As cruise booking technology has improved, the ability for a passenger to select their exact stateroom has gone from a novelty to a standard part of the process.
This process has evolved to the point that you can canvass potentially thousands of spaces to call your own for the duration of your cruise. Most lines make it as simple as possible, only allowing guests to choose from available rooms based on the type of fare they have chosen for their voyage.
The choice of selecting your stateroom can be made easier by carrying out some research into the deck plans of your ship to determine where is best for your party. In doing so, there are a number of things you should consider. If you rush it, you could find your stateroom in a less than desirable location, leading to a higher likelihood for disturbance. However, taking the time to study what is right for your needs can result in you having your best cruise ever.
Your sleeping routine
First off, consider if you are a light sleeper or you tend to head to bed early. Look at the deck plan for your ship and if you can, find a stateroom surrounded by other cabins – including on the decks above and below.
Noise can travel on a ship and can easily transmit through the floor, walls, ceiling and into your cabin. Avoid booking a stateroom with a lifeboat just outside your window, such as obstructed view, as these can sometimes move in heavy seas and create noise.
If you can’t book a stateroom further down a hallway, look for one located below or above the onboard shops or purser’s desk. Areas to avoid if you’re a light sleeper include above or below public spaces such as restaurants, pools, theatres, or the casino.
Heavier sleepers might not have this concern and if noise doesn’t bother you – particularly if you’re a sun lover – consider the deck below the pool. Aside from this giving you quick access to all of the upstairs fun, you also won’t need to walk far through the entire ship in a wet bathing suit.
You will also love having a room in this location if you are cruising in a scenic destination, meaning you only need to go up one deck to catch what might be going on just off the ship, such as a wildlife encounter or a notable sight. Keep in mind that balcony staterooms on a higher deck can be affected by evening activity on the pool deck such as late night parties and giant outdoor movie screens, so if noise is an issue be careful in selecting this location.
Passengers limited by their movement may benefit from a cabin close to the elevators. Unless you have an insatiable preference for in-room dining, you’re likely going to prefer to be in a cabin near to the ship’s dining venues and buffet, and some can tend to group these all together in a single location – so choose the elevator bank best linking these venues to ease your passage around the ship.
Ask your cruise line or travel agent to source copies of your ship’s access plans in advance. These handy blueprints are available to assist you in planning accessible routes between your stateroom and every public space onboard.
Sea sickness is a legitimate fear for many and if you think you may be among those affected, working out the exact ‘midpoint’ of your ship will be where you should be located on your next cruise.
A good tip here is to look for the casino on the deck plans and try and find a stateroom above or below that. Casinos have to be located in the most stable part of the vessel to ensure the accuracy of the games, so its a sure way to ensure you won’t feel the motion of the ocean.
Finally if you book a stateroom on a “guarantee” basis, don’t panic if you have been assigned a location you don’t like. Ask your cruise line or travel agent to review the location and see if there is another available stateroom in your category to which you can be moved.