For a first-time cruiser, choosing a cabin can be confusing. When considering as many as 20 different cabin categories, how do you know which one is right for you? Here are five simple tips that can get you on the right track:
Learn cabin terminology.
Insides have no windows; outsides have an ocean view; balcony or veranda cabins have an outdoor sitting area; and spa cabins come with free access to spa facilities. Warning: The term "suite" doesn't necessarily mean you get two rooms. And FYI: The word "stateroom" is the same as cabin.
Think about how you'll spend your time.
A rookie mistake is booking a cabin that doesn’t suit your needs. If you're planning to use your cabin only for changing and sleeping, you won’t need an extra spacious room that will stretch your budget. If you need some private downtime — watching movies, ordering room service, relaxing — then it might be worth getting something fancier.
Study the options.
Examine the ship's deck plans carefully and ask your agent for guidance. There are such things as bad cabins. A general rule: public spaces = noise. If you're near the ship's disco, for instance, you may hear dance music pulsing well into the night.
Consider ship movement.
If you're prone to seasickness, you'll want to aim for a cabin in the central part of the ship. The staterooms to avoid: the ones in the front or on an upper deck.
Remember that size matters.
Factor in space and bed configuration when making your choice. A family of four crammed into 120 square feet just won’t do, especially if there are upper berths that require ladders. Cabins around 170 square feet are the minimum for the claustrophobic, while a spacious 225-square-foot cabin is above the standard size.