5 Tips For Booking A Quiet Stateroom

5 Tips For Booking A Quiet Stateroom
When vacationers dream about their upcoming cruise, they often think of all the fun they will have onboard their ship. While cruise guests don’t plan on spending a lot of time in their cabin, they typically want it to be a peaceful place where they can relax and sleep easily. Passengers with staterooms in specific parts of the ship may not easily enjoy that pleasure, however. Noise at certain times of the day or night is all but guaranteed in several shipboard locations.

Choosing the right stateroom can make a major difference in enjoying your cruise vacation. Here are five tips for avoiding noisy cabins on your next cruise:

1. Carefully research deck plans. Study your ship’s deck plans before booking any type of cabin. Look for a quiet room away from noisy areas like elevators, lounges, atriums and children’s program facilities. Also thoroughly review the deck layouts above and below the cabin you’re considering to see what’s located directly overhead and under your room. Stay away from choosing staterooms above or below nightclubs, theaters, bars with live music, crew work areas, self service laundries, sports venues, kitchens, and the main dining rooms and buffet areas. Some frequent cruise guests also shun staterooms right below the ship’s pool or on the Promenade Deck to avoid the early morning sound of lounge chairs being arranged on deck. It’s best to book a stateroom between other floors of staterooms. While you may run the risk of having loud neighbors, it's generally better to chance those odds instead of the guaranteed noise of the band's reverberating bass emanating from the lounge until 2 a.m. each morning.

2. Avoid connecting rooms unless needed. Connecting staterooms are wonderful if you are cruising with family or friends. If not, however, you may be running the risk of booking a noisier than average cabin. Some ships don’t have proper soundproofing around the door areas of connecting staterooms, so you might be more likely to hear noise from your neighbors. This can often be a complaint when the connecting cabin is occupied by a family with young children or late-night partygoers.

3. Don’t book “guarantee” cabins. While guarantee cabins are typically available at a lower price, purchasers have no control over where they are placed on the ship. While buyers know that they will receive the same category of stateroom they’ve purchased, or perhaps even an upgrade to a higher category, they could also easily be placed right above the theater or next to a loud bar area if those cabins have not been booked. It’s a bit like playing roulette. A guarantee cabin could result in a great deal, but the outcome is also just as likely to be a stateroom with undesirable noise levels. Don’t risk it.

4. Stay away from engine noise and other machinery. Guests staying in the lowest level staterooms in the very front and back of the ship may have to deal with vibrations and sounds caused by engines, bow thrusters and even anchors being lowered early in the morning. To avoid these issues, opt for a cabin in the vessel's midship area if staying on one of the ship's lower decks.

5. Use a knowledgeable cruise travel agent. One of the many reasons why vacationers use travel agents for cruise bookings is to get help in selecting the right cruise cabin. Cruise ship layouts are more complicated than regular hotels. Top cruise travel agents know their ships and can let their clients know which available cabins are likely to have the least noise. Often there are trade-offs involved in choosing a cruise ship stateroom. Families may desire a quiet stateroom, for example, but also want a family-friendly cabin near the ship's kids' club. A good travel agent can help you to weigh the options and choose the one that is the best fit for you.

With the proper research and advice, it’s likely that you’ll find a quiet stateroom that will be the perfect home base for your next cruise vacation. Just remember, however, that sometimes even the best-laid plans go awry. Make sure to pack ear plugs just in case.

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