Okay, so you have decided to book yourselves on a cruise ship for your next vacation. You have zeroed in on the ship, the itinerary and the date. Now it’s time to choose a stateroom or cabin. There are so many categories of staterooms – suites, balcony cabins, ocean view ones and the interior staterooms without any windows. Some say the higher deck you are on the better, and most cruise counselors will advise you to take a balcony or at least an ocean view cabin that has a fixed window.
In recent years the staterooms with balconies or verandas are the most sought after. If you are choosing a balcony or ocean view stateroom, get one located mid-ships and preferably on a slightly lower deck, as the swaying is least felt here. If for some reason you have to choose between a forward and aft cabin, go for the aft cabins especially if it’s a balcony stateroom, as the ones in the forward of the ship can get pretty windy, and the view of the wake from the aft cabins is quite something.
The location of your stateroom is important. If you are sensitive to noise and prefer peace and quiet, try not to take one on a deck just below the public areas like the dining areas, pool deck or the late night discos as even though the cabin is sound proof, the noise does carry.
Some people like to be in a cabin close to the elevator. Yes, that’s convenient as you will avoid the long walks down the aisle, but also be aware that the noise level right next to elevators is high, so you would be wise to chose one a few doors away from the elevator as this will cut down on the disturbance, yet be quite close to the elevators.
There are generally four types of cabins on board cruise ships: suites, balcony staterooms, ocean view with window, inside or interior staterooms. What you choose is a personal choice and depends upon how many persons you are and of course, your budget. If finances, are not the issue then a suite or balcony stateroom is recommended. If you are on a long cruise then it may be nice to have your own private balcony to relax in without intrusion of others. On a short cruise, one can do with an ocean view cabin with a large window, so there is no feeling of claustrophobia. And these days some cruise lines have started to introduce the concept of virtual balcony in the inside cabin!
What is a guarantee stateroom, one may ask. A guarantee stateroom is simply a cabin that you will be assigned in the category you have booked, but will not have any say regarding its location on the ship. For example if you were booking a guarantee balcony stateroom, you would pay a price less than the normal balcony stateroom, but you will be informed of the cabin number and deck location only a couple of days before your sail date. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised by getting a cabin on a good deck and fabulous view, but on the other end of the spectrum; you may be disappointed by the location or deck too. So if you don’t like surprises, good or bad, we suggest don’t book a guarantee stateroom.
Remember your stateroom can make or break your cruise experience, so choose with care!