If you’re going to spend thousands of dollars on a cruise, help yourself to have an optimal on-board experience by spending some time strategizing where you want your cabin to be. Pick up the floor plan of the ship you’ll be sailing on (which can be found in cruise line brochures at a travel agency) and study it carefully. Having worked on over 30 cruises off the shores of Mexico, Europe, Hawaii and Alaska as well as in the Caribbean, I’d like to share with you where you should request a cabin depending on your needs.
If You Want Peace & Quiet
Throughout a ship, there are a number of noisy areas you should avoid if you want to get a good night’s sleep. Steer clear of cabins near the anchor, engines, bridge (the cockpit of the ship where the Captain makes announcements and blows the ship’s horn), promenade deck (where people often jog), elevators, stairwells, sports areas (i.e. basketball courts, fitness centre), swimming pools, children’s/teen centres (which are often open past midnight), laundry rooms, bars, lounges, theatres, casinos, shops, purser’s desk, atrium, restaurants, coffee shops, spas, etc. So you’re probably wondering, “Well, where should I stay?” Despite this loooonnnnnngggggggg list of no-stay zones, there are still plenty of cabins to be had. Look at the floor plan for rooms that have cabins directly above and below them as that will ensure you’re not located near any public areas.
If You’re Prone to Seasickness
Sensitive to the ocean’s motion? You’ll want to stay away from the front, back and upper parts of the ship where there can be considerable rocking and pitching. In other words, choose a centrally-located cabin that is close to the water. The larger the ship, the less motion you’ll feel. In a future post, I’m going to provide tips on the best remedies for seasickness.
If Limited Mobility Is a Concern
Due to the nature of cruising, those with limited mobility are attracted to this form of travel. If this is the case for you or someone you’re travelling with, you’ll want to be situated close to an elevator (but not too close or you won’t catch too many zzz’s as mentioned above). Since many ships are gi-normous, being centrally-located vertically and horizontally is advantageous. You may want to find out where passengers disembark at each of the ports and request a room near one of them.
If You Want Convenience
If you plan to spend most of your time in one area of the ship, such as the fitness area, pool deck or buffet(!), pick a cabin that’s within that vicinity. If travelling with kids who’ll be participating in the children’s program and you’re needing to pick them up and drop them off after each session (which can be up to six trips/day), perhaps you’ll want to be near that part of the ship.
You’ll be glad you took the time to strategize which part of the ship is best suited for you and requested a cabin based on your needs as you’ll significantly increase the likelihood of having the cruise of a lifetime! But be sure to book several months in advance as you’ll have a greater selection of of cabins to choose from.