Whether it’s your first or fiftieth cruise booking a cabin on a cruise ship is never easy, not with so many different things to consider!
There’s probably hundreds of different articles out there, each telling you when to book, who to book with, what cabins are best and so on and so forth.
It occurred to us however that it probably doesn’t matter what cabin you book. After all, there’s no such thing as a ‘bad’ cruise ship cabin… just good and not quite so good. You agree right?
But that being said, rather than having to hunt around on deck plans looking for that one perfect cabin that suits your needs, it would probably be easier if we narrowed things down by letting you know which cabins to avoid. Again, there’s nothing wrong with any of the below per se; it’s just that if you have the choice we think there are better picks…
Not sure what a guaranteed cabin is? Don’t worry, we have an entire guide to booking guaranteed cabins (which you can read here). In short, whilst you’re guaranteed a place on the ship (hence the name) you won’t know whereabouts on the ship your cabin will be until you arrive.
These types of cabins are sold with a big discount on them (which is why they get booked) but the cruise lines do tend to use them to fill up those ‘awkward’ spots that guests wouldn’t normally choose to book… Cabins above the theatre, below the sundeck and next to the lifts are common examples.
If you’re just looking for a cheap cruise deal and know you won’t be spending much time in your cabin then they’re probably worth looking at… but if you think you’ll be spending any sort of time in your cabin (other than to sleep) then it’s probably worth spending the extra and choosing a cabin you know you’ll be happy with!
A lot of first time cruisers make the mistake of booking an obstructed view cabin, thinking it will save them some money (and yes obstructed view cabins are sold at a cheaper price).
You’ll have your view blocked (either partially or fully) by one of the ships lifeboats and whilst a discount may sound like a good if you’re watching the pennies, we’d suggest either an inside cabin (much cheaper) or if money’s not an issue booking an unobstructed view or even your own private balcony.
Right above or below busy areas
You’ll probably need a deck plan for this one (which you can view here or you can ask the help of an expert here). There are definitely different spots on the ship you should avoid if you can (these tend to be the spots you’d end up with if you were booked a guaranteed cabin).
We can’t go into too much detail as the different positions will be specific to each ship but cabins to avoid would be ones right above the theatre (the rooms are soundproofed but still…) or cabins below the pool, above/below a busy restaurant/bar or one’s near lifts.
If you’re worried or unsure now don’t panic, any of our specialist cruise consultants will be happy to advise you.
Inside facing balconies
As ships have got bigger and bigger the cruise lines have come up with more and more innovations to try and encourage people to book with them. On Royal Caribbean’s largest, Oasis, class of ships (Oasis, Allure and Harmony of the Seas), as well as having the standard balcony cabins that face out to sea, they added new categories that looked out over the Boardwalk and Central Park areas of the ship (see image below).
Now as you’d expect these balcony cabins are sold much cheaper than the standard balcony cabins but privacy is, how can we put it…?
You’d have to decide for yourself if the trade-off is worth it (discount for privacy) but in our minds you just can’t beat a good sea view… Even if it’s a good spot for people watching! What d’you think?
Cabins smaller than 150sq ft
Most inside cabins will start in size at about 180 sq ft but it’s important to remember that a cruise ship isn’t like a big, square hotel on land with hundreds of identical rooms.
It’s a ship.
Which may sound self-evident but means not all the cabins, even in the same grade, will be the same size. Due to odd staircases, the bulge or slope of the hull, positioning of bars and restaurants etc. then some cabins just have to be smaller than others.
Whilst all cabins should be fit for purpose we’d argue that once you start getting down to 150 sq ft things are just getting far too cramped; especially for any kind of long cruise.
As always, if you’re worried about what size cabin you’re getting feel free to pick up the phone and speak to one of our specialist cruise consultants.
Mini suites on the left side of the Royal and Regal Princess
When the Royal Princess was launched it was done so in a blaze of publicity (well, Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge did name it after all!)
One of the things Princess Cruises shouted about most was the Sea Walk, a glass bottomed walkway that jutted out over the side of the ship.
And it is fantastic, giving you some great views when you’re out at sea. The problem is though it also gives you some great views of the mini suites directly opposite the walkway.
Again, not a problem if you’re not going to be using your balcony much but if you are we’d definitely recommend you book yourself a cabin on the right side of the ship!
What’s your thoughts? Have we missed any cabins that needed including
Are there any kinds of cabins you always avoid?
Let us know in the comments below…
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