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7 Tips for Choosing a Cruise Cabin
Selecting a cruise ship stateroom can often be a challenge. The best cruise ship stateroom for each guest depends on a number of personal preferences, each of which should be carefully considered. In addition, many of the newer, larger ships offer twenty or more cruise cabin categories from which to choose. Thatís why many cruisers rely on experienced travel agents to help them select the right cruise ship stateroom for their vacation.
If youíre choosing a cruise cabin for your upcoming vacation, here are seven tips to help you select the best stateroom for you:
1. Check on Whatís Outside Your Room. There are three words to remember when choosing a cruise ship stateroom: location, location, location. Look over your shipís deck plans to determine whatís around the cabins youíre considering. An oceanview stateroom on the Promenade Deck sounds nice, but your view might include guests walking right by your window for most of the day or crew members setting up deck chairs against your wall at 5:45 a.m. on several mornings. In addition, insulation in/around connecting stateroom doors can vary by ship, so you might want to shy away from connecting cabins if youíre not booking both staterooms for your family. It's also wise to avoid rooms right near crew work areas.
2. Look at Deck Plans Above and Below. Many vacationers only look at the deck plan where their potential cabin choice is located, but in-room noise can be substantially impacted by ship features located both above and below your stateroom. Check surrounding deck plans to see if the stateroom youíre considering is located above or below the shipís main theater, dining and kitchen areas, engines, discos or other noisy venues. Thereís nothing worse than hearing music blaring and dancers stomping around overhead while youíre trying to sleep.
3. Choose Lower Decks for Stability. If youíre prone to motion sickness, choose a cabin on one of the lower decks. Mid-ship cabin locations, those neither too far forward nor near the back of the ship, are best. These staterooms are more stable in high seas. Another bonus: these lower deck staterooms are usually cheaper as well. The downside is that being located on a lower floor sometimes results in longer elevator waits when youíre heading up to the Lido Deck. Perhaps thatís just one more reason to take the stairs, however, and burn off a few of those cruise vacation calories.
4. Consider Convenience. As youíre choosing your stateroom, think about the places on the ship where youíre likely to spend much of time and plan accordingly. Families sometimes like to be located near the kidsí program areas, while frequent spa goers enjoy the convenience of being able to quickly pop down to the fitness facilities and treatment rooms. Some cruisers like to be located close to the elevator banks for easy access, while others who crave quiet spaces shy away from those cabins. Again, stateroom choices are all about personal preferences.
5. Imagine the View. Cabins with balconies and better views command a higher price, so think about how much time youíll be spending in your cabin and how important the view is to you before choosing a stateroom. Those who enjoy looking out over the landscape on their cruise often opt for cabins with a balcony. Staterooms on the aft of the ship often have larger balconies and are favorites with view lovers who crave lots of time on their own private deck. Other price conscious travelers who donít plan to spend much time in their stateroom are fine with an inside cabin and no view at all.
6. Select a Cabin with Your Companions in Mind. When youíre traveling with a family or multiple companions, size matters. Stateroom square footage can vary substantially by category, so consider how much time youíre going to spend in the cabin together before selecting your stateroom. If youíre traveling with a family or group, price out a variety of options including connecting cabins, larger staterooms designed specifically for families, and cabins across from each other.
7. Accurately Assess the "Guarantee" Odds. Some cruise passengers opt for a "guarantee" stateroom in the hope of getting an upgrade and saving on the price of their cruise. Research this choice carefully before choosing to go this route. In some cases, the cost savings are real. On other cruise lines, however, there is no real price discount at all. In addition, youíll be giving up your ability to select your cabin based on your hope of getting an upgrade. If youíre lucky, perhaps the upgrade fairy will grant your wish and youíll be assigned a great stateroom in a higher category. On the other hand, you could be assigned a stateroom that no one else wanted due to location, view, or configuration. The choice is up to you, but consider this gamble thoroughly before taking the plunge. Itís a risk, and the outcome could substantially affect your cruise experience.
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