My wife and I have reserved an A cabin (minisuite) for a Dec. 1 Caribbean cruise. It will be on the Navigation or Varandah deck. Our travel agent suggested we list some choices of cabins. We haven't been on a cruise in 20 years (never on HAL). I have looked at the cabins on HAL's website, but I have no idea which ones would be best. Any specific suggestions? If not, what criteria should I use in choosing a cabin? Thanks for your advice.
I just recently booked a room on the Zaandam for Feb. 2006 (our first cruise with HAL). When I was selecting our room (AA6155 on the Verandah Deck) I was very to careful to see what was above and below. Our room, for example, is over the shopping arcade and there shouldn't be late night noise. I should also think that a room over the library & puzzle area would be low on noise. If your considering the Navigation Deck, I would try for a room under the Lido Restaurant (I believe that it is carpeted) rather than under the pool with all those deck chairs! Another thing to consider is the location of the elevators, especially if mobility is a problem.
Gerhardt - hopefully you have a deck plan (and a magnifying glass!) - stay away from the Launderette on Verandah deck - people have a nasty habit of chattering in the hallway! Our best advice is to stay midship - but within reasonable distance of elevators and stairs - if you choose Navigation deck , try not to go back further than 7052.
Suki - I have to disagree with you. We always took a cabin midships on either the Verandah or Nav deck. On one our our recent cruises on the Volendam (sister to the Zaandam) we were in cabin 7067 Nav deck and loved it. It was so much quieter back there. We found that when we were in a mid-ship cabin late night party goers were always coming down the hall talking at the top of their voices, laughing and giggling and would invariably wake us up.
In 7067 we never heard a sound because we were so far back. It's also close to the elevators and the Lido and Lido pool. There are also lounge chairs on the back deck where you can sit and watch the wake. Now, we always take a cabin on either Verandah or Nav deck near the aft of the ship.
Gerhardt - no matter what cabin you pick, I am sure you will enjoy it. As Suki said, do stay away from the self-service laundry area though - can be noisy
I have always tried booking cabins located next to the Royal or Presidential style suites. I sailed on the Volendam in March and had cabin 7003 which was right next door to the Royal suite. It had a wonderful view, close to the elevator, and was quiet (right underneath the spa). Yes the price was relative but like everything in life you get what you pay for. Treat yourself! Spend a few extra bucks and enjoy!! Life's short.
I forgot to mention. Be careful if you book the higher category suites because once you try it with all that extra square footage and complimentary services, etc. You'll never want to step down and book a smaller or inside type cabin again. You get spolied. Anyway good luck!
*Gerhardt - definitely nothing wrong with your location! Enjoy and Happy Cruising!
Deedee and Cap.Mat - I have to agree with both of you - on 'spur of the moment' bookings when we've had to take ' a guarantee', we've found ourselves 'at the back of the boat' as people say on Lower Prom. Without our usual verhandah we've found it lovely, quiet too, to wander around the stern of the ship and enjoy the wake, it's a nice prelude to a good nights sleep. I never fail to be fascinated by the straght line the ship cuts through the ocean.