnet Sticker Decorations, 7.6 x 6.2 Inch (Fresh Style)
  • Sufficient Number: you will receive 5 pieces of cruise ship magnets, abundant to satisfy your application, exchange and replacement needs, allowing you to arrange them in different parts of the cruise…
Bestseller No. 4
Copkim 27 Pcs Cruise Door Magnets Refrigerator Cruise Ship Door Magnets Magnetic Cruise Door Decor Funny Sea Navigation Fridge Stickers Door Carnival Decorations Accessories for Cabin Party Supplies
  • Package Includes: unleash your creativity and make your cruise trip more memorable with our 27 pieces of cruise door magnets; This package includes 8 large refrigerator magnets and 19 smaller ones,…
SaleBestseller No. 5
Kanayu 6 Pcs Cruise Door Decorations Magnetic Large Cruise Ship Decorations Magnets Anchor Cruise Door Decor Car Fridge Magnet Decal for Carnival Stateroom Door(Tropical)
  • Funny Tropical Hawaii Themed Decor: there are 5 pieces of the tropical magnets, one is rectangular shape, designed with a funny sentence, [Don’t Mind Us We’re in CRUISE MODE], and the other four are…

Do I Have To Decorate My Cruise Cabin Door? 

Cabin door decorating is a fun, voluntary activity. If you don’t want to decorate your door and want to relax, unwind and not attract any attention during your cruise, there is no pressure to put anything on your door. 

Some tour groups may arrange a door decorating competition as an additional activity to look forward to during the cruise. However, it is always optional; if you don’t decorate your door, you won’t be alone. 

Some cruise lines do not encourage door decoration. Norwegian Cruise Lines have banned door decorating, citing it as a safety hazard. However, most cruise lines allow door decorating to a more or less extent. Royal Caribbean allows door decorating, but it should remain simple and elegant, while on Disney and Carnival cruises, you can show off your creativity. 

What Is A Fish Extender? 

You may come across the term ‘Fish Extender,’ especially if you are on a Disney Cruise. Essentially, it’s a gift-exchange program among Disney cruise passengers. This is not an official event sponsored by the cruise line, but it is one that is well-established and operates through internet message groups.

A practice that has evolved is that passengers leave small gifts or tokens for each other on the fish-shaped hook outside each cabin door. 

Fish extenders cannot be purchased on board; rather, you must pack one if you want to participate. They can be purchased at various sites online, or you can make your own before the cruise that fits with your door décor.

What Is The Deal With Pineapples On Cruise Cabin Doors? 

While pineapples are often associated with tropical islands and a relaxed beachy lifestyle, they have taken on an entirely different meaning on some cruises. An upside-down pineapple on a cabin door may indicate that the cabin occupants are swingers. 

While there is nothing wrong with including pineapples as part of an overall large design, family cruisers may be better off if they ensure that individual pineapple motifs on their cabin door cannot be flipped over as a prank by mischievous fellow passengers. 

Closing Thoughts

Decorating your cabin door on a cruise can be a great way to stand out and make it easy to know which room belongs to you at a glance. Plus, planning and creating your door decor in advance can be a fun pre-cruise project. Just remember to check with your cruise line first to see the rules regarding door decorations.

Tyler Bowman


Tyler has sailed dozens of cruises, always with a keen eye for value. She loves getting the most fun out of the fewest dollars.

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Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API