Written by on Wednesday May 6, 2015
You’re looking to embark on a cruise, it might be your first or you might be a seasoned veteran, but you are still wondering which cabin would suit you best, and how best to figure this out?
Firstly you will need to know the different options available, there can be up to 30 different stateroom categories, but there are four main types;
- Inside/Interior: These are usually the smallest of all staterooms, located in the centre of the ship without any windows, portholes or views to the outside.
- Outside/Oceanview: These are often a similar size to an inside cabin or slightly larger, with a window or porthole and a view to the outside.
- Balcony/Veranda: These are often larger rooms with sliding doors to a Verandah or Balcony allowing private outside access from your stateroom (without accessing a public deck).
- Suite: These are usually the largest of all the staterooms. These usually consist of a separate lounge and sleeping area and often have a wide range of extra onboard amenities and benefits.
In order to choose the stateroom type that’s right for you, you should ask yourself a few questions. Each stateroom type has it’s own individual benefits and characteristics and everything will depend upon what kind of cruise-goer you are.
One of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself is “where do I want my cabin to be located” as this can have a huge impact on your cruise experience. If you suffer from seasickness, even just mildly, then you should choose a cabin that is located in the centermost position of the ship (midship) as well as being positioned on a lower deck so that there is minimal motion.
You will find that most cruise lines tend to assign their nicest and most expensive cabins to the highest decks with the best views. These are usually just below the pool deck, however this is usually one of the noisiest decks, so you may wish to be located far enough away from here to minimise disruption. Cabins located next to show lounges or bars or those situated low and at the back of the ship are also likely to be noisy due to the noise from the ships engines.
Inside cabins have no windows or views at all but have ample lighting and clever use of mirrors to maximise the brightness. These are typically the smallest and cheapest cabins onboard so are ideal for those on a limited budget who don’t intend to spend much time in their stateroom.
An Inside cabin is not for everyone so it’s worth upgrading if the lack of natural sunlight will impact your enjoyment. Some of the newest ships like Anthem and Quantum of the Seas have innovative features known as Virtual Balconies. These are floor to ceiling LCD screens within Interior staterooms displaying real-time images of the ship exterior using cameras located across the ship. The aim of these is to simulate real cabin windows or balcony views, which also assists with the addition of light into the rooms.
Another thing to take into consideration is if you require easy access to certain parts of the ship. Some cruisers, especially those with impaired mobility or young children, may prefer for their cabins to be closer to specific areas of the ship such as kids clubs, elevators or the central atrium for easy access to all of the ships amenities.
Depending on where you wish your cabin to be located, you will also have to take price into consideration. Cruise prices are fluid and can fluctuate from day to day, so when budgeting for your cruise don't forget to consider the other costs such as airfares, transportation to and from the Port and Shore Excursions as you may discover that this impacts significantly on your overall budget.
As we noted previously, the cabins that are higher up with better views are more expensive than a cabin on the inside with no views, but there are ways to get a cabin with good views for cheaper.
If your main priority is to secure a cheap cruise fare and location is not a priority then you can book a ‘Guarantee’ stateroom. This is often the cheapest way of booking your cruise as these rates tend to carry the biggest discounts, however, there are always compromises to be made.
When you book a ‘Guarantee’ stateroom this is on the understanding that your cabin number will not be available at the time of booking and will be allocated at a later date at the cruise line’s discretion. This means that the cruise line will allocate your cabin number close to the date of the sailing, generally around the time where your tickets are issued (around 4 weeks prior to departure).
You will be guaranteed a minimum standard of cabin as indicated by the cabin grade, but you will have no say in how or where onboard the ship your cabin will be allocated. You will not be able to submit any special requests regarding the position, facilities or bed configuration and if you are travelling with others, there is no guarantee that cabins will be located close to each other or will even be of the same grade.
You can read more about ‘Guarantee’ staterooms here.
No matter which cabin type you choose, you can be assured that it will have a private bathroom, TV, comfortable beds and most importantly will be serviced up to twice a day by your Cabin Steward with all the necessary requirements.