Choose a Cruise Ship Cabin Consider Size Location Amenities
Choose a Cruise Ship Cabin: What You Need to Know
When it comes to choosing a cabin there are many things to consider size, location, amenities. The first and unfortunately the only parameter most people consider is the cost. Before booking your cabin, ask yourselves the following questions
Do you tend to get sea-sick?If you are prone to getting seasick, choose a cabin toward the middle of the ship on the lowest deck. Choose a most centralized balcony cabin if it fits your budget. Cabins on the higher decks those towards the front and back of the ship gets the most motion of the waves.
Essentially there are only four types of cabins you need to know on any cruise vessel for which the size, location, amenities and price matters.
Inside: no window, in an inside corridor
Outside: window or porthole with a view to the outside
Balcony: includes a verandah that allows you to step outside without going up to a public deck
Suite: a larger cabin, often with separate living and sleeping areas, and a wide variety of extra amenities and perks
Inside cabins are less expensive than outside cabins, yet passengers in these cabins are afforded the same ship’s amenities as passengers in outside cabins and suites. Still, there are some things to think about before choosing an inside cabin. The few times I have cruised in an inside cabin, I have found myself feeling very confined and confused because I couldn’t tell what time of day it was or what the weather was like outside.
Outside cabins offer a window to the world, and having a view of tropical islands or Alaskan glaciers is a special treat. But what qualifies as a “window”? Some are just portholes; others are full-length picture windows. Moreover, not all outside cabins offer an unobstructed view; some are partially blocked by lifeboats. You need to ask your booking agent.
Balcony cabins allow you to enjoy the outdoors and listen to the sounds of the sea. But is your private balcony really private? Some newer ships have recessed decks that may give passengers above a full view of you on your balcony. Also watch out for balcony cabins near outside elevators, like the ones on Holland America’s Zuiderdam; these do not offer complete privacy.
One way to avoid cabin trouble is to study your ship’s deck plan. See exactly where your proposed cabin is located in relation to noisy common areas. Check, too, for any unmarked white or gray spaces nearby; these often represent a housekeeping or room-service station that may house noisy carts and ice machines.
Stability: If you tend to get seasick, cabin location is really important. It's a question of engineering, really. The lower and more central you are in a ship, the less roll and sway you will feel. Even if you choose a balconied stateroom, choose the lowest level and the most midship one you can find.
Distance: Some cruise travelers prefer their cabins to be near to (or far away from) specific areas of the ship. Sun-worshippers might prefer an upper-deck location close to the pools and sun decks, while partiers might want easy access to midship entertainment hubs. Travelers with mobility concerns may choose a stateroom close to a bank of elevators.
Cruise ship balconies noise: For some reason, most cruise lines assign their highest level of cabins to the highest decks, usually just below the Lido Deck (most likely because if you have a window or balcony, you have a more sweeping vista). Still, it's the Lido Deck that often causes the most noise problems, so if you don't want to hear scraping chairs at the crack of dawn or yee-hawing pool parties until the wee hours, go down a level. In fact, when it comes to noise, the best bet is to select a cabin that is both above and below other cabins. Other pitfalls include service areas adjacent to or above your stateroom; show lounges or bars adjacent to, above or below your stateroom; and self-service launderettes across from your cabin. Other cabins that can be problematic are those that are low and aft (because of their proximity to engine noise, vibration and anchor) or low and forward (bow thrusters).
For Your Viewing Pleasure: If you plan on spending a lot of time in your cabin, a good view will be important. Balcony cabins offer floor-to-ceiling glass doors and a small seating area on a patio. Ocean view cabins only offer a window ranging from a small port-hole to a large picture window. But don't be fooled into thinking every oceanview or balcony cabin has a great view. In addition, there are "stepped out," allowing not only those in cabins above yours to see down into your balcony, but those looking over the rail from the Lido and other public decks at the aft as well.
Some standard rooms and many suites are located at the aft "corners" of a ship, with balconies that curve up the sides. Take one of those, and you can see where you're going and where you've been at the same time!
If you want to splurge on your next cruise vacation or are just looking for a luxury option a suite is the way to go. Suites are often the first to sell out because there are so few of them. They can range from a mini-suite (which is basically a slightly larger balcony cabin - or a balcony cabin with more separation between the living and sleeping area) to a three-bedroom villa with a private hot tub and piano.
Front-facing balconied cabins are almost always suites.
What is the right size cabin in budget? Amentiies in a cruise ship cabin