Cruise ship cabins you should avoid

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You may not intend to spend a lot of time in your cruise ship cabin, but you’ll be surprised at the difference getting the right one will make for your time at sea.

Just think: you’re already a captive of sorts to the ship. If you’re on land and don’t have a great hotel room, you can always get out in the city and explore. But, as massive as many cruise ships are, there’s only so much room on them. So, your cabin becomes a sort of refuge for when you need time to yourself.

And even if you don’t see it that way, you’ll at least want to know you can get some sleep (if that’s all you’re using your cabin for).

So, if you want your cruise to be smooth sailing, here are the cabins you should avoid.

Check the plans for hotspots
The first step when booking a cabin is to check out the ship plans. Steer clear of noise and traffic hotspots such as sporting courts and gymnasiums and take special note of where night-time activities take place. You do not want to be anywhere near the nightclub!

The quietest decks are the ones in between other decks. Cruise ships can handle passenger noise complaints but will often not be inclined to turn down the music at the nightclub.

Also, find out where the galleys are, as well as lido decks, movie (and other) theatres, crew service entrances and all-night buffets. Might be wise to steer clear of elevators and stairways too. Oh, and unless screaming kids are your thing, stay away from family suites.

And while the hum of the ship’s engines may send some to sleep, others it may drive crazy, so if noise is a concern, look for rooms as high up as possible.

Check the dimensions
Before hitting the ‘book now’ button, check the cabin dimensions. Some may be listed under the same category but will run up different measurements. So, don’t get sold short (or small) and ensure you check the square footage or total area of the cabin. Try to get the biggest room for the same price. Check that the beds are not pull-out beds and that the balcony area (if you have one) is not included in the total floor space.

A room with a view
If you really must have a view (i.e. be on the outside of the ship) then ensure you don’t get an obstructed view. Cabins may say they have a view, but it may be of the underside of a lifeboat, or your window may be obstructed by a big blue bulkhead.

Aim for the middle of the ship and the upper decks. You’re more likely to have obstructed view at either end and lower decks.

Promenade or boardwalk cabins
You may have missed out on an ocean view room with balcony, so your only other option for a room with a view will be the promenade or boardwalk rooms. Just know that these rooms can be a bit of an aquarium, that is, you can see out but everyone else can see in, too. And there’s no point paying extra for a view if you have to keep the curtains closed the whole time. Some cruise lines will have one-way glass though, so if you’re in doubt, give them a call and ask about privacy in these cabins.

If it’s rockin’ …
If you’re prone to motion sickness or just don’t like the feeling of ‘floating’, then you need to go midship and as low as possible. The rooms in the middle of the ship are less likely to have views (some will have views of the mall or other central feature) but they are also a little more stable and less susceptible to movement.

There are two trains of thought with preventing motion sickness on a ship. Either get in the middle where there’s less movement or find yourself a view and keep your eyes on the horizon. Until you know which one best suits you, it may be a case of trial and error. And if it’s error, hopefully the cruise line can move you to another room or you could try these tips for reducing the likelihood of motion sickness.

No guarantee
There’s something called a ‘guarantee cabin’, which means you choose the minimum cabin with which you’re happy and the cruise line assigns it to you closer to the cruise dates. Sound weird? It’s a way that you can get a free upgrade or get a cabin for a much lower price. But if the cruise hits full capacity, you’ll also end up with an ‘average’ room. Still, if you’re the gambling type and none of the above affects you, then it’s worth a shot for a snazzy upgrade.

Forums are great for finding out about cruise lines and cabins in particular. A local cruise website with a fantastic community forums is cruisecritic.com.au and if you need specific advice about cruise cabins and cruise lines you could try cruiseadvice.com.au.

Do you have any cruise cabin tips for our members? Want to share any cabin-fever stories?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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5 Comments

Total Comments: 5
  1. 0
    0

    The cabin itself is not so much of a concern for me, my wife and I spend very little time in the cabin, we prefer an inside cabin for one reason only, that is because it’s very dark in an inside cabin and we find it better for sleeping, trying for midship is also a good idea due to there being less movement, although some of the modern ships have excellent stabilisers, so not so much of a problem nowadays.

  2. 0
    0

    I don’t agree Jim. The inside cabin is so dark, my body clock doesn’t click in and I can’t tell if it’s morning yet???. However, no, you don’t spend much time in the cabin, why go if you’re going to hibernate in a cabin? These ships are so large, and have so many activities, that you can join or not as you please. I have never felt ‘boxed in’ so to speak, and have enjoyed reading a book in a deckchair – very relaxing. I will be going again. Try it before tearing it down. You want privacy – you’ll get it.

  3. 0
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    WENT YEARS AGO WITH SPOUSE BOB & DOLLY DYER ABOARD THEY ASKED US 2 DINNER BUT UNFORTUNATELY WE HAD PROMISED OTHERS. WENT THROUGH CYCLONE TOP OF QLD I WAS ON FLIGHT DECK LOOKING OUT SPRAY CAMEUP OVER DECK. CAPTAIN SLOWED 15 KNOTTS & CHANGED DIRECTION . THE DOORS WERE ROPED SHUT FOR 2 OR 3 DAYS .BECAUSE OF STORM BOB WAS ONLY 1 ALLOWED OUT HE WASA REGULAR TRAVELLER . ONE THING BOTHERED ME ..WAS HOW LOW THERAILING WAS ON THE SHIP FOR A TALL PERSON OVER 6 ” THEY COULDEASILY TOPLE OVER IN A STORM OR IF DRUNK OR WHATEVER . WHOLETRIP WAS INTERESTING SHIPWAS THE CANBERRA SINCE OUT OF USE

  4. 0
    0

    Booked an outside cabin of their choice hoping for an upgrade. Got an outside cabin on an open deck. While folk couldn’t see into the cabin we could see them walking past. Had to pull the curtains. Explained to the desk that if we had wanted an inside cabin we would have saved money and booked one .I asked to be moved to be told that the cruise was fully booked and nothing was available .Last time we will book with them .

    • 0
      0

      Yer man, if people couldn’t see in(I guess tinted windows) then why did people walking past bother you? Where I live has tinted windows, and during the day nobody can see in at all.
      I can stand right at my window with people standing outside talking and they have no idea
      I am standing actually quite close to them.
      It would be the same on a ship. I guess you need to get used to it. I am booked for a future cruise on a promenade deck with an outside window and people walking past.
      Whoever you booked with, it probably isn;t their fault. Unless it is a travel agent, they obviously didn’t understand the promenade deck situation, and explained it to you.
      But these days with the Internet, you sort of have also a duty of care to check yourself and not rely on the Travel Agent. A friend of mine booked a holiday to China with a travel agent, as she was not doing an acutal tour, they did not advise her to get a Visa. She rocks up at the airport- with NO Visa. How could she think she could travel to Communist China without a visa? That mistake on the travel agents and her behalf cost her a lot of $$, and a delay of 2 days to their plans. She had to book a hotel that she had no intention of staying in and I think pay for it so as to qualify for the visa rules- which is staying in hotels or getting written letters from the peoples places you are staying at. she was doing a mixture of both. but had no idea of the letters. But I partly blame my friend for not checking it out and blindly hoping that the TA would tell her everything. It is possible that they did advise her to get a visa, and she paid no attention to it.


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