What is some good advice when selecting a cabin on a cruise ship?
One of the most important factors is price. The cabins on a cruise ship are divided into categories that correspond with price tiers. Typically your categories appearing earliest in the alphabet (AA, AB ect.) are designated as Villas, Suites, Penthouses etc. "B" Category are usually balcony and "C" are usually ocean view. From there, categories continue down the alphabet where the lower you go, the fewer amenities you can expect. So, determine your price point first and look at the categories of cabins that fall into that range. Next, use the brochure or the company's website to pull up a specific deck plan. Some things you will want to consider: 1.) The very back of the ship (aft) on low decks is directly above the engine. This may create more noise and vibration than you are used to. 2) The very front of the ship (forward) on all decks will take the brunt of the 'motion of the ocean'. If there are rough seas, you'll be certain to feel it. For some, it will rock them into some of the best sleep they've ever experienced. For others, it will make them as sick as a dog. 3) Lower decks tend to be noiser in general, as they are close to public spaces. Higher decks are slightly less convenient to the ship's services, dining rooms, theatres etc. 4) Look for gaps in the deck plan on either side of your cabin - especially at the end of hallways. These typically are 'crew doors' which could be pantries, crew elevators or storage areas where slamming doors throughout the day and night are commonplace. 5) Look for proximity to the elevators. You want to be close, but not directly next to them. Those guests with disabilitities should take this into consideration. 6.) Consider booking a "GTD" category. As your cruise gets closer to sailing, the company's revenue management department will assign your cabin to best available (in the range you've guaranteed - inside, porthole, window, balcony etc.) which can often end up giving you a sweet upgrade! Plus, if you're working with a seasoned travel agent, they will use their volume to get you bumped up into even better categories if there is room available just weeks before sailing! Lastly, here's a tip...One of the hidden treasures on cruise ships are the cabins built to accommodate the disabled (wheelchair accessible). While they may sound undesireable, they actually are often beautifully located near elevators and often offer up to 50% more space than a traditional cabin so they can accommodate wheelchairs around the bed, roll-in showers and larger desks and closets. If you can snatch one of these up, GREAT! When you get on board, check in with the reception desk and let them know that you're in a disabled room and don't necessarily need those facilitities. Let them know you'd be willing to trade to a higer category (Oceanview, Balcony) if another passenger on the ship needs those facilities. You may just find yourself getting the free trade-up on the first night of your cruise! Have an awesome time cruising!