Choosing a cruise ship cabin can be an exciting experience, but it also requires a lot of thought before-hand and you will need to book early to avoid disappointment.
There are a few things to consider before you decide on which cabin to go for. If you suffer from seasickness, want to spend time alone or just want a place to sleep when you’re exhausted from all the on-board activities, there are plenty of options available.
There are four types of cabins: inside (no window and based on an inside corridor), outside (porthole with a view), balcony (allows you a private outside space) and a suite (a larger than average cabin, often with a separate living and sleeping area and a few extra amenities and perks).
If you tend to suffer from motion sickness, then cabin location is a priority. The lower in the ship and the more central you are, the less motion you will experience so you will be less prone to feeling nauseous.
How far away do you want to be from the action? Those who want to spend a lot of time on the sun decks and the outdoor pools may want easy access so would be best suited to a cabin near to these amenities. Travellers who have mobility issues may also find these cabins useful so they don’t have to travel long distances to and from their cabin to get to restaurants, bars and other amenities.
If noise is an issue for you try to avoid cabins near to the lido deck. These rooms tend to experience high levels of noise from scraping chairs or even pool parties. By simply moving down a level you will notice a big difference in noise levels. Cabins based below and above other cabins tend to be the quietest. Also avoid cabins near to show lounges, bars and launderettes.
Cabins with balconies come in two categories – aft balconies and regular balconies. The aft balconies have become more popular over the years as they are much larger and often wrap around the side of the ship, giving you 180-degree views over the ocean. However, there are a few drawbacks to the aft balconies such as that they are located at the very back of the ship and are nearly always “stepped out”, which means the cabins above and below yours can see onto your balcony. They are also usually located near to the lido and public decks so there is a chance people from these areas of the ship can also see onto your balcony.
Curved balconies on the corners of the ship allow you a great view and are slightly more private. Also bear in mind your itinerary when deciding on a cabin with a balcony. Caribbean and transatlantic cruises won’t really offer amazing view, however Alaskan cruises or trips from Barcelona to Rome, will provide some breathtaking views that are definitely worthwhile. Weigh up the pros and cons, as well as the cost, before booking a cabin with a balcony.
When it comes to the size of your room, you should get what you pay for. Balconies will be extra and suites considerably more. It just depends what you want on your cruise and how important your room is in comparison to everything else you might want to get involved in on the ship. Certain cruise lines, such as Disney’s four cruise ships, offer large standard rooms as they are designed to accommodate families. The same is not standard on all ships, though, so check before you book to be sure.
Bear in mind that, if you are a solo traveller, there are very few cruise lines that have cabins specifically designed for you these days. Usually, solo cabins are quite small with a full-size bed and a large window that looks out onto the corridor. They are usually more expensive than the double-occupancy rate of a similarly sized stateroom compared to the cost of paying the single supplement for a standard cabin so do your research and book early.
It is worth checking if the cost of your room includes any extra amenities such as a concierge service, butler or even just a whirlpool bathtub or walk-in wardrobe. You need to weigh up the pros and cons of these against your holiday budget and decide what is important to you.
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