Tips for Choosing Your Cruise Stateroom

You’ve chosen a cruise line, an itinerary, the ship and a stateroom category, so now it’s time to book your much anticipated cruise.  Before you select a cabin, there are some important questions I always ask my clients.

  1.  If this is your first large ship cruise, then go straight to mid-ship in a lower deck stateroom (but not too low) where there is the most stability.  Getting a good night’s rest is paramount to enjoying your cruise vacation. 
  2. Do not select an adjoining room unless you need to be really close to those on the other side.  The doors are not insulated the same way the full wall is and sound will travel through them.
  3. Have the deck plans for your ship in front of you when you select a stateroom and look at what is directly above and below the deck you have chosen.  Night club music travels up and may not be the preferred beat you want to go to sleep to.  As well, the jogging circuit above you at 6 am may not be the way you want to be woken up. 
  4. Think about how much traffic will be walking by your room.  If you are located by the exit from the theatre or the elevators are across the hall, then you will be privy to every conversation when people do not use their “indoor voice” at 1 am in the hallway. Unless you’re among them, be aware of your surroundings …. and use your indoor voice as a courtesy to others.    
  5. Under the pool deck might be convenient, but chairs scraping on the deck make noise, not to mention those late night around the pool parties. However if you like to be up bright and early for a swim, close proximity may be where you want to be. 
  6. Did you know you can do your own laundry onboard many of the ships?  What if your room is directly across from the laundry room?  Handy or a noise nuisance?
  7. Some ships have a centre promenade where windows face inward.  If you like looking at stores and gathering spaces versus water, you might save money but sound travels up so whatever is going on below will be your entertainment.  Your privacy will be compromised, as people can see into these rooms.  Beware, unless you’re into that sort of thing!
  8. “Obstructed view” may be the reason a certain category of stateroom is less expensive. If you don’t mind looking at an orange lifeboat or tender, then save the money and tuck yourself away in one of these economical staterooms.
  9.   I remember one cruise where there were banging doors all night and it wasn’t the other guests …. it was the service access door for the staff. There is a small city on the lowest deck where up to 2000 crew live, eat, play and sleep when they’re not on shift.  It takes a small city to run a ship but do you really want to be that close to it?
  10. Think about the mechanics of a ship – the parts that make the noise and you will want to steer clear of low decks aft – where the engine room is located and forward where the anchor is located.  Need I say more!

Now for me, there is one more question I like to ask my clients – do you want to sip coffee on your balcony watching the sun rise, or enjoy a cocktail on your balcony when the sun is setting.  Port (odd numbered staterooms) or starboard (even numbered staterooms) will determine which side you should be on.  Ask the right questions and do your research.  Book your stateroom as soon as possible so you have the best chance of getting the right location on the ship. Experience will be your best teacher.  Happy sailing!

From Anne’s column in Waypoints Global – an online magazine for adventurous affluent travelers seeking to discover the world on water … one waypoint at a time!  

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