My partner and I are sailing on the Caribbean Princess in June. Neither of us have cruised before and we both are at a loss how to pick a great cabin. I've heard horror stories of how people were under the disco, beside the engine, etc. Any suggestions?
We have been in a variety of cabins in the 12 cruises we've taken. Of course, what you usually do is request a specific category of cabin based upon the price you're willing to pay. At that point, the travel agent suggests one or more specific cabins available at that price. You can then check the ship diagram in the printed or online brochure for that ship's cruises. You can see on the diagram whether that specific cabin is just beneath the disco or just underneath the promenade deck.
Once you've selected your cabin, and as the time for your cruise approaches, you may or may not be offered an upgrade from your original selection. Once we were upgraded to a penthouse suite, but paid an extra $300 per week per person for the privilege; it was definitely worth the extra money. On the other hand, we have sometimes booked inside rooms (no windows) and have had a wonderful time. Since you may not be spending a lot of time in your cabin, it's possible to enjoy a cruise just as much with an inside cabin as an outside cabin or a cabin with a balcony.
Some people say there is less ship movement (rocking) if you are on a lower deck. However, there's a bit more prestige if you are on an upper deck. You are more likely to hear engine noises near the stern than you are near the bow. Some people prefer to be near the elevators or specific parts of the ship such as the health club.
If you are celebrating a special occasion, you may want to splurge on the best cabin within your budget. Regardless of what you do, you'll probably have a great cruise!
I agree with Harry. Just study those deck plans and make sure you know what's above you, below you and next to you. Keep away from the disco, show lounges, children's areas and my personal pet-peeve: being under a deck area where you get to listen to hundreds of lounge chairs being dragged across the deck at sunrise and then again in the late afternoon (nap time). Also, stay away from elevator banks, stairways or other areas where people tend to congregate and talk loudly as they often forget people in adjacent cabins might be trying to sleep.
You'll definitely feel more motion the higher up you are or at the extreme fore or aft of the ship. I personally like the added motion and try to get in those areas with a cabin surrounded by other cabins in all directions (except for outside walls, of course).
I agree with the above posts. Remember that on the newer ships, most of the cabins are VERY similar.
Mid ship has a bit less motion as do the lower floors. Midship is usually a shorter jaunt to wherever you may be going including going portside. Sometimes certain cabins have a little extra space for one reason or another. If the cabin looks larger than others in your category, it probably is larger.
Also quad cabins tend to have more children, so if you wish to minimize neighbor noise, be sure your neighbors' cabins are not built for four or even five passengers.
In addition to all the good advice you've already received about picking a cabin, we would suggest you not forget your sun screen and a wide brimed hat because the month of June will probably be very hot where your going. Once I laid in the sun for just one hour while crossing the equator and ended up in the hospital packed in ice and then bandaged from head to toe for the remaining two weeks of the cruise.........but it didn't stop me from shaking my - - - in the disco every night!
Hello, I do not know if you have selected your stateroom as of yet...if not, try and secure a midship stateroom....less motion. It is a good idea to to take a look at the layout of the ship as far as where the nightclubs, dining room, etc. are located. Did you book this on your own or through a travel agent. If you did a travel agent, I am sure they can help secure the most desireable location.
Any other questions, drop me a line. Always able to help. Bonnie
Here's my process for picking a cabin (our cabin is our santuary so we want it as quiet as possible):
1. Decide what price you're prepared to pay and find the cabin categories that fit the budget. We've sailed in both inside, outside and balcony cabins. If I had the money all the time, I'd take a balcony all the time. However, insides work out fine. The only time this was really an issue was on the QE2 because we wanted to be seated in the Caronia restaurant so the minimum we could book was a C5 outside. On the QE2, your cabin category determines which restaurant you eat in.
2. Carefully study the deck plans for the category(ies) your interested in. Look our for being too near stairways and elevators as people tend to stop and yack which can be disturbing at night. Also look out for the self serve laundry - it's amazing how many people can do laundry on a vacation! They also tend to talk while doing it. We were next to the laundry on the Tropical for a gay cruise and it was always busy. Try to stay away from the noisy public areas - lounges, bars, clubs, restaurants. Libraries and card rooms are good! Try to stay more to the middle of the ship if movement may be a problem. Aft may have vibrations that can be annoying. If you are on a gay cruise(RSVP/Atlantis), find out where the outdoor disco will be set up. Stay away from there if you want to get any sleep! Even one deck down may not be far enough away for the noise to carry. On one cruise, people kept coming down to our deck to use the restrooms because they were less crowded but they were very noisy. They finally closed those restrooms after 10 pm due to complaints. On another cruise, the disco was one deck up and we were one deck down about 1/3 of the deck away from the disco but when an outside door was opened, we could still hear the music. Stay away from surrounding cabins that hold more than 3 people. Also realize that some ships are less soundproof than others so even normal talking may be heard through the walls.
3. If quiet is important, try to book a specific cabin that fits the bill. The downside is that you will probably not be upgraded since you chose a specific cabin so be happy with what you choose. Look at the plans, have a few cabin numbers that fit bill then call your TA to see if any of them are available.
4. Check the cabin ammenities. Some ships only have a fridge or tub in the upper categories. If this is important, be aware of it.
For all of our cruise until the last few, we've selected a specific cabin by number. The last 3 we booked by category and were happy with the cabins we got. On our last cruise, we booked an inside minimum category for the package that was offered and were upgraded from an inside to an outside with porthole - not bad - 9 categories up!
If you book a category, you will be assigned a cabin by the cruise line and it can be that category or any one above that - cruise lines choice. This also means you may not like where you end up. We're on the Caronia in June and booked a minimum inside category and can't wait to see where we end up - it adds to the excitement!
I highly recommend you consider getting a balcony if you can swing it. It is great to be able to open the door and step out into the cool morning air in privacy. I have been towards the front of the boat and would say this its not the best place if the seas are a bit rocky...up down up down...you get it. Have a good one!