You're going on a cruise. Life is good... until you arrive at your cabin and find your ocean view is blocked by a giant orange lifeboat. Or you discover your state room comes with a late-night pulsing disco beat. Don't let this be you.
When you plan a cruise, after you decide on your cabin category (inside, outside, balcony, suite), you can also choose your specific room from the deck plan -- just like when you book a flight and select from the seating chart.
A good cabin will be relatively noise free, won't feel much movement, and will have the views you paid for. A bad cabin is the shipboard equivalent to getting stuck in a middle seat. To avoid the latter, it pays to study deck plans (or ask your travel agent for advice) to make sure you get the best stateroom in your category. Here are some tips to help:
- To avoid noise, stay away from accommodations near the atrium and other public spaces (including elevator landings and staircases) and crew work areas.
- You don't want to be under the jogging track or Lido deck -- both create thumping.
- Be aware that if you book a cabin with an optional connecting room, you may hear your neighbors, whether you know them or not.
- If you are sensitive to smell, avoid cabins near the galley and engine room.
- Those prone to seasickness should avoid cabins on the top or in the front of the ship. Dead center is the most stable place.
- If you're seeking views, avoid the descriptive word "obstructed."
This may all sound a tad negative, but rest assured that when it comes to staterooms -- as in life -- the good outnumbers the bad.