When I booked my cruise for the first time, I was so confused when it came to room selection and it took a lot of research to choose one. When I went the second time I realized that I could have chosen a cheaper one (based on my first time visit). There are some factors which can help you decide.
In a cruise (I am discussing based on Mariner of the seas- Royal Caribbean) there are a variety of rooms or cabins as they are called in a cruise. The cabins are sold in double occupancy rates; however the rates given in the site are per person. (Staying in a double cabin by you will incur a single supplement, which can be costly). Royal Caribbean provides third and fourth person in the room and the price is cheaper, however it could be a little cramped, if all four are adults.
Eleven questions to help you select your cabin in a cruise.
Question 1:What is your Budget?
Sometimes the biggest constraint is money for middle last class family or for long duration cruises. Here the interior rooms come in very handy. They have all the facilities of a room but no view of the outside, no porthole, balcony or ocean view windows. They are perfect for coming in sleeping in the room and then getting ready and moving out to explore the cruise. I have stayed in one of them for a three night cruise and it was perfect, so cheap that I did not think about my monthly budget and saving plans.
Some of the cruise lines have made these interior rooms very interesting, with connecting room options available, with virtual windows of sea view or themes in the room. Even in interior rooms, you could choose the promenade room, which overlooks the promenade or the most happening balcony and deck of the cruise. The welcome programs the farewell, the shows happen here so perfect to view them from your promenade room window.
Question 2: Do you want to spend a lot of time in the room?
As an individual I do not spend much time in the room and would like to move around the cruise as there are so many activities to do. However my husband is a person who loves to spend time in the room or the balcony looking over the sea, without much crowd to disturb, may be with a glass of beer or a book. Would you like to relax more and not move around, or you are the kind of person who loves swimming, and casinos and nightclubs at night and would just crash in the room when required. Also the smaller rooms could be a little cramped, so if you like space and are claustrophobic then better to go to a bigger square foot room. For people like me an interior cabin without a balcony is perfect, as I would just go to sleep. There are some wonderful places to relax in a quiet environment on the decks and hot tub Jacuzzi.
Question 3:Are you a heavy or light sleeper?
This factor is more for deciding the deck in which you sleep. The decks just below the swimming pool deck are a no for a light sleeper. There are some cleanliness activities in the swimming pool deck and there is noise of deck chairs being moved on the wooden floor. Also for lower decks the feel of the ship movement is felt the strongest and hence sometimes difficult to sleep for a light sleeper. Also please do not go for the promenade facing room as there is always noise flowing in from the Promenade.
Question 4: Do you get sea-sick easily?
If you or anyone travelling with you gets sea-sick then for them the mid-ship rooms are the best as they do not feel the motion of the sea so much. For them rooms with a view is good, may be an ocean-view or with a balcony If you still have to go to the interior rooms, use one with virtual views as sometime looking at something in the same direction as the movement helps reduce the sea-sickness.
Question 5: Would a partial view excite you?
These rooms with a window and obstructed view of the sea, these are perfect as they are medium budgets and they provide a view of the sea. The obstruction could be machinery or the outside walls and it depends on the cruise line you select. But they are in the middle of the price chain and a good choice. You compromise a little and satisfy your budget constraints and still have fresh light and air in the room. A partial view could also mean that part of a lifeboat is in your line of vision, and sometimes the obstruction can only be seen when looking down from the balcony.
Question 6: Do you need open space?
These rooms come at a higher price as they have a balcony and a space to sit and have your morning coffee, or mid-afternoon beer. This place is good to sit and relax if you do not like people too much and like your own company. If reading a novel and relaxing in the confines of your room as a cruiser this is the best room for you. However some of these rooms have privacy issues because of its placement and you might not have full privacy. Aft-facing balconies are popular for their dramatic views of the sea over the stern of the ship and for their larger size, but be aware that those verandas often have privacy concerns. The balconies are stepped out, one jutting out below the one above, so your balcony is in full view of all the other aft-facing balconies above it. Some of them are also in view of the public decks or restaurants. Keep your robe on in these spaces.
Question 7: Do you have special needs like smoking or mobility issues?
There are specific rooms for smoking so you would need to choose wisely. Also some room are way inside and need you to walk long corridors to reach you room. If you have mobility issues or are travelling with old people who would finding walking a long stretch difficult choose room near the elevator and near the activities which you would like to do. There are rooms which are wheelchair friendly and it would be mentioned when you go ahead to select the room. For our interior rooms we had to walk a long stretch but we did not face any issues for that. It was good exercise.
Question 8: Which facilities you want to use the most?
This is not a deciding factor for me generally, as I spend my time doing various activities on the cruise and need to move around, but there are a few people who like to avail the swimming or the spa/gym facilities more, and there are rooms in these decks and all categories. Also closer you are to these rooms, easier to spend time using these facilities.
Question 9: Can I save more money after choosing the room?
A guaranteed stateroom is the least expensive way to book a cabin on a sailing. It means you’re promised a room in a category, but you yield control over which stateroom you’re assigned. Guests are sometimes upgraded to a higher category altogether — say, from an inside to an ocean view — but you also risk getting a less-than-optimum location.
Question 10: Where are the views on a cruise?
Some cruise ships like ships entering into Venice, or Alaska cruise have view specifics, or mountains on one side. So if you are booking a room with a view, you need to remember these deciding factors, as you would not want to miss out on these views. Though the sides are not differently charged, it is better to book early as everyone would be targeting to do the same.
Question 11: Are you looking for luxury? A Special occasion?
If you travelling on a special occasion like your honeymoon or if you have some spare cash and you would to feel luxury you can go for the suite rooms. There is a multiple variety and space is huge with a lot of additional benefits. The junior suite on Royal Caribbean does not provide extra benefits but other suites provide a full-time waiter on your call, special access to some areas and a lot of beautifully done space. They might have in cabin hot tubs and spa facilities.
I am sure once you have selected what room to book, you would want to know what things you can pack, so here is my guide on what all you should pack for your upcoming cruise vacations. Ideas on what to pack for your upcoming cruise holidays!