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How to Choose Your Cabin on Your Next Cruise

Updated on January 9, 2010
best cabins to cruise, hotblack, morguefile.com
best cabins to cruise, hotblack, morguefile.com

The brochure depicts a stunning image of a majestic ship sailing among the turquoise sea. Pictures of exotic destinations abound along with views of leisurely moments spent on the cruise. Portraits of passengers sipping on a drink, dancing the night away or simply soaking the sun on a lounge chair offer a glimpse of life on the seas. Then a page proudly lists the variety of cabins available for its passengers. Where will you stay? Will you enjoy a suite with a private veranda? Or will an inside stateroom suffix? On which deck are you planning to stay?  If you really want to make the best of your cruise trip you must ensure you choose your cabin wisely.

Just as airplanes offer different choices of seats, cruise ships are equipped with great cabins and not so great cabins. Of course, each cruise company offers a different layout so it is highly recommended to take a look and figure out where your cabin will be. This article will focus on the standard types of rooms available on a cruise ship and possible locations to avoid. A cruise is something that does not happen every day, so time spent researching is time spent wisely.

Types of Cabins

Each cruise ship is equipped with different types of cabins and suites along with different layouts. Some ships may have some nicely sized  inside staterooms while others may offer just sufficient space to move. Due to these variables, it is up to the passengers to ask their travel agents about all the details regarding their cabin. As a general rule of thumb, do not rely on the brochure pictures because sizes may be quite misleading. Following are some standard rooms found in most ships.

♦ Inside Stateroom

This type of cabin is the cheapest available on board even though prices may also vary depending on its location. Inside staterooms are  mostly on the smaller side (averaging from 120 square feet to 180 square feet) and are generally equipped with the essentials: a bed, night stand lamp, television and small bath with shower. These rooms are considered inside rooms because they do not offer any sea view, therefore there are no port holes, windows or balconies, therefore passengers will not be able to tell if it's day or light outside, where they are or what the weather conditions are.This room is good for those short on cash, but is not recommended for long cruises or for those who tend to feel crammed.

♦ Outside Ocean View Cabins

These cabins are generally the same size as the inside stateroom but they offer the added of amenity of a port hole or a window. Cabins with port holes are usually cheaper than those with windows and are found on the lower decks. If you are expecting to see a glimpse of sea from a port hole you may be deluded because sometimes they are so dirty  you may only see light or a few splashes from the waves when the sea is big.  Windows may offer nice views but these windows are most likely sealed shut and cannot be opened.

♦ Cabins with Balconies

If you want  to enjoy a cup of coffee watching the waves or  feel the sea breeze caress your hair, a balcony is an amenity you do not want to miss. The balcony offers glass sliding doors which provide lots of light and stunning views even from inside the cabin. These rooms are generally the same size of the outside ocean view cabins with some extra footage courtesy of the balcony. Most balconies can accommodate a couple of chairs and a small table, but may not offer enough space to stretch out on a lounge chair. One thing to consider is that generally such balconies are next to your neighbor's balcony so you may not enjoy much privacy. 

♦ Suite Cabins

For those looking for some luxury and do not care to pay for the added amenities, a suite cabin may be a good fit. These cabins offer larger rooms and different layouts. Some may have an extra bedroom, a sitting area and a curtain to separate the sitting area from the bedroom.  These rooms may even have bigger bathrooms with tubs or even a jacuzzi. Some may also offer access to VIP decks which offer private pools and lounge areas so to stay away from the crowds. Viewing a layout of a suite room is recommended before booking one since there are many variable layouts. 

These is just a general introduction to different types of rooms. Each cruise company likes to give these rooms and suites different names. There are also some different options available such as inter-connecting rooms for large families or handicap accessible rooms. So cruise ships also have rooms for smokers.  Because there are so many different rooms it is important to make an informed decision and to book early so to ensure a spot in a favorite type of room. 

Important Facts About Decks

- The lower decks are the most affordable however they generally come with a price: they are usually prone to be louder because they sit pretty close to the engines especially those rooms near the middle and towards the stern. Their location also translates into more stairs and elevators to climb in order to reach the upper decks which offer food and entertainment. 

-The main deck is the most stabilized level therefore it is the deck recommended for those who tend to get motion sick. The middle part is ideal. However, because most likely the deck above hosts mostly restaurants and bars, this floor may suffer a bit from the noise produced above. 

-The Promenade deck is the entertainment deck. Here are restaurants, bars, stores and several other entertainment activities. Rooms close by may suffer from noise since these areas are highly occupied during some hours. 

-The Upper Promenade is home to some of the most expensive cabins on board.  Because often lifeboats are stored on this deck,  they may however block the window view from some cabins.

Generally the higher you go the better views and this is why you find the most luxury cabins on these decks often equipped with large balconies and verandas. However, this is the last place you want to be if you are motion sick, as rough seas may really get these decks rolling. 

 Booking a cruise may be an opportunity of a life time, and you certainly do not want to deal with unpleasant surprises. Make sure therefore to choose your room wisely. Get a plant of the ship and a layout of your room. Avoid rooms near the disco, right next to the engines, right underneath the jogging track or with window views blocked by life boats. Sometimes it is really worth it to spend a little more to grant  a comfortable room and fond memories of the best cruise ever. 

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    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Great article, and I love the way you place your ads and promote your subject. great job my friend

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