"" Writer's Wanderings: Choosing Your Stateroom

Friday, June 17, 2016

Choosing Your Stateroom

 When people learn we've taken over fifty cruises the question always comes up as to which cruise line we like the best. Our answer is the one going where we want to go for the best price at the right time. We do have a few lines we don't travel but that has to do more with the type of services offered and the kind of shipboard activities and they are usually the ones that aren't going to the places we want to see.

The next question asked is which stateroom is best to book? Where should you be--inside or outside with a balcony? Should you be in the front or back of the ship? Top deck or bottom deck? This one is more a personal choice and some of it depends upon your sea worthiness.

The very front and the very back of the ship will often be the place where there is more up and down motion should the sea become a bit choppy. However there are often very nice larger staterooms at the back of the ship.

Next consideration is upper decks vs. lower deck. Take a pencil or pen and stand it upright on a table top between two fingers. Now move the upper end of that pen back and forth. That's the motion a ship would make. The bottom will stay about the same but the top moves much farther side to side. Now you might get some better views from an upper deck room but it will certainly cost you more. Most of the penthouse suites are on the upper decks. The choice is yours.

Inside or outside? We started cruising with inside rooms. They were much less expensive and fit our budget at the time. Then we spoiled it by getting a room with a balcony. It's tough to go back although our last short impromptu cruise we did. If you don't mind not having a window (the TV will have a live shot of the view from the front of the ship usually) and you expect to spend more time at the pool or with activities and going ashore, then inside will work for you. I need to have a place to retreat so I truly enjoy a balcony.

Some other important things to consider:

  • is the stateroom near the elevator? You might get some noisy late night guests.
  • what is the stateroom under? Try not to get under the dining rooms. You'll hear early morning preparation or late night clean up. Under the theater is not bad if you don't expect to call it an early evening. There was one cruise where our room was under the pool deck and we heard the clump, clump, and slide of the line dancing in the evenings.
  • want a valet or butler? You'll need to get a suite and it will cost you.
  • You can get really picky and decide if you want mostly sunrises or sunsets from your balcony depending upon which direction your ship is sailing. Pick port or starboard appropriately. Just remember when it turns around and heads home you'll have the opposite. (By the way port is the left side facing forward and left and port have four letters. Easy to remember.)

If you've never booked your own room, you'll want to go through a travel agent who is familiar with cruise bookings. They will steer you in the right direction. And as my husband always says, it's tough to have a bad cruise no matter where your stateroom is.

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