Tips for choosing the best cruise ship cabin
One of the biggest mistakes first time cruisers make is leaving the details of their cabin selection up to chance. Getting a cabin that is too small or in a noisy location can turn your dream cruise vacation into something to be endured instead of enjoyed. There are several critical factors to consider in cabin selection, particularly the size and location. To make sure your cruise is a wonderful experience you’ll treasure forever, we’ve got some tips on how to choose the best cruise ship cabin for your vacation.
Types of Staterooms
There are four types of staterooms available on board cruise ships, each with its own unique characteristics: inside, outside, balcony, and suite. In many of the newer ships, inside and outside cabins are the same size. Balcony cabins may be the same size or a little larger.
Inside Cabins (or one that looks on the interior of the ship) have few frills. If you plan on remaining in your cabin only long enough to sleep and shower, or you have a tight budget, an inside cabin is a great way to save money on your cruise. Tip: Some cruise ships have “hidden” views, portholes or windows that have an obstructed view or overlook an inner part of the ship. These cabins often go for about the same price as an inside cabin with a little better view.
Outside or Ocean View Cabins
If you are slightly claustrophobic but still want an affordable cabin choice, an ocean view cabin provides a glimpse of the outside. Newer ships feature large picture windows instead of a porthole, but the windows still can’t be opened, so you will need to get a stateroom with a balcony if you want a breath of ocean air in your room. Porthole cabins are the least expensive and located on the lower decks. Calling these staterooms “ocean view” cabins can be something of a misnomer with rooms that have portholes, as the views are often quite limited.
Balcony rooms have sliding glass doors or French doors that open to a small verandah so you can step out for some fresh ocean air without having to go to the upper decks. You get the benefit of ocean view and fresh air, but don’t expect privacy on your balcony; cruisers on the upper decks will be able to see onto your balcony.
Choosing a suite gives you access to a living area (often separate from the bedroom), additional bedrooms, and an expanded bathroom area. Suites have private verandahs that range from a simple balcony to one large enough for an included hot tub for private dips. You can opt for extra services, such as a concierge, butler, spa services, and more. If you are cruising as a family, choosing a stateroom on a cruise is your best option. Many suites have a separate room or alcoves for kids; some have a pull-out sofa or Pullman bed that can accommodate 3rd and 4th guests. Suites come in all shapes and sizes, so be sure to look at the different options to make sure you will have enough room for your family before making your choice.
How to choose the best cabin locations on a cruise
The location of your cabin is just as important as the cabin type. There are several factors to consider when choosing the best location for your cruise cabin:
If you suffer from seasickness, choose a stateroom on the lower decks, in the middle of the ship as these cabins have the least movement. Love to feel the “motion of the ocean”? Choose a cabin on an upper deck at the very front or back of the ship, these areas move the most.
Cruise ships are enormous, so you may want to choose a cabin near the particular activities you plan to take part in. Upper deck cabins are closer to the pool and sun decks, but they are more expensive. If you have mobility issues, you may want to choose a mid-ship cabin close to the elevators. Be sure to check on the location of tenders, as they can block the view from some mid-ship cabins.
Aft or rear cabins, located at the extreme back of a ship, tend to have large balconies, sometimes twice the size of other balconies, with panoramic views. Aft cabins are located far from activities, and passengers from upper decks and those on public decks can sometimes see right into your balcony.
Bow or forward cabins are perfect for those who love feeling the salt and spray of the sea. These cabins can be smaller or oddly shaped, and windows may be recessed or slanted so you have a more restricted view than aft or midship cabins. Bow cabins are almost always suites.
Certain cruise ship cabins are excessively noisy, to the point that they can make your cruise quite unpleasant. Noisy cruise ship cabins to avoid include ones on the deck below the pool deck, any located adjacent to bars, show lounges, service areas, or launderettes. Avoid cabins on lower decks that are far aft (engine noise) or forward (bow thrusters).
How to get the best deal on your chosen cabin
Once you choose the best cabin for your cruise vacation, CruiseExperts.com can help you get the best price. We can find you fabulous upgrade deals, like this Holland America Line 18 Days Hawaii cruise departing December 2, 2018. Rates start at just $1659, and you can take advantage of free upgrades and free gratuities for staterooms. Plus, enjoy $75 onboard credit per stateroom. It’s one of CruiseExperts.com InnerCircle exclusives!
Royal Caribbean offers a 7 Days Caribbean-Western cruise departing April 22, 2018, where you can receive a free upgrade from Ocean View to balcony. Kids sail free, and you can save up to $1444 per stateroom, with rates that start at $539.
With so many different cruise cabins to choose from, why not let an expert help you select the right stateroom for your journey